Gyirong Port opens to trav­ellers and trade

Action Asia - - NEWS & VIEWS -

G Y I R ONG P ORT, A L S O known as the RashuwaKe r u n g b o r d e r c r o s s i n g , will be open to all trav­ellers from June 29 and not only for Nepalese and Chi­nese na­tion­als. This newly re­stored over­land gate­way con­nects Lhasa to Kath­mandu and it is bound to at­tract many more vis­i­tors to boost tourism in the area on top of the added value of in­fra­struc­ture. Ac­cord­ing to Su­san Lee, the mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor of Ti­bet Travel agency, “The num­ber of tourists in the re­gion is in­creas­ing and it is ex­pected to reach even more peo­ple dur­ing the peak travel sea­son for Ti­bet come June and July, ben­e­fit­ing Ti­betan tourism.” “Cur­rently, one hun­dred tourists cross the bor­der ev­ery day. Both gov­ern­ments had al­ready set up var­i­ous agen­cies such as Im­mi­gra­tion, Cus­toms, Po­lice and so on,” said Mr Surya Sedai, the di­rec­tor of the Cus­toms Depart­ment. Sedai re­it­er­ated the ad­van­tages of the cross­ing and re­as­sured that, “From ba­sic shop­keep­ers to lodge and restau­rant own­ers, they are all ben­e­fit­ing from the port, as tourists cross­ing the bor­der are very likely to pur­chase small items. It helps to sup­port our coun­try's econ­omy.” Over the next few years, the Qing­hai-ti­bet Rail­way will ex­tend from Shi­gatse to Gyirong be­cause the gradient of the ter­rain is not as dra­matic as the other land port in TatopaniZhangmu, also known as the Ko­dari cross­ing. Last year's dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake crip­pled the Ko­dari cross­ing and even though the roads are mo­torable now after re­pairs, some me­dia re­ported that the Chi­nese are re­luc­tant to re­open it mainly due to the con­cerns about Nepal-based Ti­betan ac­tivists en­ter­ing China through that point as se­cu­rity is bet­ter es­tab­lished at Gyirong Port.

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