Shortly after Indaba this year (a tourism marketing event held on a yearly basis in May) travel agents still had to tell their clients that for 2012, prices weren't available yet and they had to quote their clients based on rack rates for 2011, saying that the customer can expect a price hike that will vary between 10% - 15%. Some of them were urging their clients to speed up the booking process as rooms are supposed to fill up quickly (which I don't believe but that's another discussion) Isn't that amateurish for a company who likes to be the leading ground operator in Southern Africa?
Unlike some of the well-known lodges in South Africa, Wilderness safaris isn't publishing their rack rates on its own website. By the way most of these lodges in SA have published their rates for 2012 some time ago. Andbeyond also published their rates for 2012 ...
So my question: why??? Wouldn't it also be beneficial for the potential client to know if the agent is asking more than the official rack rate? WS for example doesn't like to have its clients to shop around. Maybe the necessity to do so will decline if they have the feeling they are paying the right price.
This is what I found on the website of Eyes on Africa, a well-known TA in the States.
Bottom line, if your agent is providing good value (spending time making recommendations, offering alternatives, providing their own first-hand experiences and expertise, dealing with all logistics of the trip, and making special requests with suppliers), then paying RACK RATE (and even slightly more), while also reaping the benefits of a good agent, is an excellent value.
Probably some of them are asking much more. And I am not implying here that Eyes on Africa is one of them.
Edited by johan db, 19 June 2011 - 09:05 AM.