"Floating" tours to Europe, in which tourists are busy going from one country to another in a short time, got into trouble recently in Shanghai since many travelers encountered visa rejection.
From October, travel agencies in Shanghai will begin to promote a more thorough, deep tour that allows visitors to spend longer time within a certain place, the Morning News reported.
With a cost of 13,500 yuan to 18,000 yuan, the so-called "deep" tours are expected to attract visitors with good visa records.
Floating tours attract travelers with their cheap prices. These tours usually cost less than 13,000 yuan and tourists would be able to travel more than 10 countries in about 13 days.
Such low prices, however, could not meet the relatively high cost of living in Europe and therefore tourists' visa applications were often rejected.
A manager from Shanghai branch of China International Travel Service told reporters that the frequent visa rejection affected the company's business.
The number of tour groups decreased by two-thirds in recent time.
Low cost tours also affect tourists' personal safety.
According to the director of the east China branch of CAISSA Tourist Group Chen Zhongyang, both travelers and drivers easily got tired during the tight schedule.
Drivers often worked overtime, which certainly posed a potential threat to tourists' security.
To get rid of this situation, travel agencies in Shanghai began to explore deep, thorough tours. These tours, ranging from seven to fourteen days, will highlight one special feature of a certain country, such as the romance in France, the water painting arts in Switzerland, the relics exploration in Italy, etc.
Prices of such tours are usually between 13,000 yuan and 18,000 yuan that allow visitors to spend more time in fewer countries with a relatively loose schedule.
The new tours will start in October and a staff member from a travel agency said he hoped the tours could attract some high-end visitors.
Meanwhile, tourist institutions from European countries also applauded to deep tours.
Recently, tourist bureaus from Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland came to Shanghai to introduce their cultures and tourist sites.
Some institutions encouraged visitors to travel by train, in order to have a more detailed experience to Europe.
(Chinanews.cn August 25, 2005)