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First Foreign Mayor Finishes Term as Rotating Mayor Program Continues at Danzhai Wanda Village

August 9, 2017 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

Danzhai Wanda Village farewells Edmund Enstone for his dedicated efforts as the first foreign participant under its ongoing Rotating Mayor Program. Mr. Enstone, a British model based in Hong Kong, arrived in Danzhai County, Guizhou Province on August 4and held his mayorship at the village until August 8. Through his considerable social media presence, Mr. Enstone worked tirelessly to raise awareness of Guizhou culture — the province is one of the most diverse yet impoverished regions in China — while consulting with locals to hear their ideas on how the village can be developed.

On his arrival and subsequent tours in the village, Mr. Enstone was routinely swamped with attention as locals turned their attention to their new mayor for the week. The presence of such a cosmopolitan influencer generated a great deal of excitement, providing locals with a tangible demonstration of the village’s international future.

At the conclusion of his duties, Mr. Enstone spoke of the experience: “I found it eye opening. It helped me to know more about the local culture and also about my own and how the two can integrate. It was educational and had a lot of work, but I hope in the end I have helped to make a difference.”

The volunteer program — which has already been well served by four Chinese mayors — will continue for an entire year, welcoming 52 mayors from all over the world for a tenure of no longer than one week. It is part of Wanda’s “one enterprise responsible for an entire county’s poverty alleviation” umbrella program, by which the company will leverage its considerable expertise in tourism development to help lift the region up through its own cultural heritage and breathtaking natural scenery.

Mr. Enstone highlighted the stunning vistas available in and around the Danzhai Wanda Village by participating in a photoshoot on the Diao Bridge, mixing Western and local fashions with the pristine East Lake as a backdrop. He also participated in shoots at world’s largest water wheel, as recognized by Guinness World Records, and the Viewing Deck that looks down across the entire village.

To help share the region’s unique local culture with the world, he also visited a Miao batik workshop (the Miao ethnic group is the province’s largest minority) and a Miao handcrafted paper making studio, as well as attended a Miao wedding ceremony. All of the natural and cultural wonders that Mr. Enstone experienced were cataloged and shared with his fans around the world through his social media channels, as well as those of the Danzhai Wanda Village.

With more than 7,000 applicants globally from Danzhai Wanda Village Rotating Mayor Global Recruitment Campaign, the diverse collection of mayors will include volunteers from the fields of hotel management, architecture, public speaking, academia, the arts, and many other areas of expertise. The mayors will get the chance to contribute to the sustainable development of the Danzhai Wanda Village and affect real, impactful change for the better.

Guizhou Province is one of the least developed regions in China, and while Danzhai is blessed with considerable natural beauty and cultural heritage, the lack of infrastructure and general inaccessibility has held the region back in the past. Backed by a RMB 1.5 billion donation from the Dalian Wanda Group, the Danzhai Wanda Village is one part of a three-pronged development scheme — the other prongs being the Guizhou Wanda Vocational School and a poverty alleviation fund — with the village providing up to 3000 jobs and a sustainable growth model for the future.

The Dalian Wanda Group is firmly committed to poverty alleviation in the region. Or as Chairman Wang Jianlin said at the opening ceremony for the Danzhai Wanda Village and Guizhou Wanda Vocational College: “If Danzhai needs us, Wanda will continue our support beyond the current three-year operational management system.”

Want to be the next mayor of Danzhai Wanda Village? Find out more here:
Danzhai Wanda Village Rotating Mayor Program (http://wanda.m3ad.cn/wanda_head/en/)

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