New China Tourism Law hits Sanya tourist shops during National Day holiday
The new law, approved in April, came into effect on October 1, the start of the weeklong National Day holiday. It aims to enhance protection for travelers and promote sustainable industry growth.
Travel agencies often charge low tour fees but recoup their costs from commissions from partner shops. Under the new law, travel agencies are not allowed to bring tourist groups to designated shops "unless prior consensus has been reached" with the group members.
One member of staff at a jewelry shop in Sanya said they received over 1000 customers a day during holidays before the new tourism law was in place. But, during this National Day holiday, they only welcomed around 20 visitors a day.
As a result, many tourist shops whose sales have been predominantly to package tourist groups have even shut down.