Dear Travel Agents,
I want to discuss an important issue that comes up from time to time, for different reasons. The issue is what to do when you or your clients are approached by the tour guide at the end of the trip with a comment that suggests that the next time you’re booking travel, you should book directly with the tour guide or the company they work for, in order to save lots of money.
Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?
Let me give you my opinion on this matter, and don’t worry, I will not be judging the morals in this case, but simply analyzing the facts:
- Most of these companies and people in these foreign countries have no representation in the US or Canada, so payments and money need to be wired to a foreign country.
- These companies don’t pay commission, so you will need to add your profit, create a contract directly with your client, and you’ll then be 100% responsible for the tour package.
- If any change needs to be made to the itinerary, you’ll need to contact them (good luck with that!)
- In the event that your client has any problems during the trip, you’ll need to contact the foreign number, or even take a flight over there.
- If the person or company disappears after you’ve paid or given a deposit, you’ll have a claim against you that hopefully, your insurance will pay.
Well, as I said, I won’t be judging the morals of this situation, but IF after you’ve read all these reasons and still believe it is a good idea, in order to make more money from your client or “save” money on your next trip by booking directly with someone who doesn’t respect his/her partnerships; think of how you would you feel if the tour company or cruise line approached your clients and tried to take you, the travel agent, out of the deal!
Honestly, I think that people should treat each other with more respect. The world – even the beautiful travel world – would be a better place.
With respect and gratitude,