The holidays are approaching and the desire to organize a trip grows. And social networks are often a very good tool to get inspired and learn more about a place, as well as to obtain, first-hand, data on how to visit a certain destination.
But in the search for proposals, ideas, recommendations and good prices, it is important to remember that, to avoid scams, trips must be contracted in agencies authorized by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Nation.
What is the reason for this warning? Social media users (or influencers) who sell tourism products or services without being authorized to do so or without any type of relationship with a travel agency have been detected.
"There is a large number of communicators on social networks who carry out a conscious and respectful task of informing about the differentials and attractions of destinations and tourism products who are even part of our strategic allies as communicators," explains Andrés Deyá, president of FAEVYT, the Argentine Federation of Travel and Tourism Companies, which represents the more than 5,000 Argentine travel agencies.
"But don't confuse one task with another. It's one thing to communicate and quite another to market. That is why it is so important that they do not get carried away by misleading advertising and that they always use a licensed travel agency," warns Deyá.
The authorized agencies have a file number. Photo: Shutterstock
In short, influencers can show spectacular destinations, but not sell travel.
How do I know if a travel agency is enabled?
-In the case of a physical travel agency, it is necessary to check the address, that it is enabled and that it has a file number.
-If you are an online agency, the site must be enabled as a "virtual local" and have the domain ".tur.ar".
-On the website of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Nation (www.argentina.gob.ar/turismoydeportes/agencias/turistas) there is a search engine that allows you to check if an agency is authorized or not.
-Beyond these legal issues, it is also important to know the history of a travel agency, pay attention to the experience of other clients and take into account whether the agency belongs to travel agency organizations, a fact that also adds an endorsement.
Illegal tourist services: detection and reporting
This is not the first time that FAEVYT has warned about situations that can cause problems for unsuspecting travelers.
Where are we going? Purchase rides from authorized sites. Photo: Shutterstock
The entity has a Social Media Laboratory – created five years ago – that aims to detect and denounce illegal profiles that market tourism products without being enabled with misleading posts.
Since its launch, the Laboratory has managed to find and report more than 16,500 profiles in an "irregular situation" that offer tourism products on social media.
What does "irregular status" mean?
-Agencies that are correctly authorized, but that show their data (file number, website, etc.) incorrectly.
-Illegal profiles that are not authorized or registered to sell tourism products.