Tourism will play an even larger role in boosting Tibet's economic growth by 2010, when the region is expected to receive 6 million tourists from across the globe, twice as many as this year.
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Tibet will notch up at least 6 billion yuan (US$770 million) of tourism income in 2010, at least 12 percent of the region's gross domestic product, the regional government said in a recent document on further development of the tourism industry.
By then, the regional government will be spending at least 10 million yuan (US$1.4 million) a year to promote Tibet's tourist destinations and an additional 30 million yuan to develop new attractions in remote areas.
"Tibet will largely rely on government spending to speed up infrastructure construction and attract more tourists," the document said. "Meanwhile, it will improve services and turn the region into an attractive destination for worldwide tourists."
Tibet has seen a surge of tourist arrivals since the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway on July 1 last year, the first ever railway to link Tibet with the rest of the country.
The region hosted more than 2.5 million tourists last year, including 154,800 from overseas. They spent 2.77 billion yuan in the region.
This year Tibet expects to host 3 million tourists and bring in 3.4 billion yuan of tourism revenue, said Jin Shixun, director of the development and reform commission of the Tibet autonomous regional government.
In the first four months alone, Tibet received 198,000 tourists, up nearly 30 percent on last year, according to the regional tourism bureau.
A record 340,000 tourists visited Tibet during the "golden holiday" in the first week of May, it said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 8, 2007)