ROMANTIC TOURISM IN TIBET Wine and dine your lover in Tibet!
TIBET SPECS English Name: Tibet Chinese Name: 西藏 (xī zàng) Abbreviation: 藏 (Zang) Admin. Type: Autonomous Region Capital: Lhasa Location: 26 50 to 36 53 N, 78 25 to 99 06 E Area: 1,228,400 km² (474,288 mi²) Population (2010): 3,002,166
MORE ABOUT TIBET One of the most romantic tourist destinations in the world, thanks toits spectacular Himalayan scenery, including Mount Everest, and apeaceful Buddhist culture personified by the Dalai Lama Tibet has been long known to offer some of the most breathtakingviews and elegant wedding venues in the world! “Tibet is the holy place attracting numerous visitors from all over theworld! Many people insist on having their wedding in Tibet while someothers say that Tibet is the trip of a lifetime.” (Chinatouristmaps.com)
CURRENT SITUATION Tibetan Uprising in 2008 • Mass protests throughout the Tibetan plateau took place in the spring of 2008 against Chinese occupation • Sparked by China’s increasing stranglehold over all forms of Tibetan life • Protests were brutally suppressed by the Chinese authorities and many protesters were killed by security forces Changes Since Prostests • Restrictions on travel to many parts of Tibet for both journalists and tourists • Freedom of movement is restricted and communication services can be curtailed • Heavy military presence Restrictions may change dramatically and without prior warning • China banned tourists from entering Tibet in June and July 2011 as it marked the 60 -year anniversary of its occupation. From: Free Tibet
A FEW STATS Tibet posted a record of high number of tourists in the first eight monthsof this year. Tibet has received as many as 6.21 million tourists in the past eightmonths, up 22.1 percent year-on-year, according to the Tibet Tourism Bureau. The tourism sector also posted a 42.7 percent jump in revenue betweenJanuary and August to 6.34 billion yuan, thanks to the soaring tourist numbers Festival tourism has witnessed a breakthrough this year, becoming abooster of the regional tourism industry • For example, a total of 906,400 tourists visited Tibet during the seven-day Shoton Festival alone, bringing a total revenue of 266 million yuan, an increase of 15.01 percent and 8.21 percent respectively year-on-year. From: China Tibet Online
QINGHAI -TIBET RAILWAY Opened on July 1, 2006 1,956-km-long The first to reach Chinas interiorfrom the Tibet Autonomous Region Tibet tourism development wasboosted markedly due to the increasedaccessibility and affordability
QINGHAI -TIBET RAILWAY China claims that the railway will promote the preservation and development ofthe Tibetan culture to cater to an influx of tourists looking for unique culturalexperiences Enables a beneficial interaction between Tibets culture and other cultures As most tourists to Tibet are interested in the sites and unique ethnic andcultural spectacles, local government and citizens are being encouraged to furtherdevelop their culture Local citizen will have easy access to information and cultures from the outsideworld with the development of tourism
WEDDING TOURISM Many business opportunities in"Tibetan weddings" are found by localtravel agencies Tourists attracted to Tibet forTibetan style wedding • Bride and bridesgroom wear Tibetan wedding dresses • Friends and family are invited to give Hadas with “Tashi Delek” blessings
WEDDING TOURISM “Wedding by the Holy Lake” • Many couples exchange wedding vows at Namtso Lake • Highest lake in the world with altitude of 4,718 meters • Theme of "purity, eternity and compassion" • Tibets Regional Tourism Bureau invited 99 couples from all over the world to be married by the lake in September 2010 to promote wedding and honeymoon tourism • Weddings followed by romantic wed-in trip, covering some ten scenic spots • Activities such as the Tibetan-style wedding ceremony, a bonfire Guozhuang(a Tibetan group dance) Party, and environment-friendly travel
WEDDING PARTY TOUR ! Day 01: FLY KATHMANDU TO LHASA GANGAR AIRPORT Days 02 & 03: SHOPPING Day 04: INVITE THE SINGERS Day 05 & 06: SIGHTSEEING Day 07: DRIVE TO AIRPORT
P O S I T I V E T O U R I S M I M PAC T S Tibet Environment Protection Movement Mixing of cultures • Tourism provides a window to the outside world for Tibetans and a first step towards a more open policy • Rural villages build holiday inns and Tibetan-style hotels for tourists, helping push the Tibetan folk culture to market • A series of unique Tibetan cultural icon, such as Thangka, Tibetan incense and Tibetan dinner, also play an important role in alluring more people to Tibet, which will also help spread Tibetan culture to the outside world Showcases Tibetan landscapes Creating jobs for locals • Locals needed as tour guides and other tourism management staff
N E G AT I V E T O U R I S M I M PAC T S Empowers the Chinese • Money generated by tourism rarely stays in the Tibetan economy • Allows the Chinese government to promote its own approved and sanitized image of Tibet Takes away from exclusivity of weddings if everyone knows about it • Romantic ideas of Tibet come partly from its remoteness and mystery Causes the watering-down of traditional Tibetan culture as Westernersbegin to increase the weddings help in Tibet
NEGATIVE IMPACTS (CONT.) Cultural Degradation • Loss of traditional styles of clothing • Locals wearing tourist clothing style • Traditional clothing being sold as souvenirs • Changes in Buildings and Settlement Patterns • Majority of buildings destroyed by Chinese • Newer buildings influenced by Western culture • Destruction of Religious Practices • Timing and content of religious ceremonies • catered to tourists’ viewing • Religious artifacts sold to tourists • Destruction of the sanctity of pilgrimages to • sacred mountains
WHY NOT? Many people are against travelling to Tibet because they believetourism provides legitimacy to the Chinese Government. It is also partof Chinas economic policy to encourage tourism in Tibet, especiallywealthy Westerners on package group tours. Supporting the immigrantpopulation of 7·5 million Chinese, in addition to the six million Tibetans,is such a drain on Chinese resources that the Government desperatelyneeds tourism, and the hard currency it provides, to boost the Tibetaneconomy.
STRATEGIES Strategies: • Choose a local Tibetan travel agency. • Patronize local businesses. • Higher local guides, drivers, and wedding officiates. • Respect local wedding cultures and traditions. • Leave no trace (poop) while trekking. • Abide local laws • Do not hand out money or medicine.
POLICIES Environmental conditions of Tibet The strengthening of Ecological Construction and environmentalprotection, and the building of ecological security barrier of Tibet. Attaching Importance to Environmental Protection inDevelopment, and Guaranteeing Clean Water and Blue Sky I theSnow-covered Plateau.
P R E S E RV I N G T I B E TA N C U LT U R E Due in part to the importance of Tibetan culture to Tibet’s tourism industry,China has realized the need to preserve the culture China has invested more than 60 million yuan (9.38 million U.S dollars) on thepreservation and development of Tibets intangible cultural heritage (ICH) over thepast six years The Ministry of Culture has allocated 32.58 million yuan for the preservationand inheritance of Tibets ICH The government of Tibet Autonomous Region also invested nearly 30 millionyuan for its ICH
P R E S E RV I N G T I B E TA N C U LT U R E The Ministry of Culture said that it will continue to take othermeasures over the next five years to further promote the preservation ofTibets ICH • Among the measures is a preferential policy toward Tibets ICH preservation in regard to financial support • The Ministry will help improve the living and working conditions of ICH inheritors for their teaching and exchange activities The ministry will also feature more Tibetan ICH items on thenationwide promotion and exhibition activities in order to introduceTibetan culture to the entire country and the world