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Experts call for better protection of tourists

Tourism experts urged Chinese travel agents to upgrade the protection of their customers traveling abroad in the wake of this month’s car-bomb attacks…

Tourism experts urged Chinese travel agents to upgrade the protection of their customers traveling abroad in the wake of this month’s car-bomb attacks in the Indonesian resort of Bali, China Daily reported recently.

Experts said travel agents should work more closely with insurance operators and increase the amount of insurance cover for tourists to minimize the loss in case of accidents.

Zhang Guangrui, a tourism researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said tourists should also be encouraged to use credit cards instead of cash, pointing out that credit-card use is still not popular among Chinese.

Many Chinese tourists, considered as nouveau riche in the eyes of cash-starved foreign destinations, have become the targets of pickpocketing and robbery, and even easy prey for abduction, Zhang said.

Wang Fude, a professor of tourism of the Beijing Second Foreign Language University, said travel agents have the responsibility to educate tourists on general safety, including detailed and up-to-date information on their destinations.

Wang said agents should also draw up contingency plans in the event of accident during trips.

Jiang Haizhong, a marketing director of the China Travel Service, said the firm has decided to encourage tourists to purchase life insurance.

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