Tibet will reopen to foreign travellers on 5 April, Chinese state officials have announced to local media.
The region was closed at the end of February “for the sake of
travellers’ safety”. The Chinese government was reportedly concerned
that protests to mark the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising against
Beijing’s rule would turn violent.
Chinese state news agency Xinhua quoted Tibet’s head of tourism as saying the region is now “harmonious and safe”.
However travellers will now have to obtain a police permit in addition to a visa to travel in Tibet.
Steve Berry, MD of tour operator Mountain Kingdoms, said that they’d
had no official confirmation of the reopening but were hoping to run a
trip in May as planned.
Tibet was also closed last year from March until after the Olympic Games following anti-Beijing demonstrations.
The closures have cost the Tibetan tourist industry dearly, with income
reportedly dropping by 54%. They’ve also forced the postponement of the
launch of a planned luxury train service from Beijing to Tibet until