Tibet earned more than 100 million yuan (US$12.5 million) from tourism in the first quarter of this year, up 16.5 percent from a year earlier, a local official said Wednesday.
The number of visitors to Tibet grew by 15.8 percent year-on-year to reach 110,000 in the first quarter, said Liao Lisheng, director of office of the Tibet Regional Tourism bureau.
It is expected that Tibet will receive 70,000 tourists this month, who will bring in 45 million yuan (US$5.6 million), he said.
Liao attributed the increases mainly to the "convenience of transportation."
"People can now reach Tibet either by railway, highway or plane, which can save a lot of time and money on the journey," he said.
The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the first to link Tibet to the rest of China, starts in Xining in northwest China's Qinghai Province and ends in Lhasa, capital of Tibet. It started operation on July 1 last year.
Before train began running on the 1,956 km railway, tourists could only reach Tibet via air or highway.
(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2007)