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Sussex Chamber of Commerce (East Sussex)

Contact: Jack Mounstephen
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The Sussex Chamber of Commerce is an organisation dedicated to supporting businesses of all types and sizes in Sussex. We provide the necessary resources…

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More inside info from The Secret Travel Agent…..

Yes, this story is completely and utterly true!

Funny isn’t it that so often these days we are all only programmed by the different media channels that we choose to watch and read….specifically in focus at the moment is obviously the UK elections and those of you watching will have seen the difference in the polls and the reporting through several different channels….One person is ahead, then another is and so on…with in my view one of the poorest performers coming out on top. I think I know who I’d vote for….but then again…am I getting the truth?

Its through these mediums that you don’t always either get the truth or indeed decide to omit it, when the focus on something else is much easier to report.

Which brings me on to an interesting point, the media spends a great deal of time reporting on men travelling abroad for sex tourism and seems to ‘omit’ that woman do too.

In my time working a for medium sized tour operator you’d be surprised to know that as far as ‘legal’ sex tourism goes (not the abhorrent darker side) women were far the bigger travellers abroad than men. Now admittedly the destinations featured at the time, were more in the range of North Africa and a few other African countries and its was these places that proved incredibly popular with single white females.

Now at this point, I should add that the demographics of these women were not all young, naïve wall flowers just out of school. These were robust mature ladies, probably empowered by a recent divorce or indeed unmarried professionals and one story has really stuck in my mind over the years.

My Friend, let’s call her Agneta, a straight talking Scandinavian had been working as a Resort rep for my old place of work in this small African country for years, having married an Englishman, our tennis rep. During this time she’d also pretty much made this destination her home. I had travelled out to see her on my own holiday and we had a cracking time meeting up.

After dinner one evening, enjoying a warm balmy night and a brandy or two (why is it that these spirits always taste better on holiday?) She recounted the tale of one of these older more mature guests.

It started with just casual conversation, but speaking to a holiday rep is a little like pumping an off duty policeman for stories, you just know they’re going to have some amazing ones to tell and this is pretty much word for word what she told me.

“I’d had a busy day and it was time to get to the airport and meet the new guests, I had a flight arriving in from Manchester. We tend to stand at the arrivals hall, wishing bad looking guests on each other, as a call in the middle of the night from the local police is not a welcome alarm clock. One woman caught my eye and I could tell that she was a little drunk from the flight, but full of confidence”.

“Yep, she was my guest and I ticked off my list, put her wobbliness down to over enthusiasm and thought no more about her. The next day I did the welcome meeting and after presenting all the excursions, and afterword’s I approached the woman to check that she was happy with everything. “Yes” she exclaimed, I’m really happy and I pretty much left it at that”.

“A day or so later, on the Wednesday I think, I popped along to the hotel and made sure all the guests were enjoying themselves. At which point the hotel manager came to me and expressed his concerns about the woman. (believe it or not but the gossip that goes round a hotel is astonishing - its their place or work, no different to any other work place in the world). The woman was booked in on bed and breakfast, but appeared to be not eating during the evenings”.

“Concerned, I went to the woman’s room and waited patiently for her to answer the door. The door opened and the woman appeared ok, but admitted that she had not been eating and that some of the waiters had been bringing her bread and water”.

“On questioning the woman and concerned for her welfare, she admitted that indeed she’d booked bed and breakfast because that’s the only holiday she could afford” (note: Great work whichever travel agent did this! - The Secret Travel Agent)

“I then decided to probe a bit further on how much money she had brought with her, hoping to make a special arrangement with he hotel manager. At this point the woman exclaimed she had only 50 pence and appeared quite happy with the situation. So arrangements made with the Hotel Manager, food was provided, ensuring the woman was looked after. A tour operator does have a certain responsibilities to the guests”.

The following day, I went along to check that everything that was agreed was being done and again popping up to her room I was let in and she was all dressed up as if going to a party. ” Are you going out for a walk! I asked?, “No” she exclaimed, “I’m going souvenir shopping”

“But how” I asked, “you only have 50p?”...“That’s alright” she said, “I know how these locals work, how else did you think I was getting bread and water?”

“A bit befuddled by it all, as us Scandinavians are quite a straight laced breed I stood there trying to make sense of what she was saying”. So, again I asked her “But you only have 50p?”

“Don’t worry about that, I’m going down to the Bazaar and if I see anything I like, I’ll just take the bloke out the back of his shop give him a happy ending and I’ll get what I want” Shocked to say the least, I backed out of the room and pretty much decided that this woman was more than capable of looking after herself and I admit, I pretty much washed my hands of her”.

“Needless to say, when I came by to pick the woman up for her transfer back to the hotel, she was nowhere to be found. Anyhow the flight departed without her and I informed the local police to keep an eye out for her and heard nothing much more”.

Bear in mind here, we’d had no contact from her family in the UK during this period either, despite following it up..a lot!

“Six weeks later, the head of the local police popped by to say hi and let us know what had happened. The woman was indeed alive and very well indeed, having spent the last six weeks (she’d only come out for 7 nights!) staying between local traders and repaying her bed and board with.. favours..sexual ones!”

So, the moral of the story…..Men and Woman are all quite the same and the way things are reported are not always as they appear!

And even if you have the smallest budget…you can still have fun!

The Secret Travel Agent.

Anytime Anyplace Anywhere.
01273 978321
myholiday@thesecrettravelagent.co.uk

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