Tibetans run hostels to increase income

10:23, February 28, 2010      

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Nyema has a house with a view that city dwellers can hardly imagine -- a two-story building facing the holy snow mountain in the southeast of Tibet. The lucky viewers were not only his family of five, but tourists around the globe.

With the help of the local tourist bureau, the 61-year-old Nyema turned his house into a hostel with three rooms offering two beds each. He has accommodated 2,000 tourists in the past three years.

"This is a better and more direct way to let more people know our region and enjoy the Tibetan customs," said Nyema in Gongzhong village of Nyingchi Prefecture of China's southwest Tibet Autonomous Region.

The Nyema family received 25,000 yuan (3,623 U.S. dollars) housing funding from the local government and a 100,000 yuan-loan from the local bank to build the house in 2003.

"In the past, we can only get a loan of 10,000-20,000 yuan. Now the beneficial policies enable us to get more loans. we can not only live in bigger houses, but also share the pleasure with guests," said Pando, 55.

Nyema and his wife Pando decorated the house with colorful Tibetan patterns and cook Tibetan style food such as roast Tibetan pig and local vegetables to cater to their guests. With each bed costs 25 yuan for one-night sleep, the hostel business has made the family's annual income increase from 20,000 yuan to 70,000 yuan.

Thanks to the central government's policies of funding farmers and herds people's housing, six of the 22 households of Gongzhong village run their family hostels after moving into bigger houses.

The local government has invested 2.6 billion yuan since 2002 to help more than 20,000 households of farmers and herdsmen settled in new houses, said Drolkar ,commissioner of the Nyingchi Prefecture.

A total of 230, 000 households of farmers and herdsmen in Tibet has moved into new houses by the end of last year.

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