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Tourist trap

By Chen Dujuan (Global Times)

08:15, March 07, 2013

The Hainan Tourism Association (HTA) announced reference prices for local tourism services on February 28 and advised visitors to Hainan to be cautious when choosing travel agencies, following recent media exposure of dubious tourism practices on the island.

The reference prices cover meals, accommodation, transport, admission to scenic spots and service charges, the association said.

For instance, the reference price for a three-star standard one-day visit to Sanya is 360 yuan ($57.9) per person, including 80 yuan for accommodation, two meals costing 25 yuan each, 100 yuan car fare and 130 yuan for scenic spots and service charges.

However, The Global Times found that prices for most one-day tours in Sanya provided by Hainan travel agencies are still significantly higher, and pitfalls remain in local tourism services.

Ji Mingtao, a manager at Hainan Travel Service Sanya branch, told the Global Times Monday that the HTA prices are a reference for the whole sector but the costs for different travel agencies vary, so his company will offer prices according to its own situation.

"Our association aims to publicize the reference standards to tourists and hopes Hainan travel agencies can work in accordance with the standards within three months," Wang Jiansheng, secretary-general of the HTA, told the Global Times Monday.

It is the latest move by local authorities and industry associations to tackle the problem of excessive prices charged to tourists in the southern island province.

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