For this holiday season, the Querétaro Tour Operators Association has recommended that tourists go to legally constituted companies that offer security and confidence, after duck companies emerged even under the stones during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The President of the Association, Mariana Álvarez Díaz Barriga, pointed out that the pandemic has not only affected the income of tour operators, leaving them at zero due to the lack of tourists, but has also triggered unfair competition from “companies who do not have the necessary licenses or training for service.
He pointed out that this association, which today includes 16 tour operators from all over the state, seeks to give security and confidence to tourists, since they are all legally constituted, they are responsible and serious companies, which have all the permits necessary such as the National Tourism Register.
“Because there has also been a lot of agency fraud, a lot of things have happened right now in the pandemic, duckling businesses have come out from under the stones, everyone is already touring, organizing a group and already says that he is a tour operator, and The truth is that we need many permits, to be in the Treasury, to be insured, to give tourists all this confidence, ”he said.
He even pointed out that many companies from Mexico or close to the state are beginning to venture into the Sierra Gorda region despite not having all the permits required there, such as registration with the National Commission for the Environment (Conam). , to be a biosphere reserve.
He said that one way to reach serious businesses is through the State Secretariat for Tourism, with which they have an important alliance to promote tourism in the entity, or go directly to the Querétaro Tour Operators Association on its official Facebook page.
Tour operators have been among the sectors hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, as a lack of tourists has forced them to close for up to four months at the most critical times, leaving dozens of workers who depend on this activity with zero income and that as a result, they had to look for additional jobs to survive.
“Since the pandemic we were one of the sectors that hit us the hardest, many of us literally had to close businesses because there was no tourism, we are talking about four months that we have closed , later and gradually they started to open up the businesses and we also depended on the traffic light indicated at the federal level, ”he said.
He also pointed out that tourist circuits had to drastically reduce their capacity, which practically forced them to adjust prices and personalize services; For example, in legend tours where groups of 80 people participated before the pandemic, they were reduced to 10 people at the start of the contingency.
“Obviously it was not profitable and because of that we had to change the prices, it also happened with the other operators, we all had to readjust the prices because now we are starting to offer tours, which we’re going to think of higher quality because the number of people we manage has been reduced and the price has gone up. It’s a new reality,” he said.
THE REACTIVATION BEGINS
Currently, the tour operator sector is starting to reactivate, but not yet at the levels it had before the pandemic. In addition, all sanitary measures are covered, such as the use of face masks, the use of antibacterial gel and healthy distance, among others; and it also helps that the activities are outdoors.
“It reactivated but not like before, let’s say that after the pandemic it’s another story, for example our maximum groups of legends are 40 people, if more people arrive we have to make another group, whereas ‘before in one group we had 80 people,” he said.
He also pointed out that very important projects come from the Municipal Secretariat of Tourism of Querétaro and the State Secretariat of Tourism, with the realization of many events to attract tourism. He also recognized the promotion of tourism that has been carried out in the entity by the current state government and the previous one.
Some of the services offered by the tour operators of the entity include tram tours, Las Diligencias, night tours of legends with actors and music, cheese and wine route tours, Amealco tour and tours of magical towns.
In addition to full-day visits to the Sierra Gorda, visits to the municipality of San Joaquín, pre-Hispanic visits to Villa Progreso and visits to haciendas; all with affordable prices for all budgets, ranging from 600 to 1,500 pesos per person.