Sunday, May 27, 2012

China’s tourist rules for Tibet ever-changing, now more difficult

TibetanReview: China is reported to have made it more difficult for tourists to visit Tibet Autonomous Region, the western half of ethnographic Tibet. “National Tourism Administration of China and the Tibet Tourism Bureau have changed requirements to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit, causing disruption for many tour operators and travellers,” reported May 24.

It said permits were now being only issued for groups with a minimum of five travellers of the same nationality.

The report cited the tour group Peregrine as saying some operators had cancelled all tours to Tibet and that travellers were being stranded without land arrangements.

Referring to the difficulty of managing tours to Tibet, the report quoted Peregrine Destination Manager Ken Ismail as saying: “Tibetan Permits are complex and ever changing at the best of times. The new requirements have proven more difficult to facilitate Tibetan permits for groups; however travel is absolutely still possible and we are still taking many travellers over the next few months and well into next year.

“Of course, the situation could change at any time, but this is the situation at present. With a little flexibility in their travel date or itinerary, I am confident that we can continue to help our travellers to experience the beauty of mystical Tibet.”

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