Phase 4: Preparing to Share: Emerging Ideas
In Phase 0, I was in Shanghai, beginning my journey into Microcampus by choosing a project and looking at options. Later on in Phase 1, I began really inquiring on my topic, thinking of the major questions that I wanted to solve later in Xizhou. Then, in Phase 2, I began finding resources, whether it was in Shanghai, Xizhou, or anywhere in the world. This is when I came to Xizhou, asking teachers and mentors "3's to 5's", a conversation where I ask 3 to 5 teachers for resources for 3 to 5 minutes. In Phase 3, I found resources and gained knowledge from them, learning about all sorts of things. My resources included anything from books to the internet to people in the community. Now, in Phase 4, I begin to plan out how I want to present my work and my month spent in Xizhou. To further examine possible outcomes of my work and research, I will be looking at the projects of past students and laying out my project as a whole.
Looking at Projects of Previous Students
1. Taylor F. (Group F)
Taylor had created a video. She had used many pictures and was specific about what type of development and body language there was in Xizhou. I think that specifying and seeing the correlation between things is important, so I will do so in my project.
2. Alice C. (Group L)
Alice had created a video. She had recorded herself in a good room while recording her voiceover. I think that when there is no corresponding image or media, I could do something similar to Alice. Subtitles to divide the video overall is also good to keep the audience clear on what is going on.
3. Jamie C. (Group G)
Jamie had created not a video, but rather a spreadsheet and a final product that looks at the profit a vendor that sells Erkaui makes. I think that the simplicity of the presentation style of her product is very effective and since she gives raw information, it is very clear to interpret the information in your own perspective.
Final Product Overview
The type of product that I aim to achieve is a video that explains various aspects of the community that have been impacted by tourism over time. Specifically, I want to look at the major aspects of the location of vendors, what type of products and things vendors are selling, and the overall lives of the people in the community. The time period that I am contrasting is from roughly 10 years ago, 5 years ago if possible, and the status quo. The audience that I am creating this final product for is for students or researchers that want to know more about the tourism industry in less modernized areas or people that want to see an example of a thriving economy based on the tourism industry in a successful village. Otherwise, my audience is targeted for young adults to adults who really just want an introduction to studying tourism. For those who read and watch my final product, I want to show an example of a village that has been impacted by tourism and overall, globalization through certain aspects. By showing these aspects, I want my audience to be fascinated by how an entire community can change because of the concept of traveling.
Looking more into my product, to clearly define what I aim to achieve in the product, I created a thesis. To examine the impact of tourism over time, one must consider the impacts through rent and location of vendors, products that vendors sell, and the lives of people in the community. The location of the vendors will be examined through a map explaining how expensive it was and which vendors were where years ago. Major products have changed over time, and that will be portrayed through who the vendors are. Finally, the lives of the people in the community will be looked at from the aspect of how satisfied they are with the status quo. To portray my thesis, I will use images, videos, charts, and a voiceover to show my product. Using this media, I can make meaning and sense of the knowledge that I have found by clarifying anything that is hard to explain solely through writing or voice. Other details that would be good to show is the current overview of tourism in Xizhou, such as the increasing amounts of people coming in, the type, the reason why, etc.
a. In a village, a hidden gem in Yunnan called Xizhou, 15 other students and I spent our days talking to the community, researching and learning about a culture very different from our lives in Shanghai. For 28 days, I stayed in Xizhou, doing not just schoolwork, but also going through my path of learning about my inquiry project topic. An inquiry project is an independent project where each one of us learns about something unique or interesting in Xizhou.
b. For my inquiry project, I decided to initially study tourism sustainability, but as time passed, I began to learn more and more about the impact of tourism. So, when I came to Xizhou, I learned more about the impact of tourism. Tourism has grown over time in Xizhou and vendors can come from Dali Old Town, where it is overrun by tourism and vendors.
c. To examine the impact of tourism over time, one must consider the impacts through rent and location of vendors, the products of vendors, and the lives of people in the community.
II. Vendors in Xizhou tend to move around and go to other places due to the fluctuating amounts of tourists coming in and out.
a. 10 years ago, the rent for a shop in Sifang Jie used to be around 150,000 yuan per year. Sifang Jie also used to look similar to the wet market in Xizhou, full of vendors that provided for the locals.
b. After people and visitors started to notice the wonderful scenery and culture of Xizhou in the 1990s, tourism began and the rent began booming. 5 years ago, the rent for a shop in Sifang Jie was around 200,000-300,000 yuan per year.
c. Currently, rent is pretty expensive, especially in or near Sifang Jie. The further away the house or shop is from Sifang Jie, the cheaper the rent seems to be. In most cases, contracts last around 1 or 2 years, but there are exceptions in places that are further away, such as a coffee shop near the Linden Centre whose contract lasts 15 years. Now, the rent in Sifang Jie is around 400,000 yuan or higher per year. Now, vendors are located around the newly built government-made monument of a gate in Sifang Jie.
d. In the future, it is possible and likely that rent will increase for places in Sifang Jie, but the places that have fewer tourists will likely have rents that remain moderately expensive.
III. There is also variation in the vendors and what vendors sell due to the effects of the "new authentic" process.
a. The "new authentic" process is when a village or community like Xizhou takes their traditional and authentic culture and puts it through a commodification, for reasons such as the necessity to make money, globalization, or more, so that it becomes something called "new authentic". By changing the little things in the culture, for Xizhou it would be things such as creating marijuana patterned tie-dyed clothes, it becomes more appealing or interesting to outsiders and visitors. Because of the ongoing variation of Xizhou's true and authentic culture, the type of vendors and what vendors sell have changed through time.
b. Vendors used to target their products to provide for the people in the communities. They sold foods and household items to people around the village. Vendors included mostly just farmers and fishermen who lived around the fields.
c. Vendors in Sifang Jie now sell mostly to tourists, though the wet markets remain to be a place where people in the community buy foods and such. Tourists do come to the wet market or the morning market just to see it as the culture though. Vendors in Sifang Jie are mostly people from silver shops and jewelry, snack shops, or antique shops. They all sell something near material souvenirs, which is most likely for tourists to want to keep and bring back to their homes.
d. Vendors in the future will probably still sell to tourists, but there will most likely be more vendors that are from different parts of China than from Xizhou.
IV. People in the community also face a change in their lifestyle because of tourism.
a. People in the community that grew up in Xizhou said that certain places have been grown to be tourist attractions. For example, Mr. Yang said that the Yang Family Museum used to open and free for everyone to visit when he was younger. In fact, he said that it was a police station at one point.
b. Now the Yang Family Museum is one of the main tourist attractions that many tourists visit, though they have to pay for it. Other examples are Lake Erhai, Sifang Jie, and the Linden Centre, all of which used to be mundane places for the community at one point.
c. In the future, Xizhou can become like Dali, though people like Mr. Linden are trying to prevent this from happening by keeping the people from Xizhou to stay in the community.
a. By looking at the community lifestyle, the location of vendors and their products, it becomes more clear and simple to see the impact of tourism on a village like Xizhou.
To see my final product, go to this link. It will include a video and a piece of writing that explains my journey and my knowledge gained in Xizhou.