THE city's tourism bureau talked with the 10 most-complained-about travel agencies in the third quarter of the year recently, urging the agencies to rectify their businesses and protect their customers' rights, the Shenzhen Evening News reported.
The tourism authority disclosed that they had received a total of 615 complaints against travel agencies in the third quarter of this year. The bureau had already dealt with 512 complaints so far.
Most of the complaints concerned false and misleading advertising, forcing tourists to shop during trips, transferring tourists to other travel agencies without consent, and bad service and attitude.
The city's tourism authority earlier this year launched an online system that helps residents verify the authenticity of a travel agency, in a bid to crack down on fraudulent travel agencies that put up false advertisements for low-priced package tours.
Since some shaddy travel agencies do not have business licenses and have not registered with relevant departments, many tourists find it difficult to preserve their rights after being scammed.
"All of the regulated travel agencies have registered with the municipal tourism bureau for supervision while many underground travel agencies are not registered with any tourism authority," said a person in charge with the bureau.
The authority launched a verification system that allows residents to use QR codes to look up a travel agency before signing up or paying for a package tour.
According to the person in charge, more than 800 legitimate travel agencies have registered by leaving their detailed address, website, contact number and other information with the bureau.
Residents can follow the bureau's official WeChat account, "Shenzhen Tourism," and navigate to the inquiry page to look up information on the travel agencies.