by Debbie Ross
While the pandemic has been devastating in so many ways, it has also provided the tourism industry with the opportunity to reflect on things that could be done better for travellers, suppliers, local communities, and the planet. This has been a time for everyone to reflect on how we live and what travel post COVID-19 will look like.
There will be a change in group touring with small group travel being the preferred choice. This will be stronger than ever and I believe that travel companies like ours, that have created a local community among their travelers will provide reassurance when travel returns.
Womens Travel Network‘s parent company Worldwide Quest has been operating small group tours for 50 years and has developed a strong relationship with top notch travel providers worldwide. We have faced challenges in the past and emerged stronger each time. Our family of loyal guests, dedicated employees and valued partners have been the centre of each decision.
The coronavirus crisis has reinforced the importance of our local service providers and their local communities. We want you to know once we start to travel again we will continue to meet high safety standards in all aspects of our trips: accommodations, local transportation, restaurants and places we visit.
We will be open and honest around how we will operate our tours to ensure your safety. We are developing a clear plan on how we will handle your health concerns; at time of initial booking, final payment, on departure day and during the tour protocols to make traveling with WTN safer. With our global partners we will work together to ensure our customers and the communities are safe. For now, we have postponed our 2020 trips based on the likelihood that international borders will remain closed for an extended period of time.
Domestic travel will come back first as people will feel more confident with their own government’s assurances and precautions to feel comfortable to explore their own backyard. International travel will most likely begin to make a comeback later this year, but much of it depends on the opening of borders between nations.
This pandemic has greatly affected countries that rely on tourism for sustainability. Our local safari guides in Kenya will not be given bailouts like major airlines and hotels. Locally-owned boutique hotels, restaurants and contracted tour guides are people that rely on foreign tourists to support themselves and their families. The best way for us to continue to support them is to travel again when it is safe to do so.
Good governance and strong health and safety practices will be more important than ever in rebuilding a strong, sustainable tourism industry.
We are getting ready for you!
Our product department is busy creating fabulous itineraries for the 2021 trips. Details coming soon! As you look forward to future travel, we understand that you might be a little hesitant to book your place on a trip. Don’t worry. You can reserve your spot risk-free for 2021 travel.
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