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February 28th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Tour operators

Last night I received an email from Mexican ecotourism pioneer Marlene Ehrenberg Enríquez, whom I count as a friend.

Marlene is exasperated having suffered from repeated tour cancellations from German tour companies, including this one.

For example, a complete ten-day tour of Mexico (arranged in June 2005) has just been cancelled in its entirety, despite only two itinerary days scheduled to be spent on the Mexican Caribbean – and in Playa del Carmen of all places, which is 99 per cent back to its pre-Wilma state.

Marlene has sent an appeal to the Mexico Tourism Board: tell ‘em the real story next week in Berlin, where the humongous International Tourism Fair begins…

UK Operators braced for hurricane legal action

February 16th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under News, Tour operators

In December I wrote of the tempest some holidaymakers’ unleashed against tour operators over their treatment before and after Hurricane Wilma.

Today, TravelMole reports that in the UK, the big operators face a group action "claiming they should not have been flown to Mexico in the first place and that once Wilma struck, not enough was done to help."

Solicitors Alexander Harris are representing (according to The Times) 284 customers who travelled to Cancún with MyTravel, Thomas Cook, Thomson, First Choice and Cosmos.

The number of claims for compensation rose sharply after the story was highlighted on ITV’s Tonight with Trevor McDonald programme last month.

Whatever the…

Agent predicts slowing of booking patterns

January 1st, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under News, Tour operators

Journalist Jane Engle asked Susan Tanzman, the American Society of Travel Agents ’2005 Travel Agent of the Year’ what she sees for travel in 2006. Here’s an excerpt from their December 19th chat:

Regarding the Caribbean, what do you see as the effect in 2006 of the severe weather that we’ve had in some of the coastal resort areas?

People are going to be skeptical to book way in advance in that June to November date.

I think [2005] scared a lot of people… and forecasts keep saying we’re going to have another banner year again…. You’re going to see a slowing of booking patterns into that region.

Do I think Cancún and the Riviera Maya…

Tour Operators blown off course by Wilma

December 15th, 2005 by Steve Bridger filed under Tour operators

Almost two months on from Hurricane Wilma, it’s interesting to reflect on the experiences of some of the estimated 8,500 British tourists who had booked their holiday with a tour operator and who were in and around Cancún at the time Wilma struck.

The Times (London) has published a selection of their emails and subsequent attempts to get adequate refunds. The messages suggest that some of the big names in travel need to face up to some unpalatable truths:  Will I get a refund because of Wilma?

For example, Dianne Taylor (Lincoln, UK) wrote "we will never use Thomas Cook again. The hurricane was a natural disaster but our holiday was ruined by Thomas Cook’s handling…

In brief…

photo: Chantelle TuckerCanadian tour operator Transat A.T. Inc. warned Tuesday its bookings to Mexico and the Caribbean have slipped because many consumers are wary of buying winter packages to Cancún and the Riviera Maya after Wilma – December 13th