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Tibet sees record high tourist arrivals in 2014

By Source:Xinhua 2015-03-20

Tibet reported a tourism boom in 2014 as the Chinese plateau region attracted more than 15 million visitors in 2014, up more than 20 percent, according to the local government.

The regional capital Lhasa alone saw more than 9.25 million tourists and reaped tourism revenue of 11.2 billion yuan (1.79 billion U.S. dollars), said the regional tourism bureau in a report on Sunday.

Tourism is a pillar industry in Tibet, with tourism revenue accounting for over 20 percent of the region's gross domestic product (GDP). The June-September period is high season for Tibet.

Traditional Tibetan festivities, such as the Horse-racing Festival and the Shoton Festival, the highlight of which is the "sunning of the Buddha" ceremony in the 600-year-old Drepung Monastery, have proved to be major attractions.

Lhasa saw 1.4 million tourists during the week-long Shoton Festival in June.

With winter looming, the region slashes the price of entrance tickets to major attractions by 50 percent to boost arrivals. Many hotels also offer discounts of up to 60 percent.

Tibet is expected to welcome 17 million tourists in 2015 as the local government vows to improve services and develop family inns in its rural villages.

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