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  Tibet expects 5 mln tourists this year, up 25%  
 
Source: Xinhua News Time: Feb 4, 2008

The number of visitors to Tibet is expected to hit 5 million this year, up 25 percent from a year earlier, a local official has said.

The tourism revenue is predicted to reach 6 billion yuan (826 million U.S. dollars), up 24 percent, Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the government of Tibet Autonomous Region, told an on-going annual session of the local legislature.

"In 2008, Tibet will make greater efforts to boost tourism-related infrastructure construction, rectify the market order and improve public services to lift the tourism industry to a new high," he said at the first session of the 9th Tibet Regional People's Congress.

The plateau region in southwest China hosted a record high of more than 4 million tourists last year, an annual growth of 60.4 percent, statistics with the Tibet Regional Tourism Bureau show.

The region's revenue from tourism surged 75.1 percent year-on-year to 4.85 billion yuan (668 million U.S. dollars).

The tourism revenue accounted for 14.2 percent of the gross domestic product in Tibet last year, 4.6 percentage points higher than previous year.

Local authorities attributed the rapid tourism growth to overseas promotional drives, and the opening of Qinghai-Tibet railway and the third civilian airport in Nyingchi, which help to bring more tourists, from both home and abroad, to the plateau.

 
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