Last year was a good year for Tibet’s tourism industry with a record number of tourists touring the nation’s sights. A report released by the tourism authorities revealed that an unprecedented 12.91 million visitors came to Tibet in 2013.
Wang Songping from the regional tourism board said that the increase is equivalent to 22 percent compared to the previous year. The amount of international visitors reached 223,000 which is 14.5 percent more compared to 2012.
Tibet’s revenue from the tourism industry soared by a massive 30.6 percent to 16.51 billion Yuan, which is an equivalent of 2.72 billion U.S dollars. Wang said that the increase can be accredited to intensive marketing, enhanced transportation access and a rise in the number of individual trips.
Tibet boasts of breathtaking attractions some of which include the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Zhaxi Lhunbo Monastery, which are among the most popular sights. The Namtso Lake nested at an altitude of 4,720m is a very popular tourist destination as well. Not only is this Lake the biggest in Tibet, but also the highest salt water lake in the world. Other attractions include the famed Mount Kailash, the Everest Base Camp and the magnificent Lake Manasarovar.
According to the tourism board, Tibet’s tourism industry provides direct employment to over 330,000 natives. This figure is about 11 percent of the nation’s entire population.
Over the last six years, the number of tourists streaming to Tibet every year has almost tripled and if the current trend is maintained, a staggering 15 million tourists will visit Tibet by 2015.