Tibet slashes tourism ticket prices after riots

created: 2008-10-21

Tibet slashes ticket prices in an effort to boost tourism this winter , an official said on Thursday.

This is the first time in history Tibet has reduced admission prices at nearly all its tourist sites, said Wang Songping, vice director of the Tibet tourism bureau.

Reduced prices are effective between Oct. 20 and April 20. Admission fees at most major natural and cultural spots will be reduced by half. The Tashilhunpo and Palkor Monasteries in Xigaze will cut ticket costs by 20 percent.

It will still cost 100 yuan (14.7 U.S. dollars) to get in to the world-famous Potala Palace in Lhasa. Plan to raise the price to 200 yuan next February have been scrapped.

In the first half of the year, 340,000 people visited Tibet. That's down 69 percent from the same period last year.

Tourism almost came to a standstill after a riot broke out on March 14. 18 civilians and one policeman were killed, businesses looted and residences, shops and vehicles torched.

Afterwards, mainland tour groups were not allowed in Tibet until April 24. Visitors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan were let in in May and foreign tour groups could enter the region starting June 25.

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