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I am a TA looking for info on 3 new destinations offered out of my area, they are St. Barths, St. Kitts, and St. Maartin

I am a TA looking for info on 3 new destinations offered out of my area, they are St. Barths, St. Kitts, and St. Maartin

Aug 20th, 2002, 01:28 PM
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If you are familiar with the travel industry (which i DON'T think you are), you will know that most tour operators policy in not to refund the difference should the price go down, how then would they profit? if you went into the Gap and bought a sweater in January for 59.99 and then saw it in April for 29.99, would you expect the Gap to refund you? Perhaps you should read the 'terms and conditions' in the back of the tour operators brochure.
Aug 20th, 2002, 01:43 PM
Parrot Mom
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One of the things I agree with is the fact that in large companies they are nothing but "order takers" and really offer no service.. But...I really feel nowadays it is up to a client or potential client to do homework on the internet before dealing with their travel agent. Yes. I understand there is no $$ in being a travel agent now with people buying online at "auctions"..I couldn't possibly do that..I'm "chicken"..If a travel agent who has been in the business for years and needs info...there are all sorts of legitimate sites on the internet to get information. Let me end this discussion on my side with ...my husband and I love to travel.. we've been to places that most people dream about...and he would like me to become a travel agent..but I can't stand rejection...lol and that;s the truth.. I love helping people in telling them the truth about locations..the good and the bad.. thank you all for the interesting discussion....I have found a new cruise only travel agent and my other vacations I'll deal with them as they come up.... after I've done research on the country and the resorts myself..
Aug 20th, 2002, 03:57 PM
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Sorry to post again but I just couldn't resist.

If you "pity any client who is given information off this board" then why the hell do you still visit this site? You proceed to tell us to make sure to check all info posted here as if to say none of us provide valid opinions. I beg to differ. I, for one, have been helped quite a few times from this forum, and on the flipside have also provided some valid info to others. I do however agree with you in that there is a difference between a professional travel agent who provides that one on one service and an 'order taker' - the difference is the PRICE YOU PAY. You can go to a no frills agency where they cut their commission and get no frills service. Or, you can go to a full service agency where full commission is incorporated in the cost and get full service. Unfortunately, the days of getting both THE BEST service and THE BEST price are fading slowly due to a lot of competition, especially from the web.
Aug 20th, 2002, 04:53 PM
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no, not familiar at all but am looking at the credit card statement right now with the CASH AA refund on it for tickets in November (no voucher) and I didn't call him to tell him, he got the credit and surprised me! Guess that's the difference. I use an professional and he does more than call the wholesaler to get me to the places I go and few are "tours" or prepackaged specials. No, just check the info here since SOME of it is very unreliable by folks with all kinds of agendas. I do get information here and I do check it out elsewhere to confirm it because I've read much too much misinformation and bashing here. Try the auction sights. I have done very well with luxury link and they are terrific to work with once you've won the auction.
Aug 20th, 2002, 05:05 PM
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I really didn't mean to spark a debate on the value of TA's here, really. I have done actual research on these destinations, but I also thought maybe I would get some opinions from people who have been there, for a well rounded view of these destinations. I am going to be attending a product launch next week, and they are bringing people from these tourist boards there, so I will again learn some more. I was just trying to get as much info as possible.

I do consider myself a good agent, and this is why I am trying to learn about a destination I don't know about. I am willing to admit if I don't know about a destination, but I would like to educate myself.

If you have nothing to say about the destinations, don't respond. There are some people on this site, who are wonderful and know so much, but I think they get lost within all the babblings of people who don't know how to answer a valid question with a valid response.

Sorry I bothered.
Aug 20th, 2002, 07:28 PM
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Who died and made you Fodor's police? "If you have nothing to say about the destinations don't post?" Perhaps you should post when you have a better question and not try to do your homework here little girl.
Aug 21st, 2002, 03:34 AM
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Did you not read my entire post there bud, I said I have done my homework, but I am trying to get a little extra personal opinions. Travel books, and tourist websites can only tell you so much.
Aug 21st, 2002, 06:45 AM
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You know what really hurts? I book my Caribbean travel thru AAA and have used the same place since 87. My TA is NOT allowed to make any type of long distance call to check on properties we are interested in. They want me to plunk down thousands for a trip, but they won't fork out a buck or two for a two minute phone call.

Most of her info comes from a book. That's like going in blind. I think most of the info given on this board is pretty good. I think I'm smart enough to tell the trolls from the real advice givers. I feel I have learned a lot here and I appreciate all the real contributors.
Aug 21st, 2002, 09:36 AM
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Ok, I have to jump in here again. I just want to say that I started looking at the message boards back in '98 and still sometimes peruse them to see what people are saying about different destinations. There is tons of info, good and bad to be found. However, I have many clients who also look at these boards then phone me hysterically because someone stated they didn't like a resort that my client is going to. Like a poster said earlier, not everyone likes the same things.

As far as the ta business...in my experience, you will find a mix of younger and old ta's. The older ones have been doing it for 30 years and that's all they know. And by this point have established a good clientele. The young ones find it interesting and inspite of the horrible pay want to do it anyway.

There are good and bad travel agents. There are large and small agencies. There is no-frills service and there is full service. You're right, you need to do your homework to find the right one. Most of my clients find me by word of mouth. I don't do this full time anymore. Can't afford it. I work from home. I work hard. When a client has a request, I do everything I can to assist them with that request, whether it be to research the resort or honestly tell them it is not the right place for them. Most of the time I can't match Internet competitors. But, my clients keep coming back because my service is personal. They can call me on my cell, they can email me, the can inundate me with questions. It's my job to give them the service they deserve.

So, if Melissa is looking for info on this site to help her become a better ta, more power to her. Back in the day, fams were plentiful. Resorts were happy to offer you a room for $25 for a week, just so you come see their property. I was lucky back then. I got to travel the Caribbean very inexpensively and can tell my clients firsthand. It is almost impossibly to that anymore. So, it is very hard for new ta's now.

Just wanted to give some insight...
Aug 25th, 2002, 06:14 AM
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