Beijing: The Tibet Autonomous Region has received a record 10 million domestic and foreign tourists this year so far, reflecting a booming tourism industry in the picturesque Himalayan region.
As of Novemeber 30, the total number of tourists visiting the region had surged 22.6 per cent year on year to 10.34 million, exceeding 10 million for the first time, Wang Songping, an official with the region`s tourism bureau said.
Revenues in the tourism sector increased 33.9 per cent year on year to 12.4 billion yuan (USD 1.99 billion), Wang said.
Wang attributed the boom to nationwide promotion efforts, improved transportation access and an increasing number of individual trips.
Most of the tourists are from the mainland and the tourist destinations included Tibetan Buddhism heritage sites, such as Potala Palace, which was the home of the Dalai Lama before he left on self exile, Jokhang Temple and the Zhaxi Lhunbo Monastery.
Nearly three lakh people are employed in the region`s tourism sector, according to government figures.
The number of tourists travelling to Tibet has grown by an average of 30 percent annually over the past five years.
Last year, more than 8.69 million people visited Tibet, bringing in tourism revenues of 9.7 billion yuan.
Authorities expect to see 15 million tourists annually by 2015, state run Xinhua reported.