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China to strengthen supervision of tourism market

Updated: Feb 19,2016 5:47 PM

The State Council issued a guideline on Feb 19 to beef up the comprehensive supervision of the domestic tourism market.

The move is to solve the most pressing issues in the tourism market and violations of tourists’ rights and interests.

A tourism supervision team, set up by the joint inter-ministerial meeting of the State Council for tourism and led by the National Tourism Administration, will coordinate supervisory activities.

Local governments at various levels also need to set up and improve joint supervisory mechanisms focusing on coordinating different departments, investigating tourism-related cases, and handling tourist complaints. Also, the record system on uncivilized behavior by tourists should be further implemented to ensure order in the market and fair competition, according to the guideline.

Travel agencies are urged to operate in accordance with laws and regulations, resisting illegal practices such as “unreasonably low-price trips” and forced consumption.

The general public are also encouraged to use services and network platforms like the “12301” hotline to tip authorities off about illegal behavior.

According to the guideline, related regions and departments should draft responsibility lists on the supervision of the tourist market as soon as possible. Tourism departments and other related departments should publicize their functions, powers of enforcement and supervision methods through government announcements, government websites, and open bulletins.

Departments of tourism, public security, industry and commerce, transportation, culture, tax, quality inspection, pricing, commerce, telecommunication, cyberspace and civil aviation are required to perform their duties and coordinate with each other.

The guideline also called for efforts to improve legislation, especially those on the management of travel services, tourist guides, and travel abroad.

It also urged the improvement of the national, industry and local standards on tourism and the making of the national standardized development plan for tourism (2016-2020).