Overview of changes of regulations on foreign travel agency investment in China

As one of the earliest areas opened to overseas investments, travel industrial has achieved remarkable results since the the reform and opening-up policy in China. Certainly, because travel agency is the most important from of the industrial, China has opened the door very cautiously. There were 81 foreign invested travel agencies founded since 1998 in China, 73 of them were founded after China jointed WTO.

With the steps of the opening-up of China’s economy, the related regulations of the foreign investments on travel industrial have been changed almost every two or three years. From example, it’s possible to set up JV travel agency only in several national tourist vacation areas from 1993, up to 2009, the foreign invested travel agency has enjoyed the national treatment, even the Outbound tourism business has been opened in 2011.

Below are the comparisons of the changes of the regulations.

foreign travel agency regulations in China

A travel agency can ben considered as a consulting WFOE, that requests the investor to make a deposit of 200k CNY for service quality. In case a travel agency no longer engages in travel business, it may withdraw the quality deposit from the bank with a voucher issued by the travel administration.

In Shanghai, it’s not necessary to set up it in free trade zone.

Was told by one of my custmoers that there is a small domestic travel consutling company in Shanghai and it has more than 200 inbound tourist customers per month, quite good, what’s more, all the customers have been served by the local people without any certificates. Not trained with knowledge in the books but really grew up where they show to the foreign people. Intersting? Can’t wait to have a travel ageny of your own? It’s time!


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