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Tibet Tourism Suffers Setbacks After Lhasa Unrest

(Xinhua; AP)

The service sector in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), especiallythe tourism industry, has suffered since demonstrations began in Lhasa on 10March, a press conference held by the regional government announced. In March,the TAR received just 14,200 tourists, including foreigners, said Deng Xiaogang,Vice Chairman of TAR at the conference. By the end of March, the region'stourism revenue was 40.6 percent less than that March 2007. A shortening of theMay Day break this year to three days from seven contributed to the drop intourism, but most industry executives said the riots and tense security were theprimary culprits. However, over the holiday period, (from 01 to 03 May) 89,000domestic tourists visited the TAR, said Sun Yongping, Vice Director of the TibetTourism Bureau. In other Tibetan areas, tourism has been badly affected, asforeign tourists are still banned, and until 01 May, Chinese were advised tostay away. Labrang (Chin: Xiahe), in Gansu province, according to AP, home ofone of the great Tibetan monasteries, was practically deserted over the holidayperiod


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