Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 07:59
Marmot-Tours Limited is run by James and Cathy Thompson in the beautiful Ariege region of the Midi Pyrenees in Southern France.
James is a qualified International Mountain Leader, Trail Cycle Leader (mountain biking) and Snowsport England Cross Country Ski Instructor. He has been leading trips around the world full time since 1998. Cathy is a holistic massage therapist and is your office link at Marmot Tours. Together they work with a select team to help provide you with a safe, enjoyable, value for money and quality experience during your holiday in Southern France
The aims of Marmot Tours
- To provide quality holidays at a reasonable price that abide by the guidelines of responsible tourism.
- Professional leadership that you can rely on.
- To organize exciting and unusual itineraries not provided by other companies.
- To have fun and get the most from the mountains.
- To provide an excellent level of customer service from the moment of initial contact with Marmot Tours, to the last minute of your holiday.
The formula for our holidays
When putting a trip together, these are the basic considerations that we think are important to make it a success:
- Safety for the group.
- Manageable basic itinerary with optional extras.
- Fun! (not competitive or exclusive)
- Full days of activity with lots of breaks.
- Integration into the culture of the region - sampling of local food, traditional accommodation, tours off the beaten track
- Comfortable accommodation typical to the region.
- Food! Generous quantities with local specialities where possible.
- Education - it is always important to learn about our environment.
- Responsible tourism
Our Responsibilities as a Tour Operator
As with most industries, there are regulations applied to Tour Operators to ensure they practice safely and in their clients best interests. To this end, we would like to assure you of the following:
- We hold the funds that you have paid us for your holiday in a 'Trust Account' until the last day of your holiday, when we then transfer it to our business account. This ensures that we always have the monies available should a refund be required.
- We have full Tour Operators Professional and Public Liability Insurance with specialist brokers Campbell Irvine
- We carry out risk assessments on all of our holidays to ensure we have thought through every detail
- We employ staff with the correct experience and skills to ensure you have a safe and fun trip, and have a thorough training programme set up for new staff
- We comply with the legislation and Tourism Code for the countries we work in. For us this is currently primarily in France where there are some specific requirements for Tour Opeartors that requires a little more explanation:
In France, any company who is organising more than 2 of the following: transport, accomodation and the organisation of an activity as part of an all inclusive package, is seen to be a Tour Operator, and must be registered with an organisation called ATOUT France. This includes all those Operators established in France (regardless of their nationality) and EU citizens who wish to have more than temporary or occasional Tour Operator work in France. Registration with ATOUT is renewable annually and is designed primarily for the protection of the client, as well as a way of ensuring some industry standards.
Registration with ATOUT attests that a Tour Operator has suitable financial protection methods in place to protect their clients funds prior to provision of the holiday, suitable insurance in place and suitable experience to be awarded a Tour Operators License. In some ways it is comparable to ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), which you may have heard of.
As registration is applicable only to French companies currently, Marmot Tours Ltd has created SARL Marmot Tours (a registered company in France), its 'sister' company who is responsible for the organisation of all practical aspects related to the running of our holidays in France. We are proud to say that SARL Marmot Tours has been awarded a Tour Operators License (IM009120008) by ATOUT (July 2012) .
As you may have read eslewhere on our website, your 'contract' with us is still through Marmot Tours Ltd, a UK registered company, who continues to be responsible for organising any non French holidays, and who subcontracts to SARL Marmot Tours where required.