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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Author says no to the “prostitute tax”

By Wei Na (Global Times)

08:28, January 05, 2012

The Dubai Department of Tourism yesterday denied allegations made by a Chinese children's author that a "possible prostitute tax" is charged to single female travelers from China.

Zheng Yuanjie, the "king of children's stories," stated online that he is considering suing travel agencies over fees imposed on Chinese female tourists traveling alone to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Zheng said the fees are charged out of a fear that the women may overstay illegally in the country as prostitutes.

Zheng appealed to lawyers on his microblog on Tuesday on behalf of women. He hopes to claim back 320 million yuan ($51 million), the money estimated by the Beijing Evening News as charged to single female tourists under 30 years old over the course of a year.

Zheng said his assistant was asked to pay an extra 400 yuan while applying for a group trip to Dubai last Thursday. The travel agency claims these fees are collected by Dubai authorities.

"It's nonsense to say that Dubai has any bias toward female Chinese tourists or collects extra money when issuing visas," said Gao Zichun, publicity director of the Beijing office of the Dubai Department of Tourism.

However, Gao added that the office was aware of extra charges by local travel agencies who handle visa applications.

"If it happened to Zheng's assistant, it is probably another excuse from an unlicensed agency to make extra money, not the authorities," said Gao.

Xiao Wan, a 28-year-old who paid several visits to Dubai, said she had never had to pay a "possible prostitute tax."

Some local agencies confirmed that extra fees are required from female tourists for other reasons.

"A 20,000 yuan deposit is required of all single travelers from China without a tour group, in case they attempt to stay in the country illegally," said one employee from Top View Holiday Travel & Tourism who handle Dubai routes.

"Extra money needs to be paid for single women because of a higher chance of visa rejection," she added.

A customer manager surnamed Xu from China Ocean International Travel Service Company also admitted to extra charges, but altered the age group.

"Women over 35 might be rejected over the risk they will stay illegally to work as housekeepers, so they need to pay extra," said Xu.

Li Wei, an attorney Zheng had contacted, told the Global Times he would help Zheng whenever he needs, although "more evidence is needed to back up the absurd allegations, as well as identification of actual victims."

Both Zheng's phone and his assistant's phone rang unanswered yesterday.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:陈乐乐)

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Ha ha ha at 2012-01-0560.240.57.*
What a fuss? Don"t visit that nation, that"s it! There is nothing big screen and deal in that nation!
  

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