Planeta.com's role as an online facilitator/clearinghouse for
ecotourism/sustainable travel features, directory listings and
conferences has provided numerous examples of how stakeholders
can collaborate successfully.
Travelers tell me they want the names of local
guides and hotels that strive to be eco-friendly. Travel agencies
and journalists ask for reliable contacts. Simply put, those
promoting ecotourism, adventure travel, rural tourism, community-based
travel and who do NOT use the Web are at a serious disadvantage.
Contacting travel agencies, hotels and guides is easier than
ever thanks to the Web. No expensive, long distance phone calls.
No phone tag. That's the good news.
The bad news is that many of the entrepreneurs have yet to
learn how to make effective use of the Web. (Tip: Register for
our Web Seminar)
What's the problem? For starters, many people refuse to answer
a timely manner.
The result: no response = no business.
Potential travelers want to know what kind of tours, accommodations,
services are available. The Web provides direct contact to services
that are off the beaten track. If it's easy enough, travelers
will use the Web to make reservations. They may choose not to
commit to a specific tour until they arrive, so they comb the
Web for updated phone numbers and addresses to be used during
Unfortunately, some businesses don't seem to grasp these needs.
If email responses are tardy or do not provide direct answers,
clients simply choose someone else.
Travel agencies may say they don't have time to answer individual
requests, but if I call them up, I can get specific answers
on the phone. Why are email queries different? What it comes
down to is that if a business cannot provide a timely and informative
response, can they be counted on for their service?