Tibet Solution? Tourism.

As a big fan of China, Tourism, and individual freedoms and rights I think a solution to the challenges facing Tibet are these  (I wrote this a few years ago at my website that features the Qinhai-Tibet Railway sometimes called the pan-himalayan railroad, Llhasa Express, Tibet Train.    As with all conflicts, there is no “overall solution” because people’s needs are different, but there are many “win win” scenarios where things that are NOT in dispute can be resolved to everybody’s satisfaction.   Everybody wants the children of Tibet to be healthy, happy, well fed, and given good medical care.  Everybody wants Tibetans to be allowed to practice Buddhism, and everybody wants a way for others to experience the wonder of Tibet.  Tourism can make all that happen.

Tibet – Towards a Solution

Here is my proposal for a “win win” situation in Tibet: 

Given that most of the people of China want a strong connection with Tibet and Tibet wants and needs a strong connection with China:

* China grants greater autonomy to Tibet in a relationship that is modelled after Hong Kong and respects Buddhist traditions and the right for people.

* Tibetans agree to work with China to make this relationship beneficial to all.

* China continues to build on the region’s infrastructure, including the Pan Himalayan Railway.

* Tibetans embrace tourism as their primary agent of economic development, recognizing that the cultural and religious history of the region is a very powerful theme for travel marketing and a dramatic increase in regional tourism.

* China agrees that the region will be the key beneficiary of the tourism boom that will come from regional stability and national promotion of the wonders of Tibet.

* Tibetans will share their cultural and religious traditions as much as is culturally comfortable for them. The region can become another jewel in China’s tourism crown as the country prepares to become one of the world’s top travel destinations.

4 thoughts on “Tibet Solution? Tourism.

  1. Everybody wants Tibetans to be allowed to practice Buddhism, and everybody wants a way for others to experience the wonder of Tibet.

    I doubt that’s the case, Duck. Many people might–even a majority– but it’s probably not everyone. Many contemporary asians consider buddhism and other eastern religions superstitious and/or ancien regime. Navel gazing does not put food on the table, does it–that doesn’t imply joining forces with maoists (it might be recalled the reds did demolish many temples and the monastic orders).

    Similarly for tourism. For many, tourism might be good. For others, not likely. In effect, tourism functions as a type of casino economics mainly. Good when people are visiting hotels, restaurants, and buying things. Not so good when they aren’t. One might note this in Vegas. Many of those big ugly hotels and casinos are hurting because of the dismal economy–same in the cute touristy, coastal towns of CA. In short, tourism’s not a reliable economic model. It might be nice for the wealthy perhaps–not so great for the non-wealthy, or the people who have to work as waiters, bartenders, maids, etc.

    • H you are right that “everybody” is too broad a statement, what I really mean is that this is not a very controversial proposition for any of the parties involved in the disputes. In terms of tourism as economic development I don’t agree. True that the most robust economies are NOT built around tourism, but for many countries e.g. Thailand and many states e.g. California, tourism provides large and fairly stable economic contributions. Sure it’s better to develop a high tech sector and pay janitors 75k, but that’s not as scalable a proposition or nearly as simple as building tourism, which does not require a highly educated workforce or tech infrastructure.

    • tourism provides large and fairly stable economic contributions.

      As long as the wealthy are feeling charitable. When they’re not, tourism doesn’t function (as like, in the present).
      There’s another anti-meritocratic aspect to Tourism–for many impoverished people (including those in CA), tourism results in humans giving up working towards a good profession or trade, but joining the restaurant/bar/hotel wage slaves, more or less. Why be a teacher, when a bartender makes more money, and teachers are regularly laid off, etc? In other words, Tourism’s another mercenary tactic of finance capitalism. Perhaps lucrative for some (mainly business owners) but not a viable economic solution.

      Comments off, Duck? Dissent starting to bother you? Why, blimey some of us wanted to get our British-bashing on: it’s downhill from the Plantagenets, really (if not Bill Normandy), –the worst of the lot probably being the Tudors (the fat, most likely syphilitic Hank 8 nearly a anglo Nero, really) . Granted, a few Rexes added some color–like the Stuart gang (actually Liz II descended mainly from one of Chas II’ eh, royal escorts).

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