According to a report from a local newspaper in Xian on July 28, 19 Xian citizens were left by their guide at outskirt of Pattaya for 5 hours, because they refused to pay for optional tours and did not buy anything in tourist shops.
The 19 visitors paid about CNY2,000 for their 6-day Thailand tour with Shaanxi Gaoke International Travel Agency and Xian Tianhai International Travel Agency. Before departure, the Chinese guide who escorted them in the 6 days told them that there would be an optional tour costing about CNY 2,000 per person. The visitors did not pay much attention as they believed it was an optional tour. On the day they supposed to visit Pattaya, the Thai guide was very mean because some of the visitors did not buy anything in tourist shops they visited in the morning. The guide also forced them to choose one from three optional tours, costing CNY2,300, CNY2,600, and CNY2,900, respectively, but no one was willing to pay. At 4pm, after visiting an elephant camp, the 19 visitors found the Chinese and Thai guides as well as the driver disappeared, and they were left with a an empty bus at nowhere which is one hour drive from Pattaya. The Chinese guide showed up several times trying to convince them to pay for the optional tour, and she even threatened them that no one could leave if they did not pay the money. The visitors called the Chinese Embassy for help and finally they were transferred back to their hotel at 9pm.
As a travel agency, we are ashamed of the guides and agencies and also feel sorry for the 19 visitors. This event is not an accident but a consequence of the price war between travel agencies. We are calling for a stop of the unhealthy competition and a well-developed market. Also, we want to remind our clients, be cautious to the seemingly “favorable” prices, and compare different agencies before you make decision.