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  • Speaker | 14 November, 2019 (18:00)Book now

    Tourism as a Tool for Economic Development in Rural China 

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    Date(s) - 14/11/2019
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm




    A-11 Xiushui Street South, Ritan Park, Beijing, China


    +86 10 8563-6215



    Entrance Fee

    Brian’s talk will focus on the challenges facing rural governments as they turn to tourism for development. Because of financially successful models like Lijiang and Wuzhen, many regional governments and business leaders view tourism as a panacea for all their lack of development.  The Lindens are regularly hosted by regional governments hoping to bring prosperity via tourism to their communities.  Brian will talk about how they built their successful model without private investors, how the government supports their growth in return for social contributions, and how they have stayed true to their mission of tangible and intangible cultural preservation in an environment that increasingly challenging and sensitive.


    Brian is a Chicago native who began working in China for CBS news in 1984. During the ensuing three years, he was involved in interviews with many Chinese leaders and also found time to play the leading role in a feature-length movie produced by Beijing Film Studio. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Illinois, Hopkins Nanjing Center, and Stanford.  He worked on education investment/development projects in over 75 countries before returning to China in 2004 to become the first foreigner to preserve and redevelop a Chinese nationally protected structure. The Lindens now have six similar projects throughout Yunnan and a soon-to-open heritage complex in Suzhou.  Each site focuses on the preservation of existing historical buildings while incorporating the surrounding community in the planning and management of the final product- a heritage hotel/cultural center. The hotels, which consistently are ranked by Tripadvisor among the top ten in all of China, serve as the social enterprise component of their business.  Their passions are embodied in the accompanying education programs and microfinance projects that amplify their impact on the surrounding communities. Their model has been praised by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the US Secretary of State, and dozens of media and scholars.


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