As well as the usual concerns about flights and accommodation, Chinese tourists heading abroad during the National Day holiday week face another worry — fake tickets for attractions.
This follows reports in France that Chinese tourists tried to use fake tickets to the Louvre in Paris and the seizure in Belgium of counterfeit passes for the world-famous museum.
While it is unclear if these fakes were linked in any way to Chinese travel agencies, some travelers have opted to make their own arrangements.
Tourist Yao Xiuli is traveling to Spain and Morocco with her husband for the holiday, which runs from October 1-7.
Among the reasons putting her off joining a tour group was the fake ticket reports.
"We chose to travel by ourselves to avoid being forced to go shopping, being rushed around, and also because of the risk of fake tickets," said Yao.
Concerns were raised this month when Louvre staff noticed that dozens of Chinese tourists had counterfeit tickets.
And Belgian customs officials seized 3,600 counterfeit Louvre tickets hidden in a package from China.
But Yu Ningning, president of the China International Travel Services Co Ltd, said the fact that the fakes were used by Chinese tourists does not mean they were produced in China.
"I have no idea why such an incident occurred and I hope the local police can find the source of these tickets," Yu said.
Yu claimed no such fake ticket incidents have ever occurred at China’s famous tourist spots.
But web users on the Sina Weibo microblog service said the Louvre case further tarnishes the image of Chinese tourists already accused of bad behavior on their travels — with reports of tourists bathing their feet in ceremonial fountains or leaving graffiti on monuments.
"Most Western museums are nonprofit organizations with low admission fees and lax collection systems that operate on trust. This case has damaged the image of Chinese tourists, and also damaged this trust," said user Ge Lei in a post.
The National Tourism Administration Office said this month that it will strengthen tourism agency management.
And the nation’s first tourism law, implemented next month, aims to tackle bad behavior among agencies and tourists.
Meanwhile, residents in east China’s Zhejiang Province told the Zhejiang Daily that travel agencies now require them to provide certificates from employers or neighborhood committees attesting to their good manners and to pay a "good behavior" deposit.