Dealing with BAD treatment
That is all very scientific and sounds very nice and professional what you have to say about “assertiveness” and so on. Psycho-techno-blurb?
Sometimes it simply does not help “going to the top”, therefore a much more effective way of dealing with a bad situation is to go over the top and start spreading the word from the ground up towards the top.
A typical Arenal-Tourist situation was the mistreatment of animals at the horseback trip from El Castillo to Monteverde. Going to the top would have meant to contact the boss of the stable about the mistreatment. That did not help, because he just threatened me with kicking my face – he called me anonymously several times. Going to the Asociación Protectora de Animales did not help since the letters from upset and outraged guests were “not sufficient proof”. The ICT (Instituto Costarricense de Turismo), as always, promised to “look into the matter”, and never heard from them again. The Chambers of Tourism from both places, Arenal and Monteverde, did not react.
So I worked it from the ground up by contacting all the known authors of guidebooks about Costa Rica (Harry, I didn’t have your e-mail address at that time, sorry). That finally did help. There are still some reports about foul apples, but the general awareness about these trips has become much more effective. … and I am out of that business for over a year.
Instead of kicking the dust – I think Jesus is misquoted on that one – and moving on, kicking up dust was much more successful.