CNTA mandates using bank escrow accounts to hold outbound tourist deposit
The Chinese tourism authority CNTA has issued a series of regulations on the country’s outbound tourist deposit collection requiring all deposit to be held in escrow accounts by banks.
As booming outbound travel underscores the significance of the safekeeping and supervision of outbound tourist deposit, China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) has recently issued notices on outbound tourist deposit to travel agencies, requiring travel agents to take stock of the practice and submit official report on the results of self-inspection by February 23, dahe.cn (or Da He Wang) has learned from tourism authorities in Henan province.
The notice demands that each travel agency with outbound business should inspect its outbound tourist deposit collection. All deposit collected should be kept in escrow accounts in banks, and the deposits cannot be collected by cash or cash transfer into any personal accounts provided by travel agencies or their staff. Any infringements must be rectified immediately.
The outbound tourist deposit is a levy imposed on top of the tour cost as a deterrent against outbound tour participants overstaying during their trip. The levy is the industry’s tacit practice to safeguard themselves from being out of pocket if they are fined for their clients overstaying or not returning after the tour. The charge sum is decided by travel agencies according to destinations and customers’ general income level and net-worth. (Translation by Jerry)