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Regulations on the Administration of Tourist Agencies(Excerpt)

(Promulgated by Decree No. 205 of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China on October 15, 1996)

Article 12 The travel administration department shall issue a Tourist Agency Permit for Tourist Business to the person whose application has been verified and approved. The person shall apply to the industry and commerce administrative department for a business licence on the strength of the permit. No one may engage in tourist business without the Tourist Agency Permit for Tourist Business.

Article 17 A foreign tourist agency that wishes to set up a resident office within the territory of the People’s Republic of China shall apply to the travel administration department under the State Council for approval.
Any resident office of foreign tourist agencies may only engage in tourist consultation, liaison and publicity but may not engage in tourist business.
Chapter III Management of Tourist Agencies

Article 18 A tourist agency shall conduct business operations within the scope as verified and approved.
A tourist agency shall comply with the principles of voluntariness, equality, fairness, honesty and credibility as well as business ethics in conducting business operations.

Article 21 A tourist agency shall safeguard lawful rights and interests of tourists.
A tourist agency shall provide tourists with truthful and reliable information concerning tourist services and shall not make false publicity.

Article 22 A tourist agency shall, when organizing a tour, effect tourist accident insurance on behalf of the tourists and shall guarantee that its services will be provided according to the requirements for safeguarding the security of tourists and their belongings. It shall give the tourists truthful explanations and definite warnings concerning matters that may endanger the security of tourists and their belongings and shall take measures to prevent the damage.

Article 23 A tourist agency shall charge tourists for its tourist services in accordance with the state provisions. Extra charges for additional service items during a tour shall be subject to the consent of the tourists.
For each item of paid-services, the tourist agency shall, according to relevant state provisions, offer a service document to the tourists.

Article 24 Tourists shall have the right to lodge complaints to the travel administration department in any of the following cases where they suffer losses:

(1)The tourist agency fails to attain the service quality standard as agreed upon in the contract due to its own fault;
(2)The tourist agency fails to provide services up to the national standard or trade standard;or
(3)The tourist agency causes loss of traveling expenses paid in advance by tourists due to its bankruptcy.

The travel administration department shall accept and handle complaints from tourists in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations.

Article 27 A tourist agency shall, when soliciting and accepting tourists, make complete records and keep relevant documents and materials for the inspection by the travel administration department.

Chapter V Penalty

Article 33 If anyone violates the provisions of the first paragraph of Article 18, Article 22, the first paragraph of Article 23, Article 25 and the first paragraph of

Article 26 of these Regulations, the travel administration department shall order him to make corrections within a time limit and, if any, confiscate his unlawful earnings. If he has not made corrections at the expiration of the prescribed time limit, he shall be ordered to suspend his business operations for 15 to 30 days for rectification and may be concurrently imposed a fine from RMB 5,000 yuan to RMB 20,000 yuan. If the circumstances are serious, his Tourist Agency Permit for Tourist Business may be revoked.

Article 34 Anyone violating the provisions of Article 19 and the second paragraph of Article 21 of these Regulations shall be punished in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Law of the People’s Republic of China for Countering Unfair Competition.

Article 36 If the Tourist Agency Permit for Tourist Business of a tourist agency has been revoked, the industry and commerce administrative department shall revoke its business license correspondingly.

Article 37 When handling the complaints prescribed in Article 24 of these Regulations, the travel administration department shall, if the complaints have been proved to be true after investigation, order the tourist agency to make compensation for actual losses suffered by tourists. If the tourist agency refuses to or cannot afford to bear the responsibility for compensation, the travel administration department may make appropriations from the quality guarantee deposit of the tourist agency for the compensation.

Article 39 Personnel of the travel administration departments who neglect their duties, abuse their powers or engage in mal practices for their personal gains shall, if crimes have been constituted, be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law. If their acts are not serious enough to constitute crimes, disciplinary sanctions shall be imposed according to law.