Tour Guide Battle in Southern California Leaves Chinese ‘Very Afraid’
Travel Blog • Michael Yessis • 11.10.10 | 1:02 PM ET
Chinese tourists are increasingly bringing their own guides when they travel to Southern California. Local guides are pissed about losing business and, allegedly, becoming confrontational. The Los Angeles Times breaks it down:
Wang Suqi, president of Beijing-based Total Travel International Travel Service, claims that one of his tour leaders was punched by an American tour guide at Universal Studios Hollywood, and now his tour leaders have asked to be transferred to different tours in Europe and Southeast Asia.
“They’re very afraid,” Wang said. “Even our customers are asking what’s going on.”
The competition for the Chinese tourism business was set off in 2007 when China, for the first time, allowed commercial travel agents to book group pleasure trips to the U.S. But China did not mandate that Chinese tourists hire accredited American tour guides—a requirement that China imposed on other countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
Of course, it’s mostly about money. Chinese travelers have been unleashed in recent years, and they spend.
In 2009, Chinese travelers spent an average of $6,800 per person per visit, including airfare, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. By 2020, China will become the world’s fourth-largest source of tourists, the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization predicts.