Friday, 14 April 2017

Yunnan Gets Tough on Tourism Scams

Yu Fan of the Tourism Development
Committee of Yunnan Tourism (right)
with Jens Thraenhart of MTCO 
China’s Yunnan province has rolled out new regulations to tackle tourism scams, reports Xinhua.

Yunnan is the top tourism province in China, receiving over 431 million domestic and overseas tourists in 2016, about 10% of the national total.

However, it has faced increasing and disproportionate public criticism about forced shopping excursions, scams, and the humiliation and beating of tourists.

Statistics from the National Tourism Administration show Yunnan frequently ranks top in the number of complaints filed by tourists.

In February, complaints against Yunnan tour operators accounted for about 34.8% of the national total. Most of the complaints were related to cheap tours and forced shopping.

Yu Fan of the Tourism Development Committee of Yunnan Tourism (right) with Jens Thraenhart of MTCO at the First World Conference on Tourism for Development, Beijing, May 2016.

“The new regulation was made to separate tours from shopping, and we aim to restore tourism market order within a year,” said Yu Fan, director of the provincial tourism development commission at a press conference on Monday.

Shops at tourist destinations often sell overpriced goods of shoddy quality. According to the new regulation, which comes into effect on April 15, these shops will turn into supermarket-style shops with proper pricing and fall under the day-to-day supervision of tourism and commerce authorities.

The regulation bans kickbacks or commissions, which had come under the guise of “parking fees” or “tea fees” for bus or taxi drivers, and “head-count fees” for guides.

“The new regulation removes this source of profit for tour operators,” said Mou Xuemei, director of the tourist guide association in Lijiang, Yunnan.

“It means guides can no longer receive commissions, and their earnings will solely depend on whether their clients are happy,” Mou said.

Full story at Xinhuanet.

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