Free trips

To: "Birds" <>
Subject: Free trips
From: "Tony Russell" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:59:02 +0930
I did say I wouldn't comment further but having read other people's
views I do have a few other points to make.
I have no problem with paying participants covering the costs of the
organisers provided it is made quite clear up front that this the basis
of the cost structure, ie before registering and paying. This is a
normal commercial transaction and in this situation of course a paying
participant accepts the situation and is tacitly agreeing to cover
leader costs. 
Just to be tedious, let's take a simple example.
A boat owner wants $40,000 for a trip and his boat has 12 berths, two of
which will be taken by the "leaders". The trip is promoted at $4000 each
person which means that only ten people are paying. If costs were shared
equally the tariff would be $3333 per person, so each paying participant
is contributing $667 towards leader costs, and leaders are of course
saving themselves $3333 each per trip.  More than enough to cover the
cost of emails ( near free) and a few phone calls incurred in organising
things. Organise one trip every year five years and the savings are
around $16,000 each.
I have, however, been on trips where this is not made clear beforehand
and one could be excused for believing, perhaps naively,  that costs are
shared equally amongst everybody, including the leader(s). Only during
the actual trips was it revealed that the leader(s) was/were not paying
and I found this a tad sneaky. Had I known this, it might have
influenced my decision about participating, but I was denied this choice
by the way the trip was promoted without details of the cost structure. 
 I guess I could have asked, and I certainly will in future, that is, if
anyone would allow me on their trips after this discussion.
One last thing. When a person decides to organise a trip they also
decide to accept the amount of work and costs associated with the
organising and I have little sympathy for their later bleating about how
much work it is. In any venture the organiser has to accept the costs
and risks.
I admire people who take this sort of thing on and of course they
provide a service to others who may otherwise never get to good birding
spots and we should be grateful to them,  but if they take it on, they
pay the price.
Fin.  ( promise)

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