new sources of income through environmentally responsible tourism, communities
can be encouraged to protect local natural resources at the same time that
their incentive to over-exploit biodiversity is reduced. Efforts to educate
visitors, tour agents, and tourism bureau officials in the importance of
responsible tourism can also reduce environmental risks posed by increasing
numbers of visitors, while demonstrating a model of sustainable tourism
development that can be adopted and replicated by government.
TPAF is promoting innovative models of sustainable ecotourism
development in three villages of Shangri'la. Activities
in each village include community-led ecotourism development planning;
environment protection training; ecotourism service skills training; and
construction of visitor ecolodges that also function as community centers.
Outcomes and lessons from these villages will be disseminated to tourism bureau
officials and travel agents to encourage government and private sector support
of a more sustainable model of tourism development that can be scaled up and replicated more widely.
Construction of ecolodges was completed in three villages, women's groups were established to manage community tourism activities, and villagers began
hosting visitors with folk dance performances, nature treks, and horse riding
services. Training for villagers began in range of skills and topics including tour guiding, housekeeping, cooking, bookkeeping, English language, environment protection and ecolodge management.
international tour operators specializing in ecotourism visited the three
villages and confirmed that their natural tourism appeal is excellent, and began to help promote the sites. In
addition, a group of 24 Tibetan university students studying tourism
management visited two of the villages, where they received field training in
good practices for community based ecotourism development.
Recent Achievements in 2010-2011