Guesthouses lead Tibetan villagers to a better life

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Publish Time: 2020-07-28 Author: From: chinadaily.com.cn

A local Tibetan instructs a visitor in archery in Lunang International Tourism Town in Nyingchi city, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region. [Photo by Palden Nyima/Chinadaily.com.cn]

Thanks to the tourism industry, villagers in Tashigang village in Nyingchi city, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, operate family guesthouses as a popular business, which has led to a better life for those villagers.

The village is in the Lunang International Tourism Town, also known as Tibetan Switzerland. It is one of the region's most famous tourism spots.

Phuntsok, one of the guesthouse operators in the village, said he started a guesthouse business as early as in the 1990s. However, there were not many tourists back then.

With the support of South China's Guangdong province as an aid-Tibet project, heavy investment has been pouring into this area since 2016 to build it into an international tourism spot.

"After the area was turned into an international tourism town, both the tourism infrastructure and service quality have improved dramatically, and it also has made a great change to villagers' income," the 72-year-old said.

Before 2017, there were only eight beds and five rooms in Phuntsok's guesthouse. The tourists he received were mainly hikers and cyclers. After 2017, they started receiving more tourists. Phuntsok's guesthouse has more than 30 beds now.

Rolling tree-covered mountains slope down to a meadow in this view near Tashigang village in the Lunang International Tourism Town in Nyingchi city, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region. [Photo by Palden Nyima/chinadaily.com.cn]

In 2019, the income generated by the guesthouse business hit more than 300,000 yuan ($42,800).

"As the number of tourists has increased dramatically in recent years, villagers have added various types of cultural activities to serve as tourism events," he said.

Tourism services in the village include horseback riding, archery, dancing, and local meals.

Tsering Tashi, Phuntsok's fellow villager, said income generated by tourism activities accounted for half of his total family income.

In 2019, he made more than 80,000 yuan by operating a family inn and other tourism-related businesses, such as horseback riding and archery.

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