Getting tough on tour reservation no-shows

Yang Jian
Those who bail on their reservations twice risk being banned as complaints mount.
Yang Jian

If you make a reservation to visit one of the Bund’s historic buildings but fail to show up twice, you will be banned from entering in the future, a tourism official announced yesterday.

Huang Li, deputy director of the Huangpu District Tourism Bureau, said the new measure follows complaints that the limited number of reserved spots for visitors to the Bund’s grand edifices are being squandered by those who don’t keep their reservations.

Seven historic buildings on the Bund are open free to the public, but online reservation is required starting last Saturday. In most cases, those with reservations are taken on tours with quotas on participants.

The buildings in question are the Shanghai Archives, Shanghai Telecom Museum, Shanghai Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Bund Historical Memorial Hall, Bank of China, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and the former British Consulate Building known as the Bund Origin.

Reservations can be made through WeChat by logging onto English information is also available.

Visitor quotas at some popular sites, such as the Peace Hotel and Pudong Development Bank, are capped at 10 visitors each day. Limited availability means visitors may have to book weeks in advance.

“Some of the sites such as the hotel and bank have to limit the number of visitors to avoid interfering with daily operations,” Huang said.

Furthermore, building tours are mostly conducted by volunteer employees who have limited time to spend with visitors, she added.

Reservation and visiting processes will be further streamlined to offer better services in the future, she promised yesterday.

However, absent visitors shall be punished for wasting limited resources and depriving others of visiting opportunities, according to the bureau.

According to local media, five of the 10 reserved visitors to the Peace Hotel failed to appear on Monday. On Tuesday, seven were absent among the 20 who made reservations to visit the Bank of China building.

“Only one visitor among the absent sent a message to cancel the appointment beforehand,” a reception staff member told Shanghai Morning Post.

The name, mobile phone and ID numbers of each appointed visitor are registered.

“The information of the absent visitors will be submitted to the tourism bureau every day,” he said.

Wang said visitors should cancel their reservations at least half a day beforehand via WeChat.

Appointed tours include introductions to the buildings’ history and visits to certain areas that are usually restricted, the bureau said.

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