Tibet sees tourism boom

LHASA, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Tibet reported a tourism boom in the first nine months of the year as the Chinese plateau region attracted nearly 20 percent more visitors.

Tibet received 12.8 million tourists, including 149,600 tourists from overseas, during the Jan.-Sept. period, the autonomous region's bureau of statistics said in a statement. This is an increase of 18.4 percent from the same period last year.

The tourists brought 16.4 billion yuan (2.68 billion U.S. dollars) in revenues to the region in this period, which translates to a strong annual growth of 23.6 percent, it said.

Tourism is a pillar industry in Tibet, with tourism revenue accounting for over 20 percent of the region's GDP.

The June-September period is the golden tourism season for Tibet.

With winter looming, the region slashes the price of entrance tickets to major attractions by 50 percent to boost arrivals. Many hotels also offer discounts of up to 60 percent.

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