(ECNS) -- China's tourism regulator has approved eight companies to run pilot programs for tourist guide management, including reserving a guide with clearly marked prices in some cities, Beijing Times reported.
The eight companies include China CYTS Tours Holding, Shanghai-based ctrip.com -- China's biggest online travel agency -- and Beijing's travel website tuniu.com.
The programs, usually integrated with online services, aim to improve the management of and protect the legal interests of guides, and also enhance service quality, said an official at the Bureau of Supervision at the China National Tourism Administration.
Ctrip.com will allow visitors to book guides at some key tourist attractions via its new system scheduled to go online in the third quarter. Tourists can reserve guides, pay and leave feedback using the system.
LY.com, another travel website, said its program decides payment to guides based primarily on tourist ratings.
CYTS's efforts are mainly aimed at formulating codes of ethics for guides, which will be introduced as the industry standard nationally.
Tang Bing, vice director of the bureau, said the pilot programs are also expected to prevent unruly tourist behavior that has made national headlines and tarnished the country's image overseas.