In most of the people’s opinion, Tibet is a poor place, and they take for granted that traveling to Tibet is cheap. Well, well, well, it’s totally wrong. Here is the reason:
1. Due to the extremely bad natural condition, the food is not easy to plant on Tibet plateau. Plus, all Tibetan people believe in the Tibetan Buddhism which teaches them should cherish food. Thus, food is not cheap selling in Tibet.
2. Also because of the special geographic situation, Tibetan people usually need to pay a higher delivery fee for something that imports from mainland China, which gains the cost of the goods. So, the products will sell a relatively higher price compared with other provinces in China. For instance, if you buy a bottle of mineral water in Chengdu, it may be 1-2 Yuan, while in Tibet it may go up to 3-5 Yuan, even more in some remote area like the western part of Tibet.
3. With the development of Tibetan tourism, more and more people choose traveling to Tibet for holidays, no matter domestic or international visitors. As you know, the products in a hot tourist destination are normally more expensive than in an ordinary place. Besides, the tourist facilities are not enough to come up with the developing speed of tourism. So, the Hotel cost is a little bit higher than the same class hotel in mainland China.
4. As I mentioned before, traveling to Tibet is becoming more and more popular nowadays. The tickets of flights or trains to Tibet are always in high demand. We would rather say, the demand far exceeds the supply, especially the train tickets. There are a few flights between Tibet and those big cities in mainland China, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, etc. of which the prices never go down even in the offseason. So, travelers prefer to take the Qinghai-Tibet train to Tibet for a lower tour cost. According to the regulations, the train tickets can be booked online 30 days prior departure. Even if like this, it’s hard to buy one as it will be sold out in a very short time once it starts to open for booking on the internet. Sometimes, even the Tibet travel agency has to buy Qinghai-Tibet train ticket from scalpers in the peak tourist season. Under this circumstance, the extra service fee is more than the net ticket price somewhile.
5. It’s known that Tibet is a politically sensitive place, where has strict regulations for foreign travelers. One of those regulations is foreigners cannot travel alone in Tibet Autonomous Region but must be accompanied by a tour guide. So, even if you want a free day in Tibet, your Tibet travel agency will arrange a tour guide for you. After all, they have to take possibility for whatever you do in Tibet as they help you obtain the Tibet Visa/Permit, which means you are the guest invited by them. If you did something wrong or you got caught that traveling in Tibet without a guide, they would get serious punishment, even lose the business license. Therefore, no Tibet tour company treats this matter as a joke. And for foreign travelers, an English-speaking tour guide is not enough. They always want a Tibetan tour guide who can speak fluent English and has rich experience. Of course, this kind of tour guide is not cheap, which will also gain the cost of a Tibet tour.
To sum up, traveling to Tibet is not as cheap as you think, and might be expensive. But we offer some budget Tibet group tour packages for your choice, which can save your money without missing any symbolic tourist attractions of Tibet.