Travel agen­cies have duty to clar­ify all costs

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - AN EL­DERLY WOMAN who

paid 980 yuan ($145) to join a sev­en­day tour to Hong Kong or­ga­nized by the Hangzhou Sports As­so­ci­a­tion for the El­derly and a travel agency, com­plained to the me­dia that those on the tour were re­duced to tears by their guide who be­rated them for not spend­ing enough at the var­i­ous es­tab­lish­ments they vis­ited. Beijing Youth Daily com­mented on Wed­nes­day:

Tours with prices that seem too good to be true are usu­ally em­bed­ded with forced shop­ping. The low prices are the bait in the trap.

This not only vi­o­lates con­sumers’ right to be fully in­formed of what they are pay­ing for, but also may break the law if it is mis­rep­re­sented or the tourists are co­erced to buy.

Such low-cost tours usu­ally come with a hid­den price. But the rea­son for their large share of the mar­ket is be­cause of greed and in­for­ma­tion asym­me­try.

In this re­gard, the re­lated as­so­ci­a­tions should keep their dis­tance from travel op­er­a­tors who spe­cial­ize in cut-price tours, and a tour trans­parency sys­tem should be estab­lished given the av­er­age level of spend­ing that par­tic­i­pants can ex­pect to do on a par­tic­u­lar tour based on the spend­ing of par­tic­i­pants on pre­vi­ous or sim­i­lar tours.

The Reg­u­la­tions on Travel Agen­cies (Re­vised Draft) is­sued by the Leg­isla­tive Af­fairs Of­fice of the State Coun­cil on Nov 28 stip­u­lates that if travel agen­cies and their em­ploy­ees try to co­erce tourists to spend, the tourists are en­ti­tled to sue the travel agency within 30 days of the end of the tour.

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