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Family-run hostels help increase Tibetans' incomes

08-08-2013 13:52 BJT Special Report: Inside Tibet |

By CCTV reporter Ai Yang

In Tibet’s Nyingchi Prefecture’s small village of Tashigang, tourism is changing the lives of villagers. Starting businesses catering to tourists is bringing them more income than farming ever did.

The natural beauty of Nyingchi Prefecture is the area’s greatest resource.

As more tourists come to Tibet to take in its breathtaking views, local families are looking to cash in on a booming industry.

This is the first family-run hostel that opened in Tashigang township.

The hostel’s popularity has made its 65-year-old owner famous, as travelers flock to his business to spend the night.

"People can reserve rooms online and sometimes people do it one or two months in advance. When I’m fully booked I also recommend my neighbors’ hostels to people," hostel owner Puncog said.

From February this year Puncog has made 100 thousand yuan running his hostel, 20 times more than what he earned farming a decade ago. Following his example, more than 20 other hostels have opened in Tashigang since 2000.

But the success hasn’t been easy to emulate.

"Lives have become much better thanks to tourism. The government has helped build roads and sewage systems. But my family isn’t big enough to run the business. I hope to get more help," villager Pema Tsomo said.

Altogether, Tashigang township now makes about 800 thousand yuan a year from tourism.

Although it will be a while before newcomers learn how to run a successful business like Puncog, there is no doubt that tourism has on the whole, changed lives for the better.

 

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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