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Thread: Tour Package Tipping?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    seems like if follow local tour group (packaged) most of them will tell you that tipping is COMPULSORY... lol... and the 'cost' already given to you when you sign up... some even pay upfront.

    go free and easy then no need... lol... (tip yourself)

    for my korea trip last year, no local guide along... but ya, the tour agency already tell us the tipping fee, except for the photographer we din know have. well the photographer doesn't get the tip, instead, we pay in terms of how many photos we purchase. since he's quite nice, we bought quite alot of pics...
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  2. #22
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Well, if you don't tip what can they do? Abandon you in Korea? :P

    Quote Originally Posted by valkyrie View Post
    My sister was telling me the last Korea trip she went, the tour group were FORCE to tip....

    1. Singapore Guide (Did nothing but accompany the group from Airport to Korea)
    2. Korea Local Guide (Did all the speaking, planning and booking)
    3. Korea Driver
    4. Photographer assigned for the package. (Help u take photos and sell you the photos)

    To be fair, i think the korea local guide and the driver who did their service deserve the tipping. The other 2 can just ignore. Anyone got similiar experience?

  3. #23

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Use to be a tour guide. Now I have a few friends who are tour guides.

    Actually they do not really earn a lot on their guide fees. They rely on tips as part of their rice bowl as most of them are freelance.

    Although is not compulsary but I give to all my tour guides when i am on a tour unless of course there is a few bad experience, there will be no tips given at all when their service is not up to a certain standard. Of course depends on the price you paid for the tour, the tour guides will assess the tour itself.

    I use to lead a tour which is VVVIP customers to all high end restuarants and private tours. Although there were only 15 paxs but the amount of tips they gave to me was enough for me to buy 2 D3 bodies! (happens only once in a BIG FAT BLUE MOON)

    There there is a normal ones like 3 days 2 days in Singapore which I get only $4.00 per pax per day with a minimum of 20 paxs. So it ranges but tips are not compulsary in Singapore but it's a gesture of good will that you appreciate his/her service during your holiday in Singapore to tip them.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Well, if you don't tip what can they do? Abandon you in Korea? :P
    Would you take that risk?

  5. #25
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Donno leh, I never joined tour group before :P I'm always travel without tour agents. Tour agents bring a whole host of problems with them, with tipping being the tip of the iceberg :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    Would you take that risk?

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    Would you take that risk?
    I would take the risk.

    Anyway, never liked tour groups. They hustle you along. Seesh.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Donno leh, I never joined tour group before :P I'm always travel without tour agents. Tour agents bring a whole host of problems with them, with tipping being the tip of the iceberg :P
    Then it does not apply to you lor.....since you never tip a tour guide before.

    Plus people who do join tours prefer to be taken care. So when you are being taken care off by someone, it's a good gesture to tip them although it's not compulsary in our country. Not too sure about foriegn countries though but I have lead tours to Japan which we have to announce quietly to the passsengers that tips is compulsary.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Normally, if I'm happy with the local tour guide services, I will tip accordingly.

  9. #29
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    That's true, I guess tipping if given for good service or whatever, its fine. I only have a problem when the word "compulsory" is used. There really isn't anything "compulsory" unless it is legislated, or due to obligations under contract.

    If people tip because of a perceived risk of being sabotaged or abandoned, then it would be more like blackmail, than "compulsory tipping".

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    Then it does not apply to you lor.....since you never tip a tour guide before.

    Plus people who do join tours prefer to be taken care. So when you are being taken care off by someone, it's a good gesture to tip them although it's not compulsary in our country. Not too sure about foriegn countries though but I have lead tours to Japan which we have to announce quietly to the passsengers that tips is compulsary.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    I would take the risk.

    Anyway, never liked tour groups. They hustle you along. Seesh.
    Don't be so stingy lar......

    Hustling is part of their trade......

    If you are not comfortable, please let the tour guide know you are not happy with his/her service. (Would want to see if the tour guide is a pretty lady........keke)

  11. #31
    Senior Member Big Kahuna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    I think tipping is a great way to express your appreciation to the poor chap whom must be seperated from their family for the next 6 to 10 days for your holiday pleasure...and usually those precious festive season or golden week time Some even need to squeeze in a room with their driver to save cost.....imagine if you have a pretty guide and not so tiddy uncle driver? You need the mental of steel in order to stay on the job

    I have been to no less than a dozen of guided tours...even on my my F&E trip(those guided day trip)....I have yet to meet with a lousy guide that didn't deserve anything.....I mean unless the guide is already quite well off and doesn't live by tipping....they will know how to invest in their customer trust to get the maximum return.....besides they are proffesionally trained so they will share the common etics and knowledge....at the very minimun, they will make sure you will return home in one piece....so that alone to me is consider quite a challenge

    Unfortunately down here we do not have a culture of voluntury tipping....I think the tour agent has no choise but to mandate to make things easier and fairer for both party

  12. #32

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    That's true, I guess tipping if given for good service or whatever, its fine. I only have a problem when the word "compulsory" is used. There really isn't anything "compulsory" unless it is legislated, or due to obligations under contract.

    If people tip because of a perceived risk of being sabotaged or abandoned, then it would be more like blackmail, than "compulsory tipping".
    That is why Singapore is not compulsary.

    Different countries have different systems.

    Anyway, there is no bind contract that tour guides should be tips by default. Until you are in this trade, you will know there are some things are not binded by contract basis.

    The word "Compulsary" could have been used in a wrong manner/way by some tour guides but unless you are a regular tour person who goes on holiday often with a tour group, you will know that tips is part of a tour itself.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Kahuna View Post
    I think tipping is a great way to express your appreciation to the poor chap whom must be seperated from their family for the next 6 to 10 days for your holiday pleasure...and usually those precious festive season or golden week time Some even need to squeeze in a room with their driver to save cost.....imagine if you have a pretty guide and not so tiddy uncle driver? You need the mental of steel in order to stay on the job

    I have been to no less than a dozen of guided tours...even on my my F&E trip(those guided day trip)....I have yet to meet with a lousy guide that didn't deserve anything.....I mean unless the guide is already quite well off and doesn't live by tipping....they will know how to invest in their customer trust to get the maximum return.....besides they are proffesionally trained so they will share the common etics and knowledge....at the very minimun, they will make sure you will return home in one piece....so that alone to me is consider quite a challenge

    Unfortunately down here we do not have a culture of voluntury tipping....I think the tour agent has no choise but to mandate to make things easier and fairer for both party
    Well said.......well said.

  14. #34
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    I suppose if it is so mandatory and compulsory that it is almost a must, then include it in the tour package price. I'm not against the giving of tips, but being surprised into a forced deal isn't something that I would condone. If it is made known beforehand and not "hidden charges" it would be more palatable.

    What if someone is a first timer? Not everyone knows about these hidden charges - that is why many letters have been published in the ST forum about this issue already.

    The issue isn't so much to give or not to give, but to know in advance if it is indeed compulsory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    That is why Singapore is not compulsary.

    Different countries have different systems.

    Anyway, there is no bind contract that tour guides should be tips by default. Until you are in this trade, you will know there are some things are not binded by contract basis.

    The word "Compulsary" could have been used in a wrong manner/way by some tour guides but unless you are a regular tour person who goes on holiday often with a tour group, you will know that tips is part of a tour itself.

  15. #35
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Just to understand this properly, I always thought these "guides" are locals, ie if you got to China, you get a China national showing you around. Isn't tour guiding just like another day job? They don't actually fly from Singapore to your destination leaving their families in Singapore?

    OR have I got something mixed up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Kahuna View Post
    I think tipping is a great way to express your appreciation to the poor chap whom must be seperated from their family for the next 6 to 10 days for your holiday pleasure...

  16. #36

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    It is a common knowledge and practice that everyone will have to share the tippings on any tour arrangement, even on a private booking....
    Say if we have 4 persons and we book a car/van with a driver and a english speaking guide, we gave something like US3 to US10 per person to both the guide and the driver at the end of the day when we reach our last destination. Usually the amount depends on your satisfaction as well as the country living standard. If one is not willing to give, one should use other forms of travel by themselves (FnE) ...
    I remember once, my friend gave a US100 to the superfun guide and US50 to the driver in Thailand
    always the Light, .... always.

  17. #37
    Senior Member Big Kahuna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Just to understand this properly, I always thought these "guides" are locals, ie if you got to China, you get a China national showing you around. Isn't tour guiding just like another day job? They don't actually fly from Singapore to your destination leaving their families in Singapore?

    OR have I got something mixed up?
    You kidding me....of coz it has to be local, no one know their country better.....besides there will be immigration issue if a foreigner is engaged....exceptional do exist if the foreigner is qualified and has the relevant paper work

    On the tour thingy, It depends on what kind of tour...for city or day tour...you might get to go home everyday.....but for some longer trip....e.g Jiuzhaigou 10 days 8 nights kind....the driver and the guide will have to tag along throughout the trip....and it's a few thousand km ride we are talking about so they probably only get to see their family every 10 days....in peak season like golden week or long holiday period....their assignment will be pilling one after another and barely can breath

    On top of that, they have to prepare for unexpected like accident or act of mother nature...they usually get the stick up front when unforseen occur.....I ever kena once in my Taiwan trip that their head office screw up and under book the hotel room....the hotel was sold out....few of the tourist went mad because it was late hours....I for sure will break down in that situation.....but to my surprise he (our guide was a guy ) eventually managed to exchanged a few rooms with another agency's guide I was really impressed

  18. #38

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    What Godzilla said was true about the guide fees. The guide fees are regulated and capped by the authority. To make it worse, tipping is discouraged even before travelers touch down here. While I wont disclose the guide fees here, it is certainly not sufficient for a guide to survive on the fixed salary alone.

    I believe tipping is a sign of appreciation after a good service. While the authority says it discourages tipping, i dont think the law suggests it is illegal or criminal to tip. Otherwise, we can see several tourist in changi prison arrested for tipping against the mandate.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Just to understand this properly, I always thought these "guides" are locals, ie if you got to China, you get a China national showing you around. Isn't tour guiding just like another day job? They don't actually fly from Singapore to your destination leaving their families in Singapore?

    OR have I got something mixed up?
    Well... Yes guides are local, but if the group going is large enough (usually > 20), the company will send someone from here, to help with the co-ordination and any issues you may have. I usually would be on F&E, but I had gone on a tour in Spain. since it was almost 40 people, there was a local person with us, and he was a very good one too... Then in the different places, he would arrange with a local person there to be our guide for the area.

    In fact, this guide had a hard life with this group (not me and me group, but others, one particular family, well, more like the woman of that family...). I heard he had to be a shopping guide - bringing them to all the different big names stores, and even had to do the purchasing (and changing of product since the person bought the wrong product!!!!) Me group? He drop us there, show us the direction, and we go walk walk ourselves... Heck, we even took the metro from La Ramblas (I am certain the spelling is wrong... but it's the Orchard Rd of Barcelona) to Nou camp just to go for the tour of Nou Camp during our "free time"...

  20. #40

    Default Re: Tour Package Tipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    I suppose if it is so mandatory and compulsory that it is almost a must, then include it in the tour package price. I'm not against the giving of tips, but being surprised into a forced deal isn't something that I would condone. If it is made known beforehand and not "hidden charges" it would be more palatable.

    What if someone is a first timer? Not everyone knows about these hidden charges - that is why many letters have been published in the ST forum about this issue already.

    The issue isn't so much to give or not to give, but to know in advance if it is indeed compulsory.
    Well, as I said. There is no black and white on paper that tips are mandatory be it Singapore or other countries. Sometimes there is no right or wrong but understanding the situation better.

    I know you go by the books but sometimes in life, they don't follow what's written in the books.

    Again, if you have not gone on a tour with a tour group you will not understand what a tour guide needs to go through. Until you have had experience it yourself, then you will know why tour guides rely on tips to survive. Be it if the person is a first timer or not. Once you get to know a tour guide, you will understand more about it.

    Go for your first tour with a travel group with a guided tour (there will be a tour leader in every overseas tour group) then you will know why tour guides are needed.

    I understand where you are coming from but again different countries play it differently.

    I give you an example which I did not asked or expect anything from the passengers as it was still part of my job to make sure each passenger gets their bag as soon as they can. I had to ferried 60 bags which was stuck at Bangkok airport when they arrive in Singapore. It took 6 hours before the bags arrived Changi Airport. I had to carry one by one to the passengers room. They were so happy that each one of them gave me and the bus driver a $1200 tips from the 60 passengers. ($20.00 X 60).

    Remember, it's still up to each passengers to give willingly. Not all the time they are being tip so much. Not all the time and not compulsary. No hidden cost as once you paid for your tour, that is all. It's really your own discreation to give the tips willingly. You can't blame the tour agency as they will not force you to pay anything other than what is written on your tour package.

    If you are season tourist, you will know when to give and when not too.

    Whatever that is written on the ST Forum is only one side of the story.
    Last edited by Godzilla Invades; 27th February 2008 at 11:23 PM.

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