A newly opened luxury hotel in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region is employing only Han Chinese to serve on staff, a contact person at the Hilton Linzhi Resort says.
A senior corporate officer based in Shanghai denies the claim, though, calling the Hilton hotel in the TAR “an equal opportunity employer.”
Speaking to RFA’s Tibetan Service in a telephone interview on March 31, Yang Chunxiao—listed in Linzhi Resort literature as a contact for the hotel—said that of 200 employees now working at the resort, “all are Han Chinese.”
However, no attempt has been made to discriminate against Tibetans seeking work at the hotel, which expects its guests to come mainly from China’s inner provinces, Yang told RFA.
“It’s not that we don’t want them,” she said. “This is just a question of recruitment.”
“Probably they don’t want to come to work,” she added.
In an April 13 e-mail to RFA, Hilton Corporate Communications Manager Suki Pan said that the Hilton Linzhi Resort does in fact employ Tibetans at the hotel.
“As an equal opportunity employer, we do not discriminate against any individual or group,” Pan wrote.
“The hotel currently employs a mix of team members who are Tibetans, Han Chinese, Lhobas and Menbas, and [we] remain committed to providing our team members with a rewarding career.”
Opened on March 22, 2017, in Kongpo prefecture’s scenic Nyingtri (in Chinese, Linzhi) county, the 220-room Hilton Linzhi Resort is home to Tibet’s first nine-hole golf course and features luxury services including a spa, heated pool, cinema, and other facilities for its paying guests, company literature says.
Most tourists in the TAR now come from China, though, with foreign visitors and journalists frequently barred from entering the region.
In an April 11 statement, the Washington D.C.-based advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said it has yet to look closely at “this specific Hilton project in Tibet.”
“But if there is discrimination against Tibetans in matters of employment, then it is a matter of concern,” ICT president Matteo Mecacci said.
“We wonder whether Hilton has looked into this and, in the spirit of good Corporate Social Responsibility Practice, done a social impact assessment in Tibet before launching the resort,” Mecacci said.
Reported by Guru Choegyi for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English with additional reporting by Richard Finney.