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China island resort alert to holiday overpricing


16:05, February 03, 2013

SANYA, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The mayor of Sanya on Sunday vowed tight monitoring of local tourism businesses to avoid a repeat of the overcharging allegations that dogged the renowned resort city last Spring Festival.

Authorities of Sanya, in China's island province of Hainan, will clamp down on illegal activities in the tourism industry during the upcoming holiday travel rush, said Wang Yong.

"Sanya will not pass the tests if any overcharging takes place again," he said.

In the peak tourist season of Spring Festival in 2012, a series of overcharging scandals tainted the beach city's reputation as a paradise for tourists from home and abroad. Some visitors complained that they were overcharged "extremely irrationally."

Government authorities will monitor and investigate hotels, restaurants and travel agencies based on guide prices suggested by the government, according to Wang.

The government will severely punish illegal tour guides, travel agents and tourism sites, he added.

Especially in the management of seafood markets and bars, administrative departments will utilize an electronic order system that will allow them to keep tabs on pricing, the mayor said.

Wang also warned all businesses in Sanya to "keep their noses clean" or face tough penalties.

During last year's Spring Festival, Sanya, a city with a population of 700,000, received about 500,000 tourists drawn to its warm weather, sea and sand.

China plans to invest over 350 billion yuan (about 56.21 billion U.S. dollars) to make Hainan Province a top international destination by 2020.

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