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How to check if a travel agency is legit?

Manchester
Level Contributor
7 posts
2 reviews
How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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We're about to book a Galapagos cruise with NG&E (Nature Galapagos & Ecuador) but given the amount of money about to wing it's way into a US-based bank account, I want to make sure it's all legit. Website seems professional, boat appears on other agencies sites, but how coudl I check it out?

Fiona

Berlin
Level Contributor
152 posts
1. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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You can ask them for their LUAF (Licencia Unica Anual de Funcionamiento) it is the permit that all travel agencies in Ecuador have to have in order to operate. On the scanned document you will see the adress, official name and permit number.

Pat

Manchester
Level Contributor
7 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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Thanks Pat, I'll try that.

Cheers!

Fiona

Toronto
1 post
3. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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We're about to book a Galapagos land-tour with them as well. Did you find out if they are legit? I am also wary of sending over large amounts of money to them without a guarantee.

Macamic, Canada
Level Contributor
20 posts
12 reviews
32 helpful votes
4. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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I'm also about to book with this agency. They have great price compare to the other one I saw. Is anyone know something about them???

Manchester
Level Contributor
7 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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Hi both,

what I know is circumstantial, but I think they must be OK:

- 1) they appear on an official site for Pichincha region (Quito region) - but I got the link to that site through their site. However, it would have to be a huge scam to build that whole fake site...

-2) another agency I trust in Quito dug around for me: my contact and her colleagues had not heard of them so they must be small, but she called the owners of the boat we're interested in, who said that they had worked with NG&E a few times and had experienced no problems so far.

-3) they have quite a prominent website, and have a YouTube, but absolutely no negative comments anywhere as far as I can see - if they were not legit, I'm thinking others would have been stung in the past and there would be noise about them warning everyone else, wouldn't there? (is this tenuous??)

We have paid (breakdown in communicaiton witihn our party) - and I would say that since payment they have been very quiet and not as responsive as I'd like. I'm going to mail them again for the LAU - I'll tell them others are suspicious, so will let you know how I get on.

Manchester
Level Contributor
7 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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Hi Reykjanik,

see my reply to the other post.

Cheers,

Fiona

Manchester
Level Contributor
7 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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Hi,

the CEO got back to me straight away with their LUAF documention (as recommended by Pat above) and with apologies for the recent silence - apparently there's been a close family bereavement for the agent I was dealing with.

He also provided me with the email addresses of 2 previous US customers who are apparently happy to be contacted to give references re their experience.

So seems OK.

Have a great trip, whatever you decide!

F

Utah
Level Contributor
4 posts
15 reviews
12 helpful votes
8. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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Fiona,

How did things turn out with this company? I might go with them too, so I'm curious how it all went.

Thank you,

Greg

Maryville, TN
Level Contributor
88 posts
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
9. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?
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As ManchesterFleur mentioned, getting references of people who have done their trips is a good thing and provides a candid review.

Edited: 11 years ago
10. Re: How to check if a travel agency is legit?

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