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Tourism continues to boom in Tibet

November 13, 2007

(Xinhua is the official press agency of the communist party and the
People’s Republic of China)

LHASA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) - Tibet Autonomous Region hosted a record 3.72
million tourists over the first 10 months of the year, well over a
million more than the total for the whole of last year.

The flood of tourists brought the region 4.4 billion yuan (about 550
million U.S. dollars).

"The plateau is of great appeal to overseas tourists - one out of ten
tourists were from overseas, said Wu Yingjie, deputy chairman of the
Tibet Autonomous Regional Government during a recent interview with a
three-member press delegation from the Russian Information Agency (RIA).

The huge leap in the number of visitors can be attributed to the opening
of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway on July 1, 2006, according to He Benyun,
deputy head of the Regional Development and Reform Commission.

The tourism sector had 2.5 million tourists last year and raked in 2.77
billion yuan (about 346 million dollars) in total earnings, accounting
for 9.6 percent of the region's gross domestic product (GDP).

The Tibet regional government set a target of 3.8 million tourists for
2007, a figure that now seems certain to be exceeded.

Industry experts predict more than four million tourists will visit the
area this year and the sector will account for 12 percent of Tibet's GDP.

At the invitation of Xinhua News Agency, the RIA press delegation
visited Beijing and Tibet between Nov. 1 and 10, with the purpose of
finding more about Tibet, such as information regarding reform and
development, economic construction, minority nationalities and religion.
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