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China reports record May Day visitors to Tibet as police investigate a corpse under a Lhasa hotel room bed

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(TibetanReview.net, May06’23) – Amid reports that the body of a possible murder victim was found under the bed of a hotel room in capital Lhasa, China said Tibet Autonomous Region had received over 1.16 million tourists during the May Day holiday, which it said was 2.37 times that in 2019 before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The region raked in 848 million yuan (about $122 million) in tourist revenue during the five-day holiday that ended on May 3, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency May 5. The figure represented a surge of 42.3%t over the income during the same holiday of 2019, signaling a solid recovery of the tourism industry following the (Covid-19) epidemic, the report said, citing the regional bureau of culture and tourism.

The Potala Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was stated to have received 27,701 visits, while the Basum Lake and the Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon were also cited as among the most-visited scenic attractions in Tibet during the holiday.

The average occupancy rate for Tibet’s star-rated hotels was stated to have reached 74% during the holiday.

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Meanwhile, police have arrested a suspect after the body of an apparent murder victim was discovered last month under the bed of a hotel in Tibet’s capital Lhasa that was popular among internet influencers.

When a 37-year-old traveller from Shanghai left on a Chinese hotel review website on Apr 21 a note saying that a body had been found under his hotel bed the day before, it went viral. The traveller, identified by the pseudonym Zhang, had experienced a foul smell when he checked into the Guzang Shuhua Inn room, but thought nothing much of it, imagining it might be coming from either the bakery downstairs or perhaps his own feet. He went to sleep before going out for dinner.

But when he returned to the room, the odour was “unbearably pungent” and he demanded to be moved to a different room.

Later that evening, officers from the Lhasa Public Security Bureau Criminal Police Detachment contacted him to say a body had been discovered under the bed on which he had slept for three hours.

“That’s when I found out there was a murder in this hotel, and the deceased had been lying under the bed for several days,” he has told Shangyou News.

The police told him they had opened a murder investigation, but he was not a suspect because the body had been lying there for days before his arrival.

The case has been widely reported across China, with many state-affiliated news outlets publishing video footage of the subsequent arrest of a suspect on a train bound for Lanzhou, a city around 2,000 kilometres from Tibet, noted the edition.cnn.com May 6.

Zhang left Tibet as soon as he helped the police with their investigation but has spoken of still reeling from the shock, struggling to sleep ever since.

“I stay up until 2am to 3am every morning and the slightest movement would wake me up,” he has said. “It left me in a bad mental state.”

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