[photopress:hotels_tibet_tourism_1.jpg,full,alignright]It is difficult to know what expectations there were for tourism to the southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region once the rail connection to Lhasa was opened. How could it possibly be estimated except on the basis of total ticket sales for the train? As in not an empty seat.
By the end of July, Tibet has received more than 1.7 million tourist arrivals.
The tourist administration originally forecast about three million for the year. Now the figure has been upped to 3.5 million.
Wang Xinwen, head of the Lhasa Railway Station said that on the world’s highest railway there is now a seasonal shortage of tickets on trains to and from Lhasa.
Zhang Lingjie, a manager in charge of domestic routes at China International Travel Service, one of the country’s largest travel agencies, said the company sent more than 500 tourists to Tibet in the first seven months of this year, compared with 400 for the whole of 2006.
He said, ‘Many people like to travel to Tibet by train during the summer vacation. We had to impose a 20% price hike for our package tours since July 15, because our running costs were increasing as a result of higher costs for food and lodging in Tibet and hard-to-get train tickets.’
He said nearly every train to and from Lhasa is fully booked.
Source: China Daily