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Tibet to Strengthen Tourist Industry

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 03/04/10; April 10, 2003.]

Xinhuanet is the official news agency of China'swebsite

LHASA, April 7 (Xinhuanet) -- Tourism is becoming one of the mainstays of the economy in the Tibet Autonomous Region in western China, as the region strives to boost growth.

The tourist sector contributed 6 percent to the autonomous region's GDP during the first quarter of 2003, up from 1.5 percentfor the same period in 1990, local officials said in a recent meeting on tourism.

Tibet received 850,000 visitors in 2002, up nearly 25 percent from the previous year, according to the regional tourism bureau.

The increase was largely due to a significant rise in the number of domestic visitors, who numbered 720,000 in 2002, up 29 percent from 2001. 2002 also saw 130,000 overseas tourists in Tibet, up 2.4 percent year-on-year, bureau sources said.

Tibet's 2002 tourist revenue reached 970 million yuan (about 117 million US dollars), according to statistics from the bureau.

Tibet boasts rich natural tourist resources and unique traditional culture. It has three architectural structures listed on the world cultural heritage list, including the world-famous Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple, and 18 under state protection.

Losang Gyaicain, vice-chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said Tibet will continue to tap its potential tourist resources, strengthen its local infrastructure construction and foster cooperation with foreign countries to make Tibet a paradise for tourists from all over the world.


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