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November 1, 2011

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Luxury tour included 'rat-infested hotel'

LOCAL tourists are demanding their money back for a "luxury" tour of England and Ireland that they claim featured a rat-infested hotel and a grumpy tour guide.

Around 20 Shanghai travelers have lodged a complaint about the trip organized by, China's leading online travel services platform.

Some 28 tourists paid 23,200 yuan (US$3,650) for a 10-day luxury package to England and Ireland for last month's National Day holiday.

The contract said they would stay in the Hilton Watford in Hertfordshire or the Hilton Olympia in London, but two days before setting off, Ctrip informed the group that the two hotels were not available.

Instead, they were to stay in a different hotel, which the tourists were advised was better than Hilton.

But the party claims the hotel rooms were shabby and smelly and that some had rats in them.

To make matters worse, they claim several sightseeing items were cancelled without explanation and the tour guide was bad-tempered.

The final straw, claims the group, was that they were taken to the wrong airport in London.

Ctrip agreed to compensate 5,900 yuan each for the tourists, but some refused this, demanding the full price back.

Negotiations are ongoing, said the company.

Ctrip admitted that there had been flaws with the tour guide service, but said that it had not provided the guide.

The company said the Shanghai Tourism Quality Supervision had agreed with its compensation plan, the highest under the country's law.


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