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September 30, 2009

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Tibet restrictions denied

THE reports of the Tibet Autonomous Region's imposing restrictions on foreigners' travel to Tibet during the National Day holiday break were untrue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said in Beijing yesterday.

Asked to comment on the reports, Jiang told a regular press conference that the number of domestic and overseas tourists to Tibet would rise by a big margin during this year's holiday season.

According to recent reports, tourist companies in Lhasa, the regional capital, have accepted reservation requests from 36 travel groups for the holiday season, including 12 teams with 50 foreign tourists.

Jiang said the number of group reservations Lhasa-based travel agencies had received for the period this year exceeded the record numbers achieved in 2007.

Some Tibetan travel agencies might have made adjustments to travel schedules of certain tourist groups, said Jiang, adding that it did not mean restricting foreigners from traveling to Tibet.

"We do not have special restrictions on foreign tourists' travel to Tibet," said she.

Tibet hosted more than 4.09 million domestic and overseas tourists in the first eight months of this year, up 248.1 percent.

This year's National Day holiday, which starts tomorrow, includes the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, which falls on Saturday.


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