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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Tibet sees drastic increase of overseas tourists in 2007

January 28, 2008

     LHASA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest
China saw a drastic increase in the number of overseas tourists in 2007,
an annual growth of 136 percent, according to a local tourism official.

     The plateau region received 365,000 visitors from abroad last year,
210,500 more than a year ago. They brought in 135.29 million U.S.
dollars of revenue, up 122 percent year-on-year, said Wang Songping,
deputy head of the tourism bureau of the regional government.

     Japan replaced the United States as the largest source of overseas
tourists to Tibet, and the number reached 78,000, 5.2 times that of
2006, Wang said.

     Tibet hosted a record high of more than 4 million tourists both
from other places of the country and overseas last year, an annual
growth of 60.4 percent, statistics show.

     The region's revenue from tourism surged 75.1 percent year-on-year
to 4.85 billion yuan (668 million U.S. dollars).

     Tourism revenue accounted for 14.2 percent of the gross domestic
product in Tibet last year, 4.6 percentage points higher than previous year.

     The number of visitors to Tibet is expected to hit 5 million this
year, up 25 percent from a year earlier, and tourism revenue is
predicted to reach 6 billion yuan (826 million U.S. dollars), up 24 percent.

     Local authorities attributed the tourism boom to overseas
promotional drives, the opening of Qinghai-Tibet railway and the third
civilian airport in Nyingchi.

Editor: Song Shutao
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