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44 tourist attractions lose shine amid industry overhaul

Updated: Apr 2,2015 3:32 PM     Xinhua

A number of highly rated Chinese tourist attractions have fallen from grace after a crack down on irregularities in the industry saw them stripped of their status.

Ratings awarded to 44 tourist attractions, mostly in 2A and 3A categories, have been removed, China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) said on April 2.

Among them are 16 sites in east China’s Shandong province and Meitianya Tropical Ocean World in the famous resort city of Sanya.

China adopts a five-tier tourist attractions rating system based on criteria such as the importance of the site, transportation and sanitation. 1A is the lowest and 5A the best.

The CNTA started a campaign from January to fix issues including market monopoly, illegal business operation, bullying tourists and forced shopping.

Nine 5A scenic spots were given a “warning”, which include Nanjing Confucius Temple Qinhuaihe River Scenic Area and Hangzhou Qiandao Scenic Area. Another 5A spot, Shenyang Botanical Garden, in northeast China’s Liaoning province, received a “severe warning.”

Business license of 12 travel agencies have been revoked and 33 others were ordered to stop business till internal rectification is done.

The CNTA said the campaign will continue, with the next focus on illegal one-day tours and other “budget” tours.

In 2014, Chinese tourists made 3.6 billion domestic trips, up 10 percent, the CNTA estimated.