|Chinese tourists crowd popular Tibetian tourist sites.|
Many popular tourist destinations find themselves facing the challenges of success; few more than Lhasa Tibet, which has recently been overwhelmed by large numbers of Chinese tourists.
A Lhasa resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, described it as follows: “It’s very annoying when Chinese tourists take up two or three parking spaces with their oversized tanks. They are almost as bad as Americans with their giant SUVs. And the crowds – it’s very hard to get around, and when we spend time practicing our traditional Tibetan stone throwing, it’s almost impossible to avoid hitting some of them.”
Chinese tourism officials were quick to respond: “We know that some people were worried that the presence of torched buildings along with the risks of getting in the way of traditional Tibetan stone throwing might discourage tourism, but we’re pleased to report that if anything it has increased the popularity of Tibet as a tourist destination, especially for the young men.”
So far, international response to the problem has been muted. One U.S. diplomat was quoted as saying “it’s a good thing – the more Chinese in Tibet, the more hotel rooms will be available for foreign tourists during the Beijing Olympics. You wouldn’t have any extra tickets available, would you?”