A trip that goes sideways, even beyond an agents control, will negatively affect your relationship with your clients; are dodgy destinations worth it?
Glenn decided it was time to say something when he saw the eight-year-old playing in the go-go cage. It was a bar that kids should never be in, especially at 11 PM whilst their Aussie bogan parents made the most of cheap booze.
The parents and their six friends took exception to Glenn politely pointing out this obvious statement of fact. He wasn’t on duty (he is working across Asia to stop child exploitation in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and India) but was lucky that his martial arts skills prevented more serious injury than bruises and stiches; he didn’t strike out once.
All because he told some bogan at a dodgy nightclub that the kids should not be in the cage reserved for sexual simulation to blaring music at a dodgy destination. The Bogan’s were identified on social media and charged.
Now that’s extreme ,but apparently it’s pretty common that “Schoolies eat illegal magic mushrooms in …“.Insert dodgy destination name here as reported this week. You can’t control what kids do when they go on schoolies. But are the parents going to look to you when their kid freaks out to a mind bending psychedelic experience in a dodgy destination?
Or maybe float down a meandering river, sipping on ice cold methanol and pineapple juice before getting stuck in the mud at the bottom of the river.
Maybe they are simply enjoying the wondrous sites and riding the elephants in that tropical paradise. The one where the elephants get treated cruelly in their upbringing to provide the ride. Holidaying there promote practices banned in our own countries. Is that a bit of a dodgy destination?
I have 5 questions about booking trips to dodgy destination:
- Should you have said something when they were booking this trip?
- Is this a family whose holidays you have booked for years and the first booking for the child solo?
- Do you have a liability, moral or otherwise?
- Should some destinations come with a built-in online warning?
- Are these destinations really worth it?
I’m at risk of sounding like an old fart. I have certainly been one of those kids whose parents were better off not knowing what I was up to. Generally speaking that’scalled growing up. Naturally my daughter will do none of this, she is six years old and pure as the driven snow….. and my DNA so I better strap myself in for the teenage years.
18-year-olds are thoroughly sick of listening to their parents, or anyone for that matter. At that age I knew it all, I had pocket money and the 1980s Sigma. I could take care of myself… I’m sure everyone says that.
If the point of travel is fun, to explore, to blow off some steam, do you really need to go to locations that have such an inherent danger level and track record of creating serious repercussions? Can the same, or better experience be achieved elsewhere?
From a purely business sense, I just don’t think you are going to get the repeat business from people who have a bad experience on a trip. Even if it is outside of an agents control , by association there is some level of responsibility or obligation.
In some situations, especially for those seeking these party destinations, there is only one place they want to go. Somewhere in the process I think agents need to share their knowledge of a destination beyond the best airfare, the best hotel, the best activities.
That’s what an expert in travel provides.
If travel agents are the experts, they can elevate the level of service and knowledge they offer clients. Provide safer, better and more satisfyingly memorable trips worth talking about.
That’s something a website can’t do.
What’s your experience from dodgy destinations?
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