The Beijing Tourism Bureau has begun to accept applications for 4A travel agencies and will send some its personnel in secret to assess these applicants.
The first batch of eight travel agencies at 5A level has settled in Fenglian Plaza Building and provide tour related consultative services for citizens on site. Liu Lili, director of the travel agency department of the Beijing Tourism Bureau, said that after the initial 5A travel agencies were unveiled last September, there are currently more than 20 travel agencies that have applied for 4A level certifications.
The secret investigation will be carried out in two steps, one of which is to review the operational sites of those applicants to check whether their business processes and operation are according to certain criteria; the second is to send professional people from the assessment committee to participate anonymously in tour groups that the applicants have organized in order to investigate their services and check if they have any activities violating the Bureau's regulations. The results of these assessment will be submitted to The Beijing Tourism Bureau.
After that assessment, the Beijing Tourism Bureau will designate professional teams to assess those applicants' software and hardware facilities publicly. The final list of 4A travel agencies will be unveiled by March 2008.