The overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases won't deter China from promoting winter travel to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). China recently stated that the most popular tourist destination in Tibet's capital city of Lhasa, the Potala Palace, would soon return to the public.
According to rumours, the famous Potala Palace will reopen after being closed for a while. China is planning to develop a number of other religious tourist destinations in and around Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, in addition to the Lhasa landmark. The goal of this new Winter Tour Campaign is to bring more visitors to the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The Dalai Lamas spend their winters in the famous and ancient Potala Palace. The Potala Palace will be open to visitors without charge until March 15 in accordance with the tourism campaign. The public can visit the palace every day from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM. All visitors to the Potala Palace must, however, present identification.
Numerous organisations have opposed this action, citing the COVID-19 issue as well as the use of a historic site like the Potala Palace to draw tourists to the Tibet Autonomous Region while it is still subject to illegal Chinese occupation. The Tibetan language is currently not allowed to be used by the locals to express their culture and traditions.
Regarding travellers who desire to visit Tibet, they should be aware of a number of guidelines for both China and Tibet. When it comes to travel within mainland China and Tibet, there are now different laws for Chinese tourists and Tibetan tourists. Even foreign nationals are subject to some regulations. Along with a Chinese visa, foreign travellers wishing to visit Tibet will also need a separate Tibet permission.