Well, what a year 2020 has been. It would be fair to say this isn’t quite what we were thinking when we welcomed in the new decade on 1st January. The last few months have been a rollercoaster for everyone and the travel industry has been one of those that was hit the hardest. Friends have lost their jobs and previous juggernauts in the industry have been pushed to their limits. Some will not survive and the industry as a whole has been irrevocably changed.
Let’s put it bluntly. Some of the larger tour operators (no names mentioned) have kept hold of client money and refused refunds. These are ATOL-bonded, ABTA agencies who were legally obliged to provide refunds and have not only damaged their reputation but also made travellers question how safe their money is when paying for a holiday . The difference being, that in 95% of cases, Mensos Concierge refunded our clients within days even though we were facing a mountain of unprecedented cancellations. We have worked tirelessly over the past 3 months recovering clients’ money, whilst also working alongside our trusted hotels and suppliers to move existing trips and credits in our clients’ favour. However, in some cases, we sadly weren’t successful. Take Greece, who changed the law in March this year to legally allow hotels and suppliers to edit their Terms & Conditions, making previously refundable trips non-refundable. They have instead offered 18-month credit vouchers. It has been a bitter blow to our industry’s reputation but more importantly a bitter blow to our clients. With flights to Greece being delayed and quarantine rules in question, we will only sell Greece this year if our clients are fully aware of the risks involved.
Finally, as of this week, the Foreign Office has today updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel, exempting destinations that no longer pose an unaccetably high risk for British travellers. Destinations that are now open for British citizens include Barbados, Croatia, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Monaco, Spain*, Switzerland, Turkey and Turks and Caicos.
*UPDATE: SPAIN & BALEARIC ISLANDS ARE NO LONGER QUARANTINE-FREE FOR UK TRAVELLERS
This means that your travel insurance is valid when booking a trip, safe in the knowledge that you will be looked after should anything change before you go or when you’re away. Of course, no travel is risk-free at the moment but we believe the last few months have shown how important it is to book trips using an independant travel advisor. We can help you navigate these tricky waters and guide you to reputable and trusted hotels with flexible booking conditions.
It seems travel advisors, in fact, have never been more in demand. Using an independent travel consultant means you can expect honesty and transparency. We are there to advise – free of charge – and were there to repay money in full whilst losing money in repaid credit card fees. In some cases, these trips are being planned for over a year. The good news? We have been repaid in your loyalty, kindness and patience. And for that, we thank you.
If you would like to book a trip or discuss a destination in more detail, then please get in touch with your enquiry. There are some amazing places that have opened their doors in line with local government advice and promise a safe (and rather quiet!) stay. Plus, Terms & Conditions have never been more flexible, protecting you should you need to cancel up to 24 hours prior to arrival in some cases.