Choosing Tour Operator Local or International?

mardi himal base camp

Whenever you are traveling far from your location, locality, or country many things differs. The lifestyle of the people, their traditions, the language, and whatnot. Indeed, the world is one place but it is unity in diversity. One of the first things that will come into your mind when you are planning for a vacation is whether you are choosing an international tour operator or give a chance to the local tour operator.

Things that are normal and casual won’t be treated as same on the other side of the world. You can not predict or speculate all the things when you are new to the place and far away from home. You might lack the knowledge, information about how things are done here.

As there is a saying, blacksmith knows when and where to hit the iron. If you really have the zeal to explore the authentic culture, tradition, or the sublime natural beauty untouched from humans, the locals know the best. They are fully aware of the fact about what to do and what not to do. They are aware of the hidden information which is not revealed on any map or any information sites. 

If you are not among those tourists who would like to visit a place for the sole reason of uploading on social media or just to visit a place for crossing them from their bucket list, rather willing to know each aspect of lifestyle, environment, tradition. Willing to embrace the new knowledge by pushing yourself away from your comfort zone by exploring the exotic destination and widening your knowledge horizon.

annapurna region trek
annapurna region trek

Locals know the best about their locality. However, a question will arise, How come you are going to choose a good adventure operator? Because you do not have such knowledge about the local market, operators of the place you are willing to visit. Whether they are there to swindle the visitors or else not treating the visitors in a welcoming manner. 

Indeed, you need to keep certain things in mind when you are about to give it a go with locally own operators. Firstly you need to check the authenticity of the local operator. You should not visit any random operator on the corner of the street. Ask the locals, make a shortlist of possible operators. You can also take help from google and other related pages too.

In the next move when you are planning to give them a visit ask local tour operators the following questions. 
  1. How long they have been in the adventure travel business? What qualifies them to lead trek/tour groups?

    This will help you to know about how experienced the tour operator company is? How authentic they are? How they are answering you will help you to identify how well
    managed and professional the company is.
  2. Who are the guides? What is their experience?

    It helps you to have informations about the guides, how well experienced he/she is. What kind of training did the guides have? Your tour is totally depending upon the guide so choosing your guide is crucial for a good tour/ trek.
  1. What is included and excluded in the packages?

    What to expect from the package. It helps you to be well informed about the list of services they are offering and list of those services which you have to pay yourself.
  2. What about cancellation and refund policy and insurance?

    In case of canceling, postponing your tour, you want to know how the refund policy works, methods to claim the refunds. You should also be aware of an insurance policy and how it works. Being aware of such topics will also help you in scenarios where you meet an accident.
  3. What so special about them while comparing with their alternatives?

    It will help you to figure out, how professional they are. How they are different from the rest and what are the reasons to trust them.
  1. List of the guest, that could be used as a reference.

    Nothing is best than getting a review from the former clients. It will give you real feedback about the company. However, be a bit skeptical about whether the testimonials are scripted or not. Check on the review over the trip advisor and other related sites too.

With these questions, it will more or less help you to distinguish the good from the rest if not the best. The way they are dealing with you, giving you the answer, and satisfy your curiosity, you could also figure it out with your intuition which will be the best for you?

Annapurna-Base-camp-picture
Annapurna Base camp

There might still be a doubt in your mind, why not go with the internationally recognized tour operator? There are no such apparent cons on choosing the international operators in terms of trust and service, however, the services they provide, the destinations they offer are too mainstream. The terms and conditions are also not much flexible as compared with the locale.

The major difference between local and international would be on price. Undoubtedly, International operators would be charging you a big fortune while the same service could be provided to you in much less price with all the amenities included. 

There are a bunch of advantages if you are willing to go with the local operators 

  1. Value of Money
    You are getting much much better deal rather than the counterpart while paying for the same service. And who will be there, not willing to save their money?
  2. Knowledge and Experience
    As said earlier, Local knows the best. They could offer you the best from the rest. All you need is to enjoy what they have to offer. 
  1. Flexibility
    When you are with locale, you could be much flexible with your travel packages. You could customize the packages according to your need within the short notice.
  2. Safety
    In case of emergency, the local operator is the best without the doubt. They are aware of local rules and regulations. With the help of their communication network, they will come up with solutions in no time.
  1. Boosting the local economy.
    When you trust the local, the money you spend on your tour packages will totally go into the local market which will eventually help to uplift the local market economy. It will help to adopt the aspects of sustainable tourism when the travelers are trusting the local operators as local operators will be investing the profit in the local community.

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