(Yicai Global) Feb. 20 -- The number of the tourists visiting the Chinese autonomous region of Tibet during the Chinese New Year holiday surged after the local government ran a promotional campaign in January to encourage visitors during the offseason.
A total of 216,400 external tourists traveled to Tibet from Feb. 15 to Feb. 18, the first four days of the week-long vacation, up 30.7 percent compared to the same period last year, data from the regional tourism development committee shows.
The local government launched a three-month tourism promotion program effective from February through April, offering free admission to 115 major tourist attractions in the region and a 50 percent discount for overnight stays in three-star or better hotels. Authorities also offered subsidies to tourists arriving by air or rail, including groups coming in on chartered planes and trains.
The region's most popular destinations, Lhasa and Nyingchi, received 50 percent more tourists than last year, with visitors to major tourist attraction Potala Palace more than doubling. Tourism revenue over the period climbed nearly 15 percent to CNY159 million (USD25 million), according to the data.
Tibet and the mainland celebrated the Lunar New Year on the same day this year, Feb. 16.