Tibet aims to host three million tourists from both home and abroad this year, a 28-percent increase over last year, said a tourism official of the southwest China's autonomous region.
"The region has set a target of 3.4 billion yuan (US$435 million) revenue from tourism for 2007, " said Zha'nor, deputy director of the Tibet Tourism Bureau.
The region reported a total of 2.45 million inbound tourists last year, reaping a revenue of 2.6 billion yuan (US$333 million).
"Tibet will do more to increase the jobs for locals and train more local guides and other tourism management staff," Zha'nor said.
The bureau plans to introduce companies from home and abroad to join the restructuring of Tibetan tourism companies to enhance their management, he said.
Rural tourism will also be boosted this year, the official said.
On July 1 last year, the 1,956-km Qinghai-Tibet railway was put into operation, providing travelers with cheaper and safer access to the region.
Two months later, the Nyingchi Airport, Tibet's third after Lhasa and Qamdo, went into operation, making it easier to get to the spectacular grand canyon of Yalu Tsangpo River, which flows into the Bramaputra River in India.
"The two projects have created great potential for the region's tourism industry," Zha'nor said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2007)