To all our partners

Following last night's Presidential Statement (read the full statement here) we now have a travel ban in place for key source countries such as the USA, UK, Germany and Spain, effective Wednesday 18 March 2020.
There is no indication at this stage of the length of the travel block, but we are working to a 30 April date at this time and prioritizing arrivals within this period.

We are encouraging residents of these countries currently travelling to start making plans to return as the flight situation is uncertain. Should they choose to remain in-country, then of course we can offer every assistance possible, but they will need to report to their nearest testing centre for a test for Covid-19. We can assist with where that may be, although at this stage for quickest results, this will need to be done at a private clinic at client's own cost (roughly USD100 pp). Please advise urgently if you will be contacting clients of yours currently on the ground or if you would like us to.

With regards to postponement and cancellation:
We are dealing with each booking individually as there is no broad agreement amongst suppliers on what terms to apply. Separate correspondence has gone out to all of our suppliers, requesting that they are flexible as possible in re-booking, regardless of notice period of postponement, and offering as long a period to re-travel as possible. Please ignore guidelines laid out in previous correspondence as we are pushing for a relaxation of these, although again, there is not one approach adopted by suppliers.

We are encouraging - as I know you are - clients to postpone and re-book rather than cancel. If clients do cancel, we are aware that in some countries, the travel law requires tour operators to absorb cancellation fees and refund clients in full. We have impressed this upon all suppliers but are unable to guarantee a cancellation fee waiver in all cases. This will be up to the respective supplier, with a strong motivation from us to be as lenient as possible.

Please bear in mind that suppliers are currently overwhelmed with the volume of amendments and are taking time to revert to us on a per case basis. It is important that we set response time expectations with you and your clients at the outset.

Please also bear in mind that many suppliers, especially smaller, owner run properties, are experiencing financial strain in a key travel time in Southern Africa and may not be in a position to offer full refunds on all bookings.

Payments
It is critical at this time to adhere to your payment terms so that we in turn can support suppliers as much as possible. The nature of our industry means that there are people all along the supply chain, sometimes in our poorest communities who rely on tourist funds and it is important that we can ensure they are still receiving what is owed to them. We will be making a concerted effort to bring any historical payments owing up to date and making sure that any current invoices owing are settled. If there are cancellation fees owing on a booking, please can these be settled as timeously as possible.

Communication
In an effort to respond as efficiently as possible to the volume of emails, please direct any specific booking changes to your dedicated consultant. They are backed up by their team leaders and management staff.

For more general queries on the situation or for clarification on anything, please email our sales managers in the first instance, copying in Faith and Craig:
Helen Bolton (UK and Ireland):
helenbolton@newfrontierstours.co.za
Scott Blount (USA, Canada, Brazil, Singapore and Australia):
scott@newfrontierstours.co.za
Christine Maucher (Europe):
christine@newfrontierstours.co.za
Faith Johnson (COO):
faith@newfrontierstours.co.za

Thank you to all of you for the professionalism with which we are all dealing with such an unprecedented crisis. I know this is tough on every single one of us in the industry but the level of co-operation and communication from you and your teams - right through to my staff and the suppliers - has been hugely appreciated.


Craig
New Frontiers Tours - A fresh approach: +27 (0) 31 279 5900 info@newfrontirestours.co.za www.newfrontierstours.co.za

 

This email was sent by New Frontiers Tours (Pty) Ltd, South Africa

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