Tourist travel guide cover

#1 Dec 26th, 2011, 18:41
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  • travelwithgustO is offline
#1
Dear All-

I have just completed a tour of the Golden Triangle and have learned that tourist guides typically have a parallel profession that is perhaps much more lucrative and happens simultaneous to providing their services. Here is what typically happens:

After going to a historic site or two the tourist guide will suggest going to see how hand woven carpets, jewelry, other luxury items are made. Upon your acceptance either upon the first, second, third ask, you will be taken to a high end shop provided a demonstration and then be softly, then more hardly sold at ridiculously high prices. You will be given tea and your guide may sit by enjoying their cup of tea and ever hopeful that you will make a purchase as this is where the primary source of income lies -- in the commission.

Note that you will also see many other Anglos just like you being shuttled in and you will feel a bit used by the experience, just being reeled in.

Do not be fooled by the tourist guide cover.
#2 Dec 26th, 2011, 18:55
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  • Prakaant is offline
#2
It is up to the tourists whether they purchase the thing or not!

Only way to avoid being trapped is: always go with the licensed Guide and a strict no to the shop visits. These could be fixed in the beginning itself before starting on a trip!
#3 Dec 26th, 2011, 18:56
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  • theRock is offline
#3
Welcome to India and it's tout business.
#4 Dec 26th, 2011, 18:58
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  • Prakaant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theRock View Post Welcome to India and it's tout business.
It is an integral part of tourism industry!
You would be finding this in many other parts of world! You can't avoid but you have to save yourselves from them!!
#5 Dec 26th, 2011, 19:09
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post It is up to the tourists whether they purchase the thing or not!

Only way to avoid being trapped is always go with the licensed Guide and a strict no to the shop visits. These could be fixed in the beginning itself before starting on a trip!
Exactly and before coming here travellers should do enough research through sources like IndiaMike which is encyclopedia of Indian travel.The travellers who come without any good research are more prone to get in the trap laid by cunning touts/guides.This is not really restricted in India only.So it's just not the fault of touts/guides alone.

One golden suggestion regarding purchasing is simply cutting the asking price in half or even less and then negotiate.
#6 Dec 26th, 2011, 19:30
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  • thirdreel is offline
#6
Actually, in most cases the guide doesn't care if you make a purchase. They get a commission for bringing you there even if you don't.

It's not entirely a bad thing. You get an interesting experience and a free cup of tea, the driver gets a secondary source of income, the shop owner gets a chance to sell in a location that may not get much foot traffic. If you have time to kill and a good rapport with the driver, you can agree to go in exchange for a lower rate on the ride.

It only really annoyed me when I'd hail an auto and the driver would tell me I didn't want to go where I wanted to go. If I said, "Take me to Khan Market" and the driver said, "Oh, Khan Market isn't very good, I know a better market" sometimes I'd get out right then and find a different driver.
#7 Dec 26th, 2011, 20:35
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  • machadinha is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelwithgustO View Post I have just completed a tour of the Golden Triangle and have learned that tourist guides typically have a parallel profession that is perhaps much more lucrative and happens simultaneous to providing their services.
I guess reading a guidebook before leaving would have told you the same.

Welcome to India (belatedly), and to IndiaMike

Quote:
Originally Posted by theRock View Post The travellers who come without any good research are more prone to get in the trap laid by cunning touts/guides.This is not really restricted in India only.So it's just not the fault of touts/guides alone.
Exactly. But oh well, it can't hurt to have these cautions repeated from time to time, I suppose.

That other eternal classic that it would pay for people to be aware of (and no, it's not just in Manali, but in half of Asia, and no doubt some other parts of the world): http://www.indiamike.com/india/scams...m-scam-t10754/.

In both cases, it is true that "knowing" about it is still something else than experiencing it; these folks can be remarkably convincing & good at what they do. Oh well, file it away under necessary rites of initiation, I guess.
#8 Dec 26th, 2011, 20:44
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#8
It's a common practice worldwide. It happened to me in Isreal and Mexico.

What irritates me is it takes time away from seeing the sights I paid to see in the first place. So yes, you are being cheated.
#9 Dec 26th, 2011, 22:53
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  • edwardseco is offline
#9
As Mach so gently puts it welcome to a worldwide and ancient practice. Its also done by tour companies (Govt. included). Notice that almost all tourist sites in the US terminate in the gift shop, wonder why? Just pass on by..
#10 Dec 27th, 2011, 01:45
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#10
This is so ingrained that some gift shops run a airmiles type idea for guides/taxi wallahs, which they can exchange for gifts when they have accumulated enough.
#11 Dec 27th, 2011, 05:13
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#11
Yup, common practice & worldwide.


Over 25 yrs. ago we actually wanted to buy a large room size carpet while in Srinigar. We had the taxi drop us off a block away from where we intended to go. Then we snuck back into the shop/factory looking over our shoulder to make sure the driver was gone. The owner was amazed when we said we arrived without a guide/driver. We told him we wanted a discount in the amount he would have given the driver. He laughed. We bought a beautiful rug, at a good price & had it shipped home & it's still in our livingroom.

However, they usually can outsmart us! We were spending a month in Srinigar so we took our time before we went for that rug.

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