China plans to spend sixty million dollars boosting tourism in Tibet. The government will put forward 400 million yuan to build 22 model villages in Nyingchi county, 200 miles (320k) south-east of Lhasa, Tibet's capital.
The area is renowned for it natural beauty, with rivers winding through valleys, green forests and snowy mountains and Beijing has long made efforts to transform it into a major hub of international tourism.
Officials said the model villages will maintain the natural habitat and include traditional Tibetan features and in March representatives of the authorities attended a ceremony at one of the villages.
China says it will invest 100 million yuan in the next three years, enabling residents to benefit from the tourism by earning money in hotel services.
But for Tibetans, China's forceful control of the region, undermine its attempts to develop the the Tibetan economy. Ethnic residents say the government is responsible for using economic development as a smokescreen for cultural assimilation and religious persecution.
China's southern province of Guangdong is at the centre of work to develop tourism in Nyingchi.
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