In these uncertain times with the ongoing Worldwide Pandemic, nobody still knows when booking, or travelling on a normal holiday/golfing holiday is going to be safe, sensible and or possible.
When will the Foreign Office change advice on the FCO website and say that non essential travel is possible again, will there be Air Bridges between UK and Spain, Portugal, Mauritius, Jamaica etc allowing travel both ways without any issues?
Will this ridiculous 2 week quarantine period for foreigners and UK citizens coming into the UK be upheld, when it should really have been in place 10 weeks ago and not really now? Will common sense prevail sooner, rather than later and how will a holiday be different next year, or even this Autumn compared to previous, with social distancing, increased cleanliness in hotels setting higher standards for visiting guests etc. There is no doubt in our mind that masks will be required in airports and on planes for the foreseeable future and that this will be the new interim norm. However, masks in overseas resorts in hotels and golf courses will unlikely to be required by guests, but only hotel and golf staff inside buildings at least. We already have seen evidence that our luxury 5 star resort partners have made big measures in anticipation of opening to offer their customers much better standards of hygiene and cleanliness and space in restaurants etc. It has been amazing to see how fast hotels have been willing to change their protocols etc in a short space of time. Social distancing in the types of venue that we send our customers to is much easier and safer than mass market 3-4 star hotels where there are hundreds of customers and big buffet restaurants. The smaller the hotels also the higher the standards of hygiene, with staff and public areas!
Many of our customers will be desperate to travel again and book for later this winter, or for 2021, as soon as they feel confident to do so and to enable that process we have been thinking of ways to make it easier to book without the headaches of the last few months, when some people had their holidays postponed, cancelled or curtailed in the Tsunami at the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We were able to get an overwhelming majority of our customers refunded within a few weeks if the hotels had been pre-paid and immediately if they had not, because our clients monies are held in special Trust Accounts and it was a simple process therefore to pay monies back. (Better the money being in your pocket than in a Trust Account). However, to avoid future indecision and to promote confidence for 2021 business we are willing to operate the following system of cancelling and payments.
Customers will pay a modest deposit, (but less than in previous years) an amount of money which will vary depending on if we are booking flights, where the flight costs have to be pre-paid to the airline at the time of booking. The balance payment will be due only 28-30 days in advance, unless otherwise stated at the time of booking – this will be instead of 56 -60 days, as was the case previously.
However, an even more substantial change will be the option of cancelling at that moment in time 28-30 days in advance, or as detailed otherwise at time of booking, you may prefer to cancel because of the uncertainty of the Pandemic and how it is affecting the possibility of the holiday proceeding normally and at that point in time we may have a much better final idea on the flights, resort and golf course functionality as being normal or not.
If you cancel we will agree to keep the deposit on credit, or cancel and refund you all monies paid, bar an amount of circa £30 per person, which is classified as a modest admin fee. The only reason we could make an exception is if the airline costs have been pre-paid already e.g. Jet2 flight and then we will only refund, or credit you that element if the flights do not operate, because of COVID-19 related reasons. After the full payment is made 28-30 days in advance you will then be restricted to 100% cancellation fees – which will of course be invalid if the holiday is not able to happen because of National Lockdowns, Foreign Office Advice on non essential travel and or cancelled flights. You would then qualify for a full refund less admin fee, or a credit voucher.
This flexible approach is valid for the foreseeable future and may operate until there is normal confidence back in the market for overseas travel and the Pandemic is over and or there is an adequate and reliable vaccine available for COVID-19. This refreshing approach is only available because of the cooperation of most of our key supplier partners, if this flexibility is not possible we will advise you at the time of booking for total transparency.
Remember that with Island Golf Holidays all client monies are ring fenced and fully protected and ring fenced for the express purpose of paying the supply chain on each individual holiday and we cannot draw money out of that account until after each holiday is completed. This also should give you plenty of confidence and because we have this system with the TTA it is easier to pay back refunds on cancelled trips, as we do not speculate and use your client money for other marketing or speculative projects unlike many other tour operators in the market, which are not TTA members who do not have Client Trust Accounts. I look forward to arranging your next dream golfing holiday.
Island Golf Holidays