CHINA> Regional
Tibet posts record high of tourist arrivals in H1
Updated: 2009-07-20 22:29

LHASA: Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region received a record high of 1.49 million domestic and international tourists in the first half of 2009, the regional tourism authorities said Monday.

Related readings:
 Tibet brings out the poet in bureaucrat
 Tibet posts 190% growth in number of visits
 Tibet to receive three million tourists in 2009
 Tibet sees 1st foreign tourist group after resumption

 Foreign tour groups sign up to visit Tibet

The region reaped 1.13 billion yuan (US$165 million) in the tourism sector in the first half, said Wang Songping, deputy director of the Tibet Tourism Bureau.

The previous record was 1.1 million visitors in the first half of 2007 for the region.

Due to the impact of the March 14 riot last year, the region received 342,000 tourists in the first half of last year, down 69 percent over the same period in 2007.

The number of tourists visiting the area grew 35.8 percent, bringing up revenue 14.1 percent over the same period in 2007, Wang said.

"This shows Tibet's tourism has cast off the impact of the March 14 incident and entered a period of rapid development," said Wang.

The official said the area expects a surge in tourism in the third quarter and the number of tourists this year is expected to approach or reach the 2007 figure of 4.02 million visitors.