The new law - which came into effect today - bans the rampant practice of "zero- or negative-fare tours" in the country, which refers to tour services sold by travel agents at or below cost in order to attract travelers, who are later forced to purchase goods or tip agents during their tours. As a result of adding previously hidden costs to package prices, the price for a seven-day tour to Thailand at Ma's company has shot up to 6,800 yuan (1,106 U.S. dollars) from the previous price of 3,800 yuan. Many travel agencies have promised that there will be no purchasing, tipping, or paid travel sessions other than those listed in the contracts. Du Yili, deputy director of the China National Tourism Administration, said that rather than considering the changes to be price hikes, "the current rises signal a return to the normal level." "It shows that the new law has already had a positive impact," Du said. "The travel agencies have adjusted their business operations according to the rules stipulated in the law." Get the full story at Xinhua Insight