TibetanReview.net, Jan 23, 2008
At four million, the number of tourists visiting Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) last year already overwhelmed its local population of 2.8 million. Nevertheless, this year the number of tourists is expected to hit five million, a 25 percent increase over last year, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 19, citing Qiangba Puncog (Jampa Phuntsog), chairman of TAR government speaking at the on-going annual session of the local legislature. He has said revenue from tourism will reach six billion yuan (826 million U.S. dollars), up 24 percent.
Earlier, in order to alleviate passenger transport pressure brought on by booming tourism, tourism companies and transport authorities together added 775 buses in the TAR, bringing the total number to 2,777, reported China’s online Tibet news service en.tibet.cn Jan 13, citing Zhao Shijun, the Tibet Communications Department director.
The TAR, it was earlier reported, had received four million tourists in 2007, up 60 percent from 2006. The increased tourism has brought immense pressure on Tibet’s roads, palaces and monasteries.