A prospective client comes in or calls for information about a trip. During the interview, a lot of information is exchanged. From the answers given by this prospective client, a sketch of the itinerary begins to form in the TA’s mind. My question to you, which is a very important point, what kind of itinerary is being formed? Something that looks more like the TA’s idea, or the prospective client’s dream? Or is it a mixture of both?
Let’s think about that. The TA’s mind begins to form all the details for this itinerary using the requests and budget of the client. So, the location, hotel, excursions and all other details “belong” in the TA’s mind. But what if the client’s budget and requests are different from TA’s personal preferences and beliefs? What will this itinerary look like? How much influence should the TA have over the client’s wishes? Is the TA’s job to give their advice or their own experiences when creating this itinerary?
I have some examples to clarify this example. A prospective client wants to go to Venice, Italy and would love to stay at the JW Marriott. As a TA, should you create this itinerary using the client’s choice of hotel, or inform the client that the hotel is across the island and every time they want to go to Venice Island they will need to get the ferry?
Another example is a prospective client who wants to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu in December. There’s a big chance that they’ll be there during the rainy season, and not be able to enjoy one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Is it the TA’s job/obligation to disclose that possibility?
Another point to consider is how much of this type of information will the TA be aware of if he/she is not an expert on those destinations.
I guess I’ve brought up some interesting questions: is the client always right in his/her wishes? How much information is the responsibility of the TA to share?
Cheers to all knowledgeable TA’s!