(Yicai Global) June 6 -- The introduction of a new preferential policy coaxed 5.6 million visitors to Tibet in the first five months of this year and milked tourism revenue of CNY7 billion (USD1.1 billion) from them for an annual rise of 38 percent and 41.4 percent, respectively.
Forbidding climate and geography make winter the natural off-season for Tibet tours, with summer the peak. This year, the number of sightseers to Tibet in the off-season has risen greatly, however. Last month alone logged 2.92 million travelers for annualized growth of 21 percent, a spike mainly attributed to the preferential policy for winter tourism the autonomous region's government issued this year, per statistics by the local tourism agency, as state Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.
Tourists to Tibet can enjoy free tickets for 115 scenic spots of Grade A and above (up to 5A) in the area from February 1 to April 30, per the policy. The hotel rates of tourist hotels of three stars or up in the region may be no higher than 50 percent of those in the same period last year. Differential discounts for tourist vehicles and airline tickets are also available, and the validity of some of the preferential policies will be extended to the end of this month.
Touring Tibet in winter is of signal significance to the autonomous region's efforts to cultivate year-round tourism and promote local economic development. Local officials will further optimize travel services and build new tour models to foster further development of the region, said Wang Songping, director of its tourism development agency.
The Tibet Autonomous Region lies in the southwest of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and is known as the world's 'Third Pole.' Its spectacular natural scenery and rich cultural and historical sites attracted 26 million tourists last year.
Editor: Ben Armour