Despite the challenges, interest in traveling to China and Tibet remains high among travelers and adventurers from all over the globe. (Photo : Getty Images)
Long considered an exotic location for many travelers, China's beauty is slowly unraveling itself to the outside world. While tourists are keen to travel the unfamiliar path, businesses, however, struggle to keep up with their demands.
It's not because the tourists are demanding--it has more to do with logistics, permits, border controls, and the like.
It's one of the problems Toronto-based entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip encounters in managing his travel company, G Adventures. Case in point: travelling to Tibet. Due to restrictive travel visas and stringent rules imposed by the Chinese government, arranging and operating tours in Tibet has become near impossible.
"There have been many times when they've just closed the border completely, and without any notice. We've had passengers on their way to the border in Nepal, on a trip with us, and the border closes. It happens regularly," Poon Tip shared with The Globe and the Mail.
"It's a customer service nightmare for us, when we have a group of people who have paid us to go to Tibet, they're in Nepal about to go across the border, and the border closes," added Poon Tip.
Despite the challenges, interest in traveling to China and Tibet remain high among travelers and adventurers from all over the globe.
In addition, China, which was once considered a hard-to-reach destination, has a growing service sector ready to embrace tourists. Government-imposed restrictions have been loosening as well.
"China's service sector remains relatively closed to private investment compared to the manufacturing sector, but there are some signs that some restrictions are loosening," said Julie Adès, who works for the Conference Board's Global Commerce Center.
"For example, restrictions were relaxed on services such as e-commerce and finance, under China's 2015 foreign investment industrial guidance catalog. And China's most recent five-year plan had the opening of the services sector among its objectives."
With a burgeoning service sector and a keen clientele, entrepreneurs like Poon Tip just have to keep on overcoming travel obstacles until conditions are more favorable.