(TibetanReview.net, Feb02, 2018) – While China has a daily limit for the number of tourists allowed to visit the Potala Palace in Tibet’s capital Lhasa during the peak tourism season, ostensibly to protect the UNESCO World Heritage site from over-crowing, visiting this historical winter residence of the successive Dalai Lama’s until 1959 will be free during three winter months, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 31. The local Chinese authorities were cited as saying the move was meant to promote winter tourism.
The report said that from Feb 1, entry to the palace will be free for tourists as part of a “Winter Tourism in Tibet” programme.
The programme was also reported to include free admission to all other quality tourist attractions in the region, plus discounts or subsidies given to tourists in terms of hotels and transportation.
The report cited Wang Songping from the regional tourism development commission as saying the programme will help with tourism development and push economic growth in Tibet.
The original palace was built on the Red Hill by Tibet’s 7th century king Songtsen Gampo and greatly expanded in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama. It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.