China Puts Outbound Travel Contract Into Operation

The China National Tourism Administration and State Administration of Industry and Commerce have jointly released the working draft of the Chinese Citizen Outbound Travel Contract and have now put it into operation.

Drafted in accordance with China's Contract Law, Consumers' Right Protection Law, Travel Agency Management Rule and Chinese City Outbound Travel Management Measure, the new contract is aimed at protecting both consumers' and travel agencies' due interests, optimize the tourism environment, regulate outbound travel service providers' behavior and promote travel consumption among tourists and travel agencies. Zhang Xiqin, deputy director of CNTA, says that the creation of this contract is part of CNTA's efforts in creating sustainable travel.

The contract is applicable for Chinese mainland travel agencies and outbound traveler groups, excluding FIT travelers. According to the contract, travel agencies need to compensate consumers if they add the shopping times by themselves; they must not exaggerate their travel services; they should ask for tourists' written approval before they transfer tourists to another group; they must compensate the tourists first in case that the tourists buy fake goods on the trip.

In addition, tourists who cancel the trip in less than 30 days before the travel group's departure or deliberately leave the travel group or are involved in any other improper activities that cause loss to the travel agency need to compensate the travel agency's loss. The contract makes special note about the Golden Week holidays, saying that travel agencies should sign special agreement with the tourists for these special occasions in order to avoid disputes.