On October 1, China officially announced a new tourism law, impacting on travel agencies in the country and banning the zero or negative fare tours. This is a very positive step as travel agents can no longer sell tours at or below costs and attract travellers through cheap prices and then during the tour forcing them to purchase goods and provide tips for the travel agents. The new law is also expected to lead to a boom in online travel services in China (Hotelmarketing 2013).
IMPACT ON TRAVEL AGENCIES
The impact of the new law is highly visible to travel agents in China. Less people are booking tours than in the previous years, causing dissatisfaction of travel agents. Package tours are an essential part of travel agencies' profits and after package tour prices having increased dramatically, due to the previously hidden costs being added, less travellers have booked a package tour. To show the impact of the law, a package tour to Thailand is now priced at 6,800 yuan from previously being priced at 3,800 yuan. This price almost doubled and revealed the dramatic impact of tips and real pricing for the tours. With these significantly higher prices, less travellers can afford the package tours now, leading to less bookings.
However, there is also good news, as travel agencies are working on pricing package tours correctly, including all tips and prices for services. This ensures that the package price paid by travellers actually contains all costs and there are no more hidden costs to pay once the tour is starting.
LAW ADDRESSES PROBLEMS
China’s new tourism law also addresses other issues such as unfair competition, price hikes and also limiting congestion in scenic spots in the country. This is an essential step also with regards to keeping travellers in the country happy. Another very interesting addition provided by the law is that traveller’s rights are also mentioned in terms of giving them the right to “know, choose, receive aid and be respected during their travels” but the law is also advising travellers to behave when travelling.
This is a move that is long overdue, ensuring that travellers’ rights are protected and the tourism industry as a whole can further develop. China’s authority is aiming to build the tourism sector into a pillar industry, having undergone dramatic changes in the past already.
FIRST TOURISM LAW
This first tourism law will ensure that illegal practices amongst travel agencies and other stakeholders in the tourism industry will be eliminated which gives more room for other companies to develop and grow. With prices being increased by travel agents, now displaying all previously hidden costs, online travel is also expected to boom as prices are better comparable and travellers have the choice to either book travel through a traditional travel agent or online. China’s tourism law can be considered a first step towards helping the country’s tourism industry which will hopefully lead to growth and other changes to the tourism sector.
More from #DTTT
In February we present:Shaping Vienna – A New Visitor Economy Strategy for the Vienna Tourist Board
Sustainable tourism growth is at the forefront of destination strategy today, proposing new visions and objectives for the future of the visitor economy. The Vienna Tourist Board presents its Visitor Economy Strategy 2025, Shaping Vienna, reflecting a new era of tourism that targets sustainable development with an emphasis on adding value for the city, its […]#Visitor Economy Strategy #sustainable tourism #add value #Vienna Tourist Board
In February we present:Travel Oregon – Rethinking Content Styles
For Travel Oregon, content has taken several changes in direction over the years, with a timeline of multiple successful campaigns under its name. This is a great example of a DMO that has adapted its content style over time to align with the ever-changing travel landscape, highlighting the role of sustainability and its impact, and […]#rethinking content style #brand dna #sustainability #travel oregon #brand-values #differentiation
In January we present:#ClientStories Visit Brussels | Full Digital Transformation
The Digital Tourism Think Tank conducted a full Digital Transformation assessment and organisational audit of Visit Brussels, looking at every single aspect of the organisation and its digital activities. Using our carefully curated 12-step approach, we reviewed the organisation from a completely holistic perspective, analysing everything from the organisational structure to the visitor cycle and […]#digital content strategy #brand transformation #Visit Brussels #digital transformation #design-thinking #Knowledge Exchange
In January we present:Visit California – The Pivotal Brand Touchpoint
Visit California is a DMO that is really leading the way when it comes to leveraging the destination brand story, and has long been a destination that we here at the #DTTT consider to be a best practice when it comes to delivering compelling content, all year round. Visit California understands the importance of […]#brand desire #brand story #visit California #touchpoints #brand-identity #content strategy
In January we present:Digitising a Destination with Tourisme Bretagne
Today, the travel industry finds itself in an unprecedented position. The competition has never been so high and with the issue of sustainability rife within the industry and world as a whole, DMOs are striving to implement initiatives that support sustainable growth for the destination, tourists and all stakeholders involved. The Federation of Breton Tourist […]#Tourisme Bretagne #sustainable tourism #customer journey #DTTT-global #digital strategy #digitalisation
In January we present:How Destination Canada evolved from a Destination Brand to a Passion Brand
For destination marketers today, the biggest challenge is to keep up with the speed of change and the ever-changing traveller. So how best to stand out from the competition? Is it through technology? Offers? Experiences? Brand? Here is an extract of Destination Canada’s talk about brand transformation. We have highlighted the key messages. The full […]#brand journey #transformational travel #passion brand #Brand evolution #destination canada #strategy