LHASA, Jan. 18, 2018 -- Herder Tstendrup spends much time caring for the 60 yaks he raises at his home, because they are his main source of income.
Starting from 2013, Tstendrup took his yaks almost every night to a nearby park to participate in a show called Princess Wencheng. In the last year, the yaks earned him 130,000 yuan (about $19,600).
"These animals need to eat well and grow well. They are too precious for my family now," he said.
The performances "Princess Wencheng" started in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, in August 2013, and have had huge success. Now it is an important tourist destination alongside spots such as Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple.
In 2017, over 450,000 people watched the show, and box office was 160 million yuan (about $24 million).
Before the show was staged, at Ceqogling village opposite the Potala Palace across a river, most people made a living growing potatoes and barley.
"Few people had as many yaks as Tstendrup. Many people had worries that it would be hard for them to look for jobs," said Pedron, a village official.
In preparing for the show, which needs around 800 performers, villagers soon found jobs. Now each performer earns 4,000 yuan every month. During the winter season when they do not need to perform, they each get 600 yuan allowance. Many people have also taken up logistical jobs in the park, according to Pedron.
Usunhome, a private company which organizes the show, said 95 percent of people working for the show were farmers and herders.
"The show has been a good way to preserve cultural heritage in Lhasa. It has drawn active participation from local members of public," said He Ping, president of the company.
"People in the village love to be on stage because there is strong Tibetan opera tradition here. The show gives them the stage they need, and at the same time, it is a big source of income for local families," said Pubu Tashi, one of the performers.
In 2016, over 5,200 people found jobs at 41 cultural parks in Tibet. Their average income was 7,400 yuan ($1,121). A cultural park themed on Mount Everest will be built in Xigaze this year.
"Cultural events and performances have created many jobs, and it is a good way to lift people out of poverty," said Norbu Tsering, an official with the Tibetan regional department of culture.