“Which tour agency should we choose?”
“How do you pick from the plethora of choices?”
“Which tour packages should we go with?”
If these questions come to mind when you are searching for just the right tour agency for your upcoming trip to Cappadocia, then hopefully this post will be helpful in your decision-making process.
“I can’t understand a word of what this guy is saying!” was the thought racing through Turkish born Tunç Yılmaz as he sat in an interview across from a fellow countryman in Sultanköy, Turkey, not understanding a word of his 5 minute Turkish soliloquy until he heard the words in English, “Do you speak English?” To which the 26-year-old Tunç, who had recently returned from Australia, heartily replied, “Yes, I do!”
“OK, you start work tomorrow!”
Thus began the career of one of Turkey’s most sought after carpet salesman during the 1990′s. Tunç Yılmaz had moved to Australia when he was 12-years-old, and was so inundated with English that he forgot his mother tongue. Upon returning to Turkey 14 years later he had to re-learn everything in the culture he had once called home, even how to communicate with his mother.
But his proficiency in English was one of the main contributing reasons propelling him to success. During this golden age (late-1980s to mid-1990s) of Turkish tourism, knowledgeable and skilled carpet salesmen were similar to professional sports icons. He can remember a carpet business owner from a different part of Turkey negotiating with Tunç’s employer in order to acquire Tunç, as if he were Cristiano Ronaldo.
Within a few years his extensive knowledge of Turkish carpets and proficiency in English brought him to Cappadocia for the first time (in a helicopter, no less!) in order to give a lecture on the art of carpet weaving to a mesmerized group of tourists visiting the region. Since that day in 1997 he has been involved in the Cappadocia tourism industry.
This post however is not about Tunç Yılmaz, carpet salesman extraordinaire, but about Kairos Tourism & Travel, a new and upcoming tour agency in Cappadocia, which is a member of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB). Don’t be fooled by the designation of “new”, as the owners of this business, Mr. Yılmaz and business partner, Raşit Ölcal, have 46 years of combined experience in the tourism industry.
When asked, “Why did you start Kairos Tourism & Travel?” Tunç replied, “We desired to bring a commitment of ‘customer-first’ service to the industry. We chose Kairos, the mythological son of Zeus, who held a scale in his hand, as the name for our agency because we too wanted to bring fairness and a sense of trustworthiness to the tourism industry. Honesty and trust begin with the tour agency.”
Kairos Tourism & Travel believes and desires to put into practice this ‘customer-first’ mentality by establishing a trust-filled dialogue with the client in order to know what the visitor desires. Tunç’s fluent English skills immediately puts a non-Turkish speaker at ease when communicating about what visitors would like to explore while in beautiful Cappadocia.
An example of this is when one of his former customers had sent an email out to 12 different tour agencies for a quote on an 18-day tour. The quoted price he received from Kairos was in the middle of the others’. What was the deciding factor? Tunç was the only one who included a detailed itinerary, with times of drop off and departures. Open communication. A hallmark of trust, which exudes from Tunç, that transcends time as some of his former customers still come to visit him 20 years later.
When asked, “What do people need to see while in Cappadocia?”, Tunç replied, “They must take the Göreme Tour, where they’ll see the ancient open air museum; the Mustafa-Paşa/Soğanlı Valley Tour, where they’ll get to visit an old Greek village and tour cave churches, and the Ihlara Valley Tour, where they will get to experience a massive underground city on the way to an incredible hike in an unforgettable valley.” Each of these tours are a day long and for CaptivatingCappadocia.com readers Kairos Tourism & Travel is offering each of these private tours for an incredible price of $110/per person/per tour. Each day-long tour includes hotel pick-up & drop-off, lunch, entrance fees, experienced tour guide and transportation.
[Note: You may have read about the Green, Red, and Blue tours. These are group tours with a set itinerary and include shopping. Kairos tours are custom and private which explains the price difference. Feel free to shop around, and if you can find a better deal, please let us know so we can spread the word, but honestly we do not expect to hear from anyone.]
Kairos Tourism & Travel also offers some incredible custom tours outside of Cappadocia: heli-skiing in Rize, skydiving near ancient Ephesus, scuba diving in Bodrum and rafting in Storm Valley, near the Black Sea.
With the service that Kairos provides, coupled with the amazing sites and experiences of Cappadocia, Tunç’s wish for every tourist will surely come true: “that in their heart they will always remember Turkey, and they will desire to come again.”
To contact Kairos, please click on the logo and follow the instructions on their website. Be sure to mention you heard about him from CaptivatingCappadocia.com and mention Aaron Moss so you can get the discounts. We receive no financial gain in the deal; we just want to help you.