China has closed Tibet to foreign tourists ahead of next month's highly sensitive 50th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule, tour agencies and other industry people told AFP Tuesday.
"Authorities asked tour agents to stop organizing foreigners coming to Tibet for tour trips until April 1," an employee at a government-run travel agency in Lhasa, who couldn't be named for fear of reprisals, said.
He said the city's tourism bureau had decided this at a meeting in mid- February, although it was unclear when exactly the orders were given.
A hotel in the Tibetan capital and three travel agencies in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu that normally organize trips into Tibet also confirmed the ban on foreigners.
"Foreigners cannot go there in March because we have stopped giving out permits," an employee at the Chengdu Overseas Tourism Company, another government-run travel agency, said.
The Chinese government banned travelers from going to Tibet immediately after riots erupted in Lhasa on March 14 after four days of peaceful protests to mark the 49th anniversary of the failed uprising against Chinese rule.
This report was provided by AFP.