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Tibet Receives Record Number of Tourists

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 2004/10/09; October 9, 2004.]

Xinhua 2004-10-09
[Official Chinese news agency]

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region received a record 208,300 tourists from home and abroad during the week-long National Day holiday that started on Oct.1, an eight-percent rise over the same period of last year, the regional tourism administration said.

The figure makes up nearly a quarter of the total reported between January and August of this year.

Some 114,100 tourists spent at least one night in Tibet, while the remaining 94,200 stayed there for just a day, according to the administration.

Statistics provided by the administration show the "golden week " holiday brought about 69.45 million yuan (US$8.4 million) in tourism income into the autonomous region, an 11-percent rise year-on-year.

This year Tibet features the Mount Qomolangma Cultural Festival in Xigaze, at the foot of the world's highest peak (also called Mount Everest), as well as hikes and bicycle tours to the various sites of cultural and historical interests in the autonomous region.

Unique highland landscapes, folklore and the holy and mysterious lamaseries of Tibetan Buddhism all add to the appeal of the Tibet Autonomous Region, which received 870,000 domestic and overseas tourists in the first eight months of this year, up 98 percent from the same period last year.

According to the regional tourism administration, Tibet has made marked achievements in construction of highways leading to tourist resorts and hotels in scenic areas.

Covering more than 1.2 million square kilometers, or one-eighth of China's total land area, Tibet is located in the southwestern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The region, often called the " roof of the world," has an average elevation of more than 4,000 meters.

The region boasts many high snow-capped mountains, including the Mount Qomolangma. It is home to 1,500 lakes as well as vast pastures and a wide variety of wild animals and plants. Of its total population of 2.62 million, 92.2 percent are Tibetans.

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