Published on : Thursday, October 10, 2019
China is finally taking steps to address the price discrimination in its tourism sector. China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism is now soliciting views of the public to draft rule for online tourist services, banning companies from using big data and other technological means to set differentiated prices for the same products or services targeting individuals with different consumption habits.
Under the regulation, misleading advertisements would also be banned in China apart from the offerings of the unreasonably low-priced tourism and blocking users’ reviews of tourism products and services. Worth mentioning here that tourists visiting China have long been frustrated about the differentiation in prices in the tourism sector and the present decision of the Chinese government is inspired by that.
Those violating the regulation might have to pay fine up to 500,000 yuan ($70,000) as per the draft rule which is being formulated. As per the ministry, people can submit their opinion before November 10.
Earlier this year, the government laid out key measures to improve the quality of tourism services. A guideline issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism stated seven priority areas for quality enhancement including scenic zones, accommodation, online and brick-and-mortar travel agencies, tour guides and tourism administration. The government agencies were directed to strengthen supervision, market participants to fulfil their responsibility as part of the guideline. The Chinese government aims to make tourism services an important representative of China’s services by 2020, with the tourism market and consumption environment improved and market order well-regulated.