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Tibetan district targets rural tourism to benefit villagers
update:July 11,2019
July 11, 2019 -- Tourists look at ethnic products in the Drayerpa Tourism Service Center on July 8. [Photo  by Palden Nyima/for chinadaily.com.cn]

Dagze district in Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region plans to benefit more rural villagers by promoting tourism in the village, with the district's Drayerpa Tourism Service Center a thriving example of the plan, according to the tourism development bureau of the region's capital city Lhasa

The Drakyerpa Tourism Service Center, located in the district's Yerba village of Bangdui township, sits at a key scenic site among Lhasa's northern tourism spots. After completing its new tourism projects, the site is expected to provide over 100 jobs for local villagers, according to the center.

With a planned investment of 303 million yuan ($45 million) from poverty alleviation funds of the local government and the aid-Tibet funds, the future tourism projects of the center include a plateau barley technology museum, a Tibetan village, a hostel and a multifunctional tourist service center.

July 11, 2019 -- Sonam Tsering, a bronze Buddha sculptor, works on a piece at his home in Tibet's Dagze district. [Photo  by Palden Nyima/for chinadaily.com.cn]

The tourism center features the Drakyerba Monastery, a Tibetan Nyingma School monastery built in the seventh century, which is both a key pilgrimage site for Buddhists and a tourist attraction.

Chungkyi, an official from the Lhasa tourism development bureau, said the Drakyerpa scenic site, enriched with profound Tibetan history and culture, receives heavy investment from all levels of government.

"China has been promoting a village prosperity strategy in recent years, and the development plan of the village tourism center coincides with the state's overall plan. We hope more remote villagers will also benefit from tourism as early as possible," said Chungkyi.

July 11, 2019 -- A Tibetan shopping guide in the Drakyerpa Tourism Service Center on July 8. [Photo  by Palden Nyima/for chinadaily.com.cn]

Basang Drolma, a senior staff member at the center, said she was one of the villagers who has benefited from tourism from the beginning. She was pleased to find a job in the tourism center at her home village, and always helps the villagers sell their local products to tourists.

"Most of my villagers are not interested in tourism, but I think they have to change their mind, because there will be good opportunities with the big support from government for promoting tourism in the village," said Basang Drolma.

Working for more than 12 months, Drolma now receives a monthly salary of 4,000 yuan, and she often assists villagers in recommending local products such as boiled potatoes, eggs and Tibetan butter tea to tourists.

July 11, 2019 -- Ethnic products featuring Tibetan cultural elements in the Drakyerpa Tourism Service Center. [Photo  by Palden Nyima/for chinadaily.com.cn]

Lhakdron, a fellow villager of Basang Droma who works as a shopping guide in the center, said she just graduated from a university outside Tibet and felt lucky to find a job at her doorstep, as she receives a monthly salary of 3,100 yuan.

"It's so convenient to work in the tourism service center in the village. When I go to work and go back home on foot, it takes only a few minutes," she said.

Dagze district is known as the eastern gate of the region. In 2018, the district received more than 770,000 tourists, with an increase of 17 percent year-on-year, and its tourism revenue hit about 38 million yuan, up 21 percent over the previous year.

Over 4,000 rural villagers from about 1,000 households took part in the tourism industry in 2018.

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