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Tibet Travel Org CITS Reveals the Cost of a Tour in Tibet

March 4, 2014 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

“Our customers usually ask how much a trip to Tibet costs or what is the cheapest way to travel in Tibet,” said Mr. Derek Wang, a senior travel consultant of Tibet Travel Org CITS. “We know the cost is the biggest concern for most travelers.

It is really hard to answer such a question because it depends on specific services. But one thing is for sure, that is, we will offer our customers the best price.”

“As Tibet is a remote area with harsh environment and high altitude, most goods and materials are transported from Mainland China to Lhasa and then to more remote areas in Tibet.” Mr. Wang continued. “The high transportation cost causes higher prices in Tibet. It is about 1.5-2 times as expensive as in Mainland China, especially things closely related to tourism, like fuel, food, hotel facilities, gI_63193_Everestetc.”

One can make a cost estimate by referring to the following Tibet tour cost details disclosed by Tibet Travel Org CITS.

1. Tour Guides

Foreign travelers must hire a local tour guide because they are required to be accompanied by a licensed tour guide to travel in Tibet. Most importantly, a good tour guide will be of great help for a better understanding of local culture and customs. It costs around US$60 per day to hire an experienced tour guide, fluent in oral English.

2. Admission Tickets

Admission tickets usually accounts for 15%-20% of the total tour cost in Tibet. Generally, it costs US$10 for a ticket to most tourist sites, and US$30-40 for significant ones, like Potala Palace and Everest Base Camp. The admission fee is about US$100 for a Lhasa city tour of 4-5 days, and US$150 for an 8-day tour from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp. In the off season, some tourist sites offer a discount up to 50%.

3. Transportation

Currently, travelers can go to Tibet from Mainland China by train and air. Most prefer to take a train. On one hand, they can save as much as 30%-50%. It costs US$100-300 by train, but US$250-450 by air. On the other hand, they can enjoy the fabulous landscape of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau on the way.

The cost on transportation in Tibet also constitutes a high proportion. It costs over US$200 per day for 4-6 travelers to share a minivan. It is even higher in peak seasons or for a distance over 200 km per day. Travelers are highly recommended to join in a tour group offered by Tibet Travel Org CITS to share the transportation expense.

4. Food

It is difficult to grow crops in Tibet due to the harsh climate on the high plateau. Food in general is expensive, but Tibetan food is very cheap. It costs only US$4-5 for a Tibetan meal of rice with curry yak meat, but US$8-10 for a western meal and US$7-8 for a Chinese meal. In one word, it costs US$6-10 per person per meal.

5. Accommodations

In Tibet, 4-star or 5-star hotels are only available in Lhasa and Shigatse. In these two cities, travelers also have a wide range of choices from hostels to luxury hotels, with a cost from US$40 to US$500 per room per night. In other places, only basic accommodations are available, but they are not cheap. For example, it costs US$60-70 per night in a hostel at Tingri, including a western breakfast.

6. Shopping

Travelers can purchase some local products as souvenirs or gifts for their friends, like Thangka, Tibetan knives, Tibetan jewelry, Tibetan carpets, gold, silverware, etc. These products vary greatly in price, from US$1 to US$300.

7. Service Charges and Tax

It is very normal for travel agencies to charge a fee for their services. The government also collects a comprehensive tax of 3% of the business income.

“In fact, travelers can also make a budget by referring to a tour in Beijing. An official sampling survey showed that the per capita spending among foreign tourists in Beijing was US$1047 and about US$250 per day, in September 2013.” said Mr. Wang. “The daily cost for a private tour in Tibet is also around US$250, even a little higher. However, our Tibet group tour packages will reduce the cost to less than US$150 per day.”

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