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Lhasa expected to receive 3.2 mln tourists in 2009

Lhasa, capital of Tibet, is expected to have received 3.2 million domestic and foreign tourists by the yearend, generating a total revenue of 3.27 billion yuan RMB (479 million U.S. dollars), according to the Lhasa City Tourism Bureau.

Lhasa currently has 329 hotels, 81 travel agencies, 1,760 professional tour guides and eight sightseeing bus companies with 2,500 buses.


German tourists pose for a photo in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, April 5, 2009. [Xinhua/Chogo]

The city has taken a series of measures since the beginning of this year to promote the growth of its tourism industry, such as sending delegations to attend the Western China Trade Fair and the Domestic Tourism Trade Fair, and cooperating with the tourism programs of TV stations to publicize its new travel routes.

Lhasa has sent 35 enterprises to attend the first Tibet Souvenir Contest with 390 items. Now it is working to build a center to sell souvenirs with local characteristics and plans to design locally-made souvenirs with intellectual property rights within two to three years.

Moreover, Lhasa has stepped up its tourism infrastructure construction, such as putting up signboards in Han, Tibetan and English languages in major tourist attractions, traffic lines and shopping malls, and fixing internationally-used public information symbols in public toilets and parks.

So far this year, all the counties and districts administered by the city have made a combined investment of 70 million yuan RMB (10.2 million dollars) in their tourism infrastructure construction.