Dynasty Travel, one of Singapore’s largest tour operators, says tourists will be charged about 30 to 40 percent more for its China group tours after the removal of “shopping stops” from the itinerary.
Those shopping stops are commonly known as tourist traps, in which a local Chinese guide will bring vacationers to stores selling overpriced jade, silk or pearls and pressure them into buying things.
It’s uncertain if other tour agencies will also follow suit and remove such shopping stops from their China tour itineraries while jacking up prices.
Dynasty Travel explained that tour operators earn commission from these shopping stops, and removing them from the itinerary will result in travellers paying more upfront for packages.
For example, an 8-day package to Beijing and Tianjin which used to cost S$938 will now cost S$1,288, or S$350 more.
Dynasty Travel said that the extra costs will allow travellers to cover additional attractions that have been included in place of the shopping stops.
“As a reputable, responsible and reliable travel agent, Dynasty Travel will not take our travellers to any pre-arranged mandatory shopping stops or factory stores for overpriced goods. Our customers can now fully enjoy the trip by seeing more and experiencing more of China.”