Tibet receives 21 mln tourists in past 9 months

LHASA -- About 21 million Chinese and foreign tourists visited Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region in the first three quarters of 2016, up 20.4 percent year on year, authorities said Tuesday.

Tourism revenue during the past nine months increased by 25.9 percent year on year to 28.7 billion yuan ($4.25 billion), according to the regional tourism development commission.

During the annual Shoton (Yogurt) Festival held from September 1-7, the regional capital of Lhasa received over 2 million tourists, an increase of 17.4 percent year on year.

Citing booming revenue from various festivals, including the Tibetan New Year, the Peach Blossom Festival in Nyingchi Prefecture, the Mount Qomolangma Cultural Festival and the Tibet Tourism and Culture Expo, the commission said festival tourism has become a major boost for the development of the tourism industry in the region.

According to the region's 13th five-year-plan (2016-2020), the regional government aims to receive over 30 million tourists in 2020, with an annual tourism revenue of over 55 billion yuan.