Stiffer rules for China agencies

China travel agencies may face tough new rules if they force tourists to go shopping outside of agreed itineraries, China Hospitality News reported.

One of the proposed rules states that they would be fined RMB100,000 – 500,000, and their business licenses might be revoked. It added that the travel contract must include details such departure location; places of connection; final destination; transportation arrangement and its standard; accommodation and its standard; dining arrangement and its standard; tour charges during the journey; times for shopping; time for the entire stay; and name of shopping venues.

Also, travel agencies are prohibited from luring customers by pricing their products lower than total travel costs. The report said it was common for many agencies to offer cheap tours in exchange for forcing travellers to buy products from expensive shops that offered commissions to the travel agencies.

The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council is currently gathering public feedback about the new regulations, the report said.

Last week, riot police were called in to subdue dozens of angry Chinese tourists who claimed tour guides took them to too many shops in Macau.

The tourists from China’s Hebei province wanted to see historical sites but the guides took them to a beach but did not allow them to retrieve warmer clothing from the bus, reports said.

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