Tibet open to Chinese tourists

By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-05-03 09:25

Tibet's sightseeing sites reopened to Chinese tourists as the Labor Day holiday kicked off on Thursday.

The region's major tourist sites such as Potala Palace and Norbu Lingka received a number of tour groups from other provinces and regions.

Residents and tourists throng the fountain at the Patala Palace square in Lhasa on Thursdy. The city has been reopened for domestic tourists as life returns to normal. [China Daily]

May is the best tourist season in Tibet because of the beautiful spring weather.

Residents and tourists throng the fountain at the Potala Palace square in Lhasa on Thursday. The city has been reopened for domestic tourists as life returns to normal. Long Hao

Han Yun, a tourist from Anhui province, said he came to Tibet now to avoid the peak seasons of July and August.

"Air tickets and accommodation are much cheaper than in the peak season, and the weather and scenery are very pleasant."

To promote tourism in Tibet, China Southern Airlines reopened its Guangzhou-Diqing-Lhasa flight on Thursday.

It had been suspended for four months. But there were fewer passengers than last year, with half of the seats being empty.

Bianba, a pedicab driver, said his business had suffered since the Lhasa violence on March 14. "I only earned 70 yuan ($10) on May 1. Last May Day, I had earned 170 yuan. We are desperately hoping more tourists will come to Tibet soon."

The Tibet tourism bureau has forecast that during the three-day Labor Day holiday, roughly 200 domestic tour groups are expected to visit Tibet.

In mid-May, more than 500 tourists in groups are expected. The number of individual travelers is also expected to rise.

To guarantee the safety of passengers, the Qinghai-Tibet railway has beefed up security since the Lhasa violence.

Luggage inspection has been tightened to prevent flammable, explosive and dangerous goods on board, Li Li, a senior official of Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company, said.

Four pairs of trains run on the Qinghai-Tibet line every day, maintaining a smooth and orderly flow of tourists, Li said.

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