Cooking Vacations in Italy
How can I trust the reviews posted about Culture Discovery Vacations?
Naturally, everyone is going to say "Trust Us", and when you see such a large number of positive reviews, many people get suspicious. It is just our human nature. We want you to feel assured, so we would like the opportunity to explain how reviews work both on our website, and in tourism in general.
3rd Party Review Websites
Many of the 3rd party review websites that cite "verified reviews" cannot actually verify the reviews. Often, many positive reviews were posted by staff of the company itself, and negative reviews are posted by competitors or disgruntled former staff.
This has actually been a huge challenge for companies in this business that try to operate honestly and transparently, because there will always be companies and people out there trying to get a leg up on their competition, and trying to make others look bad. It becomes an even bigger challenge, because some travelers have started using the threat of negative reviews to get free stuff from companies in the travel business, even when everything was perfect.
We are truly blessed to have the phenomenal reputation we do, and the honest truth is that we work hard for it.
We don't do fake reviews (we don't need to, and don't even have the time if we wanted to), and we don't respond to travelers trying to extort us into a free vacation by making these kinds of threats - yes, we have had it happen to us. It is heartbreaking, because we truly put our hearts and souls into everything we do, so we cannot help but make it personal when people try to take advantage.
The Reviews On Our Website
When you look at the reviews we post on our website, they are a collection of reviews people have written on review sites like TripAdvisor and Google, but we also include what guests have written in our guest books and emails we have received.
To be frank, it takes us a tremendous amount of time to get those from a guest book into our website, and believe it or not, what we have here isn't even all of it, because we are always backlogged. But, we are careful to put the entirety of what people have written, no matter what. The only thing we change is the occasional misspelled word.
How Do You Know Our Reviews Are Honest?
To be perfectly blunt, you cannot. Our word is our bond, but we are not naive enough to think that even dishonest people and companies would say the same. But there is something you can do to gain trust in us.:
If you question the honesty of our reviews (or even if you don't), we urge you to go onto our Facebook Page and ask a question of our past guests. You can also visit our CDV Guests Facebook Group, and do the same.
There are thousands of our past guests there, and many will surely reply to you. Ask them if we are the real deal, and we are confident that you will be quite assured once you see the responses.
Why is CDV Explaining All of This?
Because we are very different than most out there. But we know that deceptive marketing has created a cynical world.
For example, our website is full of terminology that talks about how you are family with us. This is not only true, but it is the reason we started CDV. It is at the core of who we are.
But we have all seen the giant corporate restaurants that advertise "When you are here, you are family". We know that is not true, so we are desensitized to it. Or fast-food chains that talk about home-made artisanal food. Or others in the travel business that make everything look so much better than it really is.
Again, our focus is honesty, the real Italy, a true sense of family, etc. But we also know those claims get lost in the world of mass-marketing dishonestly using those terms.
We know that a potential guest will question us, and rightfully so. But we can also say that one of the most common things our guests tell us once they have experienced our vacations is that before coming, they doubted us, but after the experience, we far exceeded every expectation... that what we said was actually refreshingly true. And that is important to us, because the greatest joy is loving what we do.