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Tourists again enjoy Tibet high life

Updated: 2023-10-05 12:27 ( China Daily )
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Overseas tourists pose for a group photo at the foot of the Mount Kailash (Mount Gangrinpoche in the Tibetan language) in Ngari prefecture of the Tibet autonomous region. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Region's many attractions, and lifting of pandemic restrictions, entice increasing number of visitors both foreign and domestic, reports Palden Nyima in Lhasa.

Hearing the news that the Tibet autonomous region would reopen to foreign tourists early this year, All Ways International, a US-based travel agency, wasted no time to place advertisements on their social media platforms and contact its clients.

The company organized the first group of 11 foreign travelers for a Tibet tour in late May. They were mostly Russians, or from other European countries, according to Vladimir Poda, a Russian who works as a tourist group organizer for the travel agency.

Poda's first tour of Tibet was in 2013 with a group of around 20 people, most of whom were Russian-speaking from different countries. He has visited the autonomous region in Southwest China as a tourist eight times in the past decade.

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many foreign travelers had to cancel their plans to visit Tibet in the past three years, and some are now eager to tour the region," Poda says.

Tibet suspended inbound tourism in February 2020 in accordance with the policies of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on controlling the pandemic.

There is an influx of international travelers into Tibet again since the autonomous region reopened to the outside world in April.

More than 13,000 foreign tourists visited Tibet in July, the number increasing by 358 percent year-on-year.

The autonomous region's international tourism receipts exceeded $11 million in the first half of this year, up by 364 percent over the same period of last year, according to Tibet's tourism development department.

As the application process for a visa becomes less difficult, more overseas tourists are choosing China.

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