Monday, March 21, 2011

Colonial Tours: is it good as the Trip Advisor says?

by the Colca Specialist

Colonial Tours is a travel agency that it is recommended in several travel guidebooks and be sure that if the Colca Specialist pays 500 US to the representatives of these travel guidebooks I would appear in them.

If the Colca Specialist appears one day in one guidebook it would be thanks to the work well done with each one of our clients and not because I payed 500 US to appear in the guidebook.

Well, there are many travel agencies in Arequipa and just a few ones are responsible enough with their clients.

Colonial Tours is a travel agency which has enough experience in these kind of tours in Colca Canyon but it is not the best. There are many complaints against this travel agency which became famous because of car accidents, because of being late all time and because of having poorly paid tour guides who have no insurance, nothing.

What kind of responsible tourism is this that the tour guides are poorly paid and have no insurance?

Now we understand why the tour guides are eager to take their clients to the touristic restaurants in order to get commissions.
There are many tour guides whose English is chaotic and whose knowledge is very poor. It is because the travel agency he or she works with is not responsible enough with their workers. If they are not responsible with their workers you can easily realize that they don´t care about their clients.

If these guys would be properly paid they would have money to improve their languages and update their knowledge. If they would be paid properly they wouldn´t have to travel everyday in order to cover basic needs ,neither to show their bored faces to the clients.

In order to make it in tourism you should have a vocation of service. If you don´t have it is simple: you won´t be successful in this business.

Travel agencies should be responsible with their workers and with the people and the environment of the places you visit. That is called sustainable tourism.

As tourists we should have to be responsible too and we should avoid buying tours to companies that don´t practice sustainable tourism. In that way we would collaborate with the development of the areas we visit.

Another funny thing is to see web page of the different travel agencies in Arequipa. 90 percent of them say that the do social work and that they are involved in volunteering programs. Volunteering programs have to be checked carefully. Lots of lies.

Don´t believe those travel agencies that tell you that tips are included in the tour price because they will never arrive to your guides hands. If you want to tip your tour guide because of the good service provided, do it, but you don´t have to tip in advance.

As part of the propaganda many travel agencies from Arequipa put pictures of children of Colca Canyon who supposedly are being helped with the money from donations ,but when you find out you discover that nothing was done with your donations. The same situation happens in Puno.

Many travel agencies from Puno use donations for their own purposes and the donations never arrive to their destiny. Careful with those mystic associations or travel agencies who are sending fake Incas to United States in order to perform condor sacred dances that are fake,dances that nobody knows, not even the most famous peruvian historians or anthropologists. None of these groups are guaranteed by INC (National Cultural Institute of Peru).

The sacred music they play is the music we hear in restaurants everyday, music that most of Peruvians hate, because the same songs are played in all the touristic restaurants you visit. The fake Incas collect money in order to keep the last inca survivors alive and when you ask their names and surnames both are Spanish! Funny right?

Only an innocent could believe those stories. The donations for the children never arrive to their destiny and with the money obtained they buy cars or motorcycles. The fake Incas are musicians who have a deal with esoteric travel agencies from Puno. Next time I will write more about that with more details. The Colca Specialist became a Mythbuster!

Well, travel guidebooks have to be serious with their job and have to inform their clients properly.

If the clients are complaining against the bad service of a specific company, write to that company you are recommending in your travel guidebook and suggest them to improve their service. By the contrary, the clients will realize that the info provided in the guidebook was wrong and they won´t advice their friends to buy your travel guidebooks.

There are many travel agencies in Arequipa that need to improve their services. In the internet you can find all the information about them and there are a lot of complaints against Colonial Tours in web pages and blogs done in english and Spanish languages. Colonial Tours needs to improve its service quality and to solve its problems with its workers in order to be a good responsible travel agency from Arequipa.

If a worker has a problem,the company has a problem too. If the workers don´t work properly the clients satisfaction will be affected and your business can go bankrupt the less expected moment.

Is Trip Advisor reliable enough? I don´t think so.

The Colca Specialist.

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