How it works:
- Opening: unofficial “agents” (e.g. driver, street/each tout) will get you to sign up a tour with them.
- Version 1: you pay everything upfront and they then disappear.
- Version 2: you are quoted a fee thinking is for the whole tour, but is only for transport. E.g. on a “whale shark tour” in Bohol, you are asked to pay another fee to rent snorkeling equipment or to swim with the whale sharks.
- Version 3: you are promised certain items/services which are not fulfilled.
- Version 4: shorter tour than promised.
Places to beware:
- Bohol: Alona Beach
- Boracay: White Beach
- El Nido: Small Lagoon
- Metro Manila: Intramuros
- Puerto Princesa: Honda Bay
What to do:
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Online platforms: Klook (leading day tour platform globally) also has many popular tours (e.g. Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Bohol-Cebu, etc).
- Paying: avoid paying in full upfront (unless reputable operator) or off the (online) platform.