GRATUITIES, TIPPING, AND YOUR GUIDES
The service industry is a funny place. Not only does each type of service seem to have a different standard for what is an “appropriate” tip, but it can often be vague as to what actually constitutes a fair tip and what criteria you should base your tip on. Most providers in the travel industry have a strong policy of requiring tips from their guests. And many hard-working guides rely on these tips as a major portion of their income. At Bike Tour Japan, we tried this approach in the past, but found it extremely unintuitive and counter to the Japanese No Tipping Culture in which we live our daily lives in Japan. Our guests come from all over the world, and tipping culture varies greatly between regions and countries. So we began to question industry standards.
THE BTJ ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING POLICY
In 2018, we introduced our All-Inclusive Pricing Policy, which guarantees fair pay for all BTJ guides. Simply put, we believe our guides are amazing humans who put in excellent work. They deserve a fair wage that does not fluctuate based on arbitrary estimates of service, group size, and societal norms. Our guides, in an average season, earn over 2.5x the standard wage of our industry, and 2x the standard wage if you include a 7% tip per guest (the industry standard is often quoted at 5-10%).
SIMPLE, CLEAR, RESPONSIBLE
So what does this mean for you: our wonderful guests? This means that when we say our trips are all-inclusive, it’s true. The price you see is your final bill. No hidden fees, no obligatory tips, no extra taxes (all our prices are always advertised including tax).
If you feel inclined to tip your guides after they show you an unforgettable time in Japan, they sure won’t mind. But please do not feel you are obliged, or that our guides go home on anything short of a great wage for all of the time and energy they put into making your trip a once in a lifetime tour!
And remember, if you do have an unforgettable adventure with us, the BEST tip is sharing your experience in Japan with all of your family and friends!