24th September 2020
Wild Frontiers Founder Jonny recounts the challenges and opportunities posed by Coronavirus in his latest blog. Follow Jonny on Instagram for news and photos from his latest recces - next stop Central Italy.
As far as the last few months are concerned, it’s been tough; with travel being among the worst hit industries I am sure you can all imagine just how tough. Having scrambled to repatriate clients in March, the team set to work transferring, rescheduling and refunding all those booked that could no longer travel. We managed to rebook around 85% of travellers to depart in 2021, with some even opting to travel in 2022. I’d like to thank both our wonderful travellers for trusting us to move their bookings, and our great team for all their hard work throughout this difficult period.
And then we started to plan.
But what is critical for any company is that it has products or services people can actually buy and use. If travel in Asia, Latin America and Africa are, at least for the time being, difficult to arrange, why not look to Europe and the wild frontiers of this great continent? We had been looking at developing more tours in Europe for a while anyway, so we’ve been putting the time that this pandemic has provided us with to good use.
As you may have seen, in August I hosted a trip to the Orkney Islands off the coast of northern Scotland and earlier this month accompanied a new walking tour in Turkey; both were a great success. Next week I am taking a new walking and wine tour in central Italy and in mid-October will be heading to northern Greece for a cultural odyssey along the famous Via Egnatia, the European extension to the old Silk Road.
Looking on the bright side, 2021 is already very busy. With the double whammy of 2020 bookers transferring to next year, and fresh enquiries and bookings starting to materialise, many group tours, or special lodges and hotels favoured by tailor-made clients are already sold out for key periods; so if you haven’t already got a trip lined up, now really is the time to start planning. With hopes of a vaccine increasing, and cheaper and more widespread testing on the horizon, once winter is over we feel there is a very good chance international travel will start to return in earnest and when it does, spaces will be in high demand.
To help you in this we have decided to maintain our group tour deposit at £25 until the end of the year (rather than the usual £500) and book all private tailor-made journeys at a 10% deposit, rather than the usual 25%. And of course our very popular and industry leading Covid Promise rules apply to all trips booked, as does our Covid Viability Test, meaning if your trip can’t go you will get a refund.
Finally let me sign off by wishing that you all stay safe and well. There may well be some more dark times ahead. But they will pass and one way or another things will recover and travel will start again. And when it does, we will be here to help.
Thanks for your continued support.