China to apply new tourism policy

by Wasti Atmodjo on 2013-09-17

China plans to apply new tourism policies effective on Oct. 1 to protect its citizens while traveling overseas, including in Bali.

Eddy Sanyoto, head of trade and marketing in the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA), said that China’s new policies also focused on improving travel agency businesses.

Sanyoto said that at present, many travel agents in China and their counterparts in Indonesia practiced unhealthy business practices. The travel agents in China transferred their clients to Indonesian partners, some of whom were unregistered companies, in order to gain as much profit as possible.

However, many tourists had complained about the lack of professionalism, often being placed in hotels that were below the required standard. Their holiday packages, also, were low standard in terms of quality, service and security.

Every year, around 83.1 million people from China make overseas trips to various destinations in America, Europe, Latin America, Australia and Asia, including Indonesia.

Recently, one of China’s famous travel magazines named Bali as China’s favorite island destination.

“China’s plan to improve its travel agencies’ working system is actually in line with our policy,” Sanyoto said.

With such a huge number of outbound tourists from China, its government was obliged to protect its citizens while they were traveling abroad, he said.

The Chinese government had, for instance, now set specific standards for facilities, security and services for people traveling abroad. The tourists were also required to use the services of registered travel agencies both in China and in countries of destination.

In Bali, ASITA also encourages its members to increase their professionalism and to improve their working systems to match their Chinese counterparts. The number of Chinese tourists to Bali increases every year.

“There are still so many unregistered travel agents that can tarnish the image of Bali generally. Many of them are operating online,” Sanyoto said.

Some of these agencies focus on making profits by providing low-standard holiday packages and
accommodation.

Sanyoto further said that the enforcement of the new policies by the Chinese government would have a positive impact on travel agency businesses in Bali.

“We have to continue improving and updating our services if we want to work with clients from China,” he said.

Ketut Ardana, chairman of ASITA Bali, said that the island’s tourist industry warmly welcomed the new Chinese policies on tourism.

“We are forced to adjust to the policies by improving our quality of service, which will have a good impact on our industry,” Ardana said.

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