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Tipping the guide & driver

First of all, nice of you to think about tipping the guide and driver before your trip. The thought is much appreciated.

As a travel operator, we would hate to dictate how much clients should tip the guides and drivers even before services are rendered. Many companies also ask for mandatory tipping and some even take the money before client's departure. We feel that this is wrong. Giving tips should be a recognition of good services and a job well done to the person providing them, and not mandatory.

Here are some questions you should ask before deciding how much to tip (or indeed whether to tip or not):

       1. Is the guide punctual?
       2. Neat and clean?
       3. Friendly and easy to get along?
       4. Is he/she knowledgeable about the city and its places of interest?
       5. Is his her English easy to understand?
       6. His/her enthusiasm?
       7. Do you have a better understanding of the history, culture, food, geography and
           the most recent development of that City?
       8. His/her willingness to help?
       9. His/her suggestions for food and free time?
       10.Willingness to go the extra mile?

In short, a tourist guide is a host but he/she must "earn" his/her tips.
As a general guideline, the more people traveling together, the less tips per person.

For a group of 6-10 persons traveling together

       Guide - $2-$3 per person per full day service.
       Driver - $1-$3 per person per day for the driver.
       Depending on what you think of their services.

For a group of 2-5 persons traveling together

       Guide - $4-$6 per person per full day service
       Driver - $2-$4 per person per day for the driver.
       Depending on what you think of their services.

If ... in the unlikely event that you don't receive the service you're entitled to, DO NOT tip and please phone our operations manager immediately. This will help us to better our services (as we will not use that guide again) and the service in the tourism industry in China.

For General information, travel tips, chinese food, and Chinese Money.
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"Thank you for a super holiday!! We were looked after with great care by the operations manager, Michael, and by our individual guides in each centre."
       - Paul and Dawn

"Thanks to your obvious knowledge of this country and professional skills everything went smooth and we could enjoy our holiday with peace of mind."
      - Simon Bezuidenhout