Feb. 1, 2018 -- The iconic Potala Palace in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region will be open to the public free of charge for three months, as authorities are striving to promote winter tourism.
Starting Feb. 1, entry to the palace, located in the regional capital of Lhasa, will be free for tourists as part of Tibet's "Winter Tourism in Tibet" program.
The program will help with tourism development, and push economic growth in Tibet, said Wang Songping with the regional tourism development commission.
The program also includes free admission to all other quality tourist attractions in the region, plus discounts or subsidies given to tourists in terms of hotels and transportation.
The Potala Palace was built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and expanded in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama. The palace, a symbol of Tibetan Buddhism, was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.
Tibet received more than 25 million tourists in 2017, generating a revenue of 37.9 billion yuan (about 6 billion U.S. dollars), up 10.6 percent and 14.7 percent.