Tibet Hosts 1.8 Mln Tourists in H1
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Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region hosted 1.8 million tourists in the first half of the year, up 20.3 percent from the same period last year, the regional tourism administration said Tuesday.
While most visitors were Chinese tourists, the "roof of the world" also received 78,000 international tourists in the January to June period, up 67 percent from the same period of last year.
The region's tourism income climbed 23.6 percent year on year to hit 1.39 billion yuan (about US$204 million) in the past six months.
The tourism administration attributed the growth in visitor arrivals to efforts to promote tourism in winter, the slack season for visits to the plateau. The efforts included cutting hotel prices and sponsoring a series of Tibetan culture activities.
One of the activities, the Himalayan Folk Culture Festival, celebrated the Tibetan Year of the Iron Tiger and the Chinese New Year, which happened to fall on the same date this year -- Feb. 14.
The festival drew international tourists from more than 20 countries and regions.
Meanwhile, many native Tibetans are keen on traveling to other parts of Tibet for sightseeing and pilgrimages, according to figures provided by the regional tourism administration.
It said 460,000 tourists, mostly local Tibetans, took day tours to Lhasa, Xigaze and other cities in the first half of the year, up 28 percent year on year.
(Xinhua News Agency July 13, 2010)