China will develop Tibet's picturesque Nyingchi prefecture, located close to Arunachal Pradesh border, into a major tourist hub with an investment of $63.5 million which included construction of 22 "well-off model villages".
More than 400 million Yuan ($63.5 million) has been earmarked to develop tourism in "South eastern Tibet", by China's southern Guangdong provincial government as partner assistance, official media in Beijing reported.
China refers Arunachal Pradesh as "Southern Tibet" which formed part of border dispute negotiations being held between Beijing and New Delhi.
"Nyingchi prefecture in southeastern Tibet, with abundant virgin forests, snow mountains, rivers and pastures, has potential golden tourism resources," state-run news agency Xinhua quoted an official in Tibet as saying on Saturday.
Guangdong provincial government has designated four counties in Nyingchi prefecture to develop.
An international tourism town is planned for Nyingchi county in the prefecture, which is expected to attract investment of more than two billion Yuan from government and enterprises, the official said.
Besides the tourism town project, 22 well-off model villages, each with an investment of 4.5 million Yuan, will be built in three years to help local residents to provide family hotel services and increase their incomes, the official said.
Tibet in recent years has become a major tourism destination for mainland Chinese tourists.
In the first three months of this year, Tibet received 230,000 visitors, up 23.7 per cent from a year earlier.
Tourism revenue in Tibet also rose 27.9 per cent to reach 229 million yuan (about $37 million) during the period.