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Development

New Records in Overseas Tourists Arrivals

(Xinhua)

The number of overseas tourists arriving in the TAR grew by 136percentin 2007, said Wang Songping, deputy head of the TAR tourism bureau. Theregionreceived 365,000 foreign visitors, or 210,500 more than 2006, and theyreportedly brought in revenue of US$135.3 million, (UK68.8m; EUR91.4) up 122percent year-on-year. Japan replaced the United States as the largestsource ofoverseas tourists to Tibet, and accounted for 78,000 visitors, 5.2 times thefigure of 2006, Wang said. As a whole, the TAR hosted a record high ofmore than4 million tourists both inland and overseas tourists, which represents anannualgrowth of 60.4 percent. The region's revenue from tourism surged 75.1 percentyear-on-year to 4.85 billion Yuan (US$668m; UK340m; EUR451.4m). Tourismrevenueaccounted for 14.2 percent of the gross domestic product in Tibet lastyear, 4.6percentage points higher than the previous year. However, officialstatistics donot reflect which part of this revenue actually benefits Tibetanenterprises andindividuals. For 2008, the number of visitors to the TAR is expected to hit 5million, or 25 percent more than 2007, and tourism revenue is officiallypredicted to reach 6 billion Yuan (UK420m; US$826m; EUR558m), up 24 percent.Local authorities attributed the tourism boom to overseas promotional drives,the opening of the Golmud-Lhasa railway and of the third civilian airport inNyingtri (Chin: Lingzhi).


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