The Potala Palace in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Photo: VCG)
Tibet's inbound tourism management system, aiming to simplify processing procedures of travel permits for foreigners, has been put into trial operation.
"Processing time is expected to be shortened to about five working days after the platform is put into full operation," said Yuan Xiaorong, an official with the Tourism Development Department of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, China News Service reported.
According to a local news website tibet.cn, the system started its trial on August 1. The Tourism Development Department has conducted online training on material submission for employees of more than 90 travel agencies in the region.
To travel to the Tibet Autonomous Region, all international travelers are required to apply for a travel permit. Tourists from China's Taiwan must also apply for a travel permit. Previously, it required about 15 days to process a permit request.
The regional government in January proposed to reduce the approval time for travel permits to overseas visitors and improve the travel service management plans for foreign visitors, the China News Service reported.
According to official data, Tibet received 13.4 million tourists from home and abroad between January and June, an increase of 20.2 percent compared to the same period last year. Total January-June tourism income increased by 19.8 percent, reaching 14.9 billion yuan.
Earlier, it took at least 15 days to receive a permit, but the department said that under the new system, the procedure will be cut to three-five days.