Qinghai-Tibet Railway promotes Tibet's winter tourism

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway plays a crucial role in promoting Tibet's winter tourism by bringing hundreds of tourists to the region everyday, according to the Lhasa Railway Station.

The station has cleared 5 million passengers, with 45 percent of them being tourists from home and abroad, since the railway opened to traffic on July 1, 2006, said Jia Nailin, deputy director of the station.

Apart from improving Tibet's transportation conditions, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway itself has become a distinctive tourist product.

Many travelers choose to take train to Tibet for an experience of the "heavenly road" and for gaining enough adapt time to gradually get used to the anoxic environment on the plateau.

Yu Yungui, a leading official of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Tourism Bureau, said that Tibet will implement a new strategy to promote its tourism by relying more on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway in the next few years.

For instance, Tibet plans to cooperate with Qinghai Province and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company to operate a sightseeing-car from Golmud, Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, capital of Tibet.

Meanwhile, Tibet will build a tourism center on its northern Qiangtang Grassland and develop tourist programs such as living in Tibetan families and self-driving tours.

(Xinhua, February 21, 2010)