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Tourism resort seeks credibility after scandal

(Xinhua)

13:53, March 10, 2012

BEIJING - South China's city of Sanya, Hainan province, has once again taken the spotlight, as senior officials from the island province vowed to crack down on the price-gouging that has tainted the beach city's reputation as a paradise for tourists.

"We shall show zero tolerance to those black sheep in the tourism market in Sanya," Hainan Deputy Governor Jiang Sixian said.

Jiang, also the Communist Party chief of Sanya, said the city administration is overhauling the tourism market in Sanya and will not let the people down.

Some tourists visiting the beach city during the traditional Chinese Spring Festival holiday complained that they were overcharged "extremely irrationally".

Luo Di, who works for a Beijing-based real estate agency, wrote on China's popular microblogging site Sina Weibo that his friend was charged 4,000 yuan ($635) for a simple three-course meal.

Sanya's industry and commerce bureau also revealed that a seafood restaurant charged customers 9,764 yuan for a seven-course meal during the holiday.

Internet users vented their grievances online, prompting authorities in Sanya and Hainan to launch a campaign to overhaul the tourism sector.

More than one month after the holiday ended, Hainan officials have continued to be questioned by media and Internet users about the handling of the widespread scams.

While participating in this year's parliamentary session in Beijing, Jiang reiterated his confidence in eradicating fraudulent behaviors in Sanya.

In the meantime, he also pointed out the difficulties the city is facing.

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