Published on : Friday, September 16, 2016
Despite protests in recent years, China’s policy lies in improving living standards of Tibetan community. For that, tourism is an effective tool to preserve Tibet’s rich cultural and religious heritage. Along this line, villagers in Yangrong Hade, a village in Aba Prefecture in southwestern Sichuan province earns their livelihood by renting their Tibetan-style houses as home stays to foreign tourists.
Villagers say that earning in dollars has improved their standard of living and they are earning more than before. The same holds for villagers of Chuanzigou in Songpan County with 6,000 to 8,000 visitors daily. There, most families have expensive cars, which was impossible to think before. Tourism is a major cause of development in Tibetan areas and it has created more than 130,000 jobs for villagers in Sichuan’s Tibetan regions.
Authorities in these regions opine that residents living here feel getting into tourism business as highly profitable. Kate Saunders, Communications Director for the International Campaign for Tibet said China is trying to promote Tibet as a pristine Shangri La on the roof of the world and also using tourism and its investment in infrastructure to achieve its military and strategic objectives in Tibet.
Many are saying that China’s involvement is actually endangering Tibetans’ way of life. But older Tibetan residents are of the view that tourism and China’s association has helped them improve their living and represent their culture in a better way.