CHINA reopened Tibet to foreign tourists yesterday, three months after the worst unrest there in decades led Beijing to all but seal off the area.
On the Tibet government website, spokesman Zha Nuo said the region would open its doors to tourists.
He said two Swedish tourists would arrive in the Tibetan capital Lhasa later yesterday, followed by four from Singapore on Sunday.
Riots had broken out in Lhasa on March 14, after monks led peaceful protests to mark a 1959 uprising.
The violence later spread across the Tibetan plateau.
The subsequent crackdown by the government led to demonstrations in several countries that disrupted the Olympic torch relay ahead of the Beijing Games in August.
Mr Zha said the torch run through Lhasa last Saturday without incident showed things were stable.
"After the quick quelling of the March 14 incident in Lhasa, we have realised a great transitional victory in the fight against separatists," Mr Zha said.
He did not mention when a ban on foreign journalists to the region would be lifted.
China allowed mainland Chinese tour groups back in at the end of April.
This was followed by visitors from Hong Kong and Macau last month, when it also began allowing tourists from Taiwan.
China has reported killing one Tibetan "insurgent" and says rioters were responsible for 21 deaths.
Exiled Tibetan leaders say 203 people died in the Chinese clampdown on the riots.
State media reports have lamented the impact of the crackdown on the region's tourism industry.
Officials had previously predicted visitors to the remote region would hit five million this year, with tourist revenue soaring 24 per cent.
But just 120,000 people have visited Tibet since the end of April, according to official figures. --AFP