Travel agencies in Sanya have raised tour package prices following the adoption of the country’s first tourism law, which took effect on 1st October, outlawing hidden costs such as shopping outings.

As a result, the price of a three-day, two-night trip to Hainan after 1st October has increased from 399 yuan to 786 yuan.

Tourists complained the move had dampened their enthusiasm for travel agencies. Meanwhile, travel agents are also fearing the stability and longevity of their livelihoods.

One manager from a Sanya travel agency confirmed that the number of package tourists has declined sharply as a result of the increased tour prices.

In contrast, the number of individual tourists and self-driving tourists has increased significantly.

According to Sanya Tourism Development Commission, the number of individual tourists to scenic spots surpassed the number of package tourists during the 2013 National Day Holiday.

Officials from the commission said the new tourism law is changing people’s way of traveling and believe that independent travel tours will become more popular in the future.

The new tourism law bans travel agencies from selling tourists trips at low prices and then recouping their costs from commissions from partner shops or charging extra fees during the trip. 

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