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Travel agencies face fines if make clients shop

According to the new tourism law that came into effect on Tuesday, Chinese travel agencies could be fined 300,000 yuan ($49,000) or more if they force clients to go shopping during a tour.

According to the new tourism law, unless clients have agreed to or want to go shopping, and their shopping doesn't disrupt the agenda of others in the tour, the agency is not allowed to ask its clients to shop in certain places. Besides, a travel agency is not allowed to attract clients by organizing tours at an "irrationally low price" and later having them go shopping in order to get kickbacks from the stores.

What's more, the law regulates that guides must not ask for tips from their clients or force tourists to pay extra money for activities they don't want to take part in, and tourists have the right to refuse services they don't want.

Yet the law can help improve the tourism industry from vicious price competition, and tourists should stand up for themselves when they are forced to pay.