(TibetanReview.net, Jun03, 2015) – China has closed all border points along the Nepal-Tibet border following the devastating earthquake of Apr 25. As a result about 25,000 tourists, mostly Indians, planning to visit the Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage sites in Tibet, are left in the lurch, reported PTI news agency Jun 1.
The report said Nepal’s tourism and civil aviation ministry had asked the country’s foreign ministry to raise the issue with the Chinese authorities. Nepal’s tourism industry was hard-hit by the devastating earthquake and subsequent aftershocks and reopening the Tibet border points for the tourists is expected to generate employment for over 100,000 people.
The report said the 25,000 foreigners, including Indian, Russian, Malaysian and other European tourists, had booked their Kailash-Mansarovar tours through 38 travel agencies based in Nepal.
No tourist has, however, cancelled bookings so far and were awaiting reopening of the Tibet border points from China, the chairman of Kailash Tour Association, Prakash Shrestha, was cited as saying.
The report said about 80 per cent of tourists visiting Kailash-Mansarovar were Indians, with around 40,000 visiting the pilgrimage sites via Nepal every year. The main season is the May-July period.
China, which annexed Tibet in 1951 and fully integrated it in 1959, closed border points at Tatopani, Rasuwa and other places, stating there could be landslides and it would be difficult to travel or trek.