Source: China Daily

08-19-2006 15:22

The opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway means that more and more Chinese and foreign tourists would realize their "Tibet Dream". But with the influx of tourists, will the commodity price in Tibet be negatively influenced due to the increase in tourists? he answer from the Development and Reform Committee of Tibet Autonomous Region  is: No.

Its report released recently shows that the price in Tibet is stable, and even drops slightly. For the protection of key tourist resources and cultural relics, the report says, the rules of market economy shall be followed, and the price leverage will be utilized to balance the conflict between tourists number and accommodation capability.

According to Vice Director He Benyun of the committee, with the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, it is more convenient and faster for various materials to enter Tibet from other parts of the country, so while the market supply is enriched, the overall price drops, particularly consumer goods, so local people in Tibet can receive visible benefits.

During the 20 days after Qinghai-Tibet Railway opened on July 1, Tibet has received a total of 300,000 tourists, an increase of 40% to the same period of last year. Under such a circumstance, there is no big fluctuation with price in Tibet, He said.

He also added that due to the increase in incoming transportation capacity, the price of some consumer goods has dropped. However, for the purpose of protecting key tourist resources and cultural relics such as the Potala Palace, He Benyun pointed out that in the future, the laws of market economy shall be followed, and price leverage be used to balance the conflict between tourist number and receiving capacity.

The Qinghai-Tibet railway is 1,956 kilometers long, with 960 km of the track located 4,000 meters above the sea level and the highest point at 5,072 meters. It stretches from Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, to Lhasa. The railway is the world's highest and longest plateau railroad and also the first railway connecting the Tibet Autonomous Region with the rest of China.

The railway is projected to help double tourism revenues in Tibet by 2010 and cut transport costs for goods by 75 percent. Until now, goods going to and from Tibet have been trucked over mountain highways that are often blocked by landslides or snow, making trade prohibitively expensive.


By Zhang Nan (