More than 150 stores nationwide have joined the Shopping Quality Guarantee Program, which ensures that foreign tourists get the same price for all products sold at member stores.
Fifty-four new shops were added to the program yesterday. Most of them sell agricultural and fishery products, including factories that produce Alishan tea.
The program, implemented by the Travel Quality Assurance Association, was initiated this year following complaints by tourists about being ripped off when they purchased souvenirs at some of the nation’s tourist attractions.
The association reviews the qualifications of the stores before they are allowed to join the program. Should any tourist find any of these stores selling defective products or overstating prices, the association can ask the store to refund the customer. The association also has an emergency reserve fund to refund customers on the behalf of the store if the latter is unable to offer any compensation.
Emphasizing that trust is the basis for any trade, Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) said the program was implemented to make sure that tourists could shop knowing they would get a fair deal.
“Don’t treat our guests as fools; they will tell, and any unpleasant experiences they have will spread,” she said.
While the program is designed to protect all foreign tourists, the interests of Chinese tourists have garnered more media attention given the recent relaxation on cross-strait travel.
Association chairman Boggy Lin (林進榮) said that Taiwanese tea, pineapple cakes and Taichung’s sun cakes are the three most popular products among Chinese tourists.
Rather than spending hours in shops haggling with the salespersons, tourists can complete shopping within 30 minutes and purchase any quality item at a fair price, he said.