Preserving a slice of heaven

Updated: 2016-11-09 07:49

By Wang Kaihao(China Daily)

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Preserving a slice of heaven

Potatso National Park in Shangri-La is renowned for its meadows, forests and lakes. WANG KAIHAO/CHINA DAILY

About 18,000 guests stayed in the two hotels in 2015, and 30 percent of them were from overseas, Drolma Lhatso says.

Before 2008, foreigners comprised 70 percent of the guests, and the change reflects a surge in domestic tourists who are looking for more than scenery, she adds.

"Villagers deserve a final say to develop their own models," says Dai Zhijian, an architecture professor from Xiamen University in Fujian province, who attended the forum.

"However, in more cases, the government takes the initiative and participates too much, which can make it difficult to really meet local people's needs. Investment cannot solve all problems."

He says rural tourism should be diverse in its styles and run by smaller-scale but dynamic units, not centralized conglomerates, with guidance and infrastructure provided by government.

Tourists, meanwhile, are not eager to see another over-commercialized destination in Shangri-La's countryside.

"Scenery in Shangri-La is world-class, and what I see here is unique," the tourist Peng says.

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