Lhasa Based Travel Agency Discusses New Tibet Travel Permits Policy

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From April 1st 2013, Tibet travel permits can be issued. To help worldwide travelers understand the process for obtaining Tibet travel permits, Tibet Ctrip Travel Service-TCTS discusses the latest details about the new travel policy.

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How soon shall I confirm Tibet tour to get the entry travel permits?

To the joy of travelers around the world, Tibet travel permits are now being issued. For the portion of the last several months, local tourism regulations had prevented foreign travel in Tibet. One Lhasa based travel agency TCTS works to keep travelers informed of the latest news and put travelers mind at ease by helping them understand the application process. To help traveler’s know what to expect when planning a tour of Tibet, TCTS discusses the new regulations and the process they follow for applying permits.

  •     At least 10 to 15 days before traveler’s arrival in Tibet, travel agency needs to submit permits to the Tibet Tourism Bureau with photo copies of passports and Chinese visas. Tibet travel agencies, like TCTS, use these documents to prepare the permit application. Depending on travelers' tour destinations it may be necessary for the travel agency to obtain additional permits such as military permits and foreign affairs permits. Considering festivals and weekends, travel agency needs to prepare all documents 2 weeks in advance. Travelers need not worry about the details; Tibet travel agencies are required by law to apply for all permits on the traveler’s behalf.
  •     Permits are now being issued to groups of all sizes, including individual travelers. At this time, groups of travelers of different nationalities cannot obtain a single travel permit for their Tibet tour.
  •     Once the application has been submitted, it takes anywhere from 7-10 days for the permit to be issued. For one permit application, travel agency needs to have many officials’ signatures and stamps to get first approval and once the process is done according to the schedule, permits can be released. Travelers arriving from Mainland China will need to present their permit before boarding trains or checking in for flights. For the traveler’s convenience, TCTS will mail permits to the traveler’s hotel in China. For those arriving from Nepal, a group’s Tibetan guide will meet them at Zhangmu border (for those coming overland) or at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport. They will bring with them the permit and assist travelers through the immigration procedure. To minimize risk TCTS does not mail permits internationally.

The opening of Tibet to foreign travelers creates countless new opportunities for those looking to explore unmatched natural scenery and engage with a unique ancient culture. And the opening of Tibet also creates thousands of jobs to local Tibetan travel service staff such as local drivers, guides, hotels, restaurants and public transports. However, it is important for travelers to remember that travel policies can change at any time with little to no advanced notice. TCTS keeps travelers with update information and will help travelers adjust their itinerary should their tour be affected by a change in travel policy. With the latest Tibet travel policy allowing foreign travelers to travel Tibet, travelers are encouraged to start planning their tour of Tibet as early as possible to avoid any urgent permits handling cases.

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