Monday, September 27, 2010

The Tourism industry and those in the Tourist Industry

I’ve just come back from 10 days on the road. I wasn’t surprised at the attitude of some operators, both in food outlets and accommodation and other areas associated with the tourism industry.

Some examples:-
Example 1:- End of a row of shops, not far from the main centre of activity, but far enough away that business ‘may’ be affected. A fish and chip shop, empty at 5pm in a well-known tourist town. I was going to order some dinner as we had just arrived in town. I walked in and walked straight back out. The reason? The small packets of tomato sauce and tar-tare sauce, individually priced at $0.50 EACH. The accepted cost is $0.20.

Example 2:- A National Park, ticket fee applies, the operator could see I was having trouble walking (I had crutches) he offered to get the gates opened to allow vehicle access closer to the area we wanted to visit.

Example 3:- Caravan Park, in a tourist only town (pop. 400) The town lives for tourism and fishing. In fact 2 caravan parks and multiple B&B’s and motels and 1 hotel. Again tourists are the main income for many businesses in this town. The caravan park operator closes the office at 6pm, by comparison most operators don’t close their doors until 8pm (as many people don’t decide until near on dark to settle for the night) Operator was quite put out that we knocked on the door to get a lighter for their BBQ that wasn’t working without a gas stove lighter.
Same operator different day (most parks are keypad in/out) the operator had changed the codes and failed to notify us this was the case. We went to exit at 10pm to go fishing, only to find we couldn’t leave. We rang the park owner/manager as there was no-one in attendance at the residence, only to be verbally abused for doing so. The conversation took 15 minutes and the whole time the verbal tirade was disgusting. We are the PAYING customer and should be treated as such.
(The operator DID apologise the following morning) but it was too late for us – we won’t be returning.

If you work or earn an income from visitors to your town, area, establishment or accommodation, you MUST be polite. I know ‘tourists’ can be painful, I know they can be demanding, but keep in mind bad word travels 10 times quicker than good.

We’ve already warned 2 people off that caravan park, and no doubt they will warn others.

I grew up in a tourist town, with my parents income derived from so-called tourists. Those tourists put food on the table and clothes on my back. You never know who will be the next ‘tourist’ through your town and they could make or break you.

Don’t think there are always others, yes there are – but they will only come once and never darken your doorstep again. Be polite and encourage return custom, people will go out of their way to re-visit old haunts just to see a smiling face.

PS – some of the people who came through my parents’ establishment, did so for 20 years and then the children came.

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