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Tibet welcomes 2.81 mln tourists Jan-June

LHASA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- More than 2.81 million tourists from home and abroad have visited Tibet in the first half of 2012, bringing a tourism revenue of 2.4 billion yuan (381 million U.S. dollars), local authorities said on Tuesday.

According to statistics released by Tibetan Tourism Bureau, about 2.81 million tourists from across the world traveled to Tibet from January to June, up 25.3 percent year on year.

The bureau said, of the total number of tourists, 32,384 were from overseas.

The plateau region earned nearly 19 million U.S. dollars in overseas tourism revenues during the past six months, it added.

The total tourism revenue in the six months totaled 2.4 billion yuan, up 30.3 percent year on year.

The bureau said Tibet, which experiences an annual tourism peak from May to September, expects 10 million tourist arrivals and 12 billion yuan in tourism revenues this year.

To build Tibet into an international tourist destination, its government has make great efforts to improve transportation, by building airports, railways and roads.

The government said Tibet is working hard to realize a goal of drawing 15 million visitors annually by 2015.

Tourism is an important industry for the resort-rich region. Landmarks including the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon and Mount Qomolangma are major attractions for tourists, and local authorities have also been encouraging activities to boost the industry, such as the establishment of special insurance, and five-star hotels and personnel training.

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