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Tibet receives record number of tourists in first nine months

Tibet received a record number of 4.75 million tourist arrivals in the first nine months of this year, twice as many as last year's total, regional tourism authorities said Wednesday.

The region also raked in almost 4 billion yuan (580 million U.S. dollars) in tourism revenue, said Wang Songping, deputy director of Tibet's regional tourism bureau.

 Photo taken on Oct. 13, 2009, shows artists performing dance for tourists. That day, the Tibet Autonomous Regional Tourism Bureau launched a project titled "Travel Tibet in Winter." Views in Tibet look much more fascanating in this season. Meanwhile, tourists can avoid the tourist peak season in Tibet and enjoy more discounts in hotels and scenic spots. (Xinhua Photo)

"It's a high point for Tibet's tourism industry," Wang said at a meeting of the regional committee of the Communist Party of China Wednesday.

The plateau region received only 2.25 million tourist arrivals last year, when the region was affected by the Lhasa violence of March 14.

This year, the regional government had offered discounted package prices and reduced average hotel and ticket costs by almost half to draw more tourists, said Wang.

 

Picture shows a tourist from Beijing accepting blessing from her Tibetan friend in Nyingchi Prefecture, southeastern Tibet, Oct. 9, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

Picture shows a tourist from Beijing accepting blessing from her Tibetan friend in Nyingchi Prefecture, southeastern Tibet, Oct. 9, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

During the eight-day National Day holiday season alone this month, Tibet hosted 295,400 domestic and overseas tourists, he said.

Booming tourism, particularly with the increasingly popular home stays, had increased local people's income.

The regional tourism bureau said at least 41,844 Tibetans from 10,460 families were hosting tourists in their homes, which brought an additional per capita income of 6,116 yuan a year.