LHASA, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's Tibet Autonomous Region has basically eradicated absolute poverty, chairman of the regional government announced Tuesday.
The feat was accomplished after Tibet lifted the remaining 150,000 people out of poverty and took 19 counties off the poverty list in 2019, said Qizhala in his government work report delivered at the third session of the 11th People's Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region.
"Absolute poverty has been basically eradicated (in Tibet)," said Qizhala. "We are poised to achieve the overall victory in the fight against poverty."
Known as the "roof of the world," Tibet is famous for its picturesque plateau landscapes and splendid ethnic cultures. It is also one of the main grounds in China's nationwide campaign against poverty.
Accumulatively, Tibet has lifted 628,000 people out of poverty, and delisted 74 county-level regions from the poverty list, according to data from the regional government.
"It is of great significance in the development of the Tibetan people to basically eliminate absolute poverty, given the adverse natural conditions on the plateau and the region's underdeveloped social conditions," said Wang Zhuo, a public administration expert with Sichuan University.
"It also attests to the success of the Chinese model of development on the high plateau and offers the world an exemplary case," said Wang, who is also the director of an anti-poverty research center.
In Tuesday's work report, Qizhala said the gross domestic product (GDP) in Tibet was estimated at more than 160 billion yuan (around 23 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up about 9 percent year on year.
Per capita disposable income for the region's rural residents grew about 13 percent, while that for urban residents rose more than 10 percent, said Qizhala.
In 2020, Qizhala said Tibet's GDP is expected to maintain a stable growth of 9 percent. The total retail sales of consumer goods aim to grow 10 percent this year.
Meanwhile, the per capita disposable income for the region's urban and rural residents in 2020 is estimated to grow 10 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
Qizhala added that the region aims to create 50,000 urban jobs and ensure that the registered unemployment rate does not rise above 3.6 percent.
Tibet's tourism sector, a pillar of the regional economy, also saw robust growth in 2019, with tourism revenue rising to 56 billion yuan (around 7.9 billion U.S. dollars) and more than 40 million tourists from home and abroad visited the region, up 19 percent year on year.
Tibet will continue to develop its tourism industry in 2020, with an aim to attract over 47 million tourists and increase the tourism revenue to over 60 billion yuan, Qizhala said.
"We will build Tibet into an important destination for global tourism and promote our tourism brand as the world's Third Pole," he said.