Tibet Travel Permit Guide
What is Tibet permit cost and how much is the Tibet permit price? Almost every traveler plans to visit Tibet has this question in mind. Travelers with this question must be not familiar with Tibet travel rules, there is no single Tibet tour operator sells Tibet permit only. Tibet permit is part of the tour packages; you cannot just buy the permit and travel into Tibet, there is no “permit-only” service available. It’s like you cannot just buy the key when buy an apartment, you have to buy the apartment to get the key. So, you get your Tibet permit after buying a Tibet tour.
Before 2008 when the rules were not strict, there was some Tibet tour operators selling just permit, those who bought the permit could travel freely in Tibet. However, after the riot took place in March, 2008, the rules became extremely strict. Not only non-Chinese tourists have to apply for the Tibet permit to travel to Tibet, but also have be escorted by a local tour guide when visiting a certain tourists site. There is no single Tibet tour operator dares to sell Tibet permit only or dares to sell a tour without tour guide. If a tour operator was caught sell Tibet permit only but without a tour guide arranged, the company would be deprived of qualification to apply for the permit.
But how much exactly a Tibet permit costs? The Tibet Entry Permit itself costs not a penny; the words of “NO COMMISSION” are printed clearly on the permit by the Tibet Tourism Bureau; the Alien’s Travel Permit costs RMB 50 per person, your guide has to pay it in cash while applying it at local Public Security Bureau. Also, the Military Permit costs RMB per person.
Though the visible permits price is not high, yet the invisible cost (labor costs) brings about in between is quite high. Because lots of administration work has to be done to ensure the permit can be issued in time correctly, so lots of employees from the tour companies are busy with errands in between Tibet Tourism Bureau, Public Security Bureau, Foreign Affairs Office, Frontier Defense Office and etc.
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