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China Human Rights Net > News > Focus > Dalai Clique's Separatist Activities Condemned > Facts
Official figures: Tibetan tourism booming before riots
 
 

LHASA, April 25, 2008-- Tourism was booming in Tibet before the March 14 riot in Lhasa, rising 11.5 percent in the first quarter, the Tibet Autonomous Regional Tourism Bureau said on Friday.

With tourism heavily hit in the wake of the riots, and foreign tourism completely stopped, the region still posted excellent tourism figures for the first quarter with 130,100 tourists during the period, including 124,200 domestic tourists and 5,900 foreigners, up 9.9 percent and 59.8 percent respectively, said Zhanor, deputy director of the bureau.

Tibet garnered 123 million yuan (17.6 million U.S. dollars) in tourism revenue in the first quarter, representing a 16.4 percent increase, the official added.

Tibet received 4 million tourists from both home and abroad in 2007, up 60 percent from 2006. The tourism revenue reached 4.8 billion yuan, accounting for more than 14 percent of the region's gross domestic product.

The regional government stopped issuing tourist permits to overseas travelers and the tourism authorities suggested travel agencies postpone organizing tour groups in the wake of the riot. It cited safety concerns and the reconstruction of tourism facilities around scenic spots damaged in the unrest.

It welcomed the first domestic tour group since the March 14 unrest on Thursday evening, another sign the region was returning to normal.

The 15-member tour group from the eastern city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, arrived at the Lhasa Railway Station at about 9:50 p.m.. Another three groups totalling 34 people will visit Tibet over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday period, Zhanor revealed.

Tibet's architectural icon, the Potala Palace, re-opened to tourists on March 26, and religious activities were returning to order in Lhasa's monasteries.

Zhanor said the tourism bureau had called for more training of tourist guides in preparations for the revival of market.

 

 
from: Xinhuanet
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