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China issues new rules for travel agencies

China<.>`s travel agencies are required to provide four kinds of guarantee for its citizens traveling abroad, under…

China<.>`s travel agencies are required to provide four kinds of guarantee for its citizens traveling abroad, under new rules introduced in Beijing.

First, they must guarantee to tell travelers the truth. That means they must provide customers with reliable information and warn them clearly when situations occur that might jeopardize their personal safety. Leaders of travel groups are also required to alert their customers to the destination country`s culture, customs, laws and other matters needing attention.

Secondly, travel agencies must not undermine the financial interests of travelers.

The new policy detailed in Management Measures for Chinese Traveling Abroad stipulates that travel agencies` quotes should not be below cost price. And they should not force customers to make purchases, change an itinerary without permission, reduce theitems included in a travel package or impose extra charges.

According to the policy, travel agencies must sign a written contract with their customers in China and also sign another contract with the overseas travel agencies responsible for the Chinese travelers.

Thirdly, travel agencies must guarantee travelers` personal safety and property security. Agencies are not allowed to introduce travelers to activities dangerous to their physical or mental health such as gambling or using drugs.

Fourthly, if travelers run into special trouble, they have the right to seek diplomatic protection.

China National Tourism Administration (CNTA<.>) sources say a lot more Chinese can now afford to travel abroad as the country proceeds with market reforms.

Between 1992 and 2001, the number of Chinese traveling abroad rose from 2.928 million to 12.12 million. And more travel abroad for private reasons than for business with tourists topping the list.

In 1997, a temporary policy was jointly issued with the approval of the State Council by the China National Tourism Administration and the Ministry of Public Security to regulate Chinese citizens traveling abroad at their own expense and served as guidelines for the country`s tourism industry.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.