Tibet expects 15 million visitors per year


The annual number of tourists visiting the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) by the year 2015 will be more than five times the region’s current official population of less than three million, according to China’s state media Jan 13. At 15 million, the number of tourists will be more than double the present figure, reported Xinhua Jan 13, citing the local government.

“Tibet will focus on building (itself as) an important world tourism destination,” the report said. The region also hopes to more than double its income from tourism by 2015 to around 16 billion yuan (US$2.42 billion) a year, creating more than 300,000 jobs, the report added.

The report said the government wanted “all the people” of TAR to “get rich from tourism,” and would “also” promote tourism in rural areas where over 80 percent of Tibetans live, many of them without basic amenities like electricity, safe drinking water and paved road.

The Chinese government statement came during the ongoing fourth session of the Ninth TAR People’s Congress.