More than three million tourists have traveled to Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China in
the first nine months of the year, up 65 percent over the same
period last year, local tourism authority said on Saturday.
The figure is 500,000 more than the number of tourists for the
whole year 2006, which was reported as 2.5 million.
The booming influx of tourists brought one billion yuan (US$133
million) in revenue to the Himalayan region, an increase of 90
percent, statistics from the Tibet autonomous regional tourism
More than 2.99 million of the tourists were Chinese and nearly
100,000 came from abroad, spending almost US$30 million.
Wang Songping, vice-director of the tourism bureau, attributed
the growth in tourist numbers to promotional efforts and the
Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which began operation on July 1, 2006.
The railway, the world's highest railway line, links the Tibetan
capital of Lhasa to the rest of China. By the end of Sept., the
number of tourists taking train to Tibet is expected to reach 1,2
million, one third of the total.
This year Tibet expects to host 3.8 million tourists, according
to the regional development and reform commission.
(Xinhua News Agency September 22, 2007)