Communist Regime Subsidizes Chinese Tourists from Overseas
Sponsored and subsidized by China National Tourism Administration, ads such as 5-day tour in Beijing or 8-day travel south of Yangtze River for US$49, 8-day in Beijing for US$99 have been promoted in overseas Chinese travel agencies.
Why would the Communist regime subsidize overseas Chinese travel in China at the expense of the Chinese tax payers? How do the mainland travel agencies operate with such low cost tours? Let's take a look.
Eight-day gourmet southern cuisine and 4 to 5 star luxurious hotel for only US$49; Eight-day tour with 5-star hotel and luxury coach bus in Beijing,
Tianjin, and Chengde for US$99.
How did the Chinese travel agencies manage such cheap tours? The ads explained, these tours are subsidized by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).
So are these ads real?
Mr. Chow, a travel agent in the United States: "This is not a lie. The CNTZ specifically promoted these trips. There are many reasons why it is so cheap.
The first one is that CNTZ sponsors the travel. The second is that overseas Chinese will consume and make purchases which provide commission."
But why would the regime pay the Chinese who abandoned their own country with their tax payers' money?
Shi Yu, former Xinhua News Agency reporter: "It is a regime central decision which can not be rationalized by the rule of market. Political purposes are certainly involved. It is a united front propaganda just like how Taiwan is being treated."
The ads specify that subsidies are restricted to Chinese holding passports from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and countries from South America, or Chinese with green cards, and only Chinese who
Yu Shi: "The other possibility is that any business has certain tasks to be accomplished. To complete the task, where the political responsibility is more
important than the economic benefit, the business will pay for the deficit. These state-owned enterprises are led by people assigned by the state, whose political criteria are the priority. There are quotas for the number of overseas Chinese tourists to accomplish as the business assessment indicators."
Travel agent Mr. Chow says that they are only responsible for promoting the mainland tours. The tourists will purchase their own airline tickets to get to China.
The mainland travel agencies will take care of the trip once the tourists arrive.
Can the family member in the mainland join the group? Mr. Chow says, yes, but no subsidies will be applied.
Mr. Chow: "Mainland relatives can join the group but must pay at least US$ 250 a person."
Guangzhou newspaper reported that Guangzhou has become the third province that provides 72-hour transit visa exemption at ports of entry.
To attract these tourists in transit to travel in Guangzhou, Guangzhou Tourism Administration provides subsidies to travel agencies by the head count.
On April 17, Gansu local news reported that Lanzhou government will provide travel agencies in a one time award of $20,000 yuan to arrange overseas travel groups of 100 people or above in chartered planes.
However, according to tourists who have participated in these tours, the tour guide will arrange shopping twice a day. It is a painful arrangement for the tourists, i.e., one salesperson lobbying purchases from one tourist. The shops will conduct talks and tastings, persuasion one to one. In the end, a poor little girl will show up to join the persuasion until something is bought.
A tourist describes it: They went to a jewelry store. A man claiming to be the owner showed up and was excited to see so many tourists from overseas. He claimed he was very touched by how overseas Chinese have generously donated to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake. He told the group, that the stuff at the store is actually very expensive. He suggested they not buy them. But, he showed a jade stone that cut glass and gave the jade to the tourist who helped to
confirm it did cut the glass. Later, at some time point, with various excuses, he sold a sapphire necklace of $100,000 to the tourists at very low prices.
But once returned home, the visitors realized the products are fake.
A Chinese Canadian who took the 9-day travel for $99 complained to the media.
Some jewelry she purchased in China for more than $1,000 Canadian dollars was identified to be made of glass mixed with resin. She was very upset at not being able to return or to complain. She revealed, 99% of the tour group purchased this fake jewelry.
Interview & Edit/LiuHui Post-Production/LiYong