Tibet plans to attract 15 million tourists by 2015

A plan has been drawn up to attract 15 million visitors every year to Tibet, where foreign tourists are presently banned as it marks the third anniversary of the bloody Lhasa riots, officials of the tourism Bureau said.

Updated: Mar 17, 2011, 18:47 PM IST

Beijing: A plan has been drawn up to
attract 15 million visitors every year to Tibet, where foreign
tourists are presently banned as it marks the third
anniversary of the bloody Lhasa riots, officials of the
tourism Bureau said on Thursday.

Annual tourist revenue is likely to hit 15 billion
yuan (USD 2.28 billion) in the next five years as Tibet plans
to attract 15 million tourists each year by 2015, according to
officials of Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) said.

They believe the target is achievable amid upgraded
facilities and services for tourists.

Most of the tourists at present are Chinese from the
mainland as Tibet has stopped foreign tourists from visiting
the region in connections with the third anniversary of the
March 14 Lhasa riots in which over 18 people were killed and
hundreds injured in 2008.

More than 21.25 million tourists travelled to Tibet
over the past five years, an increase of 30.6 per cent from
the previous five-year period, state-run Xinhua news agency
quoted officials as saying.

The region gained 22.62 billion yuan in tourist
revenue over the period, a 29.8 per cent increase compared
with that of the previous period, according to local official
Yu Yungui.

Tibet, with the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, Potala
Palace and Mt. Qomolangma and many other scenic spots, is a
popular destination for both domestic and foreign tourists.

PTI