(TibetanReview.net, Jul03, 2015) – The number of non-Chinese foreign tourists who visited Tibet’s capital Lhasa in the lean first six months of this year was 127 percent more than during the same period last year, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jul 2. It added that a total of 17 million tourists will have visited the Chinese ruled Tibet Autonomous Region by the end of this year, compared to 15 million last year.
The report cited the Lhasa Tourism Bureau as saying that overall, the city hosted about 2.8 million tourists over the period of Jan-Jun 2015. It added that the tourists spent a total of 3.3 billion yuan (about US$ 539.5 million), accounting for a year-on-year growth of 20 percent.
Apart from assistance from China’s central government for rushing the region’s leapfrog development and growth, tourism remains one of the main contributors to the region’s GDP. The report said that tourism revenue accounted for over 20 percent of the region’s GDP. June-September is the high tourism season in the region, with the overwhelming majority of the visitors being mainland Chinese who are not subjected to the kind of severe restrictions that other foreign tourists must endure.
Also, the report cited the Hurun Report, a monthly magazine best known for its annual rich list, as saying that for China’s high-net worth travelers, Tibet was one of the most desirable destinations.