As foreigners, while traveling China, some prefer travelling independently; some would like to book a tour; others go in between – partially independent and partially relying on a tour operator.
If you are going to book a tour or a part of the tour, now you are facing two choices – using your tour operators based at home or contacting the local ground handlers in the destinations you are going to exlpore in China.
Before the advent of the internet age, people coming to China only had one choice of taking the tours sold by the travel agents next door. These travel agents usually sold the tour itineraries organized by big tour operators.
These big tour operators had their local ground handlers in China to take care of their clients. So the former travel business model went like this: Clients – Travel Agents – Tour Operators at home – Local Ground Handlers in China.
With the coming of the information age, the original travel business model has been toppled. Travelers now have easy and direct access to the huge amount of information about the destinations they are going to visit, including the easy contact with the local ground handlers in China. The globe is flattening!
Are you still going to use your tour operators at home or have some challenge of contacting the ground handlers or the local travel agncies in China?
It all depends on you.
If you are going to use a local travel agency in China, please do some rearch work to clarify the following questions:
1. Is it a real tour company or just middleman or broker travel website?
2. Does it have an official travel license and registered at both at local Tourism Administration and Industrial & Commercial Administration?
3. Is it an illegitimate travel website operated by a self-employed tour guide or a private car driver?
4. Does it have good feedback in the travel review websites?
5. Are you feeling comfortable with the trip advsior via the emails from the travel agency?
6. Read the testimonial on its website.
7. If you still doubt, just call them for a casual talk.