China to suspend Tibet travel permits during 50th regional ‘autonomy’ anniversary

View of Lhasa from Jokhang Temple.
View of Lhasa from Jokhang Temple.

(, Jul28, 2015) – Ahead of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the so-called Autonomous Region of Tibet, China has decided not to issue permits to travel to the region for at least the first week of September, according to a report posted on the website Jul 26, citing Tibet tourism bureau.

Although no reason has been given for the imposition of the travel permit suspension, or its duration, experts were said to speculate that the upcoming anniversary celebrations were the most likely reason. A central Chinese government delegation is expected to visit the region for the anniversary and to announce a package of “gifts” for the region.

China used to celebrate Sep 9 as the founding anniversary of Tibet Autonomous Region. However, following the death of Chairman Mao Zedong on Sep 9, 1976, the anniversary celebrations were shifted to Sep 1.

Tourists planning to travel to Tibet have to apply for a special permit in addition to their China visa and must join a group. This is a relatively straightforward process with all the arrangements being made by tour operators.

The report cautioned that when planning to visit Tibet (Autonomous Region), it is important to remember that travel regulations are subject to change with little advanced notice or clear reason.


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