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Tourism continues to boom in Tibet
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Tibet Autonomous Region hosted a record 3.72 million tourists over the first 10 months of the year, well over a million more than the total for the whole of last year.


The flood of tourists brought the region 4.4 billion yuan (about US$550 million).


"The plateau is of great appeal to overseas tourists - one out of ten tourists were from overseas, said Wu Yingjie, deputy chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government during a recent interview with a three-member press delegation from the Russian Information Agency (RIA).


The huge leap in the number of visitors can be attributed to the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway on July 1, 2006, according to He Benyun, deputy head of the Regional Development and Reform Commission.


The tourism sector had 2.5 million tourists last year and raked in 2.77 billion yuan (about US$346 million) in total earnings, accounting for 9.6 percent of the region's gross domestic product (GDP).


The Tibet regional government set a target of 3.8 million tourists for 2007, a figure that now seems certain to be exceeded.


Industry experts predict more than four million tourists will visit the area this year and the sector will account for 12 percent of Tibet's GDP.


At the invitation of Xinhua News Agency, the RIA press delegation visited Beijing and Tibet between November 1 and 10, with the purpose of finding more about Tibet, such as information regarding reform and development, economic construction, minority nationalities and religion.


(Xinhua News Agency November 12, 2007)

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