Brochures usually contain pictures of happy, young, smiling representatives, and give the impression that all the company's reps are there to ensure you get the maximum enjoyment from your holiday. Within this general approach you should remember that the rep is there to sell you commission earning trips and car-hire. Reps are quite lowly paid and their extra earnings come from commission on the trips they sell you. Having attended 'welcome meetings' and overheard several more, our view is that for most reps the priority is on selling you the company's trips.
In Tenerife a number of our neighbours are 'holiday reps'. Judging on this small sample the priorities of holiday reps are; equal first - where to go for free drinks, and Spanish boyfriends (or Scandinavian female reps if male); second - earning commissions; third - where will I go next. It might be that our neighbours are "un-representative", but it does seem that the combination of personal and company priorities result in a service which is a long way from the 'total care' you thought might be lavished on you by the holiday rep.
If you are expecting your holiday rep to be a source of local information think again. Most reps change resorts every season and often their knowledge is limited to what is in the 'local information book' and their own priorities (see above). Having listened in on 'welcome meetings' in southern Tenerife the amount of wrong information given to holidaymakers is quite alarming. Of course you might have a locally recruited rep who lives in the area, in which case count yourself lucky to have such good advice available but don't expect such service on every holiday.
Please do not confuse the 'volume market' holiday reps with Guide Leaders on specialist walking holidays, who will be with you all day, almost every day, and have high levels of expertise.
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