Oh thank you Erwin Chlanda for another wonderful “story”. To …

Comment on Rock tour report stirs hornet’s nest by Simon Cook.

Oh thank you Erwin Chlanda for another wonderful “story”. To start with let me agree with you on one point, yes it was never stated that Jeff Burden wanted a free trip to the Rock it was just the feeling I got but he did go and demand a partial refund.

Secondly, I never stated that Jeff Burden wanted to pay backpacker prices and receive 5 star treatment, a small misalignment with your cut and paste tool would have brought that into life. My quote was “We get so many passengers that want to pay backpacker prices and receive 5 star treatment and this is very unrealistic”.

[ED – Thank you for having the courage of providing your full name this time. To make your statement above clear you should have added “Mr Burden wasn’t one of them” but you didn’t and so it is reasonable to assume you were referring to him. Mr Burden contends he paid for five stars and got three. And, as is also relevant to your comment below – we don’t modify direct quotes.]

I like Nick in the above comment [and] must also state that I do not work for WOB but for a competitor. I do agree with most of the comments from him and the other replies on the original article.

I must also say it’s just great to see Mr Burden calling the attractions “Ayres Rock” [ED – he called it Ayers Rock] and “The Olgas” something both you as the article writer and he would have known is no longer the correct and cultural names for them.

So let me look at this article, what a wonderful statement on dollars per population, quote ‘To put this into perspective: Tourism NT gets $174 a year per head of population. The corresponding figure for Queensland is about $15’, let me put this into perspective, the population of Queensland is 4.7mil people while the Northern Territory’s is 242,000 a vast difference there but brilliant journalism for people that don’t look into fact and figures. [ED – All you need to do now is to point out in what way our calculation is incorrect.]

I am not surprised that Jaclyn Thorne, General Manager of Tourism Central Australia (TCA) looked at legal action due to so many mistruths in the original article. You yourself have done a great job in questioning Mr Burden’s story in this article stating that the guide must be working for 16 to 17 hours, while he continually says they were doing very little. In another article you quote regulation on fatigue management stating “The maximum number of working hours per day is 16. These include at least one half hour break every five hours, when drivers walk around, engage in conversation or relax in some other way.” To some people going for a jog is a way to relax and at other times just get away from what he / she is doing is what is needed to comply with the regulations.

If pax were rising at 5am then the guide would at the most been up at 4:30am, so there for 8:30pm would be the cut off and I am sure by this time they would have been relaxing around the fire. There also seems to be a big stir on there being other passengers on the trip that were upgraded so there for Mr Burden seems to think he should only have paid the lower price, should all business class pax on a long haul flight be given economy fares if I get upgraded on the plane?

You made an issue of the 3 original commenters not providing full names, your right but I did post my photos so anyone with in the industry knows who I am, I have corrected the last name issue with this reply. And for my final comment you seem to have done a favour for a friend (Rod Moss) who had a friend (Jeff Burden) that didn’t enjoy a tour, this doesn’t seem like good use of electronic media in this day and age.

Recent Comments by Simon Cook

The only thing that was ‘way out’ was the price
Janet: I cannot condone the guide going for a jog at sunset but Jeff Burden has mislead the public with many of his other comments. As Evelyn stated a tour guide is not a baby sitter or a kindergarten teacher is a guide (meaning: a person who shows the way to others, especially one employed to show tourists around places of interest.) The guide in question did exactly this.

The only thing that was ‘way out’ was the price
I work as a guide in the Alice and this kind of tourism bashing needs to stop. Can’t understand why Alice News would post such an article and what Prof Jeff Burden expected. Did he read the itinerary, it sure doesn’t sound like it, making your own lunch and helping around camp aka dishes etc is the norm on these type of trips.
If the Professor thinks his way out back tour was meant to be an upmarket trip for the price he paid then he was wrong.
We get so many passengers that want to pay backpacker prices and receive 5 star treatment and this is very unrealistic, the Prof got his champagne and had a bed in a tent every night along with an a large 4×4 truck not a little bus and swags on the ground every night. All the lovely tables with table clothes at Uluru sunset are for top paying AAT Kings pax not for the lower end tourists and back packers.
What did he expect from his guide, to have his hand held as he watched sunset … I think not.
Jeff Burden needs to remember Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world to visit and running tours is an expensive business, maybe he should stay home next time and take a cheap tour in his own country if he wants “real value for money”. As for his comments about the Kings Canyon walk it is a difficult walk for many people, any one with balance, fitness, knee or hip problems really struggles.
Some of his complaint may be justified and yes even tour guides have bad days / trips but as the reply from W.O.B says many were very happy with the trip, overall most of what I have read is just a beat up to get him and his friend a free tour to the rock. Things change and prices go up over a 10 year period.
If it wasn’t for tourism and operators like Way Out Back then the Alice would be a 2 bit town and a fuel stop on the way north, Alice News you should be ashamed of this article.

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