Travel Health Advisory: Coronavirus Update

Two’s a Crowd take the health and well-being of our clients very seriously. We continue to closely monitor developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by sourcing information daily from credible sources including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Smart Traveller) and our in-country tour operators.

Following the Federal Government’s announcements over recent days and weeks, including the advice that Australian’s not travel overseas at this time, all departures up to 30th June 2020 have been postponed.  Affected clients have been/will be offered a credit to travel on the rescheduled tour.  The team are in contact with those clients in order of departure date. Tours departing in July 2020 will be reviewed over the next two weeks

 Our aim is to run postponed tours at a similar time in 2021. Once again the team will advise affected clients when more details are known. 

Some clients have asked why they can’t get a full refund of monies paid to Two’s a Crowd and are instead being offered a credit. There are two reasons for this:

1.  We all want the product that we arranged for clients to be delivered. The best option for all involved is for travel arrangements to be postponed This will ensure the industry can recover when the virus is under control and international travel gets back to normal. It should, in most cases, also result in a much better outcome for customers, as the obligations for suppliers to refund in the current environment may be validly limited by suppliers through their booking conditions or general legal principles.

 2. We are also unable to refund as we do not have those funds in the business – they have been paid out to suppliers like hotels, airlines and land operators up to 6 months or 12 months earlier. Our suppliers are not refunding because they would have likely also incurred expenses, and may not have a legal obligation to refund where travel is cancelled due to unexpected and extraordinary events outside of their control. You may hear suppliers talk about Coronavirus being an ‘event of force majeure’, which basically means that the performance of their contractual obligations is impossible due to current events associated with the pandemic – i.e., border closures. We are aware that many suppliers have agreed to issue credits for future travel – by offering credits, suppliers could in fact be offering customers more than they are legally obliged to offer. We also hear that they want to supply their service at a later date and ensure the industry’s long term survival. Mass refunds will call mass business failure and significant job losses.

The offer of  a credit is in line with the latest guidance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The Victorian state government announced this week that non-essential businesses should close from 24th March 2020. As a result our office has been closed and the team will work from home. While the most efficient way to communicate is via email,  if you wish to speak to one of the team please call and leave a message. The team will call you back asap.

Please note from Monday 30th March we will be operating with a skeleton staff  for the foreseeable future. This may mean a delay in responding to you. We apologise in advance. 

We thank you all for your patience during this very difficult time.

26th  March 2020

 

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