Swain Tours

Jan 10th, 2007, 12:05 PM
  #1  
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Swain Tours

Anyone take a trip using Swain Tours ?
Thanks.
LostinChina is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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I booked an air/hotel package with them in Sept 2003 (I think it was 2003, the same year as SARS) for travel to Hong Kong in December of that year. This was the first time I ever used a travel agent/tour company. Two weeks or so after booking it the company went bankrupt. Another company stepped in and took over, so I took the trip with no trouble. Hadn't heard from Swain until a couple of months ago when they sent me unsolicited brochures for their tours, so it looks like they are back in business or another company has rights to the name now.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 04:14 PM
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Wow, that is scary. You got to go on your trip, but doesn't speak highly of Swain. Thanks for the info!
LostinChina is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 04:20 PM
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It was during the SARS scare when Swain had the trouble. I suggest finding out more about the company and who would actually be operating the tour. I am not advising to NOT go with Swain, just be careful and check them (or anyone else) out so that you know what you are getting into.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 05:39 PM
  #5  
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The travel agent I'm dealing with put together my 2005 trip when she was with United Vacations.She did a thorough job last time and was nice to work with. She said their company no longer does United Vacations, but is now Swain Tours. I'm not sure how to check them out other than asking on these posts.
LostinChina is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 08:16 PM
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I'm not sure how else to check them either. I actually did book that package via United Vacations and they sent it to Swain.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 09:15 PM
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Wow, that's even more scary. I booked my trip in 2005 with them, so they must have gotten together again. Now 2 years later, Swain and United Vacations are separated. I don't even know if United Vacations exists. They might be called something else.

Some say that no matter what tour group you use, they all go thru the same China corp anyway. If that is true, it really doesn't matter too much. I'm not sure though...
LostinChina is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 10:46 PM
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Maybe you are referring to "Pacific Delight" tours or something like that. Yes, unitedvacations.com is where I booked an air/hotel package for Hawaii in August.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 10:53 PM
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I found an article from that time, Sept 2003, it was a complicated situation:
http://www.travellaw.com/web/articles/farwide.html
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 11th, 2007, 08:51 AM
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Many thanks for that article. It appears many of them had problems at that time. Not sure what to make of it. Does make me hesitant to book with them. I want to fly United from Chicago to Beijing and that is why I went with United Vacations to start with. Lots of other tour groups go with Air China out of SF to China. I think United uses Majestic now instead of Swain. I don't know anything about them either. BBB said they had 3 complaints about Swain in the past, nothing in last year. I'm suppose to buy my tickets today or they will be cancelled. Hmmm.....
LostinChina is offline  
Jan 11th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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My travel agent explained:

We never went out of business. Basically, we were a part of a company called Far and Wide. Far and Wide went bankrupt and did go out of business. Swain Tours continued operating during the bankruptcy and was then bought out by Travelcorp (which also owns Trafalgar, Contiki, Busabout etc). Just last year, our company president Ian Swain bought the company back so he owns it fully about 6 months ago.

Sounds better, what do you think?
LostinChina is offline  
Jan 11th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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Well there is no SARS scare today like what affected Far & Wide three years ago and the travel business is doing better in general. I think I would go for it. Things have gotten better.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 07:28 PM
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I am Ian Swain, the owner and founder of Swain Tours. If you would like to talk to me directly please call at 1 800 227 9246 Ext 201. I am happy to explain the past 20 years of my company - but it true what is written here and also that I again own the company 100%. I look forward to your call or email [email protected]
AussieIan is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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Mr. Swain,
I would really like to talk to you. I just saw your post now. Are you there on weekends or waiting til Monday would be better? I could also email. Thanks for your post!!
LostinChina is offline  
Jan 20th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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I emailed Mr. Swain and he answered promptly and answered my questions in depth. I would recommend Swain Tours to others.
LostinChina is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 04:39 PM
  #16  
ExpertTripPlanner
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I telephoned an inquiry to Swain Tours last year, and was very, very impressed with their follow-through and knowledge of the area I was visiting.
 
Jan 21st, 2007, 08:05 PM
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Good to hear ExpertTripPlanner!! I was impressed how quickly Mr. Swain returned my email and how thoroughly he answered my questions.

Thanks for letting me know!!
LostinChina is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Although I did not go to China, I went on a private tour through SWAIN AUSTRALIA TOURS back in 1997 to Australia and New Zealand. They set up an excellent tour for 6 us-we were really happy with them . At that time they were a family based business. Hopefully now that they are back to being family owned,all is well. At that time, they did not offer tours to China but I would use them again.
smgapp is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 10:20 AM
  #19  
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Thanks, always good to hear great feedback. I think I'm going with them this time to China.
LostinChina is offline  

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