After the abolition of compulsory licensing of travel agencies a few years ago, the question of the reliability of travel agencies has become even more acute than before. Regular messages about travelers with no money and no vouchers add fuel to the fire. But this is not a reason to completely abandon travel.
It is necessary
Some replacement for licensing was the creation of the All-Russian General
register of travel agencies, created by the Russian Union of Travel Industry. Entry into the register is not mandatory for travel agencies, at the same time, the presence of a company on the list will not give a 100% guarantee of its reliability. But it is still worth checking the agency with which you are going to work for the first time.
Indeed, when registering in the register, companies provide not only their official data, but also copies of the agreement with the tour operator. And this already means that the company you have chosen has not only its own sign on the facade, but also a history of partnership in the tourism world. Registry data is open to everyone at http://reestr-ta.ru/. Find out in advance its number in the register at the travel agency
Before starting cooperation with a travel agency, ask for a Certificate of Incorporation and a Certificate of Conformity. The contract for the provision of travel services must contain the same company name as in these documents. Make sure the CEO of the company signs the contract with you directly. If this is another person, ask to show the power of attorney to delegate such authority from the head of the company.
In the contract, pay attention to the clause on financial guarantees. They can be of two types: reserving funds in the bank for the payment of compensation or insurance of civil liability of the tour operator. The document must contain the number, date, validity period and address of the bank or insurance company, as well as the amount of financial security.
It will not be superfluous to look for reviews on the work of a travel agency on the Internet. True, objective data will only give you negative reviews. If tourists have already encountered problems in cooperation with this travel agency, then you should not choose it as your guide to distant countries.
Positive reviews, of course, are encouraging, but they do not give a complete guarantee of your relaxing holiday. Not only one-day firms are being closed, but also reputable companies with extensive experience. At the same time, a newly opened travel agency is not always a trap for the traveler. Sometimes experienced managers leave a larger firm to start their own small business. Their "baggage" includes many years of work experience and knowledge of all the specifics, and a young company is more likely to provide you with favorable conditions.
A very clear criterion for the reliability of a travel agency will be the competence of its employees. Do not be afraid to meticulously ask managers about the resorts and hotels you intend to visit, find out the specifics of the country and ask for advice. Friendly, detailed responses are an indicator of the seriousness of the intentions of the company. An excellent recommendation would be a narrow specialization of a travel agency. For example, some agencies work only on Asian destinations, some offer exclusively Mediterranean cruises or extreme tours to Africa. As a rule, such companies have their own niche and are steadily on their feet in it.
And yet, do not be lazy after purchasing a tour to contact the airline and send a request to the hotel. Request confirmation of booking tickets and room payments for you. Thus, you will save yourself from unpleasant surprises at the airport or already at the resort.