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China pushes for tourism in Tibet to boost economy and shape culture


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AFP
the School of Oriental and African Studies
Uighurs


Robert Barnett


Tibetan
Chinese
Tibetans
French
Communist

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China
Tibet
London
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The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.insider.com/china-pushes-tibet-tourism-bolster-economy-shape-culture-2021-6
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Summary

Free subscriber-exclusive audiobook!“No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention”Get it now on Libro.fm using the button below.China is teaching Tibetan villagers to speak Mandarin and helping herders and farmers turn their homes into hotels, in an effort to boost their region's income, according to an AFP report on Wednesday.Around 35 million tourists visited the region last year, 10 times the population of Tibet — though most were mainland Chinese travelers, with foreign visitor numbers still low at 270,000 in 2019, said the report.As a part of the bid to increase tourism, the Chinese government is organizing "cultural training" to teach locals Mandarin, AFP reported.The push to bridge the cultural gap between Tibetans and Chinese is seen by some to be a bid to overtake the traditions and cultural lifestyles of Tibet, a politically sensitive area with a history of resistance to China's central government."The cultural degradation that is involved in this case of hyper-managed mass tourism spectacle is very worrying," Robert Barnett of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London said in an interview with the French news agency."It's hard to identify, though, since of course there is a benefit for Tibetans in that trade; what is harder to quantify is the damage," he said.

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