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How to check a tourism website through a few simple methods
TRUSTED.ro advises customers to check the website and company of the online store before making a purchase from the respective merchant.
In Romania there are several thousand registered travel agencies, most of them also having a presentation site. Nothing wrong here. The problem arises when certain tourism companies or sites operate without a valid license issued by the National Tourism Authority, without a tourist insurance policy, without offering all the necessary documents to the tourist, etc.
Over the years there have been cases with misled tourists, who have woken up with the money given and without the long-awaited vacation. These inconveniences were registered even with the big travel agents, who went into insolvency, without being able to cover the tourists' vacations. see Tide case!
Check websites and travel agencies
Do we have any reason to worry about that in the near future? From my point of view there should be no major reasons, but surprises can always occur. To avoid unpleasant situations, it is best to be more careful and check the travel agencies and sites where you intend to buy your vacation packages.
How can you do this? The answer is simple. A reputable tourism site must have:
- a valid license issued by the National Tourism Authority. It must be displayed on the site (or specify its number on the site). It is important that access to the license is very easy for the customer. Ideally there should be a direct link on the first page.
- a valid policy regarding the insurance of tourists in case of insolvency or bankruptcy of the travel agency. The policy must be renewed annually. There should be the same visibility conditions as for the license.
(A topic on the insolvency policy is more delicate. There are cases when this insurance does not cover all the agency's expenses on the holidays sold, as there is a risk that many tourists will not be able to recover their money.)
- Request a copy of the tourist services contract, when purchasing the package of tourist services. The contract may also be transmitted by e-mail and must not be signed by the parties. As it is a membership contract, it should also be available online, on the tourist services provider's page.
Other ways you can check the website / travel agency:
- Find all the details about the company in the contact page. Trusted.ro requests the sites, which hold the Trustmark, to have in the contact page, among others: the name of the company, the registration data at the Trade Register or ANAF, the share capital and the address.
- Check the opinions of other customers about the company on specialized sites. Several recent European and American studies show that people gain confidence if they find out the opinion of other consumers. Whether you look at specialized sites for tourism, such as TripAdvisor.com or Booking.com, or check the opinions on specialized Romanian sites, such as the Opiniideincredere.ro system, it would be good to trust the opinions that are managed objectively by the company receiving them.
(But pay close attention to the feedback found. They are not always reliable. And they can not always keep you away from annoyances. Until the insolvency, a tourism site can function flawlessly.)
- A reliable indicator is also related to the way of communication. Someone answers your email or phone in a timely manner. An unmediated contact with an employee of the travel company is recommended, before placing the order on the site. Thus, the client can notice how fast the people working there are, what tone they use in communication, if they answered questions, etc.
The Romanian e-commerce legislation is currently almost completely adapted to the one in the European community area, but there are some cases, such as the one of the online travel agencies, in which the clients have to be more vigilant.