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What steps should I take in order to insure the following service is reliable

The Dragon Trip

and I can safely get to the starting point and find a group to join (not a scam) ?

Does this Sunday Times article from the tour company's own website make it relable enough?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Well a good way is to look for a site which specializes in independent reviews.

One such which specializes in accommodation and dining, is "tripadvisor".

I wasn't sure if they also covered reviews of tours but just in case I Googled for tripadvisor thedragontour and indeed they do cover it:

The Dragon Trip ... Ranked #15 of 39 tours in Shanghai

Now the next question is whether tripadvisor's reviews are reliable. You should ask this because in fact this particular tour gets 12 "excellent" ratings from 12 reviews. No reviewer has given it any rating other than the highest possible.

There are ways to check whether reviews are genuine and not paid for or maid by friends of the company's owner:

  • Do the reviews go into particular details or just say "it was great"? Look for things that make it sound like the review really did go on the tour.
  • Do the reviewers have other reviews on the site? If so check some of those. Does it look like they've been travelling around? Have they also given bad reviews to competing tours? Do they always give "excellent" ratings to everything?

I only had a quick look around but several reviewers look like they've reviewed other things in other places and not always favourably. You should take a deeper look for yourself but I have the impression that people really do think this is a great tour.

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I usually don't relay on tripAdviser. How can I know the reviews are not fake? It's not strongly binded to any identitiy (i.e. Facebook) –  Elad Benda Jun 18 '12 at 22:02
    
I included tips on how to decided if the reviews are fake or not. –  hippietrail Jun 19 '12 at 4:52
    
Thanks, but I'm still puzzeled. Seems most reviwer are one-time reviewer. And only few gave multiple reviews in the whole site. There are not many reviewers and I tried to contact them with no success. –  Elad Benda Jun 20 '12 at 19:08
    
Does this make it reliable enough? thedragontrip.com/resources/media/Sunday%20Times.html –  Elad Benda Jun 20 '12 at 19:39

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