Thirty years after Mauricio Gamero started a travel agency as an alternative plan to his restaurant, his business Latin Tours is helping people do more than just see the world. Offering the Latino community of Charlotte, NC, everything from tax help to expertly curated vacations, Gamero loves what he does–and his community loves him.
In 1989, Mauricio Gamero moved to the United States from Peru. Nearly ten years later, while owning his own restaurant, he decided to open a second business–one that combined two of his passions–travel and helping people. Latin Tours, operating in Charlotte, NC, since 1998, has become a trusted and essential resource for the local Latino community Gamero loves to serve.
The pride in his voice is palpable as he talks about his small business. He considers it a service first and foremost–not just a business. While known primarily as a travel agency, Latin Tours does so much more and has grown by word of mouth within the city’s Latino community.
How does Gamero explain the services he offers beyond travel? “Sometimes we just help people. Basically, that’s what we do.” As a non-native English speaker himself, Gamero understands that communication in a second language can be difficult, so many of his services focus on supporting his community in this area. In addition to being a notary public, his team offers assistance with tax preparation and processing documents.
Because Latin Tours’ business is structured through contracts with airlines, their service is free to their clients. Booking a flight with them comes at the same cost as booking with an online service such as Expedia or Kayak–but customers get much more.
Gamero and his team make sure that their clients have a 360-degree understanding of their trip. For clients who’ve never flown, that means helping them understand–and feel comfortable–with the process, from what’s a boarding pass to making a plane transfer. Gamero is proud of this level of service and notes that while you can google this information, it’s different when you can talk with someone face to face.
He’s so dedicated to his clients that he even has a phone line that is open 24 hours a day to help with problems big and small. His team rotates the responsibility of answering the calls each week.
In the early years of his business, processing payments and handling refund requests was slow and cumbersome. A decade ago, the POS system Latin Tours relied upon took 8 to 15 minutes to process a credit card payment. And if the customer wanted to cancel a booking, it could take three to four days to process their refund.
Gamero and team needed a more efficient and secure system that could accommodate the business’ multiple service lines so they could focus on serving their community.
Switching to Clover enabled Latin Tours to run all of their services–from travel and tour booking to accounting and notary services–as well as all of their operations–payroll, employee scheduling, payment processing, and reporting–faster and more efficiently from a single, highly secure integrated system. Better yet, payments and refunds now process in seconds instead of minutes. “Clover helps us to do better,” Gamero says. “It helps us to understand our business, and these days that’s critical. If you don’t know what’s going on in the back end, you’ll start losing business.”
In addition to his Clover Station, Gamero uses Virtual Terminal frequently. His business customers, such as construction companies, need an invoice for their internal bookkeeping. Phone orders are also processed using Virtual Terminal. Some customers aren’t comfortable transacting online and prefer to call or come in person. Being able to accept a payment over the phone or in person can make all the difference for a service business like Gamero’s. He meets his less tech-savvy customers where they are, while providing them with the top-notch service they expect.
During the pandemic, Gamero’s team helped clients change an estimated 6,000 tickets due to constant changes in travel restrictions, which also began to impact his business.
That’s when Gamero began exploring and growing other ways to serve his community through his small business, like printing and other services. And with his Clover POS system, he was able to stay one step ahead. “Our business is personal, but without the technology and support from Clover, there’s no way that we could do it.”
Clover helped Gamero “simplify everything,” reduce costs, and save time. Not only did he see fewer errors, but he also found that he could use Clover’s reporting features to help him understand where adjustments needed to be made.
For example, Latin Tours offers a printing service for clients. With Clover, he could see that there was a slowdown in this area of the business, which he traced to the difficulty of sharing the documents on the client side. They simplified the process and saw demand for this service return.
Gamero loves the level of security Clover adds to his payment transactions–essential for his clients. With Clover, clients receive a receipt instantly, which lets them know that everything was processed correctly. That peace of mind and the time savings in transactions is priceless. For instance, booking a trip previously took up to 15 minutes–now with Clover it takes only two minutes.
With a surge in travel post-pandemic, Gamero is looking forward to helping his community see the world. Latin Tours is an essential (and beloved) resource for Charlotte’s Latino community.
Read more stories about how Clover is deepening connections between businesses and their community.