Saturday, April 3, 2010

Our First Guests Booked through a Travel Agent

In mid-February, we had our first guests whose trip was arranged by a travel agent. The guests were a whole family – granddad Bob, his son and daughter-in-law Tim and Beth, and Tim and Beth’s three teenaged sons.

The family had talked about taking a trip in Central America to see Maya sites, and that’s what they did here. They started small, touring Xunantunich and Cahal Pech in the San Ignacio area on their first day here, and then traveled to Guatemala to see Tikal on their second. On their final day in the Cayo District, they took the long ride down the road to Caracol. Beth managed to squeeze in a horseback ride with Tom to the Vista, so she got to see a little bit of the jungle as well beyond what you see when you visit the archeological sites.

We had a good time with all of them, and in addition to enjoying their visit, we learned a few things since we usually make all the arrangements with our guests directly through email, not through a travel agent. The big one, after the family missed their water taxi connection to San Pedro, was that we need to get all airline, water taxi, and general transfer information so we know where to take people to catch their transfers. The travel agent had no way to know that Belize City has two water taxi companies, and she therefore didn’t tell Beth which tickets she had. Gonzo and I had asked and had looked at the paperwork she had from the travel agent, and we thought it was the Caye Caulker water taxi. So, that’s where Gonzo left them, only for them to find that their tickets were with the San Pedro Express – so they had to buy new tickets because they had missed their connection with the San Pedro Express. I was probably more upset than they were, but I considered it a lesson learned that we need to get all transfer information for our guests, no matter who makes the reservations.

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