In 2006, with the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and Nyingchi Airport, Tibet saw fast development in its tourism industry. A total of 2.5121 million people hailing from inside and outside China visited Tibet, representing an increase of 39.5 percent over the previous year. This included 2.3573 million visitors from other parts of China, an increase of 40.4 percent; and 154,800 from rest of the world, an increase of 27.6 percent. In 2006, tourism income reached 2.771 billion Yuan, an increase of 43.2 percent over the previous year. Foreign exchange income thus made was US$60.94 million, an increase of 37.1 percent.
The improvement of the traffic condition also accelerated the development of Tibet's tourism industry. There were 606 hotels and restaurants, up 16.5 percent from the previous year; 5,846 catering places, 4,867 shopping places and 3,216 cultural and recreation places, with the average increase scale reaching over 20 percent. There are some 20,000 persons directly engaged in tourism industry, a rise of 30 percent.
In order to meet the demand of the fast development of the tourism industry, the Tourism Bureau of Lhasa opened the "Tibet Lhasa Tourism Net" on April 30, 2007, including not only information on political affairs and the history and culture of Tibet, but also large quantity of information on catering, accommodation, tourism and shopping in Tibet, which provided rich tourist information and service for travelers to Tibet.