The first Tibet tourism development plan, which will last from 2005 to 2020, entered the final assessment phase.
The plan covered six regions in Tibet, with total area of 1.2 million square kilometers, said Losang Jamcan, vice chairman of Tibet Autonomous Region.
According to the plan, Tibet will focus on developing inbound tourism and domestic tourism, in order to establish as an important tourism center between China and south Asia as well as a world famous high plateau tourism destination combining ecology and Tibetan culture.
By 2010, Tibet will attract 280,000 inbound travelers and 2.2 million domestic travelers. Tourism revenue will reach 4 billion yuan (US$0.5 billion), accounting for 10 percent of local GDP.
By 2020, Tibet will attract 1.12 million inbound travelers and 9.05 million domestic travelers. Tourism revenue will reach 22.8 billion yuan (US$2.8 billion), accounting for 18 percent of local GDP.
Losang said tourism will also promote urbanization and infrastructure construction in Tibet as well as help protect traditional culture and the environment.
Situated in southwest China, Tibet has its unique climate and geography. Its historical relics, religious architecture, paintings, portraits, costumes, cuisine and folk culture attract travelers.
In recent years, the local tourism industry developed rapidly. Last year, Tibet received 1.22 million visitors, gaining 1.5 billion yuan (US$0.19 billion) worth of tourism revenue, occupying seven percent of domestic GDP.
Nearly 30,000 farmers were involved in tourism service industry, with income increasing 2,328 yuan (US$300) per capita.
(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2005)