Headline News


Railway opening boosts tourism


07-03-2006 11:21

The Tibet Autonomous Region, covering an area of 1.2 million square kilometers, was the only provincial-level region inaccessible by railway in China. Poor transport restricts economic and social development, blocking the ways for people to approach the beautiful land with heavenly scenery. But after the official opening of the Qinghai-Tibet railway last Saturday, people's dreams to explore on the highest plateau in the world were brought within reach. Only during the past two days, tourism along the railway line has already shown its flourishing vitality.

This is the Beijing West Railway Station, 8 O'clock on Sunday night. The first tourist delegation from Beijing to Tibetan Capital Lhasa are all excited to set out in less than two hours.

"I feel so lucky to be in the first tourist group from Beijing to go to Lhasa. I'm really looking forward to see the beautiful scenery and explore the traditional Tibetan culture. And I'm also very proud of the construction workers of the railway, this rail line is really a miracle."

Around five major tourist agencies in Beijing organized train tours to the plateau. Travel managers say there are already over 400 people on their waiting list.

"We have been receiving enormous number of reservations. The queue already stretches to August. But there's nothing to worry, we send a delegation to Lhasa every other day."

Some tourist agencies in Shanghai have introduced various packages to promote travelling to Lhasa. A ten-day tour to Tibet via Qinghai Provincial capital Xining costs 4000 yuan, or some 500 US dollars, which is quite an attractive price.

The opening of the railway is not only of great importance to development of communications and tourism between China's hinterland and Tibet, for some ordinary Tibetan students studying away from their home, this is a long-awaited dream coming true.

"It's so great! We can catch the train to go home!"

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, travel agencies have also been receiving overwhelming applications to go to Tibet. Residents expressed excitement over the opening of the railway that'll enable them to see the land of legend on the roof of the world in a fun and cost-effective way. The first Hong Kong delegation will depart in two weeks. The 13-day package is priced at 12-thousand Hong Kong dollars, or some 16-hundred US dollars.


Editor:Chen Minji