How to Identify a Real Leading China Tour Operator?
TravelChinaGuide.com is China's largest and leading online tour operator. There are many companies claiming that they are the leading tour operators in the country. A visitor may be at his wits and trying to choose the real one. So, here we show you some tried and tested ways to help you identify a truly reliable tour advisor and avoid travel traps.
How to judge a legal tour operator from an illegal one?
How to tell if an operator has the qualifications for running tourist business?
What constitutes the real leading China tour operator?
How can I judge the authenticity of the reviews from the customers?
How do I judge my payment is secure?
How do I judge the network security of an online tour operator?
How can I judge the authority?
Are the private guides with high ranks on TripAdvisor (TA) reliable?
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Int'l Travel Service
Answer: For an online tour operator, the most effective way is to check the 'About Us' section of the website, which performs as a self-introduction.
Here you should find the full name of the company who runs the website, as well as corresponding licenses and other related documents issued by the authority, as proof of its legitimacy.In the absence of such information either the company or the website could be fraudulent or unreliable.
The 'About Us' section of our website shows that it is run by Xian Marco Polo Int'l Travel Service Co., Ltd., and is of course a legitimate company. You can check the page Who We Are to find the authorized license, and What We Do to know about our business.
Answer: First, see if there are words like 'Travel Service' been included in the company's name.
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Please note that those companies named 'Network' or 'Business' have no legal right to operate tours although they may have a license to engage in other business activities. Our website (Xian Marco Polo Int'l Travel Service Co., Ltd.) has proven qualifications and is licensed to organize tours in China for overseas visitors.
Secondly, check to see if the company is accepted by the authoritative tourism organizations. Our website (Xian Marco Polo Int'l Travel Service Co., Ltd.) has become a member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), the world's largest association of travel professionals. Our member ID is 900207220. We have also been recognized and accepted as a member by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), which is the leading voice and authority on Asia Pacific tourism. We kindly remind you that some companies claim that they are members of PATA by putting the PATA logo on their web pages;however about 80% of these so-called members are not real.A real member always has a membership number which is issued by PATA every year. One may tell if the company is a real PATA member in two ways, as follows:
1. The membership number should be within the period of validity. The membership number # 2040 of our website is valid from January to December 2017. You can recheck the clear copy of our PATA patent
2. To see whether the member can be found on the official website of PATA or not. E.g. you can find the details of our membership on PATA website at: http://www.patamanager.org/Members/2040
Answer: Besides legitimacy and qualifications for running tourist business, long and professional experience as well as quality and considerate service make our website the real leader of China tours.
Here are some methods to test the quality of a tour operator:
1. Check whether they have both international and domestic toll free numbers. If not, this is an indication that they are not a large organization. Most of the big and reliable travel services have their own toll free numbers for the convenience of the customers. (We have toll free numbers: 1-800-315-3949 for USA & Canada; 0-808-189-1339 for the United Kingdom and 1-800-665-977 for Australia.)
2. Take care when coming across a tour operator offering unbelievably low prices. Companies offering an excessively low price probably offer a very poor service, even worse they may not provide the standard they had promised. Taking meals as an example, they may provide the mass-produced meals for you, which only cost 2 to 3 dollars. You will never have the chance to taste the real Chinese food in some fine restaurants, not to mention the a la carte meals offered by us.
Answer: Reviews or testimonials from customers are an important measure of the popularity and reliability of tour operators. We have received more than 3,400 reviews from our customers, and also many posted on TripAdvisor (TA). You may find some other agencies also have many reviews, but not all of them are real. You may notice that some are poorly expressed, which are most likely to be composed by the webmasters rather than customers.
Here we show you some tips on discerning the reviews:
First, is a valid email address offered with a review? You can find that the email addresses of reviews on our website are registered on various email service providers, not on a certain website. The user names of the emails are various. The real names of the customers are attached. If you have any doubts or questions, you can contact any of the customers for verification at any moment and know how they think about TravelChinaGuide.com. If you are interested in booking with us, we strongly suggest you do this beforehand! Please allow us to remind you if the email addresses of the reviews on a website appear similar or connected, you'd better give up and choose another travel agency.
Secondly, judge by the photos attached to reviews. Fake reviews seldom have photos of the customers. You can see many of the reviews on our website are with photos of the customers with their permission. You can see from this the authenticity and their satisfaction about our service.
Thirdly, see the negative review besides the favorable comments. Some travel agencies boast hundreds of excellent ratings and comments on TA, without a single negative review. There you should think twice! Is it possible? Is it real that no one has a different idea or a slight dissatisfaction with their service? Actually some private guides or agencies on TA would spend thousands of dollars to remove the bad reviews, and keep their high ranks, to mislead the customers. It is important for travelers to learn to read the real favorable comments as well as analysis the negative reviews.
Answer: Security has always been the main concern for online payment. A big and reliable company always offers you several ways of secure payment. Payment through a renowned online payment system like PayPal is safer and faster. We welcome you to use PayPal. Cable transfer, credit card (Visa or Master Card) and Western Union are also acceptable. When paying though cable transfer, please note that the payee account/address of the tour operator should be a company account/address, not a personal account/address. For instance, the payee account/address of TravelChinaGuide.com is the account/address of its company, Xian Marco Polo Int'l Travel Service Co., Ltd.. For visitors who are already in China, you may choose to make the payment by domestic cable transfer, WeChat or Alipay, which are more efficient methods. See more about our bank info. For some who like to use Western Union, we kindly remind you that Western Union allows personal account only, so it is better not to use it unless you fall across an emergency. If a travel agency insists that you pay to a personal account/address, or continuously persuades you to pay in cash, then you need to think twice about the services on offer.
Answer: If you use the internet often, you will find that the addresses of some websites start with 'http' while some start with 'https'. If the address of the website of an online tour operator starts with 'https', it means that the website guarantees users a safer internet surfing environment. At the far right of the address bar, you can also see a lock sign, which is shown only on HTTPS type websites. Users of HTTPS websites do not need to worry about the payment security or the risk of being hacked. For example, TravelChinaGuide.com has adopted the HTTPS data transport method to protect users' privacy more efficiently.
As a side note, we will mention that it takes a lot of funds and effort to achieve and maintain this security function. You can judge a tour operator's economic strength to a certain degree by whether its website is HTTPS type or not.
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or go for more Media Recommendations.
Answer: Kudos from well known media, praise by the local tourist bureau, and recommendation by real customers are important references for you to judge the authority of a tour operator.
Our website has been recommended by numerous worldwide renowned media, such as the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Times Online, National Geographic, Chicago Sun Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Toronto Sun, and so on. See details of Media Recommendations.
Our company has been praised many times and granted diplomas and plaques by the authorities such as China Association of Travel Services and Xian Tourism Bureau. Once ratified as one of the top 10 travel agencies in Xian with the recommendation letter by Xian Tourism Bureau, our company again ranks in the AAAAA grade, the highest level in the service quality and credit grade evaluation.
Besides numerous reviews from our customers showing their satisfaction about our service, many of them share their pleasant experience with us in the forum of tripadvisor.com.
Are the private guides with high ranks on TripAdvisor (TA) reliable?
Answer: TripAdvisor (TA) offers a platform for private guides to promote their business and for travelers to exchange ideas, but as a legal and responsible travel agency, we strongly suggest tourists avoid such private guides!
They are totally self-employed, offering personal guide service without fixed office site and office phone number. Usually only a mobile phone number is available. Their service standard can not be guaranteed because they are truly riskers - evading taxation and the supervison of the Tourism Bureau.
Imagine when you encounter an emergency, trouble, low-quality service, or even a trap, whom could you complain to? Don’t put yourself in such an embarrassment to know the right choice - legal travel agencies, like TravelChinaGuide, under the supervision of tourist administration.
What’s more, those private guides might not have legal tour guide license, and their guiding skills are on various levels. You could only bet on luck when following them.