Twenty-four tourism and hospitality employees and entrepreneurs mostly from Yushu Prefecture in Qinghai were taught ecotourism concepts and tourism and hospitality service skills in Xining on November 4 till 9, 2012.
Many participants expressed sincere thanks at the opportunity to learn and pointed out that tourism business and/or environmental training opportunities are very rare. Many participants commented that they had been working in the tourism industry for many years but had never had even basic ecotourism training. Others commented that their companies had done very small amounts of training but as the company owners are so busy they are always distracted and only offer very short opportunities to learn. The level of motivation to learn amongst this group was quite inspiring.
The formal introduction and explanation of ecotourism concepts should provide the participants with a very solid starting point from which to develop their future business plans and products. Without this relatively formal understanding of these basic concepts, it is extremely difficult for these participants to look down the road towards a long-term, sustainable business model. Indeed, the very idea of a long-term, written business plan was new to most of the participants, but we believe that such plans are essential to the development of true, community based ecotourism.