To put it bluntly Anthony think you just got a kick in the nuts even though just verbally , as I am sometimes a bit blunt as not being very good at this English lark ,,I think I get my point over. ( thick Yorkshire man,, as they say ,,strong in arm thick in head ) but it’s what makes the world go round
keep smiling though ,
Director of the Club slagging off a member?
Can't be right......
Back to the tours .... I like the idea of Normandy / Brittany. I spent a couple of days in Normandy last year - one of the unexpected highlights was the Canadian museum at Juno Beach / Courseulles-sur-Mer. It does not look much from the outside, but the film at the end was incredibly moving.
But then Belgian breweries sounds very tempting as well ...
Evening all, perhaps I can add some context to the discussion.
As others have pointed out, the Club and informal member groups have a long tradition of running formal and informal tours across Europe. We should do everything we can to promote this core club activity whenever we can.
During the early part of 2016, the MT briefly discussed whether or not we could/should work directly as a 'tour operator'. Being Gen Sec at the time, I made some brief inquires as to how easy this may or may not be and concluded that investing many hours further investigating how we could become fully ATOL/ABTA registered was not a good use of our time.
It was agreed and minuted that we would look to pair up with a recognised 'car tours organisation', hence the tie up with Scenic Car Tours. To my recollection, no communication was given to SCT indicating that they had 'exclusive tour rights'. We would act as an agent and promote tours with SCT - nothing more.
To be clear, a key benefit of using an ABTA/ATOL registered company is that the risk is reduced when making bookings with hotels, ferry companies etc, (service providers) and taking deposits from tour participants. The Club would not be the intermediary between the 'holidaymaker' and the service providers. SCT Terms and Conditions make it clear that tour participants are expected to insure themselves for the usual on highway risks.
Typically the designation of a Club Event has, amongst other things, centred around insurance for certain event types and their associated risks.The Club Employee and Public Liability Insurance does not (and never has) provided cover for the type of 'risk' that ATOL/ABTA certification provides for.
In late 2017 I coordinated a tour to the Picos de Europa for travel in Sept 2018. To ensure I was not personally acting as the intermediary, I used Brittany Ferries tours service to provide the ferry and the hotel accommodation. BF is ATOL/ABTA registered, so our group were covered in the event that a hotel went bankrupt etc.
Why did I take this route? - because our group concluded that we did not want to pay the c.£1250 per head for the SCT tour. That is not a criticsm of SCT - they offer a great service at a certain price point based on the services they include and the standard of accommodation they book. Our tour cost c.£700 per car including ferries and B&B accommodation in Spain.
To my mind, there will likely be a demand in the Club for both a 'premium' SCT type offer and a more mid priced offer (lower rated hotels / half board etc) - you pays your money and you takes your choice. The Club can use the services of a.n.other intermediary such as BF to provide the ATOL/ABTA cover thereby giving members choice.
I always understood that a key role of the Tour Manager on the MT is to act as go-to person in the Club for Tour providers and club members alike - assessing demand, agreeing frequency / timing of tours etc.
Hope this helps
"Director of the Club slagging off a member?
Can't be right......"
But an MT member doing the same to a Director? Must be alright because you did it in an email today. If you don't remember, I can remind you.
And as for your tour to Portugal this year - well, the least said the better if I was you.
Some things make me sick.
Lotus 7 Club.
#46 Thanks Roger, for your wise words.
I was on this years Oporto trip and understand ( I think ) where some of the MT concerns are
in making sure that the club is not compromised if its not an official trip versus a Scenic trip and hence why there
was the need to publish as such. However just for the record we had a good time and found some great roads, good accommodations...and as ever some nice new friends
SM25, do try and resist stirring and walking away !
You make the point well Roger
The Portugal tour last year was rather unique in that we specified the destination hotel so it was in some way bespoke to us. The challenge the SCT had was that Brittany ferries basically have exclusivity over the ferry crossing and they do charge them a premium . You are right therefore that booking a tour with Brittany Ferries is a far better option and getting the protection of the ABTA/ATOL . LADS have done this for years and I know advised you with yours.
When all costs where added up with the Portugal trip the difference between the cost it would have been with SCT and what we all ended up paying was not that great, and thats again one of the advantages of a tour operator, the costs are transparent up front. Yes there were problems and we wouldn't want to do it the same way again, but like Alan says we met up with old friends and made new, weather was great, roads perfect.
The whole point of being on tour with others is the comradery. Whether that is a bunch of friends just getting together informally, a local group sorting out a deal with an ATOL/ABTA company, or a STC Club tour with others from around the country that we make bespoke. We have done all three - which ever way you choose just get the ebag out and hit the open road and enjoy it ....... :-)
AR International and Chair of the International 7 Network