Agencies to be fined for illegal stay

Updated: 2012-08-27 16:12

By Zhao Yinan (

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Travel agencies will pay repatriation costs and financial penalties for foreign visitors who illegally stay in China, if a draft law is passed.

The draft law on tourism — the first of its kind in a country believed to have the world's largest domestic tour market — proposes that travel agencies pay fines of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,855) for dereliction of duty, if foreign visitors they have brought to the country manage to leave their tour group and illegally stay in China. In these cases, the companies are also asked to pay for the repatriation fees for the foreign nationals.

The National People's Congress Standing Committee, the top legislature, was expected to read the draft law on Monday.

China had more than 20,000 registered tourism resorts, and more than 20,000 tourism agencies by 2011.

China is the world's third-largest market for cross-border tourism, with 135 million entries of foreign tourists and 70 million departures to overseas countries for sightseeing in 2011.