Latest travel advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19). Read More

COVID-19: Important information for upcoming trips

Apr 06, 2020


Coronavirus Update – Last updated on Monday 6th April at 17:20

 

Rayburn Tours Office – Potential Service Disruption

In order to support the Government’s social distancing requirements, our Head Office in Derby has temporarily closed and our employees are now working from home.  During this period we have also had to reduce our staffing levels throughout the Company to a much smaller core team.

Because of the remote working, and the smaller team we are not always able to answer calls.  Therefore, Email is the best way to contact us during this period. If you wish to contact someone specific and have their direct email address, then please use this as all mailboxes are still being monitored. If your enquiry is more general, then please use our web enquiry form or simply email us at info@RayburnTours.com.

Please also note that we are only able to deal with queries from party leaders and not individual group members or parents of group members.

Thank you for your patience.

 

All International Tours

The current Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice against ‘all but essential’ travel could be in place for the foreseeable future, however this travel restriction can be removed at any time.

In situations where the FCO are advising against all but essential travel to your destination and your departure is imminent then we will not be able to operate your planned tour. In the first instance we will look to offer an alternative (either different destination or date) however if you do not wish to accept this then we will have to cancel the tour. See “What happens if Rayburn Tours cancels my trip due to COVID-19?” below).

We are currently in the process of contacting all groups with future planned tours to discuss each group’s options. We are doing this in chronological departure date order so please try and be patient whilst we complete this work.

 

UK School Groups

On 12th March the Government announced further measures to help delay the spread of COVID-19. Schools and colleges are being advised against all overseas trips for children under 18 until further notice. Read more on the gov.uk website.

A joint statement from ABTA and the School Travel Forum was released on 13th March. They stated that schools should decide how to react upon this advice and, should they wish to cancel any upcoming trips, then the tour operator’s normal cancellation terms will apply.

They continue to state, “Schools should contact either their own general insurers or the Department for Education as they may have some financial cover in place for this scenario.”

We have an ever-growing number of schools that are now successfully recouping any cancellation costs via their business insurance or via the Government’s Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA). We strongly recommend that schools check to see if they are covered as this means they have the option to cancel with no cost to themselves or the students.

Commonly Asked Questions

Is the money we have paid to Rayburn Tours safe if the Company ceases trading?

Yes, it is fully protected. Whilst we are very positive that Rayburn Tours will continue to trade for many more years we recognise that these are uncertain times and we hope it is of comfort to know that all client monies paid to us are fully protected through our ABTA bond and ATOL licence and would be returned to customers in the event of business failure.

Can I postpone my 2020 trip to 2021?

We are working with many groups who want to explore the options for postponing their 2020 trip to 2021. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us and we can discuss your choices and how we can help you in more detail.

The FCO are currently advising against all but essential travel to my destination. What happens in this situation?

If the FCO are advising against all but essential travel to your destination and your departure is imminent then we will not be able to operate your planed tour. In the first instance we will look to offer an alternative (either different destination or date) however if you do not wish to accept this then we will have to cancel the tour. See what if Rayburn Tours has to cancel my trip below.

What happens if Rayburn Tours cancels my trip due to COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the UK Government imposing a worldwide travel ban. This is an unprecedented situation that the travel industry has never faced before. One of the main issues is that money received for future tours will have been paid to suppliers but not yet been received back where the tour has ben cancelled. This process needs to be managed very carefully given the scale of cancelled tours. In addition, many companies and suppliers are operating under social distancing measures and with reduced staff levels which is compounding this issue further by reducing operational capacity.

As such there are ongoing discussions between the travel industry bodies and the Government about how the industry needs to respond to the situation to both protect consumer rights but also avoid widescale business failures. Please see ABTA for more details.

We are presently pausing the processing of cancelled trips due to COVID-19 until this advice is known so we can then put in place the best plan for all parties. We completely understand that customers may feel frustrated and concerned but please be assured that we are working towards a resolution as fast as we can and that all client monies paid to us are fully protected through our ABTA bond and ATOL licence and would be returned to customers in the event of business failure.

What happens if I want to cancel our tour?

If you take the decision to cancel your future trip and there is no Government advice against travel to your destination and your departure is not imminent, then our normal cancellation terms would apply. However, we recommend that you contact us first. We may be able to look at postponement options for your trip, or we may be able to recover sufficient costs from our suppliers that we are able to reduce your cancellation charges. Also, if you are a school group you may be able to recoup cancellation fees (See “School Groups” section above).