I have used our uk based travel company many times to various parts of the world and they use local agents to arrange travel plans - we have used them for south and central america, Asia and Africa. We have always been 100% happy.
We booked to go to Burma last December for November this year, staying in 5 star hotels where available. Our agent has contacted us every week to update us with the position but the hotel accommodation is horrendous. We have now confirmed our holiday only after changing the order of locations and some hotels. This is 6 months. Apparently this is the situation at the moment:-
- the booking situation is manual and with the huge rise of interest they are overwhelmed
- many hotels are holding out for the best price they can get near the time to travel so delaying taking bookings
- many international businesses are block booking accommodation for months for business purposes
- many travel agents are ghost booking accommodation in the hope of making a return on higher room rates
All in all it's been a nightmare and the room rates have gone up a lot. Our agent is honouring our agreed cost and have only been able to secure our holiday by changing some hotels and paying up front. Hope this information is helpful