China offers free entries, other concessions to boost winter tourism in Tibet

A tourist takes photos at the snow-covered Potala Palace square in Lhasa, Tibet. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua/Liu Dongjun)

(, Oct13’20) – The local Chinese government of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is offering a slew of free admissions and concessions for visitors from Oct 15 to Dec 31 to spur winter tourism, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Oct 12, citing the local tourism development department.

Tourism, being promoted as one of the six pillar industries of TAR, suffered enormously this year as a result of the lockdown imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chinese people constitute the bulk of tourists visiting Tibet. Non-Chinese visitors are allowed visits only with special prior permits and only in groups to ensure ease of control and restrictions.

The report said the promotional move was among a spate of preferential policies the region had launched since 2018 for winter, an off-season period for local tourism.

However, while last year the winter tourism concessions were offered from Oct 15 to Mar 15, this time it has been offered, as of now, only till Dec 31.

The report said free visits to national 3A-level tourist attractions and above, excluding temples in the region, a minimum 50 per cent average discount on air tickets, and a minimum 50 per cent discount in local hotels rated three stars and above, were part of the benefits.

The report cited Wang Songping, head of the regional tourism development department, as saying the region planned to develop standardized hot spring tours and Tibetan medicinal bath services as part of this year’s campaign.

The report said the region received over 40 million tourists in 2019, with tourism revenue hitting 56 billion yuan.


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