Shanghai to support travel companies amid epidemic

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BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) — The Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism has released several measures to support travel companies against the impact of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, according to a report by Xinhua-run Shanghai Securities News.

The major focuses of the measures are special tourism funds, temporary return of quality guarantee deposits for tourism services, and financing and credit supports.

Shanghai will start as soon as possible the work on special funds for tourism for 2020, including application, review and appropriation. The special funds will mainly support key projects such as revitalizing Shanghai’s tourism development, improving public tourism services, enriching major tourism activities after the epidemic, and encouraging inter-industry support.

Temporary return of travel service quality deposit is a prompt and innovative move among the measures. The scope of this measure covers all travel agencies in Shanghai that have paid the deposit in accordance with the law and have obtained the travel agency business license. The designated amount of the temporary return will account for 80 percent of the current payment, which should be repaid by February 5, 2022. The deposit frozen by the court is not within the scope of this measure.

Also, Shanghai will postpone for 2 months the validity of liability insurance period for travel agencies whose insurance policies are still valid as of January 24, 2020.

As for financing and credit, the municipal government will help travel agencies to reduce financing costs and encourage financial institutions to prioritize credit support for key national tourism projects. (Edited by Li Wenxin, liwenxin@xinhua.org)