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October 15, 2009

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Tourist arrivals hit record in Tibet

A RECORD 4.75 million tourists arrived in Tibet in the first nine months of this year, twice as many as 2008's total, regional tourism authorities said yesterday.

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

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

Tibet received only 2.25 million tourist arrivals last year, when the region was affected by riots in Lhasa, the regional capital, on March 14.

Discounted tour prices, as well as cheaper hotel and ticket costs helped to draw more tourists, Wang said.

During the National Day holiday, Tibet hosted 295,400 tourists, he said.

Local incomes increased on average due to the tourism boom.


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