71 Online Review
Tourism and Trade
and Tourism: Tourists, Traditions and Transformations
edited by Lee Joliffe, 2007. Channel View Publications, Clevedon, Buffalo,
BDI Films/Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK)/Kuming Datongdao Film and TV/Beijing
Time United Culture Developing Co., Directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang.
by Lauren W. Deutsch
By the time you read this article, tea-centric tourism has been well
underway in some of the earth’s most fragile ecosystems. A friend
from Yunnan tells me that Taiwanese entrepreneurs are already making
such investments in the mainland. In addition to promoting stunningly
beautiful rows of tea bushes and romantic “exotic” peoples,
there’s money to be made welcoming eco-tourists to stalk wild
tea plants, visit plantations, gardens, processing facilities, markets
and auctions. Whether tea aficionados or Asiaphiles, domestic and international
visitors alike can enjoy festivals and seminars, visit historic and
artisan sites, such as pottery studios and enjoy cafes, buy souvenirs,
stay in guest houses, etc.
In Tea and Tourism: Tourists, Traditions and Transformations,
editor Lee Jolliffe sets the tone for future considerations of the impact
and sustainability of such tourism in multinational tea growing regions,
including Fujian Province, Hangzhou, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Assam. Tea
consuming markets are also investigated, including the UK, Canada and
the rest of China.
For example, Paul Leung Kin Han suggests that improvement of the roadway
might also mitigate rural poverty, especially at the small-scale village
industry level. This step may “facilitate natural environment
preservation and cultural asset conservation” not just in China,
but in every one of the 57 countries where tea is produced as a commodity.
Contributor Hillary Du Cross throws a cautionary flag on the play of
the rush to tea tourist fortunes. She suggests that the geographic complex
of route and people and commodity might be added to world heritage lists
as a “linear cultural landscape” or an asset of high national
significance. She thus recommends documentation of the tangible and
intangible cultural heritage assets.
One such attempt at documentation is Delamu1,
(Tibetan for “Peaceful Angel”) a documentary film by Chinese
director Tian Zhuangzhuang. It is very short on dialogue, and long on
self-narrated cameo portraits by some of the people who live in the
villages en route and gorgeous scenery along the Nijiang River Valley.
It shows the love that the lados had for their mules (the film
title is the name of one of the four-legged family members), the treacherous
pathways and the need for extraordinary cooperation to make the route
productive for all.
A BDI Films/Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK)/Kuming Datongdao
Film and TV/Beijing Time United Culture Developing Co. presentation
of a BDI/Beijing Time United Culture Developing Co. production. Produced
by Takahiro Hamano, Yang Zhao. Executive producers, Lui Zhao, Hao Li,
Toyohiko Harada. Co-executive producer, Nobuo Isobe. Directed by Tian
held by the author
Back to KJ