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Mainstream tourists have only just discovered the natural beauty

Updated: Thursday, May 07,2009, 11:01:13 AM
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Embed tourists come only to discover the natural beauty of Lake Shudu Shangri-La County, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The turquoise blue waters and the pristine forests are always a spectacle to see and over the past decade, local authorities have tried various ways to attract more visitors.

The campaign took place in 2001 at Zhongdian was renamed Shangri-La, after the fictional land in the James Hilton novel Lost Horizon, in an effort to promote tourism in the north-west Yunnan province.

But as tourism campaign in the region began to take shape, disaster struck Shudu lake most ironic way.

A private developer began raising several kinds of exotic carp in the lake to attract more visitors, mainly fishermen. But the experience turned and wiped out the fish in the lake. Today, these fish can be found in the nearby Bita Lake, another popular tourist destination.

The local government realized that the damage had been done and has taken action. The private developer of management authority has been canceled and the two lakes have been updated in Potatso National Park, together with adjacent pastures, mountains and forests.

In June last year, the 1000 square km of the park, 22 km west of the city of Shangri-La, China became the first national park. "This is really the first step in the success of our efforts to introduce the concept of a national park in China," said Chen Jie, director of Yunnan, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), an international non-governmental conservation organization based in the United States. "This means that the mixture of Yunnan began the development of tourism with the protection of nature."

      The AcSB has invited local government to help plan a "special area of biological diversity" to another site in Diqing in 2004. The two sides held several meetings on ecotourism and reserve managers to tour the national parks in the United States and New Zealand for ideas.

      In 2006, the research bureau of the provincial government of Yunnan and China CNC Program has published a book on national parks and began promoting the concept of the province. In the same year, the government decided to build Diqing Potatso Forest National Park, South West and has invited the University to do a master plan.

At that time, Chen said, Shudu Lake is not a protected area and although the Bita Lake is a provincial reserve, it was short of funds and did not have the resources to better protect the region " .

   "There were only 18 employees in our reserve," said Ding Wenhai, head of the reserve administration. "We have to cope with 200,000 tourists a year and make regular patrols, and we have not been able to make the guardians of local horses nearby Tibetan villages by effective management, monitoring of our ecosystem and to scientific research. "

Accordingly, he says, hundreds of horses from the reserve all day to welcome tourists, but the effect was detrimental. "They have trampled our wetlands and their droppings contaminated water," said Chen.

"The local government and communities have not benefited much from tourism. Our main income comes from tickets, which was originally a price only 5 yuan per person and subsequently increased to 30 yuan."

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