COVID 19 UPDATE
Will we ever travel again? Updates and inspirations for future travel.
To paraphrase the Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 1987 novel, we are facing our own "Travel in the time of Covid-19".
We know that things are not easy right now, and you must be getting tired of hearing from your local pet supplies retailer, or print shop on how best to handle the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Trust me, I am too.
That being said, we thought you might be interested in how the virus is hitting the travel industry specifically, so here is a quick update. The short term implications are as expected, cancellations by travellers in the next 2 to 3 months. Along with the rest of the travel community, we are encouraging clients to postpone their trips, rather than cancel outright. We all need something to dream about after this is over, right?
A global crisis like this brings new business to a halt, and we are spending much of our time working on our client's behalf to rearrange trips. Our local partners; guides, drivers, cooks, and everyone who makes your dream trips possible, are putting their work on hold, eager for this situation to resolve and get back to creating memories.
We didn't get into the travel industry because we thought it was going to be all smooth sailing all of the time, and we are practising flexibility, much like most of you. Any travel company worth its weight in salt knows that you must brace yourself for the unexpected, and working outside of our comfort zone is our specialty.
So here are a few of our thoughts moving forward.
If you have a trip planned, either through us, or otherwise, please consider postponing instead of cancelling. Hotels and local service providers are much more flexible when you do this, and you are unlikely to receive any sort of penalty. This is not always the case for outright cancellation. Additionally, by not cancelling, the investment you have made will continue to flow down the supply chain to the smaller family-run hotels, guides, drivers and other personnel involved in the trip you are planning.
We do not plan on pestering you with too many emails until this thing blows over. We know that you and your family's safety is the top priority right now, not dreaming about travel.
That being said, we also understand that after a few months of being quarantined, once the virus has run its course and travelling is relatively safe again, a trip to some beautiful places such as Patagonia, Peru or Costa Rica may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
In addition to offering no penalty for postponing your exiting trip, we have initiated a new Risk-Free booking policy.
Instead of our usual payment terms, we are offering clients the opportunity to book their future trip with just a $10 deposit. Additionally, the trip can be cancelled, without penalty, until 2 weeks before travel.
We hope this Risk-Free policy will encourage travellers to start dreaming and planning again when the time is right.
The Future, what will it look like?
We all want life to return to normal, whatever that may look like. I believe people will return to restaurants, concerts and sporting events. And yes, people will travel again. There will be initial nervousness about flying but that too will be overcome (remember after 9/11?). And people will have a stronger desire (or need) to visit the world and experience enriching experiences.
The type of travel people seek might change. Personal, privately curated travel in more natural settings and less large-scale tourism will be in higher demand. People are generally going to still want to avoid large crowds.
Whenever travel does bounce back, we will be here. We are cutting back our hours, working from home, and focusing on developing new destinations for our guests to enjoy (we just added India).
I am also working on some overdue house projects, building an electric car and getting more exercise. How about you?
Physically distant but virtually available,