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Tibet reports strong surge in tourist numbers

The number of tourists traveling to southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region grew strongly in the first half of the year, local authorities said Friday.

As many as 3.43 million tourists went to the plateau region from January to June, an increase of 21.8 percent from the same period last year, the regional tourism bureau said in a statement.

Of all, 3.4 million were domestic travelers and 30,306 were from overseas, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, tourism revenue surged 32.1 percent year on year to 3.2 billion yuan (517 million U.S. dollars) in the six-month period, it added.

July is the beginning of a three-month peak travel season for the region, with tourists going to major scenic spots.

Local tourism agencies suggested potential travelers make plans early as forthcoming major festivals, like Lhasa Shoton Festival and Damxung Horse Racing Festival, would attract many visitors.