Warning to Internet Surfers
In an effort to provide some advise to travelers, I would like to say that what you see or book on the internet is not necessarily a product with the standard of quality you expect, it may not be an appropriate tour or lodging for you and your family, or the best product available on the country you plan to visit.
A particular hotel is not likely to publish on their website the complaints they receive, the disadvantages of its location, the run down conditions of their rooms, the decline on the quality of their services, etc.
The local Incoming Tour Operators will not tell you their buses are beaten down, old and noisy; their tour guides lack of knowledge or speak broken English, their itineraries are poorly designed and do not fulfill the expectation of their clients, etc.
Not even the country’s Government Tourist Office can give you this information. For this information you should trust a reputable tour company that specializes on the destination, with a staff that is constantly traveling to do itinerary and hotel inspections; a tour company that is continuously sending clients to this destination and always receiving comments from these clients about their trips, this allows us to know how the suppliers were performing last week instead of six months ago when we went to inspect their services. Look for a tour company that you can reach by phone and have a feeling of their expertise on the destination. Your vacation is on the line! Contact a tour company that can tell you the pro's and con's of the hotel you want to reserve or even the pro's and con's of the hotel they recommend, you will be amazed with the stories we hear about well known hotels with the most wonderful websites, or about the small deluxe Inn with the most arrogant and helpless management. And also check them out, call the Better Business Bureau and ASTA (American Society of Travel Agencies) to find out the complaint history of the Tour Company you have selected.
Once again, keep in mind that you vacation is on the line, the quality of the suppliers involved will make a difference. And remember...
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of lower price is forgotten.
I hope this letter helps you in planning and getting the vacation you are expecting. It is based on my personal experiences as a Tour Operator since 1974
Jesus E. Lopez