Rules fo­cus on home­own­ers who rent to tourists

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By XU LIN xulin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Bei­jing will in­tro­duce a new tourism reg­u­la­tion on Aug 1 to im­prove oper­a­tion and man­age­ment of pri­vate ac­com­mo­da­tions rented to tourists, or minsu, and bet­ter gov­ern day trips, the city gov­ern­ment an­nounced over the week­end.

The reg­u­la­tion “tack­les the key is­sues of the in­dus­try by di­vid­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties among dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ment de­part­ments for bet­ter su­per­vi­sion”, said Song Yu, head of the Bei­jing Com­mis­sion of Tourism De­vel­op­ment.

“It also sup­ple­ments the China Tourism Law, of­fer­ing more de­tails with­out re­peat­ing con­tent of the law.”

As in­de­pen­dent trav­el­ing has be­come more pop­u­lar in the in­ter­net era, minsu have grown in pop­u­lar­ity, with bou­tique ho­tels and home­s­tays of­fer­ing tourists the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence lo­cal lifestyles.

The new reg­u­la­tion clar­i­fies the def­i­ni­tion of minsu as “ac­com­mo­da­tion of­fered by res­i­dents who own or have rights to use the prop­erty of­fered to guests”.

The reg­u­la­tion states that the city and district gov­ern­ments should guide the de­vel­op­ment of minsu and en­cour­age the de­vel­op­ment in sub­ur­ban ar­eas. The gov­ern­ments should strengthen en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion in ru­ral ar­eas and im­prove in­fra­struc­ture such as park­ing and toi­lets, it states.

“The new reg­u­la­tion en­cour­ages peo­ple to bet­ter op­er­ate minsu and serve their guests,” said Cui Zhao­hai, 29, who opened a minsu in down­town Bei­jing two years ago.

He said he achieved a sense of ac­com­plish­ment by ren­o­vat­ing an old court­yard dwelling into a well-dec­o­rated minsu, pro­tect­ing the old ar­chi­tec­ture.

Cui said com­pared with ho­tels, the lo­ca­tions and decor of minsu are more di­verse, and they of­fer more unique ser­vices, with the op­er­a­tors keen to help guests. Tourists of­ten bring their own lo­cal spe­cial­ties from their home­town to share with oth­ers, he added. Main­land tourists big­gest spenders

Chen Xiao, 30, an of­fice worker from Bei­jing, who once stayed in a minsu in Li­jiang, Yun­nan prov­ince, said: “The op­er­a­tors are of­ten friendly and you can chat with other tourists to gather travel tips and in­for­ma­tion about the lo­cal lifes- tyle. It’s also con­ve­nient to find peo­ple who want to car pool or travel to­gether to cut costs.”

Wang Hong jian, an of­fi­cial from Bei­jing gov­ern­ment’s law depart­ment, said: “Op­er­a­tors must get a le­gal per­mit, with ba­sic con­di­tions in­clud­ing hav­ing fire­fight­ing equip­ment and meet­ing pub­lic hy­giene stan­dards. They should stan­dard­ize man­age­ment, such as pro­tect­ing tourists’ pri­vacy and adopt­ing fair trade meth­ods.”

The new reg­u­la­tion also clar­i­fies the def­i­ni­tion of day trips in Bei­jing and ad­dresses il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties such as forc­ing tourists to shop. It states that shop­ping dur­ing trips should be man­aged prop­erly, with the city and district gov­ern­ments shoul­der­ing their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to Wang, the city gov­ern­ment should re­lease more-de­tailed reg­u­la­tions about minsu in Bei­jing’s ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas no later than Aug 1, 2018. Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments in­clud­ing tourism, pub­lic se­cu­rity and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion should each at­tend to their own du­ties and tighten su­per­vi­sion on the oper­a­tion of minsu, he said.

“The de­tailed reg­u­la­tions will en­sure the le­gal­ity of minsu and sat­isfy the de­mands of tourists who want to en­joy leisure ac­tiv­i­ties and sight­see­ing.”

Chi­nese main­land trav­el­ers spent more than any other tourists last year, ac­cord­ing to a joint re­port by on­line travel agency Ctrip and the Cen­ter for China and Glob­al­iza­tion.

Com­bined, main­land tourists spent $261 bil­lion in 2016, nearly 21 per­cent of the world’s tourist con­sump­tion.

The re­port also said China’s out­bound tourism has seen dou­ble-digit growth for 12 con­sec­u­tive years.

Coun­tries in­clud­ing the United States, Canada and Sin­ga­pore now is­sue 10-year visas to main­land tourists, while China opened 260 in­ter­na­tional air routes from Jan­uary to Novem­ber last year, all of which stim­u­lated de­mand.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, main­land trav­el­ers made more than 120 mil­lion out­bound trips in 2015, 313 per­cent more than in 2005.

Fig­ures re­leased by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum show tourism last year stim­u­lated the global econ­omy by gen­er­at­ing over $7.6 tril­lion, sup­port­ing more than 292 mil­lion jobs.

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