In 1999, the Tongxiang Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government decided to take on the protective development and repair work for the historic town of Wuzhen. With Chen Xianghong—then the Party Secretary for Wuzhen and Chairman of the Committee for the Protection and Tourist Development of the Historic Town of Wuzhen—at the lead, Wuzhen embarked on a decade-long process of preservation and development. Chen Xianghong’s team first completed the remaking of East Gate area, the focus of the historic architectural preservation, and then began the preservation projects for the streets and neighborhoods of West Gate, with the innovative idea of “re-using historical streets and neighborhoods”. The two regions, having completed its preservation and development work, fully manifest the historic visual appeal of an ancient water town of the lower Yangtze.
In January 2016, the Wuzhen Tourism Co. Ltd. offered the fourth part for its stunning program: Wucun opened with fanfare, and at that point, this new high-end village vacation tourist attraction, with the theme of bucolic fields and with its “leisure resort hamlets”, unveiled its mysteries, showing off its distinctive pastoral character. Wucun is wrapped in emerald waters and verdant shades, being in league with the natural ecological forest; its distinctive private rural residences and courtyards genuinely display the form and shape of ancient pastoral districts. Wucun overturns the traditional model of rural tourism in China, and employs the experiential model of the all-inclusive package—bringing together room and board, transportation, touring, shopping, and entertainment into a one-stop shop of a rural vacation resort project. With one touch of the button, accommodation, meals, and transportation can be included, along with nearly thirty free experiential items. Tourists can become a self-sufficient modern villager, and have that older sense of intimacy in village homes restored.