BEIJING: Tibet reported a tourism boom in 2014 as the plateau region attracted more than 15 million visitors in 2014, up more than 20 per cent.
The regional capital Lhasa alone saw more than 9.25 million tourists and netting tourism revenue of 11.2 billion yuan (USD 1.79 billion), the regional tourism bureau said in a report today.
Aided by transport infrastructure, including roads, rail and air connectivity, Tibet has been experiencing huge tourist arrivals mainly Chinese tourists.
Tourism is a pillar industry in Tibet, with tourism revenue accounting for over 20 per cent of the region's gross domestic product (GDP).
The June-September period is high season for Tibet. Traditional Tibetan festivities, such as the Horse-racing Festival and the Shoton Festival, the highlight of which is the "sunning of the Buddha" ceremony in the 600-year-old Drepung Monastery, have proved to be major attractions.
Lhasa saw 1.4 million tourists during the week-long Shoton Festival in June, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
With winter looming, the region slashes the price of entrance tickets to major attractions by 50 per cent to boost arrivals.
Many hotels also offer discounts of up to 60 per cent. Tibet is expected to welcome 17 million tourists in 2015 as the local government vows to improve services and develop family inns in its rural villages.