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.
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.