China Finds Its Shangri-La In Tourism

Old Blog Import

I thought that Lost Horizon” was actually supposed to be based in the Hunza valley of Pakistan …

Zhongdian is not the only place to have recognized the value of convincing the world that it is the spot that inspired Hilton’s 1933 novel and the Oscar-winning Frank Capra movie. After the town proclaimed itself Shangri-La in 1997, following what local officials say was a genuine research effort, a dozen towns in the area — some in Yunnan province, some in neighboring Sichuan — lodged competing claims that they were the real heaven-on-earth. A relentless marketing battle ensued, in what became known as the”Shangri-La War.”

Last December, Zhongdian won, gaining the government’s blessing to become Shangri-La.”