New scuffle between tourists, guide

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Issue 1282, Page 2
Word count: 372
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Some 30 mainland tourists from a Wuhan tour group expressed their discontent with their itinerary in Macau yesterday, claiming that they had to pay to visit the Venetian property and to stay in a jewellery shop for two hours.

The Public Security Police were called to mediate the dispute at noon, and the tour group continued with their tour and visited other parts of the city, TDM news reported.

The tourists told reporters that the tour guide requested MOP 120 for them to visit the Venetian Resort and after rejecting the request, they were taken to a jewellery shop in Avenida de Venceslau de Morais where they were told to stay for two hours.

The tour guide denied the accusations, according to TDM news.

However, president of the Macau Travel Industry Council, Andy Wu Keng Kuong, told the Macau Daily Times that what needs to be considered is whether the group understood the ‘optional attractions’ in the itinerary when purchasing the tour, and if each stop in the tour was compulsory prior to leaving the mainland.

If they had agreed to the itinerary prior to undertaking the tour, the tour group did nothing wrong, according to Wu.

“The tour perhaps didn’t include visiting the island [Taipa/Coloane] and the Venetian is just one of the attractions there,” he told the MDTimes.

“The money might not be an admission fee to go inside the Venetian but is to cover the operating cost of the local travel agency such as transportation, coach driver and tour guide for taking the tourists to the island”, he added.

In addition, the industry practitioner pointed out that according to the China National Tourism Administration, all itineraries are now required to state clearly which shops the tour will visit and the duration of the visit.

“[Tourists] cannot sign up for a cheap tour and expect to have everything covered by the travel agency, it’s not reasonable,” Wu stressed.

Nevertheless, Wu believed that this kind of travel dispute would unlikely affect the tourism image of Macau.

“It’s a consumer’s choice [to decide which tour to purchase]. Ideally, Macau would offer ‘no-shopping’ tours but then the prices will be very high and tourists would become less interested in visiting [Macau],” he said.

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