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Cheap tricks cheat tourists

By Yin Yeping (Global Times)

10:12, November 02, 2012

A woman hands out flyers advertising a day trip to tourists at the entrance of Tiananmen Thursday. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A female resident from Huaian, Jiangsu Province has reported a Beijing-based travel agency to her local travel authorities for possible false advertising over suspiciously cheap tours to the capital.

In order to offer such low prices, the tour operator may be involved in questionable practices to cheat tourists, such as forced shopping, an employee of the Huaian tourism quality supervision administration in Jiangsu Province, surnamed Chen, told the Global Times Thursday.

The woman submitted the complaint to the Huaian administration last week, said Chen, who did not reveal the complainant's name.

"The resident was dubious when she was given information about a tour to Beijing, so she came to us to inquire about it," he said, adding the woman did not book a place on the trip.

The woman was quoted a price of 200 yuan ($32) for a three-day package tour, or 300 yuan for a five-day tour to Beijing. As these prices included almost all tour costs, including entrance tickets, transport and accommodation, they decided to examine whether the trip included illegal practices, such as forced shopping stops, said Chen.

"We're investigating this now, but we haven't established if the agency is involved in cheating tourists," he said.

As the travel agency is Beijing-based, cooperation with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development would be needed, said Chen. He would not reveal the agency's name.

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