It’s been another extremely difficult week for the world, and the travel industry. We hope all of you in the world traveler community have been staying safe and as cheerful as possible, despite the unusual challenges.
Given the rapid global spread of the virus, many tour operators have now cancelled all or most of their trips WORLDWIDE, departing through the end of April. More cancellations will surely follow.
Pain And Difficult Decision!
Operators make the difficult decision to cancel a trip typically with traveler safety paramount in mind, compliance with laws and medical guidelines, and the best interests of the traveler experience at heart..
It’s a difficult time for all of us. And no tour operator cancels a single trip lightly. It’s devastating for their people, employees, and local communities, not to mention their businesses.
We know it’s also incredibly frustrating and disappointing for you the traveler. This is a hard time for all of us, with a once-in-a-century global pandemic.
There are no playbooks on how to handle something like this in the travel industry, but rest assured the vast majority of operators aim to do the right thing for all their stakeholders – with travelers forefront, but also including their employees, guides, and local communities that are impacted by tourism.
It’s a complex balance of needs and many reasonable people can disagree on the optimal solutions, since if we’re honest, there is no perfect solution.
If your tour operator cancels on you… what should you do???
It’s a tough question to answer as it depends on many specifics, including their standard cancellation policy which you agreed to when you purchased the tour, and whether and what type of Insurance you had purchased.
In general, we recommend working with the tour operator and taking them up on their specific offerings. All are fair that we are aware of. Most are offering full travel credit on a future trip after Coronavirus has died down. A few are offering full cash refunds, but not many.
Things to keep in mind!!
Keep in mind most tour operators are small, locally owned and operated businesses. Even the larger ones have limited funds and have already themselves in most cases committed that cash to hotels, employees, and local transportation partners etc.
Of course you may have other related travel costs not booked by your tour operator or travel agent, like flights or separate accommodations. In those cases, we recommend contacting those travel providers directly or the credit card you used to purchase them to understand your options.
We know tensions are running high, and we share your concerns. We urge our entire global community to think and act like a community, supporting each other, giving the benefit of the doubt, and empathizing with the struggles of others.
Keep calm, careful, and curious…