Tag Archives | tourism
Potala Tibet Brief

China bans foreigners from visiting Tibet Autonomous Region until April

February 19, 2019

Tibet tour operators have announced that the ‘annual closure’ of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to foreigners began this year on Jan. 30 and will last until April 1, with one operator recommending that foreigners plan to “begin the Tibet trip no earlier than April 1 because of the Tibet permits restriction policy recently.”

Every year since 2008, the TAR has been closed off to tourists for at least one month, coinciding with the anniversary of the March 10 Uprising in 1959 and protests in 2008.

In 2018, authorities closed the TAR to foreigners from Feb. 10 to April 1, according to tour operators.

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ICT report uses satellite images to reveal prison state in Tibet’s capital

October 4, 2018

On one side is a luxury hotel with a pyramid design and the word “Paradise” in its title.

On the other side, there’s hell on earth: a prison where Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople are tortured and sexually abused.

It’s the perfect illustration of China’s double-edged drive to remake Lhasa, Tibet’s ancient capital, into a dream tourist destination while using nightmarish police tactics to crush the Tibetan people.

And it’s just one of several startling images in the International Campaign for Tibet’s new report, “China’s Control State in Lhasa.”

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China’s control state in Lhasa

An ICT special report

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ICT and FIDH ask EU to urge for Access to Tibet as it observes 2018 EU-China Tourism Year

February 15, 2018

On the occasion of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY), which was launched in January in Venice, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) have written to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and to the European Union High Representative, Federica Mogherini, to express a number of concerns in relation to the promotion of tourism in Tibet.

The letter, dated February 14, 2018, highlights amongst others the lack of access to Tibet for foreigners (when Chinese tourists enjoy free and open access to the EU), the restrictions imposed on Tibetans’ freedom of movement and the lack of involvement of Tibetans in the decision-making process of tourism policies and projects. It also raises a number of questions and recommendations to EU leaders, and urges them to extend the notion of reciprocity -a notion promoted by the EU with regards to its trade relationship with China- to “the respect for fundamental rights, including the freedom of movement and the freedom of information of European citizens in China and Tibet”.

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High-level Chinese visit to Nepal highlights difficulties for Tibetan community

August 28, 2017

A visit to Nepal by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang from August 14 to17, 2017 – the highest level Chinese visit to Kathmandu since Premier Wen Jiaobao visited in 2012 – further strengthened economic and political ties with the new Kathmandu government. Combined with an agreement last month between Nepal and China to ensure cooperation in border law enforcement, and Nepal formally joining Xi Jinping’s ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ plan, the developments point to a contracting space and dangers for Tibetans in Nepal as the Nepalese authorities deepen their relationship with their more powerful neighbor.

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Reports on Tibet by Washington Post journalist win two major awards

May 15, 2017

A report by Washington Post China Bureau Chief Simon Denyer of a Tibetan woman’s death that was silenced by police won a Human Rights Award from the Foreign Correspondents Club, Hong Kong (FCCHK) at an event on May 13, 2017.

Correspondent Simon Denyer’s article,“A woman’s gruesome hanging shocked Tibet — but police have silenced all questions,” was chosen in the English Spot News category. Simon had travelled to Tibet to follow the story of the death of 27-year-old Tsering Tso, who was found hanged by a small bridge near her home, and published the report in August 2016. Simon’s report followed the publication in English, translated by ICT, of a rare appeal to Xi Jinping by a group of Tibetan villagers in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) whose attempts to seek justice for the death of a local woman were met with a brutal crackdown by police acting in complicity with local officials.

The Human Rights Awards are jointly organized by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong, Amnesty International Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Journalists Association. According to a statement by FCCHK, they were ”the first such honours created in Asia and are the region’s top awards for human rights-related reporting.” There were 122 submissions from English-language print and broadcast media and 58 photojournalism entries.

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Tibet locked down and travellers banned during sensitive anniversary

Joint statement by The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)
January 27, 2017

Tour operators have announced the closure of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to tourists again next month, coinciding with the anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising in March 1959 and the related protests across Tibet in March 2008.

ICT’s President, Matteo Mecacci said: “This lockdown, taking place in an already restrictive political climate, has been imposed every year since 2008 but must not be accepted as ‘business as usual’. Chinese tourists travel in their millions across the world but foreigners are barred from seeing Tibet for themselves because of the Chinese Party’s counter-productive hardline security measures on the plateau. Foreign countries must call on China to abide to the principle of “reciprocity” and to stop limiting foreign and independent access to Tibet. This is unjustifiable and must be condemned.”

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China showcases new plans at Tourism EXPO in Lhasa, while top-down imposition of economic model and repression continues

September 13, 2016

The Chinese authorities have announced a dramatic development of its tourism industry in Tibet as they showcase the city of Lhasa to an invited group of international journalists and businesses this week at a Tourism Expo.

As part of its “Third China Tibet Tourism and Culture Expo” in Lhasa (September 10 – 16), the Chinese authorities have announced a dramatic increase in international brand hotels in Lhasa to boost the industry further.[1]

Consistent with the top-down imposition of elaborate and ambitious economic policies in Tibet, consultation on the expansion of tourism fails to engage Tibetans, who are actively excluded from opportunities in the industry.

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Thousands of Tibetans gather across Tibet to mark prayer festival; lockdown of TAR to foreign tourists

February 25, 2016

  • Tibetans across Tibet marked the last day of an important religious festival this week, gathering in the thousands at monasteries despite the deployment of large numbers of uniformed and plainclothes paramilitary police.
  • Images of ranks of armed police at the prayer festival at Drepung, Lhasa, emerged as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) closes to foreigners from today (February 25) until the end of March, an annual lockdown coinciding with the March 10 anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising in 1959.[1]

Images from Tibetan areas in present-day Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu shows large gatherings of Tibetans at religious institutions to mark the last day of the Monlam Chenmo (Great Prayer) Festival on February 22, the 15th day of the first Tibetan month. Tibetans gathered even at monasteries where levels of repression have been high, amid both an armed and plain clothes police presence, for instance at Kirti in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), Sichuan.

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Chinese tour guide

New Chinese exhibition in Lhasa attempts to rewrite history on Dalai Lama

August 12, 2014

In a new spin on the Chinese authorities’ attempts to rewrite history, the state media has given prominent coverage to an exhibition this week in Lhasa of gifts offered by Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas to the Chinese government. The exhibition, in Lhasa’s Tibet Museum, aims to position the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama as a part of history instead of as key contemporary figures in Tibetan religion and culture, displaying their gifts as ‘cultural relics’.

The exhibition, geared towards a Chinese audience, opened in Lhasa on Monday (August 11), a time when the city is packed with mainly Chinese tourists. It featured an image of Mao standing in a Tibetan landscape among houses that display red flags, in a disturbing attempt likely to be distressing to Tibetans to assert the Chinese authorities’ ‘ownership’ of Tibet and the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama lineages.

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High peaks and pure earth in northern Tibet

Observations from Amdo: Trip report from a traveler in Eastern Tibet

August 6, 2014

This ICT photo-story presents a vivid account in words and images of a visit by a foreign researcher to the eastern Tibetan area of Amdo earlier this summer. The foreigner, who speaks Chinese, gives his insights on the dramatic pace of change on the plateau, from urbanization and the coming of the railway to the impact of Chinese policies in the remote rural grasslands. The researcher connects the Tibetan landscape to its recent past and China’s policies: the protests at Labrang which resulted in a monk being tortured to death and so many still in prison; the white stupa in Tsoe where the grandfather of the 7th Gungthang Rinpoche self-immolated in 2012; the Chinese trinket-sellers cashing in on Tibet chic’ in a monastery town. The researcher chose to remain anonymous.

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China to close Tibet to foreigners for a least 1 month

BEIJING (AP) — Travel agents say that for the fifth year running China plans to close Tibet to foreign travelers during a sensitive period starting next month. Agent Yu Zhi of the Lhasa Youth Tourist Agency said the government’s tourist administration in Tibet’s capital had informed them that foreign travelers would be banned from Feb. […]

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“An eco-friendly tourist city”: China’s emerging reconstruction plans for Kyegu

Following Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s second visit to Kyegudo since the devastating earthquake struck the region on April 14 killing over two thousand people, details are beginning to emerge in the official Chinese press of reconstruction plans for the worst-hit town of Kyegu, Yushu (the Tibetan area of Kham) and its surrounding areas. According to […]

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Candlelight vigil in Dharamsala

Re-opening of Tibet for tourism postponed

As protests surround the arrival of the Olympics flame in San Francisco, the Chinese authorities have postponed the re-opening of the Tibetan Autonomous Region for tourism. This is likely to be due to concerns over bringing the torch through Tibet and in an attempt to keep the extent of the crackdown hidden from the outside […]

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Mount Chomolungma

China closes Everest on Tibet side to climbing expeditions

The Chinese authorities have announced that the north side of Mt Chomolungma (Everest), which is in Tibet, will be closed to expeditions, and according to another reliable source, no group visas to enter will be issued until May 10, according to a news item posted on an adventure web portal, www.mounteverest.net. The decision indicates that […]

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Interpreting Tibet: A Political Guide to Traveling in Tibet

New travel guide for tourists to Tibet unmasks propaganda: new restrictions on travel in TAR and closure of local travel agency

ICT launches an “alternative” travel guide to Tibet today, which describes how China is seeking to promote Tibetan culture for tourism while it continues to suppress the unique Tibetan identity. “Interpreting Tibet: A Political Guide To Traveling In Tibet” offers a perspective for the traveler who seeks a more balanced picture of their destination than […]

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Interpreting Tibet: A Political Guide to Traveling in Tibet

Interpreting Tibet: A Political Guide to Traveling in Tibet

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT » ‘Interpreting Tibet’ gives a reality check on the sights of Lhasa, exploring how both China’s assertions of power and Tibetan expressions of identity are revealed in the architecture of the city, as well as the reality behind Tibet’s apparent economic progress. The report advises tourists how to avoid putting Tibetans, and […]

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French tourist agency says ‘Don’t mention Tibet’

The Associated Press in France has reported on a new 65-page guide, “Chinese tourists: How best to welcome them?”, co-produced by France’s Tourism Ministry and its tourism promotion agency, which tells readers to “Avoid speaking about Chinese politics, for example: The events on Tiananmen Square, strategic questions of Taiwan or of Tibet”. The guide has […]

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