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|Friday, June 22, 2001, updated at 17:08(GMT+8)|
China Busy Paving Way for Western TourismIn the next five years, more and more fascinating tourist destinations will appear in western China due to the convenient transportation condition.
Officials from Tibet consider tourism as one of the five pillar industries for the region in this century.
"Tibet, with its unique culture and scenery, is everyone's dreamland. The railway construction and the policy to develop the western areas will greatly promote the tourism industry," Legqog, chairman of the region said Thursday at a tourism development seminar.
The first 10 construction companies that are responsible for the Qinghai-Tibet Railway have been positioned along the road. The remarkable job of the world's highest railway is to begin in nine days.
Legqog said, "Local people expect the most economic benefit coming from tourism industry."
Tourism is gaining more and more popularity in China where the GDP per capita reached 800 US dollars last year.
During the week-long May Day vacation, over 60 million Chinese people traveled around, with several hundred thousands going to Tibet. For those who were unable to go, the main barrier was not scarce oxygen because of high altitude, but transportation problems.
People from Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia will also benefit from transportation construction. The China Development Bank will open five branches in these areas to back eight main railways in the west.
In the past decade, China has been devoted to developing the western underdeveloped areas. In the next five years, China will invest some 100 billion yuan to build railways there.
The main projects include railway networks linking the east and west and among the western region.
In five years, the speed of the train will be greatly improved, and trains will be able to cross the border into Southeast Asian countries.
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