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Chinese Travel Agencies To Tourists: Shop Or Else!



WUHAN - Chinese tourists have multiplied in step with the country's booming economy. And like travelers everywhere, they spend a chunk of their time -- and, yes, money -- shopping.

But recently, several travel agencies in Wuhan, in China's Hubei Province, have refused to sign up people for organized tours if they are under 28 years old on the grounds that they won't shop enough, the Xinhua News reported. 

These discriminating travel agencies are proposing organized domestic tours to China’s southeast scenic spots such as Kunming, Lijiang and ancient city of Dali. The six-day tour including air transport, hotels and food comes at a bargain price of 1760 Yuan ($282). The condition is that the participants have to be at least 28.

“This is because young people are big clients of e-commerce and won’t spend much money at the organized shopping spots and the tour guides won't be able to make enough commission”, a certain Ms. Chang told the reporter. “If one wants a purely sight-seeing tour with guaranteed quality the fare is between 3000-4000 Yuan ($481-641).”

Indeed, some agencies will charge only the cost of the trip, with a business model that makes money purely on commission from the clients’ shopping. But this kind of tour has in fact caused disputes between the tourists, forced to purchase, and the tour guides.

Shopping in Hong Kong (bchow)

This is especially true in Hong Kong, one of Chinese people’s favorite shopping destinations, where flocks of Chinese tourists spent on average more than 6000 Hong Kong dollars ($775) on shopping, from baby milk to brand watches or even the most expensive French brandy, according to the data last year of the island’s tourist board, the Guangzhou Daily reports.      

According to Phoenix Television of Hong Kong, China’s National Tourism Administration issued a circular last year demanding that tourism officials enforce their duty of supervising quality, and to put an end to the Zero or negative fare tours.

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