How it works:
- Opening: there are unlicensed tour operators which target Chinese tourists with low priced tours on Chinese apps.
- Set-up: once hooked, they exploit these tourists’ lack of English skills and lack of travel experience, by charging them for accessing free public spaces (e.g. Western Springs), as well as at affiliated shops where they force them to purchase items.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- For offline operators: ask - is the operator licensed (refer to the tourism New Zealand website)? 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: GetYourGuide (leading day tour platform globally) also has many popular tours (e.g. Hobbiton Moviet Set, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Milford Sound Nature Cruise, etc).
- Paying: avoid paying in full upfront (unless reputable operator) or off the (online) platform