30 Dec 2016 - 5 Jan 2017 #839

No restrictions on Chinese Tourists

Chinese embassy in Kathmandu has denied rumours of official restrictions on the travel of Chinese tourists to Nepal
Qiu Tian and Pan Lan

The Chinese embassy in Kathmandu has denied rumours of official restrictions on the travel of Chinese tourists to Nepal, refuting media reports that the Chengdu Tourism Bureau had suspended group tours to Nepal and India.

An informal message about the supposed ban was quoted by some Nepali media, but it turns out no such order was issued either by the Chengdu Tourism Bureau or any other agency in China.

“Everything is normal,” a customer service staff of China International Travel Service (CTIS) told Nepali Times over the phone from Chengdu.

The rumours that China has imposed restrictions on tourists travelling from Tibet to Nepal may have been triggered by speculation that they may be en route to Bodh Gaya where the Dalai Lama is supposed to be speaking at the Kalchakra Ceremony next week.

The Nepal Embassy in Beijing as well as the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu both denied there was any official restriction on Chinese visitors to Nepal.

No formal notice has been released by Chengdu Tourism Bureau so far. And embassy of China in Nepal didn’t receive any relevant notice neither, according to a consulate official.

Ironically, Kathmandu and Chengdu signed a sister-city agreement two days after the supposed ban on travel. Online travel bookings for the Chinese New Year holiday next month are open as normal. Tuniu, one of the most popular online travel booking platforms in China, directs visitors to nearly 100 package tours in Nepal.

However, there seem to be some restrictions on Chinese nationals entering Nepal overland from Tibet. According to a Chinese tourist Mo Mo who wanted to travel to Kathmandu from Lhasa two days ago, the Kerung (Geelong) checkpoint is closed for Chinese citizens, and the only way to go to Nepal is by flight from Lhasa, Chengdu or other Chinese cities.

Read also:

The Chinese are coming, Cai Yun

Tourism flatlines, Chinese are up

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