Economic Troubles

Oct 4th, 2008, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,147
Agree with Bill H it will take some time for economics to affect Africa since people must plan so far ahead. But if I'm reading the signals correctly, it's gonna get worse before it gets better. Me, I'm awaiting a tourist downturn so I can pounce. I'd rather eat cat food than give up travel. In addition to South Africa, Argentina is a great buy for Americans now. And 78c to the US dollar in Australia? Hmmmm....
LAleslie is offline  
Oct 4th, 2008, 08:17 PM
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Yep, also Mexico, although the drug dealers and their killings are making that a difficult destination area right now.

The Dominica Republic and Caribbean are getting some Americans and other travlers from around the planet, but of course we travelers want to see the entire World and Africa is certainly on the list. very soon. like 73 hours.. We can't wait.
realoc is offline  
Oct 5th, 2008, 03:15 AM
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LAleslie said: I'd rather eat cat food than give up travel.

Actually, I've eaten impala at a few camps, and it can be delicious.
DonTopaz is offline  
Oct 5th, 2008, 09:51 AM
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Beans and rice are even more economical than the cans of cat food, but maybe not the big bags of dried cat food.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 5th, 2008, 04:24 PM
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No impala in L.A., rizzuto, but there are coyotes and mule deer galore. But I'm too old to do a crouching stalk ....
LAleslie is offline  
Oct 5th, 2008, 10:17 PM
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We're a bit like "africaddict", because of the Aussie $.74, our agent wants us to pay for March asap, so he doesnt loose any money, but if the $ goes up I bet we dont get a refund.
Dont know what we'll do, it's a pain in the .....
sallysaab is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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Getting back to Antarctica, I received an email from Quark yesterday offering 50% off the Nov 30th sailing of the Clipper Adventurer I can't take advantage of it but maybe someone else can.
Patty is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 07:23 PM
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Could Quark's offer be the first of many deep discounts as the economy goes down the tubes?

Wish I could take advantage!
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 8th, 2008, 04:25 AM
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I got the same Quark offer of 50% discount yesterday ... Would have loved to have taken advantage of it to go back to Antarctica . I guess I can take solace in the fact that I will be visiting with polar bears in Churchill instead
eenusa is offline  
Oct 8th, 2008, 05:01 AM
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On the discount page they say it's because of a last minute group cancellation, though if it's only just happened, they wouldn't need to give a refund so the places are paid for already, which means if they can resell even for 50% that's all pure extra profit!

Or they could by lying and it's not sold but my departure is sold out.
Kavey is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 180
One of the concerns that needs to be addressed is the financial solvency of the booking agent/tour operator and the safety of the deposit and final trip payments. It will certainly be worth a closer look at your travel insurance policy to make certain it includes "financial default" and what the limitations of that coverage might include. Also, pay by credit card where possible and pay as close to the travel date as the agent will accept. Just some suggestions but the economy is changing very quickly and so should our approach to doing business.
Temba is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 06:23 AM
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On that same note. Make sure to check on more than just "financial default." I have discovered that while many policies do cover bankruptcy issues - it only applies to a specific list of companies that is in the fine print. Make sure that the company you use is covered. This is especially important with many of us on this board booking through African based companies that won't be on "that list". Just make sure to go one step further when is says it covers "financial default" to make sure your specific trip is covered.
aowens is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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temba, good point!

all payments are meant to travel through the TA's account directly further to the camp/lodge.

european and/or american/australian etc. TA should be in much lesser danger of going bancrupt. when the money has left these accounts it's in the hands of the camp/lodge/resort i would hope and not with an african TA/operator which is a completely different story - and in most cases beyond reachability.

credit card payment might make a difference and somehow if there is a surcharge that money would be worthwhile to sacrifice. but only if you can PROVE the OP went bancrupt and maybe this money will be held by the liquidator.

you are right - the danger lies here with the TA/OP and not with the venue itself.

divine54 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Re the Quark 50% offer, appears to me that as 60/days prior departure when all final payments should have been made, they just haven't filled all the space.

My guess is that it's most unlikely if a group has paid in full by the final payment date, the entire group didn't cancel.

sandi is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 07:05 AM
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A 35% off offer on the Feb 2nd sailing of Clipper Adventurer

I'm going to Belize then. I really need to stop planning any trips in advance
Patty is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 01:10 PM
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CC africa has got an absolutely fantastic botswana offer out know for up until feb 09!
forget wilderness!

divine54 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 01:10 PM
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.............and kwando!

divine54 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 05:05 PM
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I wasn't going anywhere in 2009, hunkering down to see how things shake out. But then--dang this Internet!--I started trolling the Web. Found a 35-day cruise from Hong Kong to Athens (Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Jordan, Oman, Egypt--hey, isn't that in Africa?--with many days at sea)on a small luxury ship for 40% off. And we're not even cruisers! Completely an impulse buy, despite my shrinking retirment savings. Sale or not, it's WAY more than I thought I'd spend next year. So in 2010 I'll be a bag lady who's seen the world!
LAleslie is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 07:43 PM
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Hello all,

A very common error that I have seen while contributing and enjoying reading this forum over the past 10 years is something that was mentioned in Temba's earlier mail viz. "you are interested in another forum members travel plans to a destination other than an African safari lodge or camp". May I point out that this is the Africa and Middle East forum and not the Africa safari forum. Those who come to Africa do not always go on safari or visit camps. Please note that I do not want to re-open the "Temba" issue in this thread as it seemingly has been sorted out. I also want to comment that I loved Aleslie's comment about Egypt - "wow is this not Africa". This says it all as far as the above is concerned. Relative to all of the above all I am doing is using the above comments as a lead in to what I have experienced as a tourguide/ operator working amongst English speaking travelers enquiring about visiting South Africa (please note not the rest of Africa) over the past 3 months, that is since the credit crunch seemingly became a reality in all our lives.

In summary what I have experienced has been the followiing:

1. The American market has virtually dropped by 80% in terms of tour requests

2. The British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand market has increased by about 50%. Yup you are reading correctly I did use the word increased.

3. About 75% of those making enquiries have very surprisingly foregone the opportunity to go on safari and are visiting South Africa to experience its cities, peoples and the country generally. I have asked those making enquiries why they are not going on safari or are doing some sort of animal experience. They have all answered that it was too expensive and it was the only way that they could budget to see and enjoy South Africa.

4. When I have suggested a cheap and good safari option, which I might add as a professional tour operator I do not offer as a touring facility, but which I would have liked them to arrange on their own so as to enjoy a South African animal experience, they have declined the opportunity to do so as they seemed to be fixed with the idea that safari = expensive.

5. Barring two applications to tour all those who have written to me were in the age group 45 upwards.

6. Taking all into account general tour enquiries are down by about 10%.

Make what you want of all of the above but this is what is actually happening out there in terms of future requests to visit South Africa from one tour operators perspective.

Hope this helps in terms of those of you trying to fathom out what is going down in the world of South African (not necessarily African) travel.

In these trying times when deciding whether you want to travel my suggestion is dont let the situation of others effect your decision. Rather take the sensible route that Kavey and ALeslie are taking of never travelling on credit and if you have specifically saved the cash to travel then damn the rest as nothing should stop you from doing so.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 08:43 PM
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Posts: 5,215
Interesting, thanks.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  

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