Tibet expecting record visitor numbers

6th Sep 2012

Tourism officials in Tibet say the region is expecting to receive more than 10 million visitors this year - a record number.

Tourists are flocking to the autonomous region to witness its breathtaking beauty and experience Tibetan culture first hand, with events such as the Tibetan New Year proving a particular draw.

The record crowd is expected to bring in £1.19bn, the equivalent of 17% of the region's GDP, according to Yu Yungui, head of the region's tourism bureau.

More than seven million domestic and foreign tourists visited Tibet between January and August, which was up more than 25% compared to the same period last year.

Shang Ao, who undertook a three-week driving tour from Guangdong province to Tibet this time last year said visiting Tibet was "a soul-cleansing experience."

He said residents "showed heartfelt happiness and content."

Shang set up an online campaign upon his return to raise funds for clothing and school supplies in remote regions of Tibet, with internet users giving generously.

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