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Old 11th October 2013, 07:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The tourror ~ Shangri-la guides ditch tourists in the mountains

The tourror ~ Shangri-la guides ditch tourists in the mountains


The unscheduled "tibetan home visit," where tourists fork over extra money, or spend their day wandering alone in the mountains. (Photo/CFP)

Staff Reporter 2013-10-07 16:32 (GMT+8)


More chilling stories are beginning to emerge of tour agencies that are bullying, shoving, stealing and even drawing weapons against tourists in revolt of China's new tourism laws. The latest comes from Lijiang, site of one of China's oldest preserved towns, and site of seedy tour operators.

A undercover reporter from national broadcaster CCTV signed up for a trip to Shangri-La, a mythical Himalayan valley now attributed to a present-day county in southwest China's Yunnan province. It was not long before he was threatened and promptly booted out of paradise.

The new law, effective as of Oct 1, requires travel agencies to obtain permission from and register with local governments and forbids agencies from using unreasonably low prices to lure customers and make money by taking them to shop or attractions that require additional fees. Offenders face a fine of 300,000 yuan (US$49,000) or more.

When signing up for his day trip to the mountain utopia, the reporter was told by the local tour operator that there were no additional fees. After boarding the bus, the guide began unabashedly collecting extra fees, which he claimed were for a visit to a Tibetan household not included in the tour package.

The rebellious reporter asked if he could opt out of the side trip. "What should I do if you don't even want to spend 100 yuan (US$16)?" the guide replied. "Get off the bus if you can't afford the money. Don't go out if you can't afford 100 yuan!"

After a bodily scuffle ensued, the guide forced the reporter off the bus. He then seized the contract the reporter had made with the tour operator and, ripping it apart, left him standing in the middle of the road. The bus drove off.

The reporter found a local village, where the residents assured him that abandoned tourists had become regular sightings in their town. There was even a tour guide a few years ago, they said, who had held a knife to a customer's neck to scare him off the tour.

All of these tour refugees receive the same answer when they issue a complaint at Lijiang's tourism bureau: the private Shangri-la tours are outside their jurisdiction, and that they should appeal to the Diqingzhou bureau. Diqingzhou is geographically proximate to Shangri-la.

The bureau staff became hostile to the reporter's request. "If there is another report on the same tour guide, we will be forced to handle this case," said one staff member. "If you had just paid the extra fee, no one would have expelled you."

The reporter ran into another tourist who had brought a video recording to the bureau of a tour guide threatening customers for payment. The bureau asked for the immediate deletion of the video and threatened to detain the tourist if they did not comply.

"We don't welcome tourists like you," were their final words.

Source: http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-s...00066&cid=1303

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Old 11th October 2013, 07:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: The tourror ~ Shangri-la guides ditch tourists in the mountains

What the... Just ditch them like that?

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Old 11th October 2013, 10:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: The tourror ~ Shangri-la guides ditch tourists in the mountains

Thus, it is advisable to get proper tour agency.

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