I often search Tripadvisor.com with regard to the real travelers’ review about our tour company. I have read some mixed reviews. Of course, I’m happy with the positive reviews and worried about some negative ones. But I still appreciate those who have written some unpleasant words of our tour company, which teaches us how to improve our service and make people happy within our capability and business scope.
After following the travel forum at Tripadvisor for many years, today I’m suddenly struck with the feeling that many pages of Tripadvisor are studded with exciting reports of people having set up their own tour guide in Beijing or or other parts of China. People exchange their private information on these tour guides.
In China, it is not legal for tour guides to covertly contact travelers and directly offer tour guide service.
People will laugh at me for my saying so and maybe regard me as an idiot or an alien from outspace.
People say it is not wrong to pay somebody to do something. When coming to tour guides, people think, directly looking for a tour guide is much cheaper than hiring a guide from a local tour company. What’s more, people feel they are certainly guaranteed of getting a lot more personal attention for longer peiods.
It seems that Tripadvisor offers a hotbed generating a kind of “deformed” tour business – people trade with the local tour guides directly.
I’m saying so not beause I’m worried about our tour company’s travel business. We are confident that we will grow better and better if we stick to our motto that “we no longer just satisfy our valued customers, we must totally impress them”.
What worries us is this kind of deformed business model will sooner or later harm the healthy developement of the travel service industry in China. This kind of business model will also harm the interest of travelers’ themselves in the end.
Take travelers’ travel insurance for example. You might travel in someone’s private car with a self-employed tour guide and I’m just wondering what might happen if you are in a serious accident, or say your luggage is stolen from the car, or something horrible like that. This event may not be the fault of the guide but even if it is, you would hardly expect to be offered or to obtain compensation at a western level for serious injuries or losses.
Travel insurance typically covers only “COMMON CARRIER”. Read the terms and understand what they mean. A taxi or a licenced chauffeur-driven limousine is usally considered to be a common carrier, someone’s private car – no.
In China, a licensed tour guide must be designated by a tour company. A money-oriented tour guide directly trading with the tourists is a kind of illegal travel business. Because a tour guide is not a legal entity, unable to hold responsibility for the tourists if something terrible happens.
We are happy that people are quite different in deciding their way of travelling. Some don’t use Tripadvisor. Some dont’ only repy on Tripadvisor. But most people will use their own brain to decide how to travel, not just travel exactly as others say or some travel review websites say simply because you are unique!
Travelers are different from each other just they have mixed reviews about our tour company. But we will never stop to improve our service to keep as many people happy as possible.
Relax, after all, life is so beautiful!