LHASA, June 30 (Xinhua) -- More than 10 million tourists have hopped on trains on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway to visit north China's Tibet Autonomous Region since the railway went into operation on July 1, 2006, local authorities said Thursday.
Over 6 million people visited Tibet in 2010 alone, demonstrating the railway's ability to boost tourism in Tibet, said Wang Songping, deputy chief of the region's tourism bureau.
Forty-two percent of tourists traveling to Tibet in 2010 chose to use the railway, while in 2006, only 26 percent chose to do so, Wang said.
Some tourists chose to take the train because of its status as the world's "highest" railway, with the railway's Tanggula Pass located at an elevation of 5,027 meters above sea level, Wang said.
The railway, with a total length of 1,956 km, currently starts in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and ends in the city of Xining in north China's Qinghai Province.
The railway will be expanded under China's 12th Five-Year Plan, Wang said, adding that its expansion will help it to play an even bigger role in promoting local tourism.