Lhasa in the Tibet autonomous region witnessed a rebound in tourism during the seven-day Tibetan Losar New Year holiday, and visitors arrived to enjoy local culture.
During the holiday from Feb 20 to 26, the city received more than 261,000 domestic and overseas tourists, an increase of 18 percent year-on-year, Lhasa Daily reported.
The Losar New Year is one of the most important festivals for Tibetans. People who work in the government sector were given a seven-day holiday from Feb 20, but the celebrations can last for 15 days in rural areas.
During the period, Lhasa took in tourism revenues of more than 183 million yuan ($26.7 million), up 17.3 percent year-on-year, according to the city's tourism development bureau.
"Of the total tourists, 193,000 chose a one-day trip tour, and more than 68,000 spent nights in Lhasa," Ngakwang Trinley, an official of the bureau, was quoted as saying by Lhasa Daily on Tuesday.
"The average occupancy rate of hotels was close to 32 percent, up 4 percentage points from a year earlier," he said.
The Lhasa tourism development bureau also hosted various activities during the Losar holiday, including organizing tourists to experience local Tibetan customs and taking them to observe intangible cultural exhibitions.
Tibet has launched a new round of its Winter Tour Campaign to attract more visitors to the region between Jan 1 and March 15, aiming to encourage more visitors to appreciate the scene in Tibet. It offers free entry to some of its scenic spots, and off-season winter prices on star-rated hotels and flights.
The Winter Tour Campaign has attracted more tourists to the region in winter, and some choose to experience the atmosphere of local people celebrating their New Year.
Zhang Feiyan, a tourist from Beijing, said she spent three days in Lhasa and visited the Museum of Tibet and Norbulingka Park.
"We have tasted a lot of local cuisines, and we had the opportunity to tour the Potala Palace. We are enjoying our time here," she said.
In Tashi Choten, a village in Lhokha city, villagers performed Tibetan opera, traditional dances and songs to attract more tourists.
Norbu Tsering, a performer of Tibetan opera, said his village received more than 100 tourists during the first few days of Losar, and tourists brought more income and happiness to his fellow villagers.
"A total of 14 tourists stayed in my family inn during the first three days of Losar. They also bought homemade cuisine in my home," said Norbu Tsering on Wednesday.
"It was the first time for many tourists to stay with a Tibetan family and spend New Year together, and they all enjoyed our unique customs and cultures," he said.
"The Tibetan opera in our village brings many tourists every year, and therefore more than 70 out of 120 households in our village operate family inns," he added.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic situation turns better everywhere, I hope more tourists will come to our village to observe the beautiful landscape and our cultures."