Tibet offers favorable policies to attract more winter sightseers

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region announced on Wednesday it would provide up to 250,000 yuan ($39,729) in cash rewards for companies that organize group trips to the region using charter flights and trains, aiming to bring more tourists to Tibet in the winter season.

The local government on Wednesday rolled out a series of incentives to subsidize tourists traveling to the Tibet region from Thursday to the end of April, including free entrance to local cultural heritage sites such as the Potala Palace, half-price stays in local starred hotels, as well as transportation subsidies, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Wang Songping, deputy director of the regional tourism bureau, was quoted by the report as saying that the campaign would not only have a significant effect in turning the region into a year-round tourist destination, but also boost regional economic development.

Companies that organize group travel to the region will receive cash rewards, including 100,000 yuan for every chartered flight carrying more than 100 travelers. The reward will double if the number of travelers is over 200 in a single chartered flight, and could go up to 250,000 yuan if special trains or flights to Tibet carry more than 400 people.

Extra flights will be allocated for certain routes, including those from Ngari Prefecture to Lhasa, together with 30 percent discounts for such trips.

The region received 25.6 million foreign and domestic tourists in 2017, and its tourism revenues hit 37.94 billion yuan, rising 10.6 and 14.7 percent respectively.