Beijing : China will reopen Tibet to foreign tourists on April 5, state media said late Sunday, easing restrictions imposed during the anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
China imposed a security crackdown on Tibet and adjacent Tibetan areas to prevent unrest during this month`s 50th anniversary of the revolt that led to the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fleeing into exile.
“Tibet will resume receiving foreign tourists as of April 5, and we warmly welcome them”, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the region`s head of tourism, Bachug.
“Reception work was suspended in March for the sake of travellers` safety,” added the official, for whom Xinhua gave only one name.
“Tibet is harmonious and safe now. Travel agencies, tourist resorts and hotels are well prepared for tourists.”
He said that so far more than 100 foreign tourist groups had signed up to visit the region.
The situation for travellers was confused earlier this month, with the government insisting the Tibet Autonomous Region remained open to foreign tourists, despite tour agencies saying they were not allowed to send anyone in.
Last year, widespread anti-China demonstrations and riots erupted in Tibet and other nearby provinces with large Tibetan populations on the 1959 uprising`s 49th anniversary, prompting this year`s heavy security crackdown.(*)