The Tibetan government is striving to boost tourism and to become the world’s third largest tourism pole by significantly simplifying accessibility for visitors. Today, tourists need a travel permit to go to Tibet as well as a visa. This additional requirement is based on the unique ethnic traditions of the country, its cultural heritage, its hosting capacity and its needs for environmental protection. The time limit for obtaining a travel permit should be cut in half from now, and foreign tourists will now be able to apply for a permit in China in cities such as Beijing, Xi’an and Chengdu.
In addition, Tibet also plans to improve connectivity with South Asia, to build an international tourism cooperation zone in the Gangdise mountain range, including the sacred religious destinations of Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar where pilgrims return each year to tour Kailash to obtain prosperity and purification. They also look to stimulate border trade and to improve the services of Gyirong port. Tibet, which received 33.68 million visitors in 2018, an increase of 31.5% over one year, and plans to reach 40 million visitors this year.