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Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

Yorkshire
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Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

Hi - been reading these posts with great interest and used the advice on this forum to book our safari, which also included a free transfer from the airport. We were very upset when kept waiting at the Voyager gates for nearly 15 minutes because apparently the vehicle belonged to a small safari company (glorious safaris) and they were not welcome at the Voyager as the big tour operators such as Thompson and First Choice don't like it!

I was horrified at the inconvenience and bully boy tactics used by the big operators when we specifically chose this safari company after advice and recommendations from this forum.

Has anyone else suffered similar inconvenience at this or other hotels, with any of the smaller operators recommended on this site? Apparently now when we are picked up for safari we also have to go and wait outside the gate!

I just hate abuse of power and surely this is against European law governing fair trade at least?

Interested to hear if this is a widespread practice or just the Voyager?

Regards, YorkshireLass25

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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1. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

Small or large, if a company is licensed and operating legally and there's no reason to dissuade customers from booking with them, they should be allowed to conduct their business alongside the big operators in exactly the same way. Perhaps Heritage would like to respond – and more immediately perhaps the manager at Voyager (and I know many people here have good relations with the hotel), would like to ensure gate staff aren't discriminating for purely personal reasons. . . .

Richard

Telford, Shropshire
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101 reviews
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2. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

This has been common practice with Voyager for at least the last five years. I believe (and this is WHOLLY my belief) that the reason small companies are stopped outstide the gate is so that there's less chance of the guests at the hotel being "touted or pestered" to buy a safari from them. I know earlier this year, I saw some security staff on the beach aiming to keep the beach sellers away from the guests - hence stopping any "harrassment" whilst on holiday.

It's only my belief that this could be the case, I would be interested to find out what the reason is.

Min x

Mombasa
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77 posts
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3. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

Dear Yorkshirelass25 and others,

It is normal practice in the hotels to harass small tour operators. Almost all hotels be it North coast or South coast hotels they dont allow the so called local tour operators in to the hotel premises. I think this was brought by the big tour operators and the hotels took it as a way of safeguarding their businesses and their agents interests.

I dont think there is anything wrong to allow a licenced local safari operators to enter the hotel (s) to pick their clients, but the ministry of tourism in kenya is quiet on this, and they are the same people who are issuing licences to the local tour operators.

Can you imagine, Some of the hotels does not accept hotel bookings from local tour operators if the clients are from Switzerland? only because Private Safaris deals with Swiss people.

I think all hotels should be flexible and allow them pick their clients instead of harrasing them. By the way Thomsons's, Kuoni's, or any other big tour operators clients are not being forced to buy from the local tour opearators but they are doing that in order to save their hard earned money.

Edited: 18 December 2009, 15:06
South West England...
Destination Expert
for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
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25 reviews
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4. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

Could it also have something to do with an ex Voyager employee working for Glorious???

Shanzu, Kenya
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55 reviews
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5. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

It is unfortunately fairly widespread.

One particular smaller Operator that we use I have met in the bar in the Voyager but he is not allowed in the Sun'n'Sands. I have met him in the bar at Pinewood Village but he is not allowed in some of the other South coast resorts.

He told me it is down to the Hotel Managers and how much pressure is brought to bear on them by First Choice, Kuoni. Thomson Reps and Somak etc.

Hythe, United...
Destination Expert
for Kenya
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2,396 posts
123 reviews
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6. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

The same happened to me I Booked Glorious Safaris for a 6 day trip and they wouldn't let them in the gate to pick us up or drop us off. In all my times visiting Kenya this is the first time i have experienced something like this. The company wasn't touting as I had already booked my safari in the UK. I was told that this is due to the big tour operators using one of the lager safari companies (pollmans) and the tour operators didn't want any competition and that the hotel was under pressure to keep the smaller companies out or loose future bookings. It would be very interesting to hear a response from the hotel management as to why this policy is in operation.

Mombasa
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146 posts
32 reviews
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7. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

Absolutely Yankari... no hotel want to be associated with jua kali operators...and thats the ONLY reason they are not allowed in the gates. As I have said many times, choose licenced, insured and accountable operators...

Mombasa
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146 posts
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8. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

and sorry but EVERYONE n this village of Momabsa is an ex employee of SOMEWHERE ...

Hythe, United...
Destination Expert
for Kenya
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2,396 posts
123 reviews
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9. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

As I have said many times, choose licensed, insured and accountable operators... I did and they still were not allowed in. I understand the need to protect people from some of the the disreputable operators but i think voyager has another agenda

london
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25 posts
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10. Re: Voyager - inconvenienced by choice of safari company?

Seven years ago Mombasa hotels had a wake up call and dramatically increased their security when suicide bombers drove a vehicle up to the reception area of the Paradise hotel and tragically killed and injuring a number of tourists and locals. As the threat from such people is far from over I personally fully support any of the Mombasa hotels I stay in limiting access to their premises to vehicles they know.

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