Grand Canyon 123, the National Park's premier travel information site, have launched a new video that explains why it's so important to reserve canyon tours in advance.
"This short clip was produced because it's one of the most popular questions readers ask," said Keith Kravitz, owner of GrandCanyon123.com. "The video is short and sweet and to the point. Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive."
According to Kravitz, the video is the result of first-time canyon travellers inquiring if it's best to buy tours once they arrive at the destination.
Ever bought tickets at the airport? The cost is through the roof! Tour companies can and do function in a similar way.
"There's a misperception that tours are cheaper if bought in Las Vegas or at the Grand Canyon," noted Kravitz. "Reality is it'll cost more - a lot more - if this tack is taken. Tour operators feast on these types of travelers and make a good profit in the process."
Kravitz points out that same-day bookings of Grand Canyon tours is no different than a last-minute commercial airline purchase.
"Ever bought tickets at the airport?" queries Kravitz. "The cost is through the roof! Tour companies can and do function in a similar way."
Each year, nearly 5 million people visit Grand Canyon National Park. The majority of those visitors come during summer, resulting in many tours selling out.
"Coincidentally, it's during summer where people get in trouble with same-day bookings," said Kravitz. "This is especially applicable when it comes to helicopter and airplane tours.
"Helicopters typically hold only six passengers plus the pilot. Capacity on most airplanes is 19 passengers. It's pretty much the norm for these flights to be full from May through September."
Peak-season travelers should book at least a week or two ahead of time.
"Always purchase a tour well ahead of the time," advises Kravitz. "There are several benefits to this. First, tour selection is bigger. Second, there are more departure times to choose from. If that's not incentive enough, it's highly likely that tickets will be cheaper."
Paradoxically, winter reservations come with their own set of challenges.
"Indeed, fewer people travel during the colder months, but it's also the time of the year when tour companies reduce the number of flights per day. In addition, days are shorter, which means West Rim bottom-landing tours start later while sunset tours start earlier. Impact this with the holiday season and availability gets stressed."
Tour operator websites are set up to take advanced reservations, some as far as Summer 2014.
"Best practice is to purchase trips on the Internet," said Kravitz. "Prices are generally cheaper and tour options are more abundant. The only caveat here is complete the booking online in order to qualify for the Internet discount. From there on, it's easy street."
For more information about Grand Canyon tours and advanced reservations, please visit: http://www.grandcanyon123.com/reservations.html
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