Tourists bearing apps increasingly bypass human travel agents and tour guides

Photo: Sipse
Photo: Sipse

Yucatan tour operators expressed disappointment by summer-vacation business volume, saying visitors are preferring to use apps to research and book rooms.

Summer is supposed to be high season for domestic tourists. But visitors from other parts of Mexico have begun to appear indifferent to the services that tour operators and guides can offer.

Visitors have increasingly bypassed traditional tour guides, apparently satisfied with their Google knowledge of the landscape, said the Yucatan Certified Guides Cooperative Society.

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The group’s president, José Francisco González Hernández, lamented that “now visitors plan their trips through electronic applications; there they manage their tours and lodging. They usually walk on their own and do not know that in the hotels, they can hire the services of tourist guides.”

In an interview, he explained tour guides in this sector consider 25 to 28 busy days in a month a healthy schedule. But in the last season, they worked only between 12 and 15 days a month.

“It was not what we expected or what we have in other seasons, but we hope that in November, when there is a period of European tourism, (demand) will be really high and we can recover,” he said.

González Hernández said that certified tourist guides offer a complete service for curious tourists.

He acknowledged that the evolution of tourism with technological platforms has begun to displace tour operators, including travel agencies, so it is necessary to diversify.

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“We as a certified cooperative are already advertising on the internet,” he said, “and that has helped us a little.”

And because Merida is currently “in fashion” and the holidays are ahead, González Hernández is hopeful that business will improve before the end of the year.

Source: Sipse

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