Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China saw a drastic
increase in the number of overseas tourists in 2007, an annual
growth of 136 percent, according to a local tourism official.
The plateau region received 365,000 visitors from abroad last
year, 210,500 more than a year ago. They brought in 135.29 million
U.S. dollars of revenue, up 122 percent year-on-year, said Wang
Songping, deputy head of the tourism bureau of the regional
Japan replaced the United States as the largest source of
overseas tourists to Tibet, and the number reached 78,000, 5.2
times that of 2006, Wang said.
Tibet hosted a record high of more than 4 million tourists both
from other places of the country and overseas last year, an annual
growth of 60.4 percent, statistics show.
The region's revenue from tourism surged 75.1 percent
year-on-year to 4.85 billion yuan (668 million U.S. dollars).
Tourism revenue accounted for 14.2 percent of the gross domestic
product in Tibet last year, 4.6 percentage points higher than
The number of visitors to Tibet is expected to hit 5 million
this year, up 25 percent from a year earlier, and tourism revenue
is predicted to reach 6 billion yuan (826 million U.S. dollars), up
Local authorities attributed the tourism boom to overseas
promotional drives, the opening of Qinghai-Tibet railway and the
third civilian airport in Nyingchi.
(Xinhua News Agency January 26, 2008)