On a recent holiday in Vanuatu, we booked a half day tour through the hotel tourist desk. Although billed as a 3 hour tour, it was 1 hour each way travel, less than an hour of the featured activity. On arrival at the destination, the guide was nowhere to be seen, and consequently our activity, a canoe wildlife trip couldn’t be done. So, we made our way back to the hotel.
About half way back to base, we received a phone call from the tour operator, full of apologies and offering us various incentives to turn around and complete the tour as advertised with another guide. By this time, we had gone off the idea so declined. The tour operator didn’t give up. Realising, from checking his bookings, that we had booked a full day tour with him the next day, he offered to add it in to that tour at very little cost.
What a great reaction to a day which could have turned into a bad advertisement for his organisation.
Not so at the hotel. The duty manager tried to dismiss it by telling us patronisingly that we had to realise that we were in a third world country and these things happen. He was talking to the wrong people because both Wendy and I have travelled to other third world countries and one thing they never do is compromise on their service. But this was this young upstart’s answer to the problem. A pity because in all other respects the resort was one of the best we have stayed at.
So, an opportunity found by the tour operator, unfortunately overshadowed by the resort reaction who lost an opportunity to see the incident through our eyes.