STATEMENT FROM CARIBTOURS - AMENDMENTS/CREDIT NOTES AND REFUNDS
These are unprecedented and extraordinary times we find ourselves in. Millions of people around the world are unable to travel. This is a temporary problem for us all.
Caribtours is determined that customers do not miss out on their holiday. Our intention is that all customers still enjoy their planned holiday, albeit at a later date.
With that in mind, we are offering the following alternatives: -
OPTION 1 – Amend the date of their booking to a viable date in the future, with all monies being transferred.
OPTION 2 – Customers receive a Refund Credit Note for the full sum of their booking cost, to be used against a future holiday. Please note, The Refund Credit Note will be ATOL certified, as will any amended booking.
OPTION 3 – Should you not have done so already, we encourage you to contact your travel insurance provider regarding this matter, seeking a full refund of all monies paid. We can provide a cancellation invoice or letter to submit with any claim.
Caribtours is only able to offer any cash refunds as a last resort in respect of bookings that we have been forced to cancel as a result of the current COVID-19 emergency. While some of our agents and their customers have pointed to the requirements of the Package Travel Regulations (where they have booked a Package) to argue that a full cash refund should be provided, we do not agree with this argument. We do not believe it could have been the intention of the lawmakers for the Package Travel Regulations – and in particular the rules around traveller cancellation in the event of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances occurring in a particular destination – to apply across all destinations in such a way that would have catastrophic consequences for the travel industry.
While it is understandable for cancellation and refund rights to arise where advisories against travel are the exception, rather than the norm, it is simply not a tenable position to adopt where travel across the entire globe is in this position. It is naturally the case that decisions taken by governments and airlines around the world have led to this position and the ongoing restrictions to travel – we do not criticise those decisions in any way but they are decisions that are entirely outside of our control or influence, as a tour operator. It is therefore not reasonable for us, as a tour operator, to solely bear the financial consequences of those decisions, in so far as they affect travel.
Furthermore, it is also the case that ABTA, the CAA and the DFT are all engaged in advanced discussions with the Government as to the possibility of temporarily altering the normal provisions of the Package Travel Regulations, in so far as they apply to refunds. We consider this request to be entirely reasonable and proper, in light of the perilous position that the industry will otherwise find itself in. We therefore consider it is similarly reasonable to await the outcome of those discussions and await to see the approach taken by the Government, before we refine our position any further, although this should not be taken as a suggestion that our position will necessarily change.
CORONAVIRUS: CARIBTOURS UPDATE
16 MARCH 2020
Over the last 2-3 weeks Caribtours has been managing our client's concerns as far as the Coronavirus and the effect it has on their holidays plans. We have been guided by advice from FCO and Government.
The situation over the last 48 hours however has moved very quickly, and the time has come for us to get ahead of the situation and take charge.
Caribtours now operates in 50 different destinations around the world, each with different governments and jurisdictions. We can no longer wait to receive information from individual countries advising us of what their latest travel policy is. This is too piecemeal and also operationally challenging to manage. The last thing we want is to have hundreds or our mutual clients stranded around the globe.
With immediate effect therefore:-
• The decision has been taken that Caribtours will not accept any new bookings to travel in the next 4 weeks. This is an obvious and sensible precaution we think.
• For selected destinations, our team will be approaching existing clients with bookings that are due to depart in the next 3 weeks and encourage to postpone their holiday arrangements until later in the year. For travel 1st June onwards. Again we see this as a sensible precaution.
These simple measures will help us to create some breathing space and ensure that we, our hotels and our destinations can continue to offer the highest levels of service that you expect from us.
The Coronavirus is a temporary situation and one that will pass. Our Beautiful World will still be just as beautiful when this is all over. We are simply taking these practical steps that will allow us to take ownership of the operational priorities and to ensure our people stay on the front foot.
Caribtours takes pride in our professionalism and our organisational excellence – never before have these attributes been so much in demand. Our team will work tirelessly this week to get us in front of this problem – our priority is protect our people, our clients and our loyal travel agents.
Although we will be approaching clients directly regarding their bookings in priority order, if you have any concerns regarding your imminent travel arrangements in the meantime, you can call us directly on 01 431 9700 or email us at email@example.com.
For all bookings travelling later in the year and that are not affected by FCO advice, please rest assured our team will be in contact in due course. We are handling and prioritising all bookings in departure date order. As always you can rely on Caribtours support as we work with you during this difficult period.
Welcome To our Beautiful World
CURRENT FCO TRAVEL ADVICE
13 MARCH 2020
For the most up to date information relating to travel restrictions, we recommend that you check the FCO website - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and contact the embassy or consulate of the destination you are visiting to get the latest travel information. Restrictions have been put in place in some countries as a precaution against the spread of the Coronavirus and therefore you may be denied entry into that country, especially if you have recently visited countries where there is a higher level of Coronavirus outbreak. Please be aware that some destinations are taking additional precautions and are operating enhanced screening procedures upon arrival and in busy transport hubs. This information however is frequently changing and being updated so it is important that you check prior to travel. For the latest advice visit the Government travel advice website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
We will be in contact directly with any guests due to travel imminently to any country or region where the FCO has advised against all but essential travel, however if you have any concerns regarding your forthcoming travel arrangements, please contact us on 01 431 9700. For all bookings travelling later in the year and that are not affected by FCO advice, our team will be in contact in due course, but in the meantime you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We are handling and prioritising all bookings in departure date order.