Online court system to handle disputes in tourist areas
Hangzhou government has established a tourism court in Xihu District, the first of this type in Zhejiang Province, in a bid to protect two calling cards of the city – West Lake and Xixi Wetland National Park.
The court concentrates on disputes including tourism, environmental resources, intellectual property and finance.
"It is a professional court providing judicial services. It serves the internationalization of Hangzhou's tourism industry and enhances the soft power of the city," said Mao Zhijun, acting court president.
Along with the tourism development, West Lake and Xixi Wetland require a professional court to protect the ecological environment and well-known industries inside the scenic areas, for instance, the judicial protection of geographical indications property of the famed Longjing tea.
Every year, millions of visitors toured West Lake and Xixi Wetland. In tourism dispute cases, most parties come from all over the country, resulting in higher litigation costs and long trial periods.
Now, the new tourism court can solve these problems. It is made up of three sections – two intelligent network courtrooms, two mediation rooms and one shared courtroom – utilizing a self-service filing mode to allow parties to upload evidence materials and sign documents electronically via the online platform. People from outside the city don't have to return to Hangzhou since the intelligent court can support online paperless sessions.
"The courtroom is an innovative endeavor to enhance management in scenic areas. It will accurately and effectively safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of tourists and companies," said Weng Wenjie, Party secretary of West Lake and the Xixi Wetland Management Committee. "We hope it can set up a good example for other cities in the field of tourism."