China aims to get rid of shady business practices to address problems of frustrated travelers

Published on : Saturday, October 12, 2019

China’s tourism regulator wishes to get rid of the underhanded business practices that have frustrated travelers in the country for a long time.


In a draft regulation, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism outlined the newly proposed rules for online tourist services, including excluding companies from using big data or algorithms to enforce differentiated pricing schemes that might change based on whether someone is seeking to book newly or a returning customer. The draft regulation, open to public feedback for one month, also proposed prohibitions on circulating misleading ads, making fraudulent bookings, promoting suspiciously cheap activities, and deleting online reviews.


Many consumers are of the opinion that they’ve experienced price unfairness in the form of big data “killing” loyal customers, and complained that first-time guests at a hotel or resort might be enticed with a cheaper rate for the same product or service.


More and more Chinese people are now venturing out without leaving the country. As of last December, 410 million Chinese people, which is roughly half of all internet users in the country have used an online travel-booking service, marking a year-on-year increase of 9.1%.


However, many travelers have registered complaints about their recent experiences with online travel companies.


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