In this internet era, how would you book a day trip in a city? would you still book a tour in your hotel reception? or book it through a online travel company? Let’s look at these two ways:
1. Most hotels in Beijing have “Tour Inquiry” counter in their hotel reception, they provide day trips itineraries like “Great Wall Coach Tour”, “City Area Coach Tour”, and private tour options, etc. While hotel itself has no travel company license, they need to co-operate with local travel agencies in order to provide tour services for their guests. So the actual tour service provider is the local travel company behind the hotel. When the hotel counter has guests book for a tour, they will call or message the cooperation travel agency to book the tour for their guests.
Tourist -> Hotel reception “Tour Service” Counter -> Tour Company
2. Book directly with travel company, their websites offer tour itineraries online, easy to book online and no need to pay online, because the day trips can be paid when meeting the tour guide in the tour bus/car.
Tourist -> Tour Company website
What’s the Same? In fact, the tour service is the same provided by the same travel company, no matter which hotel you booked the tour from. For the coach tour, the coach will pick up guests from different hotels, some guests may booked online, some may booked from hotel reception.
what’s the difference? The only difference is the price. For example: the hotel’s tour counter sell the “Great Wall Coach Tour” at price range from 350 CNY to 450 CNY depend on the hotel’s star level. for the same itinerary the travel company website sell at 210 CNY (see Beijing tours & prices). The hotel’s tour reception doubled the price because they need markup the price for their profit.
So sometimes this caused embarrassing moment on the bus, when different guests on the same coach talk about their tour prices, they found the big difference and got angry.
The Fact is that still many people (large proportion) use traditional way to book day trips in hotel, they may feel more reliable and they did Not realize the huge price difference until get on the tour bus meeting other “Web” tourists.
After more than 10 years development, online travel agency industry had been well developed in China, more and more tourists choose the new way of booking a tour, hotel, flight and train tickets. With internet, tourists can enjoy the most benefits when travel in China.