Chinese authorities are investigating claims that a travel company mis-sold a trip to an elderly tour group, who were taken on a sales tour of a local cemetery.
The tour company in Chongqing was advertising a day trip to a "scenic spot" plus lunch, according to the Global Times. The trip cost 18 yuan or roughly $3.90, and was targeted to older tourists.
On arrival at the final destination, guests were outraged and bemused, as their
"tour guide" tried to sell them burial plots.
One tourist, named Zheng told the Global Times he had been mis-sold the trip by the Longyao travel agency. Embarrassingly, he had invited a dozen of his friends along for the ride.
An investigation by the city's tourism and culture committee discovered the travel agent had no licence to operate tourist groups.
The involvement of the opportunistic graveyard is still being determined, and it is not known how many tourists had been delivered this gravely unflattering sales pitch.
The Chongqing city government said it would not tolerate any behaviour that violates tourists' rights or damages the city's image.
The incident comes as China set a record for domestic travel, with 265 million trips taken over the May Day holiday. The official holiday from 1 to 5 of May is the first of the year, following a local outbreak of Coronavirus which cancelled the February Lunar holidays.
"People's enthusiasm for traveling is strengthening again, and the economy is improving too," Sun Dandan a tourist from Xinjiang told AP.
"I feel like this is the first time ever that restrictions are really eased after the pandemic."
Visiting Beijing, she was one of 18 million train passengers who took to the rails.
A vaccine drive had given tourists the confidence to explore the country for leisure, with 240 doses given.
Over 70% of tourists are choosing to travel between provinces within China, according to data from China's largest online travel platform Trip.com.
Hotel bookings and airline ticket bookings have risen in volume this year compared to the Labor Day in 2019, before the pandemic. Airline ticket bookings rose by 23%, and hotel reservations increased by 43%, according to Trip.com.
- With Associated Press