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Compulsory tips not an attraction for tourists

By Lu Feiran (Shanghai Daily)

10:02, October 24, 2011

MOVES to include tips in the price of holiday packages have aroused the suspicion of local tourists who fear this may become an excuse to raise prices.

Travel agencies believe if a compulsory tipping system can be introduced, bad practices, such as "forced shopping," can be stamped out.

Online travel platform Ctrip.com is among companies that have experimented with charging a "service fee," and may extend the practice.

Tips go to tour guides and drivers, and, in return, the company says it can ensure no high-pressure shopping trips or entertainment extras are included in itineraries.

Travelers, however, are unconvinced by the plan.

"I don't mind giving tips to tour guides and drivers as long as they do a good job," said Li Qing, a frequent tourist from Shanghai.

"But I'd feel uncomfortable if a set amount was charged, and if companies were just making more money in the name of a tip."

Li also questioned how much of the fee would actually go to guides and drivers.

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