We have reshaped our service and offering in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to put your safety first and respond to how travel will change. Our first priority is keeping our clients, staff, partners and the communities we work with in our regions informed and, therefore, safe. We are in contact with our friends on the ground daily and have been closely monitoring this continually evolving situation. Here are the things we have been working on and reasons to start planning your next trip now:
We understand from our client survey that the most important factor to you is flexibility to give you as much assurance as possible when booking your next trip. For clients who have been unable to travel due to COVID-19 in the last few months, we have had outstanding success at making alternative arrangements and deferring their bookings to a more suitable time in the future – in most cases, at no additional cost. Similarly, in the event of cancellation, we have actively worked with our suppliers on the ground to recover funds and, to date, have either managed to recover 100% of the funds, or the majority of the funds, with the balance in the form of a credit note where possible.
Going forward, we can guarantee that should you not be able to travel due to COVID-19, we can defer your ground arrangements to a date that you are able to travel, subject to availability and seasonality, at zero cost to you and have secured a no increase agreement with our suppliers for travel until the end of 2021. We are also able to change both international and domestic flights, but this may incur additional cancellation and alteration fees imposed by the airline, which we will mitigate when we can. For added peace of mind, all client funds deposited with us or suppliers are held in a distinct ring-fenced account, until such time as they become payable.
We fully appreciate that paying the full balance for your holiday 60 days or more in advance, when it’s not clear if your trip can take place, is a daunting prospect. To offer further reassurance and allow you to defer payment of your balance for as long as possible, we have agreed with our suppliers to make balance payments as late as 30 days prior to departure, allowing us to ensure your trip is viable before asking for any balance payment. To allow for payment to be received from you and paid to the relevant suppliers in time, we will invoice you a week to 10 days prior to that balance payment being due. There are some exceptions to this added flexibility, which are private boat charters and bookings over the Christmas and New Year period, where balance payments may be requested sooner, due to the nature and/or timing of the booking. Should this apply to your booking, it will be communicated to you in advance.
Booking and travelling with an accredited tour operator is more important than ever in these uncertain times. Unlike many others, cazenove+loyd is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Our ATOL number is 3208. This means that the UK government guarantees all funds paid out to a bonded operator and is bound to pay in full if the bond holder is unable to deliver as contracted.
It is the responsibility of our clients to ensure they have adequate travel insurance in place that meets with specific requirements. This is particularly important just now with regard to Covid-19 and travel. If you have not already arranged travel insurance for your trip, we have excellent relationships with a handful of insurance companies and we strongly recommend getting a series of quotes and discussing your personal requirements in detail with them in order to find the best one for you. Get in touch with us to find out more.
SAFETY + SANITATION
We have put the relevant measures in place so that our destinations are ready to welcome you safely once borders are open. In all of our destinations, sanitation and hygiene in our vehicles and the properties we work with are extensive, with cleaning protocols rigidly followed as well as other necessary safety requirements. Every trip starts with a blank piece of paper and is totally tailor-made to you. However, we understand the demand for destinations that can be reached by direct flight and itineraries designed to avoid built-up and crowded areas and staying in smaller hotels, private houses and on boats that you can take with family and friends. We always arrange private vehicles and guides for our clients when travelling in a destination and can also organise private charters and private jet travel for both international and domestic flights.
We have a fantastic VIP service in place to help you navigate the airport to make your journey as smooth and easy as possible. Read more here.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Our experts are currently working on new enquiries and future bookings. If there is anything you need or would like to know about specific countries, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Due to COVID-19, many of our clients have deferred their 2020 travel plans to 2021 and beyond, and while there is still availability in our favourite places to stay and with our best guides, we recommend starting to discuss your plans with us now.
We urge you to start travelling again – not only to experience our amazing destinations for yourself but also to support the small businesses, owner-run properties, guides and individuals who are so dependent on tourism.
With very best wishes, Henrietta Loyd, Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell + the cazenove+loyd team