Friday, June 8, 2007

New travel guide for tourists to Tibet unmasks propaganda: new restrictions on travel in TAR and closure of local travel agency

by International Campaign for Tibet

June 5th, 2007

ICT launches an ‘alternative’ travel guide to Tibet today, which describes how China is seeking to promote Tibetan culture for tourism while it continues to suppress the unique Tibetan identity. ‘Paradox Lost: How not to be a tourist in Tibet’ offers a perspective for the traveler who seeks a more balanced picture of their destination than China’s representations.

The report is published at a time when tightened travel restrictions in Tibet counter the impression that Beijing is seeking to convey of increased openness in the run-up to the Olympics. The restrictions affecting foreigners traveling to the Tibet Autonomous Region, which appear to have serious implications for certain groups of travelers, are apparently in response to a protest by members from Students for a Free Tibet, including a Tibetan American, at Mount Chomolungma (Everest) base camp on April 25. China’s reaction indicates its concern about other possible protests in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, and shows that it is more of a priority for Beijing to prevent dissent than to earn tourist dollars.

John Ackerly, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said: “ICT’s new report: ‘Paradox Lost: How not to be a tourist in Tibet’ describes how China promotes tourism in Tibet and, at the same time, suppresses what makes Tibet unique. China wants to control how tourists experience Tibet. This alternative guide unmasks the propaganda and offers a way for tourists, and tour operators, to be aware and well-informed." Click here to read full article

No comments: