How to check the reliability of a tour operator?This issue has become particularly topical for Russian travelers in recent years.What is surprising - allegations that another tour agency announced the termination of the activity, while its customers are vainly waiting for airport check-in, or attempt to move into a hotel abroad, appearing in the media more often.At the same time, "the heroes of reportage" are not one-day companies, and it is held, well-known brands.How to be a Russian tourists?Is there a rating of tour operators in reliability, which can be guided?
What is the problem?
to understand that the media coverage of precedents, which reflect the bankruptcy of the players of the tourism market - not an accident but a systemic problem, turn to the experts to statistics provided by a number of sources.More than a dozen tour operators in 2014 announced their bankruptcy, and this experienced difficulties with the organization of rest more than 50 thousand. Tourists.
Reliability - in motion
One of the criteria, which may become a benchmark in how to check the reliability of the tour operator, experts have called the active development of the business.If the firm is not in place, developing, promoting its brand in other cities, then it is likely to have substantial financial reserves, analysts believe the market.The indicator is also the appearance of the structure of the new services of tour operator services, interesting and unusual excursions.
Effectively - so firmly?
Some market analysts offer to meet operators "on clothes."An indicator of solvency of the company can be, for example, expensive office in the city center, high-quality repair it.Another indirect indicator - a functional and user-friendly website, the production of which can not be cheap.
Great choice ahead
Another criterion, analysts say the market - the possibility to book tours for a long time.This indicates that the company has a good set of links in the industry - with hotels, airlines, various intermediary bodies, offering customers a wide choice of opportunities.
business model, which is characterized by reliable tour operators, suggests significant diversification of the company's relationships with its partners, experts say.This is useful not only in terms of the formation of offers for customers, but also in terms of the availability of spare strokes if any counterparties will experience difficulty.
Charter to sea
Some experts negatively refers to the practice where travel agencies refer clients to rest by means of charter flights.Much more reliable option, analysts say, when a flight is performed under the regular schedule.Therefore, if a customer asks a question, how to test the reliability of the tour operator, it is useful to look at the model of the relationship of the company with the airlines.
Some market analysts believe a significant criterion for highly specialized travel agencies.Which can be expressed, for example, in working with any one geographic destination, country or theme tours.Despite the fact that the largest Russian tour operators have disproportionately large financial possibilities compared to the average player, the latter, however, can successfully fight the leaders in certain niche segments and even entice customers to itself.Thus people will receive the appropriate level of service.
Payment in advance
Among the most frequent problems that have in the travel market - a failure or sudden lack of resources to pay for operator services the airlines and hotel booking.Client firms already located literally at the airport, finds that it can not check in because of the fact that the ticket is not paid by the tour operator.A similar situation can occur when you check into a hotel.To avoid such cases, experts advise to deal with tour operators that offer pre-pay services relevant counterparties.
But even if the promises given by the company, experts say, the tourists before you go, it's worth to call the hotel or the airline to make sure your paid for.This information is not secret, and this kind of testing is not forbidden.It is important to make sure not only in the fact of payment for the ticket, and place in the room, but also to verify all the dates, as well as make sure that a seat is confirmed not only on the flight back, but also back.
According to some experts, an important criterion for the reliability of a tour operator can be considered as a fact of ownership of shares in companies by foreigners.This may indicate, in particular, on the best conditions for lending - International rates are lower, the ratio of banks in some cases more loyal.For foreign investors, Russian tourism market is attractive - it grows, our travelers, moreover, ready to spend money on trips longer than many Europeans.And because the proportion of foreign partners in the share capital of Russian tour operators can be significant.
There is evidence that Russian lawmakers currently preparing quite promising amendments to the Federal Law "About bases of tourist activity" that can introduce additional standards for tour operators.It is expected that the final phase of their consideration by the authorities will be in November and December 2014.What's new in the law?
First of all, the entry threshold will be raised in the companies register of tour operators.Essential criteria may be, in particular, the provision of proper financial statements (and in support of - the results of the audit), as well as the provision of information concerning the personal goodwill of the first persons of the company.Another criterion of a financial nature, which may be mandatory - the existence of bank guarantees from tour operators with charter flights.
assumed that there will be a new system under which responsibility is insured travel agencies.In particular, we are talking about royalties fixed amount for every tourist in special funds, the funds of which are expected to use when problems arise.
powers of authorities
likely to expand the powers of the Federal Tourism Agency in the field of control and supervisory functions (including in the direction of initiating audits).If the activity of the operator will be identified violations during inspections, it can be removed from the register.Outside that agency, in accordance with the law, can not work legally.This means that its activities will be treated as a criminal offense in the form of illegal business.
What is the Registry?
Above we said that tour operators can legally conduct their work only if their brand is present in the official register.What does it mean?
activities is "accreditation", as we have said, is illegal.Registry operates at the federal level.Tour operators in Moscow, Vladivostok, or registered in a small provincial town the company must meet the criteria defined by the state.
the appropriate register - State.He appeared in 2007 as a reliability evaluation system of travel agencies by the relevant agencies.The main criterion for the moment - the level of financial support activities.If it is sufficient, then the travel agency gets to the Registry.Now in the list of "accredited" by the state operators - several thousand companies.Besides the fact that the Register fulfills the function of access control companies in the segment of tourist activity, it serves as a reference for the different counterparties operators - primarily insurance companies.
Registry Law requires
Many tourists, meanwhile, are not aware that the Registry is.Although, as experts note, the majority of those companies that brought inconvenience to customers, corresponding to "accreditation" had quite a.Therefore, analysts believe the market, the Register in its present form - not an indicator.However, it may in fact be such large-scale adoption of amendments to the legislation regulating the tourism industry.
Facts from online
How to check the reliability of the tour operator through online analytics?Possible.Moreover, many Russians prefer to identify bona fide travel agency just did using the Internet resources.It is acceptable by examining the reliability rating of tour operators, and also to explore online information sources.
The first thing that you can use - services website analytics.With their help, you can explore the "virtual representation" of any of the tour operator for the citation, the number of visitors and other indicators showing the popular brand in the online space.However, it should be borne in mind that a significant percentage of the traffic on the site can be generated artificially.Therefore, the study sites statistics - this is just one of the possible tools that best complement the other.
such as, for example, the study reviews - on travel forums in the relevant section of operators, portals and reservation systems, etc.That is, the views of people who have had a real experience of cooperation with various tour operators, travel on the relevant programs and use various services firms.However, there is one, and it is quite obvious caveat - reviews, as well as traffic may be unreal, proplachennymi.
An alternative may be to its users assess "hyped" experts in their blogs.The main advantage - it is unlikely that they will be paid for (and if so - then, probably, the author will not be much to extol the travel agency with which he in fact had a negative experience of interaction).Among cons - the views of various experts can be very dissimilar, even opposite.
national quality standards
possible guideline when choosing a tour operator can be obtained information about their regalia, reflecting the company's success in the industry.To those include, for example, Award Travel Russian Awards.The event tour operators determined that a commission of experts is among the most reliable.
Winners rating for 2013 - companies such as Tez Tour, "Biblio Globus", Pegas Touristic.That is primarily a market leader, the biggest operators.Unconditional leadership, receiving 33% of the vote, securing it Tez Tour.This confirms one of us mentioned criteria - the scale of the firm and, as a consequence, the availability of the necessary resources to fulfill its obligations to the tourists.Besides playing the role of the factor of reputation.Market leaders want their customers to be assured that it is a reliable tour operators.
award jointly established magazine Travel Russian News and the company PR2POINT, working on marketing communications.Methodology for determining the winners of the sociological survey is based on the tourists themselves, to be operators.The Russians thus make themselves rated tour operators for reliability.However, it should be noted - the respondent initially proposed a list of 30 pre-selected companies, at least it was in 2013.Perhaps the new rating is tour operators in 2014, which probably will be the magazine, other criteria allow the formation of lists of firms competing for high score for society.The sample of respondents in 2013 amounted to 1,600 people from 205 towns from all federal districts.Question to the respondents was: select three Russian tour operators who, in your opinion, the most reliable.
There are, of course, and other industry rankings, perhaps less well-known simple inhabitant.There are also regional "elite list".Many industry portals are trying to rank for the reliability of tour operators in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Far Eastern regions.The criteria can be selected, based on the specifics of doing business in some cities.