LHASA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region helped 32,000 people rise out of poverty by developing rural tourism last year, the regional tourism authorities said.
More than 80 rural tourism scenic spots were developed last year, which had attracted over 9.35 million tourists, generating income up to 1.2 billion yuan (178 million U.S. dollars), according to authorities.
The regional government has encouraged rural residents and herdsmen to open family inns. The average annual income of the total of 570 family inns surpassed 80,000 yuan, and some even reached 80,000 yuan, said Huang Yongqing, head of the regional tourism development department.
The number of tourists to visit Tibet topped 33.7 million, up 31.5 percent year on year, while income from tourism increased by 29.2 percent to 49 billion yuan, according to statistics.
The region will keep promoting rural tourism this year and is expected to help 80,000 farmers and herdsmen gain employment through rural tourism, Huang added.