Tibet Notches Record Number of Tourists

BEIJING ~ A total of 1.2 million tourists visited Tibet last month – a record for July – state media said, as travellers returned to the Himalayan region 17 months after deadly unrest there.

The domestic and foreign tourists generated revenue of 1.1 billion yuan (US$160 million) in the month, nearly double the amount for July 2008, the official Tibet Daily reported.

We “achieved the highest performance in terms of the number of tourists and total income in July in the history of tourism development in Tibet,” the report said.

Tourism in Tibet was hit when China banned travellers from going there immediately after riots erupted in the region’s capital Lhasa in March last year, marking the 49th anniversary of a failed revolt.

The ban was later relaxed, but authorities once again tightened their clampdown on Tibet earlier this year to prevent unrest during the 50th anniversary of the uprising.

Official statistics showed visitor arrivals in Tibet reached nearly 2.25 million in 2008, down 44 percent from the previous year with tourism revenue more than halving, a previous report from the official Xinhua news agency said.

But from January to July this year, more than 2.7 million tourists visited Tibet, nearly triple that of the same period in 2008, the Tibet Daily report said.

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