In the past week our little tour company has cancelled the following tours due to ‘you know what’:
- HighRoad Cevennes
- HighRoad Pyrenees-Girona (ok, not yet, but cancelling soon)
- Haute Route Dolomites
- Etape du Tour (potentially postponed)
The total damage is around 30 clients and over half our year’s income, when combined with the tours we’ve already cancelled. We do not see ourselves getting out on the road with paying riders till at least August now.
While we are trying to be as flexible as possible with our cancellation policy, we’re finding that a big majority of our clients are just happy to keep their money with us till we ride together again. We hope we don’t need to use this to pay the bills, but the farther we go into the season, the more it will be likely. It’s a show of confidence – and dare I say – solidarity, that brings a tear to the eye.
We’ve had comments such as ‘I think that I can afford to go without a refund more than the travel industry can afford to give refunds’ and one guy actually sent us, out of the blue, a not-insignificant amount of money ‘as a retainer’ for future tours. He already had a bunch of dough with us for two tours this year. You can’t buy kindness like that.
It hasn’t all been sappy emails and generosity of course, but I’d rather focus on the positive. If it gets bad that’ll be a whole other email!
I guess what I want to say is that cyclists are good people and in times like this that’s what we need.