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China closes Tibet to foreigners through July

06.16.2011
Topic Asian Travel

China closes Tibet to foreigners through July - Image

With the economy rebounding from the recent recession, many travellers see this summer as the perfect opportunity to visit destinations that may have been out of their price ranges in years past. Yet, while Asian travel may seem within reach for the first time in a long while, vacationers hoping to see the mountainous expanses of Tibet may want to invest in some form of trip protection as the Chinese government has banned foreigners from entering the area for the second time this year. 

The move comes in advance of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party, a sensitive issue for many Tibetans who feel their culture is being homogenized by the larger Han dynasty. 

This closure will last until July 26 and only affects international visitors, as native travellers will still be allowed to move through the country, according to the Associated Press. 

While most would agree that the move has travellers' safety in mind, many travel agents claim the closure is hurting the country's burgeoning tourism industry. 

"We are disappointed because we lost a lot of money," an unnamed Beijing-based travel agent told Reuters. "We just have to tell clients we are sorry."