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May 9, 2013

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Tourists warned of crimes abroad

TRAVEL agencies are stepping up safety measures following a rise in crimes against Chinese tourists abroad.

Agencies are advising travelers to avoid overseas hotels around areas with high robbery rates and blacklisted bus companies suspected of being involved in the crimes.

Pan Qing, a European tour manager for Shanghai Airlines Tours International Co Ltd, said that an informal blacklist already exists with travel agencies that highlights danger areas, hotels with poor hygiene conditions or poor service.

Several bus companies in foreign countries are also on the list as some of their drivers are suspected of collaborating with robbers.

There has been a surge in crimes involving Chinese tourists abroad with incidents in Rome and Paris being particularly high, Pan said.

Travel agencies have been told to warn travelers not to venture out alone and pay heed to their belongings.

The modus operandi seems to be to target tourist guides and they have been told to be more vigilant.

Zhang Yiwei, deputy manager of the European tour business department of Shanghai China International Travel Service Co, said the agency will try to avoid paying in cash in hotels and restaurants.

On Saturday, a Chinese tour guide was robbed of all her cash in Rome. In March, two tourist groups were robbed in Paris. In one incident, two tourists from Wuxi in Jiangsu province and their tour guide were robbed by a gang after they left a Chinese restaurant near the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.


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