Foreign travelers need Tibet travel permits in addition to a Chinese visa to visit Tibet. And the permit arrangements usually takes around 15 days to process. The good news is Tibet Autonomous Region plans to cut the time for issuing travel permits to overseas tourists by half in 2019, which means the foreign travelers could get their Tibet permit in about 1 week.
Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet started drafting measures to simplify the application procedure last year, and they will be introduced as soon as possible. People may wonder why do the foreigners need extra permit for visiting Tibet. The reasons are mainly on account of Tibet's unique ethnic traditions, cultural heritage, reception capacity and ecological protection needs.
Tibet will improve the management of overseas tourists' travel services to Tibet in 2019, not only shorten the time for permit arrangements, also will striving to increase the number of overseas pilgrimage tourists by 50%. The number of tourist visiting Tibet might exceed 40 million in 2019.
Foreign Tourists in Lhasa
The overseas tourists in the future might be able to apply for permits in other cities like Beijing, Xi'an and Chengdu instead of having to send all application materials to Tibet. Hence the overseas tourists will find it easier and more efficient to apply for a travel permit to Tibet this year as the regional government makes efforts to boost tourism.
In 2018, Tibet launched an orderly foreign exchange activities like The Belt and Road Initiative Cooperation Forum, South Asian Standardization Forum and the 16th China-Nepal economic and trade fair to brand itself as the world's "Third Pole" and plans to build an international tourism cooperation zone in the “Gangdise Mountain Range".
In 2019, Tibet will continue to improve the service quality and strengthen its opening up at the same time. Attract more tourists to Tibet by providing more convenient and friendly services as well as significantly improving accessibility for visitors, a government officer Qi Zhala said in a government work report to the annual session of the regional people's congress.