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China to invest in toilet renovations at Tibet tourist attractions

December 20, 2007

     LHASA, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- China tourism authorities plan to
allocate 10 million yuan (1.3 million U.S. dollars) to renovate toilets
in popular attractions in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

     "We will appropriate 40 million yuan from the national tourism
development fund to improve the region's tourism infrastructure," said
Du Jiang, deputy head of the National Tourism Administration, at a
conference on the development of Tibet tourism industry on Tuesday.

     "This is the largest sum that we have ever allotted for a region's
tourism development. Of the money, a quarter will be used for renovating
toilets in tourist spots."

     The spectacular natural sceneries and unique cultural attractions
of the autonomous region have lured an ever-increasing number of
tourists, both domestic and foreign. Tibet expects to receive 4.02
million tourists this year, a year-on-year increase of 64 percent.

     "Tibet has a bright future for developing its tourism industry," Du
told the conference.

     The administration will also train more tour guides who can
communicate in foreign languages.

     Every year, 80 foreign language speaking tour guides who have
graduated from Zhejiang University and Sichuan University come to Tibet
and work as tour guides.

     "Nankai University and Beijing International Studies University
will also participate in training 200 tour guides for Tibet," Du said.

     Tourism is Tibet's main industry. The region received 2.5 million
tourists last year and reaped 2.77 billion yuan in total tourism
earnings. This accounted for 9.6 percent of the region's gross domestic

Editor: Song Shutao
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