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★★☆☆☆

“Terrible Tour Manager Shaji”

Written on: 28/07/2013

A couple of months ago, we went on a European tour, Discover Europe with Star Tours. In general, the tour was something that we really looked forward to. It was for nine days and we travelled to Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and France. The scenic spots were very beautiful, especially Switzerland and we will definitely go back to Europe, especially Switzerland, for another European break. I would definitely recommend Star Tours as a company. They generally, are able to capture the true essence of Europe in their tours and give tourists a good introduction to Europe. The tour arrangements, in terms of pick –up points, Indian food (especially for vegetarians), hotels locations and bus facility were very good. We started the tour with one tour manager, Hoshang, who was very good, supportive, calm and also showed a lot of patience with tourists of all ages, languages and needs. We travelled with him up to Germany. The tour then split after 3 days, as some tour members went on for the Majestic European Tour. Those who were on the Discover European Tour, were joined by a new tour manager / tour guide, Shaji. Unfortunately, we had a generally very bad experience with our second tour manager, Shaji. We found him to be very rude, arrogant, generally pessimistic and degrading of us, as tourists. Examples of his poor behaviour are: 1) He would not greet tourists ; 2) he often would sit on the tour bus without pointing out tourist spots or allowing time to take photos; 3) would change the tour itenary to suit his needs (This was especially noticeable on the last day of the tour, when he dropped families returning to India from France at a random place without any support to help them get their hotels where they were going to spend one last night. Based on the itenary, these families had arranged to stay at hotels near the last spot that had to be visited, but, Shaji changed the tour to suit him); 4) had no patience for the elderly and less able on our tour; 5) made us wait for a long time in a queue to enter the Eifel Tour, when other Star Tour groups had pre – booked tickets and a pre – booked space to enter the Eifel Tower and then, due to this, we were not able to go up to the top of the Eifel Tour; 5) often rushed people during lunch and supper, except when he needed a longer break for him to enjoy his cigarette; 6) he informed us that he did not enjoy doing the tour because the class of people that came on the tour were not good. He reported that he enjoyed being a tour guide on the Star Tours Gold tour, as, and I quote, “the gold tours have better food, better drink, better hotels and better people who go on these tours”, which was very degrading to all of us, whose patronage to Star Tours did not have any value. I find that this kind of behaviour was very unprofessional and potentially very damaging to Star Tours and any future patronage. If you are considering booking a tour with Star Tours, please be careful that you do not get stuck with Shaji as a tour guide. You may return from your tour with a sour taste in your mouth. This was a shared experience by many of us on the tour, who are still in touch and contact with each other.