Samstag, April 19, 2008

China to reopen Tibet "soon"

China will reopen the restive mountainous region of Tibet to foreign tourists "soon" and temples will also resume religious activities, state media said on Saturday, in the wake of pro-independence protests last month.

"The Tibet tourism bureau is doing its utmost to prepare for the reopening of all tourist spots," the official China Daily cited a government statement as saying, though it did not provide an exact date.

Chinese media had reported that the region would reopen to foreign tourists from May 1, though officials have not confirmed this and a U.S.-based rights group says Beijing does not plan to allow foreigners in until after this August's Olympics.

Tourism is a vital source of cash for the impoverished region, where 4 million tourists last year flocked to see historic temples, experience Tibetan culture and enjoy breathtaking natural scenery.

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