Quality is a difficult term to quantify, it however is a term that is wildly used and one that we all seek out when considering a purchase. However, the fewest of us have the means to obtain it when purchasing goods or services.
Quality, is described as – a character or nature, with respect to fineness, or grade of excellence, as belonging to or distinguishing a thing
And, one of the best methods to determine quality is the price point. This is true for all industries and it especially applies to the travel and leisure market. Judging quality in the outdoor industry is most accurately done by looking at price point. A high price point company delivers a very high-quality product, for the simple reason there is no forgiveness nor concessions made at this level of the market. A company that over prices and shortchanges on quality will quickly find themselves with a lack of customers as having a reputation for this kind of service spreads like wildfire.
Therefore, always go with the most expensive tour company, outfitter, etc. if you want uncompromised quality and the security of a great outdoor experience. Price is a real indicator for quality in the outdoor industry.
Certifications – Are the plethora of certifications a measure of quality? Don’t be fooled by the myriad of certifications in the outdoor industry, most are meaningless. Are they really a stamp of quality and what do they really mean? Most companies boast that all guides/leaders have certifications however the only place that requires by law an international certification is the Alps of Europe and the UIAGM is the certification required for all mountain guides. Some countries require tenuous national certifications however these are not a stamp of quality nor a measure professionalism but are most often just a type of protectionism; are often a serious deterrent to quality.
For those who can’t afford quality when travelling – the short answer then is, stay home and do your part for the climate, since you can’t afford to travel anyway!
If prices are too high for a quality outdoor activity and your only option to go with a less expensive substandard operator, you will then have to forego a quality experience. As there are no quality operators out there that offer budget trip & tours.
The author has over 4 decades experience in the Outdoor industry, is deeply immersed in adventure travel tours & trips. Also, having traveled extensively and utilised the services of countless outdoor companies on all continents, it is this vast experience that has led to the clear result that quality performance and high pricing go hand in hand.