Drafted Law to Set Operating Standards for Travel Agencies
A newly drafted law is now under review by Chinese lawmakers that will protect the rights of tourists and target unethical practices of travel agencies. Once the drafted law is passed it will become the first legislation to cover the industry following examples of legislation from several foreign countries.
The deputy director of the financial and economic affairs committee Yin Zhongqing, said that there is a need for this type of law in hopes to promote a sustainable and healthy development of the tourism economy in the country. The drafted law will set several operating standards for travel agencies and will stop travel agencies from forcing travelers in purchasing goods. It will be up to the tourists to choose whether to purchase the travel options or not.
The law targets agencies that give away free tours or the so called incentive tours, wherein a traveler is compensated with cash or gifts. These types of tour agencies operate on a commission type of system where they take tourists to predetermined sites where products are sold at high prices and the agency gets a share. This law defines the right of the tourists and states that package tours must offer fixed price contracts and list the tour itinerary clearly from transport, meals and accommodations.
The law will also protect tourists from scenic spots were ticket prices must follow government pricing and any price changes must be announced to the public months before the implementation. The law also makes travel agencies responsible for their clients traveling overseas without proper documents.