3.3 million tourists visit Tibet this year


LHASA – Tibet received 3.3 million domestic and overseas tourists this year to July, 21.9 percent more than a year earlier, a local tourism official said Wednesday.

Wang Songping, deputy director of the Tibet regional tourism bureau, said the southwestern autonomous region earned 2.88 billion yuan (424 million U.S. dollars) from tourism during the seven months, up 29.3 percent year on year.

Wang attributed the tourism growth to promotional tours in winter and that the peak tourism season began earlier this summer.

The region has stepped up tourism marketing in emerging markets like East Europe and Australia as well as traditional markets like the United States and European Union.

Foreign tourists totalled 116,904 in the Jan.-July period, an annual increase of 45.3 percent. Europe ranked as the largest tourist source with 41,310 travelers.