Open Letter to Hotels.
This is an Open Letter from Tour Operators in Kenya to all hotels in this country. We have had a good relationship over the years but our amity seems to be drifting away.
We should work together as a team; a candle loses nothing by lighting another. After all, a flower doesn’t think of competing with the flower next to it. It’s just Blooms.
We understand you may be under pressure to perform thanks to this dissipating Pandemic but remember We were equally affected.
We have all sung the chorus, “Tourism industry was the most hit”, but then again, we realized there was no award for the most hit.
At the end of the day we are on our own, no one cares whether you have paid your monthly bills. So, most of us stood up, dusted off, folded our shirt sleeves and begun toiling for survival.
At that juncture (we) the tour operators in Kenya cronies (Hotels) who are supposed to be our confidants and boon companion decided otherwise.
Am not generalizing, of course, some of the hotels are still faithful and unswerving to us we appreciate it, this will go a long way.
However, to those of you who have drifted lest you forget we are each other’s harvest, we are each other’s business and magnitude.
When Spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.
With that said, let us delve in and see the factors we as the Tour Operators in Kenya would like to address on some of the drifted hotels in this country.
By now, everybody knows tour Operators in Kenya and agents earn a commission when we book a client in a hotel.
This has been the norm and tradition since time immemorial and this is one of the ways we earn. Why are you changing that?
Why is it that the rate I have (Contract Rate), is the same rate you will give to my client when they happen to call directly to the hotel?
Sometimes it is actually notoriously way lower than our contract rate. Why are you annihilating us?
Do you have a clue the image you paint us (Tour Operators in Kenya) whenever such a case of a hotel giving a better rate than us happens?
You make us look like regular cons and untrusty worth. This is making us keep losing loyal clients because of this esurient and ravenous character you have unfolded.
Some of us at times lower our commission just to give our clients a better rate for instance if the hotel rate is Kes10,000 and our commission is 10%. (Understand Hotels confusing words Here)
Instead of pocketing the Kes1,000 we may share our commission with the client and give them a rate of Kes9500 then only pocket Kes500 not because we don’t need the money but our main goal and motive is to grow this industry.
Fully Booked Façade.
Dear Hotels, how many times have we called only to be given a cold but a firm “Fully Booked” while you were actually not fully booked?
This happens mostly during peak season when you ripe well but the same hotels will push us to give them business during the low season.
Why the pretence?
We only came to realize later when you`re about to be fully booked you hold some hotel rooms for direct booking which will mean you will reap better and stand a chance to keep the client.
Really? Shouldn`t this be above you guys?
Booking. Com fallacy.
We know the more affordable you`re the higher you will be ranked higher in the Booking. Com list. We also embrace the platform and we are not against it at all.
However, why would they have a better rate than the tour Operators in Kenya? If anything, we are all Online Travel Agents and should get at least the same if not better rate.
We understand they do come through at times which is good for you but we equally do come to your rescue as much if not better than them.
As if that is not enough, they have the most flexible cancellation terms. “Free Cancellation, no prepayment needed.
But when it comes to us, for a booking to be secured fully you must pay a deposit!
Why the double standards?
Rate card Delay.
Most of the hotels have a good number of tour operators in Kenya emails. We may have contacted business with you once or twice let’s take a random year like (2020) but towards the end of that year, we happen not to close business with you, voila you forget about us.
Why is it that the following year (2021) you can’t just send us the new rate card? Why is it that we must send numerous emails requesting the same?
Unfortunately, this mostly happens to the new tour Operators in Kenya. Instead of guiding them, they get to learn the hard way.
You forget they are the ones who will run this industry tomorrow when the giant companies are long gone.
Unfounded Double Booking.
Why would you tell us there is a Vacancy while there’s none? Not all hotels though but a number of them.
What we came to realize is that my client might be booked for two days but you happen to get a direct booking from a client who wants to stay for a week, immediately friction starts.
Are you driven by rapacity or passion? Why would you want to cut off the one for few days for profit yet they booked first? We are a hospitable industry and such egoistical and grasping character is not part of us.
Mark Up Scheme.
This is practised mainly by the small new hotels who have little or no knowledge regards tourism and the hospitality Industry.
Giving out commissions to Tour Operators in Kenya seems like a tall order and that they want to maximize their returns.
I have news for you though, first off, welcome to HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY where everyone is hospitable and focuses on delivering more than profit.
However, this model of marking up prices will never work and this is why you realize your solecism and start calling us for fam trips to talk us into business and partnership.
Just learn this early, and this is for anyone planning to start a hotel business. At no given time we shall mark up prices for our clients.
We operate on commissions and we are happy that way.
Thank you for all the invite. Inviting tour operators in Kenya for familiarization trips popularly known as (Fam Trips) and City Hotels for the Cocktails.
However, I want you to note that Fam Trips are one of the best marketing strategies in which a hotel can ever invest.
The only problem we have with you is that you need instant results yet this strategy is more of a marathon than a sprint type of marketing. We may not bring business immediately but in due course.
Not all hotels practice all this and thank you for being true-blue. We appreciate. As for those who have drifted.
Fortunately, we know and you know yourselves. We are not here to spoil anyone`s business so no names for today.
We should work as one and try to elevate the most affected industry worldwide. It is not the time to veer off our Goals, trust and Partnership for profits as an industry.
It is chagrining and exasperating when you find some of the big hotels in this vexed list of hotels yet you should be in the leading paradigm.
Let us check into this and we will all grow this industry together.
Tour Operators in Kenya.