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August 17, 2012

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New tour buses to battle illegal operators in Lujiazui

LICENSED travel agencies will begin offering one-day tours of Shanghai from the Lujiazui area starting next month in an effort to push out illegal operators, tourism authorities said yesterday.

Flier distributors hired by illegal travel agencies have become a public nuisance in Lujiazui as they can be rather aggressive in handing out adverts to passers-by and tourists. Some tourists have complained and tourism authorities believe these illegal agencies are damaging the city's image.

"People will find tour buses from Shanghai Tourist Center and Spring Tour waiting outside the Lujiazui Metro Station starting in mid-September and this will reduce the space for unlicensed tour bus operators," said Dao Shuming, director of the Shanghai Tourism Bureau.

There is often a large number of flier distributors outside exit 1 of Lujiazui Station on Metro Line 2. The area is popular with tourists as it includes popular attractions such as Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai Ocean Aquarium.

A Shanghai Daily reporter got more than 30 adverts within a short time when checking the area yesterday. Most of the ads featured the logo of China International Travel Service, one of the biggest travel agencies in the country. The CITS logo is being used without authorization to fool potential customers. All of the ads said they provided a one-day tour of the city with prices ranging between 100 yuan (US$15.70) and 150 yuan.

Lin Xia, a tourist from Liaoning Province, said she got more than 10 adverts after exiting the same station and many distributors kept trying to lure her into taking a trip.

"I felt extremely uncomfortable," she said, adding the place was very chaotic and disturbing.

Police said they conduct campaigns only when they receive complaints and that the flier distributors return soon after officers depart the area.


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