China’s National Tourism Administration has threatened to issue big fines and revoke the licenses of tour guides taking clients to locations linked with gambling, sex or drugs as part of new laws announced last week governing the industry.
The “Rules on the Oversight of Tour Guides” includes an electronic license system for guides that is linked to a national database, with those found to have committed violations facing loss of license and fines of up to RMB20,000 ($3,022).
The fines can also be issued for altering the itineraries of tourists without prior permission or forcing them to shop at certain stores.
Although the rules could potentially impact tour groups to Macau and Las Vegas, it is largely targeted at budget domestic tours according to Caixin Global following a spate of confrontations between tourists and tour guides in recent years. Guides running budget tours often strike deals with certain stores to force tourists to buy souvenirs and gifts.