The online tourism industry has brought a lot to customers in term of convenience and low prices and we are proud to be part of it. In a span of a few years, booking a trip has become very easy as you just need to be connected to the internet, compare the packages and book it online. In a few minutes you can actually find the cheapest package while before people had to visit one by one each travel agency in town.
But wait, there is something less positive with e-commerce: It is also equally easy for someone to start an illegal online business and scam his future clients.
For this reason when you book tour package to any destination you need to verify a few things or else you will end up having headaches instead of enjoying your tour.
Now here is our piece of advice on what you should check before we buy your slots for a tour to Sagada:
Is the operator legal?
Forget the scanned documents on the website of the operator (photoshop can easily do that) and search directly the name of the tour operator on the website of the department of trade and industry of the Philippines
You will notice that we ("tripinas") is registered and fully legal.
Is the operator currently operating the destination?
Social medial will give you a good answer to that. You can for example visit our facebook page and browse the photos of our previous trips and comments of our previous clients. If the operator has no photos of his supposed trips it might say something about its activity
Is the operator blacklisted by the local guide association?
Check this list by Saggas and make sure you are not buying a trip from these operators who obviously have an issue.
Is the tour sure to happen or does the operator need a certain number of participants for the tour to go?
Here we guarantee the departure regardless of the number of participants. Other will cancel if their van is half-emplty and will leave you on a weekend with no plan
Will you get your money back if the tour operator cancels the schedule?
We give 100% refund of your payment if we have to cancel the tour (before it has started). As simple as that. Others would keep part or totality of your payment for a tour that has never happened.
Does the operator have hidden charges?
A hidden charge is when the package does not include the mandatory fee.
For example in Sagada, each tourist is required to pay the "environmental fee".
"Operator X" →Environmental fee not included
A hidden charge is also when an operator includes an activity but ask the clients to pay a part of this activity on site
For example for Bomod-ok falls tour:
"TRIPinas" → Entrance fee + guide included
"Operator X" → Entrance fee BUT guide not included
For example for the town tour:
"TRIPinas" →Entrance fee of all the sites and guided included
"Operator X" →Ganduyan museum fee and pottery not included,
Does the operator overload its vehicle
This is another trick of low quality operators. They actually sell you half a seat in their van. Problem is the ride to the Mountain province is around 11 hours. Do you really want to seat on an empty space between a seat and a jump seat for that long? The largest van in the market have a capacity of 12 passengers. So if you see a package with more than 12 passengers per van think twice. It is also accident-prone as the van can topple over easily.
We hope this page gave you enough tips to avoid being scammed and for you to be wise with your choice and fully enjoy the Cordillera!