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Crackdown on illegal tour agencies

SHANGHAI tourism authorities will shut down tour agencies which illegally sell Expo passports or pavilion reservation tickets.

Tour guides who carry out such illegal business will have their business certificate canceled. Officials, however, said today that no such case has been reported yet.

Travel agencies which hire unlicensed tour guides for Expo visitors will be fined up to 100,000 yuan (US$14,758). Unlicensed tour guides face fines up to 10,000 yuan and their illegal earnings will be confiscated, said the Shanghai Tourism Administration.

Several tourists have complained that their tour guides were not familiar with the Expo site. One from Jiaxing in neighboring Zhejiang Province said he and his fellow group members came with a tour guide who left them to get lost in the Expo site. The group spent hours hunting for their leader.

Officials said they would investigate complaints about guides, and would carry out routine checks on agencies.



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