This announcement came weeks after The Chinese government closed Tibet to foreign visitors due to the stark unrest in the region under their rule.
This is not the first time China has banned foreign tourists from visiting Tibet during periods of unrest and religious festivals. Even when they are permitted into Tibet, a close watch is kept on the tours. Travelers need to apply for a special kind of visa and they have to be accompanied by government-appointed guides. All foreign tour operators must make their arrangements through Chinese firms only.
The ban doesn't seem to have much of an impact on the overall number of visitors, as Tibet is a popular tourist destination for domestic travelers. According to Xinhua, foreign tourists accounted for only two per cent of the 1.45 million visitors to Tibet in the first five months of 2012.
Despite China's claims to help improve the "Tibetan "economy their motives seem transparent with regards to this venture. Thus the question still remains, who is really going to benefit from this economic development?