Monday, June 04, 2007

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Not offering the customers what they want


The UK travel companies are not always offering the customers what they want - hence the rise of holidays researched and booked over the internet.

"Among the casualties of these developments have been two award-winning tour operators: Laskarina Holidays, which specialised in holidays to Greece, and Tapestry Holidays, a Turkey specialist, which both ceased trading last year... Last month TUI said it was teaming up with First Choice. Earlier, Thomas Cook announced plans to merge with MyTravel. " - Mediterranean holidays on offer for £5 Travel News Travel ... Package holidays for £5 as sales plummet

The UK travel industry has got into the habit of offering only what it wants to offer. For example, if you want to go to Italy, you may be told that they don't do Trani; if you want to go to Indonesia, you may be told that you can only go to Bali, or you can only go on a tour with a fairly fixed itinerary; in Malta you may be able to get a package holiday in Sliema, but not in Birzebuggia.

Audley Travel (Audley Travel - Tailor-made journeys for the discerning traveller) do not seem keen on clients who want to base themselves in one particular resort; they want you to go on a long tour; they seem to prefer clients who will stay in particular hotels known to them and follow particular routes known to them. They are not always too good at replying to e-mails.

Undiscovered Destinations (http://www.undiscovered-destinations.com/) will take you to Bangladesh Burma (Myanmar) East Timor Taiwan Angola Comoros Congo (DRC) Eritrea Gabon Mozambique São Tomé and Príncipe Sierra Leone Sudan Uganda Nicaragua Panama Oman or the Ukraine. Some of these trips involve travelling in a group to the places they want you to see. Most of these destinations are available as 'a private journey for individual travellers'. It is not clear how much flexibility is involved; will the travel company prefer clients to stay in particular hotels and follow particular routes?

Transindus ( India tours,China tours,Japan tours:tailor-made holidays ...) claims to offer tailor-made holidays in Asia. It is not clear how flexible they will be. They have not yet replied to our e-mail, sent almost two months ago. We suspect that if you want to go to Indonesia, you may have to do the Java and Bali tour.

Kuoni ( http://www.kuoni.co.uk/) claim to offer tailormade holidays. But you have to travel to the resorts and cities that they want you to travel to.
If you want to travel to somewhere like Malaysia or Managua, where can you find a travel company that will arrange 1. a particular flight of your choice 2. a particular hotel of your choice and 3. a car and driver?

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