I Sale of a tour
It should first be determined whether the client who wants to book a tour prefers to:
A. join an escorted tour or
B. choose a FIT, combining leisure and activity according to his individual tastes and interests.
II F.I.T./your relations with the client
If your client wants a tailor-made tour, let him make suggestions, without imposing your own views, on the following points:
- Determine the cities to be visited.
- Number of days (overnights) in each place.
- Mode of transportation between cities.
- Establish a rough time schedule, taking into consideration the time at his disposal.
NOTE: For a leisurely trip, it may be justified to convince your client to leave out some places which s/he can visit another time.
- Air transportation should be used when time is limited and for long distances.
- Surface transportation should be recommended for shorter distances.
- For trains, determine whether TEE (advanced reservation necessary), first class (six seats per compartment) or second class (eight seats). Indicate stations where one needs to change trains.
- Bus should be recommended in some countries, as it usually allows additional sightseeing (Ex.: CIAT, Europabus, Gray Lines, etc).
- When arranging timetables remember that your client is on vacation, and therefore avoid early departures.
C. Hotel accommodation
- Category of hotels: Examine with your client which category of hotel he wants to stay at, deluxe, first class, standard or economy class. It is preferable that he is accommodated in a maximum rate room; however, if he must consider the cost, then rather suggest a lower grade hotel with best available room.
- Type of rooms: Examine whether your client wishes a special room on a special floor, with or without bath/shower, sea view, outside or inside, etc. Draw her/his attention to the fact that in high season a room with bath may be difficult to obtain in some places. In some cases a double room for single occupancy can be suggested, single rooms often being small or not well situated. If your client insists on having a particular room s/he may have to pay a supplement.
- Meals: Ask your client whether he wants to have accommodation on a bed and breakfast, half board or full board basis. If accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis, keep in mind that in certain resorts or hotels half or full board is compulsory.
- Check-in time: Remind your client that check-in time at hotels is usually after 12.00 noon. Immediate occupancy on early morning arrivals can only be secured if the room is reserved from the previous night. If your client leaves late in the evening you may propose s/he pay for an additional night.
- During periods of festivals, fairs or congresses, hotel space may not be available, rendering it necessary for your clients to change the dates in those places; cabled hotel confirmations should therefore be suggested.
- During periods such as Holy Week in Seville, the Carnival in Rio, etc, a minimum stay of five to seven days may be required. The same is applicable in some winter resorts, where a minimum stay of two weeks is required at Christmas and New Year.
- The need for transfers upon arrival or departure results from the fact that it is often difficult to find one's way at airports, piers or stations with which one is not familiar.
- Transfers by WATA agencies include interpreter meeting and assistance, accompanying clients (unless otherwise specified), porterage and transportation of two pieces of hand luggage per person between airport, station, bus or air terminal and hotels or vice versa, as well as a tip for the driver, but it does not include the tip for the hotel porter.
- Type of vehicle varies according to cities, generally by private car or taxi cab.
- Airport transfers are naturally more expensive, but also the most convenient ones.
- When opting for transfer from city air terminal, your client must know that there will be no assistance at the airport, that he will have to tip for baggage at the airport and pay for bus between the airport and the city terminal.
- Bus arrivals: certain bus companies, such as Europabus or CIAT, stop at the major hotels to drop off or collect clients, the disadvantage of this being the client's dependence on time schedules and for his turn to be dropped off. In addition, it will be necessary for the client to contact the local agency if other services are to be provided in that city.
- The advantage of arranging sightseeing in advance is that your client does not have to waste his time queuing up in the local agency. Also, a balance can be established in advance between leisure time and sightseeing, as well as for tours of the city and countryside.
- Motorcoach tours: Apart from the economic viewpoint, there is the advantage of meeting other travellers, but clients have to arrange their own transportation to meeting points, as pick-up is very seldom done on motorcoach tours.
- Private car tours: Your client is picked up at the hotel, has the choice of time of departure and can stop wherever s/he likes, but this is the most expensive solution. In some places there are regular private car tours, or else sightseeing can be done on a seat-in-car basis.
- Hire of private car with chauffeur:
- a) City hire - must be recommended to deluxe clients whose time is limited between trains, boats or planes, or who already know the city and want to see only special places or go shopping. Since very often the chauffeur cannot act as a guide, a private guide will be needed for sightseeing.
- b) Touring hire - if a private car is used for travelling from one city to another, local guides in each place will be sufficient. Distances covered daily should not exceed 250km. The client's attention has to be drawn to the fact that s/he will have to pay for an empty run of the car (return to point of departure). The full daily basic charge is due, even if the vehicle is picked up in the evening.
- Motorlaunch tours/Boat trips: The same applies as for motorcoach tours. Deluxe clients will be picked up at the hotel by private car and driven to the embarkation pier.
- Self-drive cars can also be provided when clients fulfil the necessary conditions and, if required, a local guide can be placed at their disposal.
F. Music festival, theatre and concert tickets
Clients must be told that advance reservation is necessary. Confirmation of requested tickets cannot be guaranteed and tickets are not refundable unless they can be resold.
A. Land arrangements
On the basis of all details furnished by your client, the WATA Master-Key will enable you to make an estimate of the land arrangements.
B. Transatlantic/Pacific transportation
To the land arrangements, the cost of flight/boat tickets for Transatlantic/Pacific transportation has to be added.
C. Cost price
Items A and B give you the cost price.
D. Selling price
In order to obtain the selling price you have to add your handling fees or mark-up, as well as a margin safeguarding any possible increase.
Note : In MASTER-KEY agency commission is already deducted.
IV Suggested itinerary
A. A suggested itinerary should be drafted of what has been agreed with your client and submitted to her/him, together with the final price. The accompanying letter should clearly specify what is included in the price:
- price and type of land arrangements;
- price and class of air/sea/rail tickets, indicating that they are subject to change without notice;
- agency's conditions regarding handling charges, cancellation fees, possible deposit request, etc.
B. It should also point out what is NOT included, such as cost of passport, visa, gratuities, tips to hotel porters, beverages, laundry, taxes (government, landing, embarkation), etc.
C. Acceptance of suggested itinerary should be requested to enable you to proceed with reservations, and a deposit should be requested.
Your relationship with service suppliers
A. Once you are in possession of the client's agreement you can start reservations with carriers and hotels.
V Reservation procedures
B. In case your client requests only hotel reservations in a few places, it is advisable to make the reservations direct with the hotels.
C. However, if transfer, sightseeing or other services are also requested, then it is preferable to go through the local agent who is in a better position to replace a hotel with a similar one in case of full occupancy.
VI Requests for services
Due to frequent changes in time schedules and/or due to changes your client may require, it is not advisable to send transfer requests earlier than one month prior to final documentation. An exception can be made if a special service is required and rate confirmation is needed (Ex.: transfer between places not shown in the WATA Master-Key).
1. Transfers should be requested from WATA affiliates by vouchers, indicating the following items:
NOTE: It must be kept in mind that, unless a special agreement exists with a contractor, at least a deposit, if not a full pre-payment of services should be made in advance.
- Full name of client (s) and number of passengers (for a child or aged person also give age).
- Date of transfer.
- Full description: indicate type of car, name of airport, city air terminal or station, exact flight or train number and arrival/departure time.
- Name of hotel client is staying at.
- Town and date of issue.
- If you do not have the rate of a service, request rate confirmation on the voucher copies.
Whenever possible, obtain all tickets for rail, bus, boat, cruise, sleeping cars, etc, that may be required locally from agencies of foreign railways, bus companies, steamship lines, etc.
C. Hotel accommodation
1. Depending on the time you have, hotel reservations can be made by phone or fax, through hotel representatives, or through a WATA office. If you reserve through a hotel representative or WATA office, their conditions should be respected.
2. Once you have a hotel confirmation, issue a voucher for re-confirmation, indicating the following items:
- full name of client(s) and number of persons (for child or aged person also give age);
- type of room;
- arrival and departure date, time of arrival and flight/train number;
- meal conditions - clearly indicate whether it is rooms only, bed and breakfast (continental or American/English), half or full pension;
- always mention on hotel voucher: 'All taxes and service charges included';
- method of payment - indicate who will pay the bill. If client settles bill direct with hotel, even when a deposit has been sent, hotels do not always pay a commission;
- always ask for re-confirmation of the rate on the voucher copies.
3. If best room is required, it should be determined as deluxe, and a ten per cent supplement foreseen.
4. If a suite is required, it can be estimated 21/2 times twin/bath.
5. Whenever necessary, an extra night is to be foreseen for early arrival or late departure. Indicate on the voucher whether it is early AM arrival the following day or request additional night or day use, advising exact departure time.
6. In case of split stays at the same hotel, a separate voucher should be issued for each stay.
The same applies as for transfers; regular sightseeing tours should not be requested earlier than one month prior to final documentation, except when a special service is required (Ex.: sightseeing starting at airport) or for excursions/tours of two or more days' duration.
1. Sightseeing/excursions/tours should be requested from WATA affiliates by voucher, indicating the following items:
- full name of client(s) and number of persons (for child or aged person also give age);
- date of sightseeing/excursions/tours;
- reference number of tour (if given), tour designation and title;
- by private car or by regular scheduled motorcoach;
- for regular tours, give time and place of departure. For private car tours, indicate 'pick-up at hotel';
- name of hotel client is staying at;
- town and date of issue;
- in case a complete description does not appear in the agent's tariff, ask for additional information and rate confirmation.
2. If your client wants to start a sightseeing tour from airport or station, add transfer rate to sightseeing rate.
E. Chauffeur-driven car hire
1. If private car hire with chauffeur is required it has to be reserved in advance on the basis of rates quoted in the Master-Key. If rates are not given, kindly apply to the agency for rates and details.
2. For requests, issue voucher, indicating following details:
3. City and touring hire must be issued on separate vouchers, as tariffs and minimum daily averages are not the same. Also, if more than one day city hire is required issue one voucher for each day.
- full name of client(s) and number of passengers;
- type of car (year of construction if available);
- for city hire: date and time of beginning of hire, length of hire or time of termination;
- for touring hire: Date of beginning and termination of hire, starting time of hire and termination point, as well as stop-overs;
- special requests, such as automatic cars, air-conditioning, luggage, rack, etc;
- name of hotel client is staying at.
4. Touring rate is established on the basis of a reliable map. Ten per cent of the total mileage should be added for detours. If there are overnight stops an additional 20 miles should be foreseen for possible use of car during the stay in the city.
5. For empty runs it should be noted that the law does not authorise chauffeurs to drive more than 310 miles/500km per day, therefore the total distance should be divided by this authorised maximum to reckon the number of chauffeur's overnights to be added to the touring rate.
6. For chauffeur's accommodation, the rate appearing in the tariff has to be multiplied by the number of days the car has been used (special rates if outside the country).
F. Self-drive cars
If given, use rates appearing in the WATA Master-Key, otherwise apply to the agency or consult Hertz, Avis, etc, for details and rates, whenever so indicated.