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Who Should We Blame for the Yunnan Guide Incident?

Published: May. 12, 2015

During the past May Day holiday, a video about a Yunnan tour guide insulting her clients was widely spread online. As social opinions were so one-sided on the ‘poor’ clients, and with the rapid intervention of the Media and related official departments, the guide lost her job and was deprived of the right of being a tour guide for life soon after. However, in addition to the guide, can we apportion blame elsewhere?

A brief introduction to the whole incident first:

Guo Li and the other three joined a shopping group tour to Yunnan at CNY 1, with the itinerary covering Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Xishuangbanna. On April 12, 2015, when the group was required to go shopping in Kunming, someone went back on their words and accused the guide of being black-hearted to get kickbacks. This provoked the guide and she said some harsh words to the group members, which was recorded on a video. Later, Guo Li and the other three lodged a complaint to the travel agency and threatened they would publish the video. To smooth things over, the agency apologized and paid compensation of CNY 500 per person. On May 1, the video was still posted online.

Should only the guide be responsible for the disputed behaviour?

The tour guide should of course be blamed for her behavior. As a guide, she violated professional ethics to insult rather than satisfy her clients. What’s more, CNY1 for an itinerary covering four places, 5-star hotel stays, and round-trip domestic flights, any fools knew that it was unreasonable. But she still got involved in that dirty trick to assist the evildoers.

Besides the guide, the travel agency is also to be blamed. It was so irresponsible to propose  such an extremely low-priced itinerary, whose profits totally came from kickbacks of clients’ shopping spending. It actually transferred the profit pressure to the guide. What evil manipulators were behind all this?

How about the travelers? The agency had stated clearly that it was a shopping itinerary and you would have obligations of shopping once signed the contracts. Even though the agency and guide were wrong, it had been settled in private and you had received the compensation. Why was the video posted online 19 days later? Those responsible seem to have violated the spirit of the contract.

Then there was the related tourism department. The low-priced tours can be seen everywhere on the streets and online. But you just pretended to be blind and deaf and let them be. This, to some extent, ‘encouraged’ the agencies to add more low-priced tours. Once the travelers lodged a complaint, you pretended again to be ‘nice guys’ and punished the guides and agencies to comfort the travelers. Why didn’t you do something beforehand?

This currently hot video will soon be forgotten by the public, leaving the tourism market still a mass. Whatever other agencies do, we, TravelChinaGuide.com will always be responsible for our guests and itineraries. For travelers, we advise you not to join these unreasonably low-priced tours in case of being cheated.

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