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

Qinghai-Tibet railway transports 5.95 mln tourists

February 10, 2008

     LHASA, Feb. 8, 2008 (Xinhua) -- More than 5.95 million people had
traveled on the Qinghai-Tibet railway by the end of 2007 since the
highest rail route in the world opened in July, 2006.

     The passenger flow accounted for 43 percent of all tourists
visiting Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China during the period,
according to the autonomous regional tourism bureau.

     The operation of the railway line has greatly boosted tourist
growth in this landlocked plateau, which registered a record of 4.02
million tourists from other places in China and overseas last year, an
annual increase of 60.4 percent, official statistics show.

     Tourist revenue surged 75.1 percent year-on-year to 4.8 billion
yuan (658 million U.S. dollars) in 2007, accounting for about
14.2percent of the gross domestic product in Tibet, which was 4.6
percentage points higher than the 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 (822 million U.S. dollars), up 24 percent.

     More than 1,000 companies are involved in tourist businesses with
total assets of more than 4 billion yuan. More than 1,600 registered
tour guides and 858 hotels are ready to host the booming tourist trade.

     The 1,956-kilometer railway, built at a cost of 33 billion yuan,
was the first railway to connect Tibet with the outside world. It now
transports about 75 percent of the goods between Tibet and other parts
of the country.
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