The Tibet Tourism Administration is joining hands with China Southwest Airlines, the major airline carrier to Tibet from other parts of the country, to attract more tourists to "the roof of the world" in winter.
During Spring Festival holiday (February 12-18), which is also the New Year of the Tibetan lunar calender, the ticket price of each tour group member will be cut about 30 percent, according to Vice-Director of the Tibet Tourism Administration Man Hongwei.
That means each traveller will need to spend only about 5,000 yuan (US$605) to stay in Tibet for seven days and save about 1,800 yuan (US$218), compared with the regular price during the busy tourism season from June to October.
"People used to think of winter as the off season for the tourism industry. In fact, it is a good opportunity to enjoy Tibet's natural scenery and cultural traditions, especially during the Tibetan New Year," Man said.
In winter, Tibet's outdoor daytime temperature averages about 15 degrees centigrade, much warmer than in Beijing, said Cao Xiaoyu, director of the Tibet Tourism Beijing Office.
"A tourist can fully appreciate the growth of an ethnic group in all its dimensions, such as the local environment, religion, culture and lifestyle, during Tibet's most important festival," Cao said.
The local government is promoting the tourism industry by pointing out that a trip to the mysterious plateau will fulfill a traveller's yearning for returning to nature.
In the first 11 months of 2001, the Tibet Autonomous Region received 659,000 domestic and overseas visitors, up 16.5 percent over the previous year.
(China Daily January 12, 2002)