Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1193. A travel agency's all-or-nothing optional tour to Mont Tremblant, Canada

Oct 15, 2013
Sheraton Hotel, near Montreal Airport

It is just too competitive in the travel industry and so the management keeps prices low by offering optional tours as "hidden costs"  To be competitive, the travel agencies in China and Hong Kong advertise "cheap" tours. However, the tourists waste much time having to visit jewellery or souvenir shops as part of the tours as they get commissions from the shops for purchases.

In my travel with a Singapore travel agency, a new marketing strategy was to tell the 36 travellers from Singapore that all 36 must opt for the optional tour to Mont Tremblant (US$50/person) or none will go. Just one objection would do. The tour guide asked each party individually and there was a consensus to go. As an incentive, there was a "free" trip to visit the 3rd largest waterfall the day before.

I find this marketing strategy to be blackmail. The management should have included this inside the package as the group would have to spend the whole afternoon on their own in Montreal city, after visiting it in the morning if 1/36 objected to visiting Mont Tremblant.    

Singapore travellers are not that sophisticated and many look only for "cheap" tours rather than quality tours. This is mass tourism and profits are dependent on volumes rather than quality. The same applies to other businesses catering to the masses. In the morning, it was drizzling but the sun shone brightly at Mont Tremblant and the visit was much better than loitering around the city of Montreal on our own.      

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