Tourists from Shanghai wanting to visit Tibet will soon be able to benefit from new services such as luxury train travel and short-stay trips.
Shanghai and Lhasa, capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region, signed an agreement on tourism cooperation at the World Expo to meet the growing demand for visits to the west China plateau that is home to the world's highest mountain.
"We will provide Shanghai guests with customized and high-end tourism services through negotiation with the Shanghai government, local tourism agencies and airline companies," Jiang Hua, director of the Lhasa Tourism Bureau, said yesterday.
New services will include more flights to Lhasa with shorter stops at midway airports and luxury railway trips from Chengdu in Sichuan Province and Xining in Qinghai Province.
China Eastern Airlines operates a daily flight to Lhasa through Xi'an, which is full almost every day. Other visitors to Lhasa take flights from Chengdu or Xi'an but often have to wait for several hours at the midway airports.
Meanwhile, the Lhasa tourism bureau is talking with railway officials to allow visitors to leave the train during stops from Qinghai Province to Tibet. Currently they have to stay on the train.
It's also talking with travel agencies to develop more short-stay trips around Lhasa, from three to five days, for visitors from big cities like Shanghai, Jiang said.
Under the agreement, Lhasa will also learn from Shanghai's experiences as it develops its tourism resources.
The agreement was signed during Tibet Week at the Shanghai Expo.
During the event, which ends today, Tibet's cultural heritage, including a style of painting that includes silk and embroidery, local dancing and singing performances and Tibetan carvings and medicine, was featured.