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Tibet to have 5 airports at end of 2010

updated: 2010-03-11

Tibet will have five airports in operation at the year end, according to Zhang Qingli, top leader of Tibet Autonomous Region.

Zhang, secretary of the Tibet Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, made the remark in an interview with People's Daily online in Beijing on Monday.

Now Tibet has three airports in Lhasa, Nyingchi and Chamdo. "Tibet will open an airport in July and another at the end of this year. Then it will be more convenient for tourists to visit the region," Zhang said.

He also called attention to the major role of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway in the region's development. The railway has boosted the region's tourism since it opened on July 1, 2006, according to the leader.

"Tibet was visited by four million tourists in 2007 and the number of visitors reached 5.61 million in 2009, thanks to the operation of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway," Zhang said.

"It (5.61 million) is in line with the local situation since Tibet covers an area of 1.2 million sq km. So, we can say it is a vast region, and tourism will not affect the local environment because people's environmental awareness is becoming increasingly higher," Zhang said.

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