Headline News


Railway changes tourism


07-01-2006 11:50

Tibet welcomed nearly 2 million visitors last year. That figure is expected to triple by 2010 thanks to the completion of the Qinghai-Tibet railway. The increased tourist numbers brings enormous business opportunities, and challenges.

Zhuoma Quzong lives fifty kilometers from Lhasa, but only a hundred meters away from a small station on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. The line is about to open to tourists, and Zhuoma and her husband are busy building a new house. They're expecting the flow of visitors can bring them a fortune.

Zhuoma said: "We plan to open a store here, and a hotel maybe. If business is good we'll build a bigger house."

Zhuoma says the house they're building has cost 30-thousand yuan. They're not sure if they really will make big money, but they're going to try.

The Qinghai-Tibet railway is expected to bring 3,000 visitors each day, as well as numerous business opportunities and challenges. Tourism industry insiders say it will lead to fiercer competition in Tibet's tourist market.

Manager Wang Ganglin of Tibet ZZL Travel Agency said: "The opening of the Qinghai-Tibet railway will lead to a new round of reshuffling in Tibet's tourism industry. Visitors who come by train will probably have different needs and itineraries from those who travel by bus or plane. It will stimulate tourism-related businesses to improve their services so they can grab a bigger market share."

Airlines have begun to offer discounts on tickets to Tibet. Hotels in Lhasa are busy redecorating, hoping to attract more clients to their newly-furnished rooms. A number of four-star hotels are preparing to open. As for the souvenir market, the uniform store layout, which lacks creativity, definitely needs to be changed.


Editor:Wang Ping