Ti­bet looks to build on tourism boom As vis­i­tor num­bers and rev­enues rise, re­gion’s coun­ties work to de­velop tourist of­fer­ings

China Daily (Canada) - - TIBET -

pa­per maker.

Fel­low crafts­man Kalzang Ten­zin said tourism had en­abled him to ex­pand the range of prod­ucts he can of­fer.

“Tourists come to us with dif­fer­ent needs and or­ders, and we pro­duce the prod­ucts ac­cord­ing to their wishes,” the 45-year-old said.

He es­ti­mates that of the 150,000 yuan ($21,800) his fam­ily earned in 2014 and 2015, 100,000 yuan came from tourist sales while the rest came from monas­ter­ies and monks.

Last year, by con­trast, his fam­ily made 250,000 yuan — about 180,000 yuan of which was gen­er­ated from tourism, while the rest came from sell­ing pa­per to the Tashil­hunpo Monastery in Xigaze.

Else­where, Nagqu county is in the ini­tial stages of de­vel­op­ing its tourism in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to Trin­ley Dar­gye, its Party chief.

Known for its sto­ry­tellers who re­count the Epic of King Ge­sar, Nagqu has a King Ge­sar Tourism Cen­ter cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion.

“There are around 100 King Ge­sar sto­ry­tellers in Nagqu pre­fec­ture and our county has 38 of them, so we want to start cul­tural tourism in our county,” said Trin­ley.

“An­other big tourism project we have in the works is a cir­cu­lar tourist route, which will con­nect some of the pre­fec­ture’s coun­ties.”

He said it was cru­cial for the no­mads liv­ing in the re­gion to get in­volved in the tourism in­dus­try, as some have al­ready started to do by pro­duc­ing tra­di­tional no­madic prod­ucts.

“We have abun­dant nat­u­ral and cul­tural re­sources and we can­not fall be­hind as the rest of the re­gion’s tourism de­vel­ops,” he said.

Ar­eas near Ti­bet’s border with Nepal, such as Gyirong county, are also get­ting in on the act.

Sur­rounded by snow-capped moun­tains and with an av­er­age elevation of more than 4,000 me­ters, its land­scapes are al­ready a ma­jor tourist draw.

“Our county plans to start a one-day cross-border tour work­ing with the Nepal side,” said Hu Hong, the county head.

“We also plan to op­ti­mize our in­fra­struc­ture to fur­ther de­velop tourism this year.”

Hu said his county wel­comed more than 45,000 tourists last year, with tourism rev­enues reach­ing 47 mil­lion yuan.

PHO­TOS BY PALDEN NYIMA / CHINA DAILY

A horse for the horse-rid­ing busi­ness waits for cus­tomers near the Yumbu Lhakhar Palace in Shan­nan pre­fec­ture, the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

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