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Jacco Tours

Edmonton, CA
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9 posts
6 reviews
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Jacco Tours

Hi

Has anyone been with Jacco Tours before? Anyone experienced anything shady with them? They quoted me a ridiculously good price for a 9 Day Expo Tour in and around Shanghai.

Steve

98 replies to this topic
Toronto
5 posts
1 review
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1. Re: Jacco Tours

We will be going to Shanghai with Jacco Tours in April. First time. I only paid around $249 for 10 days visiting Shanghai and a few of the surrounding cities. The price is for hotels and land tour. Tipping of US$110 for the entire trip is not included. This is subsidized by the Chinese government I heard. We will be attending their tea party (information session) in two weeks.

Edmonton, CA
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9 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Jacco Tours

Yeah, ours was quoted around the same price as yours..oh, it is subsidized by the Chinese government? I actually thought it was by the Canadian..lol.

Let me know how yours goes -- ie. hotel, food, etc. (I think we are on similar tours but yours is pre-Expo and mine is during the Expo)

Miami Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Shanghai Region
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6,532 posts
140 reviews
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3. Re: Jacco Tours

You can search on group tours to get a lowdown on what to expect. The "tips" are not anything voluntary, so it is misleading. It is actually "pay for guides and drivers." That is why it is obligatory.

The subsidy is paid by you when you go into any store they stop at during the tour. The prices, no matter what they say, are twice a much as anywhere else (after you bargain), and the quality so-so. There is nothing guaranteed in these tourist stores, no matter what they tell you, other than you are paying far too much. The guides and drivers get kickbacks of 40% of the money you spend in the stores, so be prepared to have at least one hour, more like one and a half hours, wasted each day at shopping stops, sometimes labeled as government-approved factory tours.

The hotels are not five stars, but I imagine you suspected that. Most are Chinese managed, meaning your meals and rooms may not meet your expectations of western standards.

How do you get your money's worth? Don't spend a dime on their shopping stops. Bring a good book (maybe a Chinese guide book?) to read at the daily stops. The factories are many times actors and actresses playing with silk. There is no factory but a re-creation of what a factory might have looked like 50 years ago. Charming.

Do not give any tips to anyone other than the required guide/driver paycheck fee. Tipping is anti-cultural in China. Virtually all 1.3 billion Chinese persons never tip anyone anytime in China.

After a couple of days you will get the idea of the banquet-style meals, heaps of inexpensive items served on platters. You pass them around. If nothing appeals to you, you might eat a lot of noodles or rice. After a while, you might eat across the street and rejoin the tour. Up to you. See my comments at: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294211-i642-k3440…

So enjoy the tour, lay back and relax in your bus, and let the others go shopping and subsidize your seats on the tour! You should have free time in Shanghai to do some real bargain hunting. Read the guidebook, maybe the DK Eyewitness Guide to Beijing & Shanghai, to get the authoritative low-down on what you are seeing. The guides are generally hired for their pleasant, even humorous, personalities. But don't ask any questions about what you are seeing. They virtually memorize their scripts and usually know little else of value.

After this tour whets your appetite, come back to TripAdvisor to help plan your own independent exploration of what interests you in China. We'll be glad to help.

Edmonton, CA
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9 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Jacco Tours

Hi Sparky

The only reason I was debating taking this tour was the great bargain price...9 days with hotel, food and transportation for under $300 USD? Sounded pretty good to me. (Although I agree with you, I google'd some of the hotels they have on their itinerary and what was 5 stars on the itinerary was 3 or 3.5 stars online)

I am also spending almost 2 months in China...the entire time (except for this tour) I would be by myself doing my own travelling, so I thought a little guided tour wouldn't hurt.

I will also be taking this tour with my girlfriend, who is a native Chinese..i am sure she will steer me away from tourist-trap factories and the like.

PS - i would never pay full price for the tour, which is almost $900 USD.

Miami Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Shanghai Region
Level Contributor
6,532 posts
140 reviews
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5. Re: Jacco Tours

Hi Steven,

First, the price of this tour is $359, not $249. Second, whoever has booked this tour at "almost $900?" I assume that is per person, double occupancy. Anyone who paid "almost $900" for a bus tour like this never did any comparison shopping.

OK, what I am saying is relax and enjoy. Your girlfriend cannot steer you away from something you are required to do. You must stay with the bus all day. When they stop at an isolated "discount pearl wholesale center" at 10 a.m., this store is in the middle of nowhere. You have no options other than go and look or stay in the bus. When they stop for lunch you might be able to escape for an hour, but they probably warn you to never do this or risk losing the rest of the entire tour.

You are pretty much a captive, so my advice is to play the game according to their rules, just don't give them the added satisfaction of their earning the extra $100-$200 they probably make off every customer for nine shopping/factory stops.

Toronto
9 posts
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6. Re: Jacco Tours

I was also attracted by the price that is too good to resist. We are booked to go in September.

After making my booking with Jacco, I noticed a few other travel agencies also offer similar deals on their tours. There is one particular tour by NGH Tours that really caught my eye (too late for me to switch because I will lose my deposit with Jacco). The itenerary says the tour features 9 special feasts, 4 special shows and 5 star hotel accomodation such as Hilton in Beijing (or a 5 star equal), all this for $21 Cdn plus $8 tips per day. Of course air fare within China is extra ($99). .

I am still wondering if these tours are really subsidized by the Chinese government.

Would the people going in April post comments on your trip upon you return?

K.S. Toronto

Edmonton, CA
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9 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: Jacco Tours

Hi K.S., i went to the NGH website and they don't have any tour like the one you mentioned...in fact, they barely have any tours listed on their website at all...do you know how you found out about that one? do I need to email the travel agency?

Thanks.

EDIT: I clicked on the chinese version of the website and like 1000x more popped up.

Edited: 31 March 2010, 15:17
Toronto
9 posts
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8. Re: Jacco Tours

The tours offered by NGH are listed only in the Chinese version of their web site. The first two tours listed for China are the ones I described in my previous post. They are $21 + $8 tips per day. The costs of all flights are NOT included. I found out about the details when I visited their office here in Toronto. Note that you can only book in person or by phone and not online.

I am still very skeptical about these tours (i.e. I smell scam) even though I am booked on one. They just sound too good to be true - $210 (+$80 tips)for a 10-day tour in China with all meals and 5-star hotels included! This is why I want to hear feedback/comments from people who have gone on these tours.

Edmonton, CA
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9 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Jacco Tours

Yeah, I called NGH Tours and they said their tours are all in Cantonese...as both me nor my travelling partner speak any Cantonese, i don't think we will be going on any of their tours.

As Sparky mentioned above, I think the operating companies recoup some of their revenues from stranding you at isolated factories while selling you overpriced merchandise. As well, they aren't really 5 star hotels...I imagine we will end up staying at mostly 3 or 3.5 star hotels where the going rate is maybe 200 ($30) kuai/night.

As for being subsidized by the Chinese government, I am also skeptical of that.

If we do decide to go with Jacco, I will let you know how that goes.

Edited: 31 March 2010, 22:00
Toronto
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101 posts
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10. Re: Jacco Tours

I think the total (including tax + tips) price for the 9 days is $400 CAD. The first two days is in-transit travelling, last day is Expo day, so you actually spend 6 days with tour group. I figure about 1/3 of the time you will spend on 'shopping', so, if you don't mind this arrangement, not a bad deal. I decided not to go with it, but rather spend more days at the expo. People who returned from the tour mostly had good reviews.

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