REPORT #392 September 2000
TOURIST BOARD NEEDS TO EDUCATE CAYE CAULKER GUEST HOUSE OPERATORS!


Produced by the Belize Development Trust

A USA tourist operator lamented to me once again lately, that he cannot book anybody into Caye Caulker! The Guest Houses make no provision for Travel Agency commissions! The only outfit on Caye Caulker geared to the International Tourist Trade and the Transient Trade combined is Paradise Hotel run by Ramon Reyes.

The National Tourist Board need to do something about educational seminars! At heart is the nave amateurish booking and pricing systems used by most Belizean hotel operators. They simply do not understand there must be one price and one price only for their accomodations and services, in which must be built a commission for travel agents abroad and or local. You simply cannot tell a Travel Agent to add on a percentage to the hotel transient booking price locally. Because when the foreign customer comes to stay at the accomodation, they quickly find out the difference in the price, they are rightly put out.

Then they demand from the Travel Agency a refund, which was the add on travel agents commission for going to the trouble of researching accomodations, phone calls and other reservation time consuming things. This he cannot do and loses a valuable local customer in whichever country that booking came from.

Honoring travel agents reservations is another problem faced with booking at small tourist operations in Belize. The whole subject requires some training seminars and publicity. If you are a cheap place catering solely to the transient walk in crowd, then stick to it. But if you aspire to also cater to internet bookings and have a web page, or other advertising, then you better honor your reservations and increase your prices to transient walk in trade, the commission you will have to pay for a Travel Agent from abroad, who calls one in. Even Iguana Reef Inn at Caye Caulker is missing out on this facet of international travel agents bookings.

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