Official: Tibet temporarily restricts foreign tourists over safety concerns

08:15, March 08, 2011      

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The temporary measures on restricting foreign tourists to Tibet were mainly due to the current cold winter weather, limited accommodation capacity and safety concerns, a high-ranking official said on Monday.

The plateau region is still in deep freeze in March and lots of religious activities will be held. Local authorities do not hope there is something wrong with foreign tourists, said Zhang Qingli, Party chief of Tibet, while attending the annual parliament session in Beijing.

In addition, many people are going to Tibet now to prepare for a grand ceremony conmmemorating the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet, which brings great pressure to the limited number of hotels in the region, Zhang said.

Tibet is striving to become a major destination for worldwide sightseers with an estimated 7.5 million tourists to visit this year, local officials have said.

It is estimated that Tibet's tourism industry would generate 7.6 billion yuan (1.15 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue this year.

Last year, Tibet received an estimated 6.82 million tourists and earned 6.93 billion yuan in tourism revenue.

Source: Xinhua
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