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LHASA - Tibet will strive to lift its number of incoming tourists to 20 million by 2015, nearly doubling the figure recorded last year, said the regional government chairman on Thursday.
Padma Choling set the tourist growth target when delivering the government work report at the opening of the first session of the 10th Tibet regional People's Congress.
Tourism has become one of the leading economic growth engines for the plateau autonomous region, which hosted 11 million tourists last year with revenue from the tourism sector topping 13.2 billion yuan ($2.12 billion), he said.
Dawa Yu, director of the Tibet Tourism Bureau, said Tibet's tourism industry is growing fast, with 70 class-A national scenic spots as well as 211 starred hotels by the end of 2012.
He said Tibetan herdsmen and farmers have benefitted from the development of tourism.
"By the end of 2012, there were 48,120 farmers employed in tourism-related sectors, with averaged per-capita income of 6,118 yuan," according to the local tourism chief.
Three national parks were opened in the region last year, adding to existing attractions like the Potala Palace.