China has banned foreign tourists from traveling to Tibet ahead of a parade in the capital to mark 60 years of Communist rule, an official said on Tuesday, amid stepped-up security across the country to ensure nothing mars the celebrations.
Tan Lin, an official with the business administration office at the Tourism Bureau of Tibet, said foreign tourists would be banned from Tuesday onwards, but those who have already arrived would be allowed to stay.
China has tightened security in recent weeks ahead of the Oct 1 holiday that will see a military parade through the heart of Beijing, a speech by President Hu Jintao and a huge fireworks display.
Sales of knives have been banned at some stores including large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour after two separate knife attacks near Tiananmen Square last week, according to store officials and state media.
A female staffer who gave her last name Lazhen at the sales department of the International Grand Hotel in Lhasa, 4,023 kilometres from Beijing, said the ban was in effect until Oct 8.
No foreigners came to her hotel on Monday and business has now down 20 to 30 per cent, she said.