Local flavor of Yunnan tourism

Experts and officials gathered recently in Beijing to discuss the development of tourism in the Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture.

Based in Southwest China's Yunnan province, the prefecture's local tourism bureau organized the meeting.

"It's important to adopt an innovative way to combine tourism with local cultures and lifestyles, so as to enhance tourist experience," Zhang Peitao, deputy director of the bureau, said at the conference.

Diqing boasts beautiful locations like Shangri-La but needs diversified tourism products to help visitors explore the province.

The prefecture's Zhongdian county, which renamed itself Shangri-La in 2001, claims to be the inspiration for Lost Horizon, a novel by British writer James Hilton.

"Younger generations focus more on quality travels," said Liu Tao, an official of the State Council's Development Research Center.

Speaking at the same forum, he said that tourism would lead to more jobs for local communities in areas where different ethnic groups lived.