City gets boost from fes­ti­val

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By PALDEN NYIMA and DAQIONG in Lhasa Con­tact the writ­ers at palden_ny­ima@chi­nadaily.

Lhasa’s an­nual Sho­ton Fes­ti­val gives the city a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic boost as it wel­comes a large num­ber of tourists dur­ing the week­long event.

Lhasa’s an­nual Sho­ton Fes­ti­val, which started on Thurs­day, will give the city a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic boost, as it wel­comes a large num­ber of tourists dur­ing the week­long event, the Lhasa Tourism Bureau said.

The cel­e­bra­tion has shifted its fo­cus to cul­tural per­for­mances and the in­te­gra­tion of sports com­pe­ti­tions and trade and in­vest­ment so­lic­i­ta­tions in re­cent years.

The city, which re­ceived a record 1.7 mil­lion vis­i­tors from home and abroad dur­ing the event in 2015, sawa 21 per­cent in­jec­tion of rev­enue over the pre­vi­ous year.

The vis­i­tors brought 500 mil­lion yuan ($67 mil­lion) in tourism rev­enue in 2015, up 33 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cord­ing to the bureau.

On Thurs­day, thou­sands of lo­cal Ti­betans and tourists gath­ered for dis­plays of ri­tual Bud­dhist im­ages known as thangka— gi­ant silk em­broi­deries used for re­li­gious pur­poses— in Lhasa’s monas­ter­ies at Sera and Dre­pung.

Wu Xiaoli, 45, a tourist from He­nan prov­ince, said it was her first visit to Ti­bet to see one of the gi­ant Bud­dhist im­ages.

“Ti­betan peo­ple are very re­li­gious and hos­pitable, and I was struck by such a large im­age,” Wu said. “I want to go and watch Ti­betan Opera at Norbu Lingka and go to Namtso Lake in the next few days,” she said.

PALDEN NYIMA / CHINA DAILY

Tourists and pil­grims ad­mire a gi­ant thangka show at Dre­pung Monastery in Lhasa, Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion, on Thurs­day.

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