China Proposes Tourism Law

The National Congress of China released a draft of Tourism Law for public comment. Aimed to regulate the rapidly expanding tourist industry in China, the law will be the first of its kind in the country.

The new legislation contains, among other matters, regulations on the rights and obligations of tourists, requirements for tour-operating companies, and standards to be met by travel destinations and scenic areas. In particular, the law states that foreign travelers in China enjoy same rights as domestic tourists. Tourists should respect the cultures, social customs, and religious traditions of the localities they visit. Travelers who have come to China as part of a packaged tour should stay with their tour groups. Chinese tour operators should not demand for tips. Travel guides and companies found in violation of law will be fined, denied business licenses, or prosecuted.

Currently in China there are over 20,000 officially recognized tourism destinations and over 10,000 hotels with star rankings. The country has the world’s largest domestic tourism market and is the third most popular travel destination country in the world.