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New rules laid out for tour guides

By Zhao Xinying | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-03 07:55

New rules laid out for tour guides

A guide shows a group of tourists around the Palace Museum in Beijing in October.[Photo/China Daily]

Misbehavior clarified, including forced shopping, demands for more money

A series of rules released by China's top tourism authority on Thursday clarified improper behavior and detailed punishments for tour guides who run amok, industry insiders said.

New rules from the China National Tourism Administration prohibit guides from steering their clients to illegal or immoral activities, such as gambling, drugs or sex.

Guides are also prohibited from forcing clients to shop at businesses during a tour, or to charge extra money against a client's wishes, through intimidation, restricting a person's freedom or using physical force.

Those who violate the rules will have their licenses revoked, and income generated through such misbehavior will be confiscated. In addition, violators will be fined between 2,000 and 20,000 yuan ($300 to $3,000).

The administration said the quality of tour guides and the services they provide are key to the way the industry is perceived in China and abroad. Through the rules, which will take effect on Jan 1, the administration hopes to ensure healthy development of the domestic tourism market.

Wang Fude, a professor of tourism administration at Beijing International Studies University, said the new rules act as a supplement to existing tourism law.

"They elaborate tour guides'obligations and responsibilities and will be very helpful for the national tourism administration in strengthening its governance of this group of professionals," Wang said.

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