Local agents giving cost breakdown?

Jan 23rd, 2014, 01:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13
Local agents giving cost breakdown?

I'm in the midst of planning a trip for this coming November and have asked a Yangon based agency for help. This agency seems highly regarded on this forum.
They maintain that the hotels haven't published their costs for this time period yet Agoda seems to list them. I have asked the agency for a cost breakdown so I can choose the most economical route of obtaining lodging but haven't received it. The itinerary simply has a single cost listed at the bottom of the document.
What has been your experience in receiving such a cost breakdown from in-country agencies?
I'm wondering if I need to shop for additional quotes. Thanks.
vicnric is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2014, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,631
Here is the problem: the hotels have not published their agency rates yet for November and won't until sometime in late summer. In Burma there was an arrangement whereby agents get good prices on hotel rooms via annual contracts. Since Burma has become a popular destination, the old system has broken down. Some discounters are advertising rates even though the hotels have not yet given rates to the agencies.

You can press the agent for more info - if they don't yet have the hotel rates, will they guarantee you the trip at the cost they quote? It doesn't hurt to try another agency as well.

I did get rates from the agent for the hotels, though it took longer than one would expect for them to get the rates. Also, I was traveling before the tsunami of travelers arriver (2009, 2011).
Kathie is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2014, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,734
Two years ago, when I traveled to Burma, my travel agent could not tell me the negotiated rate for the Yangon hotel he had booked for me until 4 weeks before my Jan. trip, as the rate was not solidified until then. I sent the TA a deposit based on what he thought the rate might be, and when we I made the final payment in Burma, the total was modified to reflect the actual rate.
shelleyk is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2014, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13
The agent has very clearly stated that the single cost noted on the itinerary is merely an estimate and will be revised.
Kathie, I believe you're right about discounter's rates. ShelleyK, I suppose we'll simply have to wait and see just as you did.
But I am nonetheless disappointed that they didn't provide a cost breakdown. But perhaps that is normal; this trip using an agent is very unusual for us.
Thanks to you both.
vicnric is offline  
Jan 25th, 2014, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 507
Vicnric, I am experiencing the same issue, probably with the same travel agent. I'm debating whether to book directly so I know what my costs are now, but like having the convenience of a local representative, so I'm also torn.
internetwiz is offline  
Jan 25th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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Posts: 28,925
this is normal
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 25th, 2014, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Traveling to Burma isn't like traveling to anywhere else. There are certain oddities of the situation that don't exist in other places.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 26th, 2014, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,072
Why don't you get quotes from at least 2 agencies ...and let them know you are doing this? I also traveled there before the tsunami (as Kathie puts it) and I balked at the price I was first handed and they quickly lowered it. I knew what the flight prices were (online) and the range the hotel prices were expected to be and they were waayyy above that. And I know they need to make a profit - but within limits.
wintersp is offline  
Feb 10th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13
internetwiz, did you decide to stick with the use of a local agent or have you booked directly? The former route seems less transparent but easier. I've been working with SM.
vicnric is offline  

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