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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibet receives record number of tourists in 2007

September 23, 2007

Press Trust Of India
Beijing, September 22, 2007

Over three million tourists have visited Tibet in the first nine months
of the year, up 65 per cent over the same period last year, local
tourism authority said on Saturday. More than 2.99 million of the
tourists were Chinese and nearly 100,000 came from abroad, spending
almost $30 million.

The figure is 500,000 more than the number of tourists for the whole
year of 2006, which was reported as 2.5 million.

The booming influx of tourists brought one billion yuan (133 million US
dollars) in revenue to the Himalayan region, an increase of 90 per cent,
Xinhua news agency quoted statistics from the Tibet autonomous regional
tourism bureau as saying.

More than 2.99 million of the tourists were Chinese and nearly 100,000
came from abroad, spending almost 30 million US dollars.

Vice-director of the tourism bureau, Wang Songping attributed the growth
in tourist numbers to promotional efforts and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway,
which began operation on July 1, 2006.

The railway line, the world's highest, links the Tibetan capital of
Lhasa to several Chinese cities, offering much cheaper mode of travel to
the remote region.

By the end of September, the number of tourists taking train to Tibet is
expected to reach 1.2 million.

This year, Tibet expects to host 3.8 million tourists, the regional
development and reform commission, the top planning body of the
Himalayan region, said.

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