Lan: That's what they call FREE ENTERPRISE!
It includes private property owners like me making our vacation properties available DIRECT to tourists for less money ('cause we don't have to pay travel agent commissions.)
Get used to it!
I am one of the original Paradise Villas owners, and I am also one of several Paradise Villas owners who rents my condos on the web, with my own home page, right here on www.ambergriscaye.com.
Nothing about my home page should confuse anyone. It states thatI book ONLY MY OWN TWO privately owned units, it says that they are available on an accommodations only basis (I don't masquerade as a travel agent), it says what the rates are for the various times of the year, and it has my email address and phone number (plus all kinds of info on what the two condos have and where in San Pedro they are located.)
Anybody who can read at the sixth grade level can understand what I am offering.
How am I "hurting" tourists by:
1. Charging LESS than others because I am not forced to pay 20% commissions and free accommodations on demand to so-called "wholesalers" (the same folks who have tried their best to persuade me to raise my rates...I refused and now some of them dropped theirs to match mine...which is GOOD for the tourists, not bad for them!
2. NOT trying to gouge the local boat operators by asking them to pay me commissions for sending them business like certain other condo owners (and all the so called "wholesalers")do;
3. Communicating DIRECTLY with the people who book my units instead of forcing them to go through an intermediary (I wish I had a dollar for every guest staying at another Paradise Villas condo who called me in a panic with last minute questions that their travel agent never answered...)
4. Having a local Belizean (Nellie Gomez) managing my units, rather than one of the gringo property managers/travel agents doing so. And she does a fantastic job, too! (that doesn't mean that the others don't do a good job too, I am sure they do.
These are all good things, to my way of thinking...and if some folks disagree, well that's what freedom is all about, isn't it? Everything doesn't have to be done "the way we've always done it..." The more choices people have when they travel the BETTER off they are. Competition is good for the traveler. And its good for the community.