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KATO members

Warwickshire
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KATO members

Hi,

Would appreciate some advice, we are off to Kenya in a couple of weeks and have been looking into safaris. We had narrowed the companies down to JT, Glorious and F Kings and then decided F Kings was the one for us. Someone then mentioned Kato but neither of the three companies we were looking at appear to be members, should we go elsewhere?

Nairobi, Nairobi...
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21. Re: KATO members

Dear Leeds / GJGB,

This post has just been brought to my attention and I wish to clarify an important issue ..... there are so many different travel discussion blogs and some of us are not that "blog savvy" - still trying to get the hang of it. Much of our communication, especially on issues such as these, normally comes to us direct via email and is responded to promptly. It would be nice if one could drop us an email (info@katokenya.org) before coming to a conclusion about our ability or willingness to respond.

Having said that, two issues have been raised :

Adherence by members to the Code of Conduct ..... a “Code of Conduct” simply refers to the particular way in which our members undertake to act/behave. This does not in any way mean they will do exactly that and some members can and do violate the provisions of the Code. This is not unique to KATO as I doubt there is any travel Association that has not had, at one time or the other, to deal with errant members. Let us also look on the positive side..... out of 350 members, how many are featured in this forum?

What is important is to have a clear manner in which any transgressions will be dealt with. KATO has such mechanisms.

Bonding Scheme: this is pretty much in its infancy stage having been approved barely one month ago. The essence behind it is simple ..... the Association will institute a Financial Guarantee to cover tourist/agents booked with a KATO member, in the event that that member goes into voluntary liquidation before delivering the contracted services. The stage we are at now is negotiations with the Insurer for that overall amount and the individual limits for each member. All claims under the Bond will in the first instance be forwarded to KATO for verification before the Insurer kicks in. The target launch is January 2012 and more information will be availed before then. The Scheme will be compulsory for all.

Steenbok Safaris : The mandate of the KATO Ethics Committee is structured to kick in ONLY after a formally complaint in writing has been forwarded to the Association, This is from one who is ready, able and willing to provide all the corroborating evidence required. We confirm that we have yesterday received the formal complaint about Steenbok and their Driver-Guide and are following up with the persons who reported the matter. The next stage will be to validate the reports with eye witnesses before the Ethics Committee can make appropriate recommendations.

Fred Kaigua

CEO, KATO

London, United...
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22. Re: KATO members

Fred,

Many thanks for the reply, I was beginning to feel it would end up under the carpet, and am happy you found time to reply.

We are all grown up and aware that ensuring everyone adheres to the Codes is nearly impossible; hence why I asked for your initial thoughts, rather than an investigation. Now a complaint has been formerly lodged, that will come in time, and it will be interesting to see what, if anything comes from it.

Perhaps it was just unfortunate that there were 2 incidents listed here within hours of each other; but it did not show KATO in a good light. One could only wonder why they should choose a KATO member if that is the way in which they operate and behave, a thought that still remains with me.

GJ

Oakland, CA
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1,022 posts
255 reviews
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23. Re: KATO members

Very interesting thread. thanks to all for expressing opinions.

My thoughts: it is admirable and useful, that there is an organization such as KATO. Of travel companies i enquired of, I noted if they were members.

If you see this, Mr Kaigua, thank you for your reply. You are right--we cannot assume that everyone reads and is "savvy" about travel blogs and forums! (Heck, i have acquaintances who are still not comfortable with email--and a friend in UK who still keeps business expenses on PAPER (-;

Besides, when one is running a business or organization, time is not always available to peruse the internet.

KUDOS to KATO for its mission to improve the travel industry in Kenya!

(p.s. I am booking a trip for August 2012 and chose one of Kato's members, Designer Safaris.)

Nairobi, Nairobi...
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24. Re: KATO members

F Kings is a “Provisional Member” of KATO which is the reason why they are not listed. Provisional is a category given to applicants who fall slightly short of the mark but in a way that can be rectified within a year. Examples are having 4 years experience in tourism as opposed the required 5. Upon satisfactory completion for the outstanding issues, they will be upgraded to Associate membership and listed. They are however signatories to our Code of Conduct and bound by the full set of membership rules.

Fred Kaigua

Chief Executive, KATO

Nairobi, Nairobi...
6 posts
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25. Re: KATO members

Hi Calinurse,

Many thanks for your kind words. We however take some of the responsibility as we need to keep current with how things are being done today. The travel forums have become an important source of information exchange and we cannot ignore them. We have therefore assigned one person to spend a little time each day and see if there is anything that requires a response.

Designer Tours and Travel is indeed a KATO member and you are in good hands. Hoe you have a fantastic safari.

Fred

Leeds
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1,205 posts
2 reviews
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26. Re: KATO members

Thanks, Fred. This is a great post for people who have been or are thinking of going. Will be interesting to see what becomes of complaints, which I totally understand you can not relay on here but fellow tourists could.

Warwickshire
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29 posts
4 reviews
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27. Re: KATO members

Thank you for your reply Kato K ref F Kings.

We have read many good things about them and were keen to book our safaris with them, being a member of any body does not guarantee a good time or service, but it does make you feel a little better about the company you are dealing with.

Oakland, CA
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1,022 posts
255 reviews
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28. Re: KATO members

Mr. Kaiuga, thank you for your honest replies to ALL the enquiries on this thread.

Also, "asante sana" for your good wishes and belief of "in good hands."' Designer Safari's manager, Mrs Eunice Koome, responds with good humor and graciousness to numerous questions, even offering to phone from afar(and doing so, when i relievedly agreed) if it was easier to ask on a "real-time" phone conversation, than to write numerous,detailed email questions!

Willingness to join and be associated with a professional organization, to me conveys a certain stake or investment in the nation's travel industry. This is why I sent enquiries only to KATO members.

On Tripadvisor's Uganda Forum are similar comments recommending the Ugandan equivalent, AUTO, with people advising use of its member tour operators as a minimum standard and back-up if problems occur.

London, United...
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990 posts
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29. Re: KATO members

Fred, et al,

Yet another member of KATO providing a poor service:

tripadvisor.co.uk/…36977770

Is it that your members are just having a bad run at the moment or perhaps; paying lip service to your standards?

GJ

Oakland, CA
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1,022 posts
255 reviews
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30. Re: KATO members

Gratuitous sarcasm should be banned.

The incorrect use of the semicolon, above, makes your perfection questionable, GJGB.