The Informal Tourism Economic Model of the Ethnic Minority Regionsin Southwest China

Yusu Qin, Yang Qi


Yunnan province located in Southwest China and owns a variety of tourism resource that makes him become one of the most popular tourist resorts. But, due to these ethnic minorities who are directly transferred from the primitive commune economy and feudal lord economy to modern market economy disable to grip the operation essence of the current economy system and the out-comers who are proficient in the market competition crowded out the natives and occupied the resources, the economy of Yunnan separated into two skin which produced the ethnic tensions and obstacles of economic development. Under this circumstance, informal economy plays a non-negligible role. Through a field work in the northeast areas of these regions, we found that a kind of informal tourism economy model that through constituted an informal tourism network which consisted of varieties of travel agencies, local restaurants, hotels and inns to collecting the individual tourists to forming a tour group called Individual Spell Group. This complementary network attracts tourists to buy their tour package in an ultra- low price and inducing them to shopping in some of special shopping spots operated by local ethnic minorities in a way we called ‘Soft compulsive shopping’. So, that, the funds be ingeniously transferred to the pocket of local ethnic minorities and then distributing to the other members of this network. In addition, our research found that by artfully utilizing the change of tax levy way, this kind of informal model also help local government to avoiding revenue levied by the state and keep the funds to developing this region. We believe the informal economy not only play an important role in some economic system especially where the modernity absent but also could efficiently solving the social problems, changing political force and, ultimately, effecting the people’s thinking.

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