The curve is flattening but the emergency is far from over. What that means for the Tourissimo tour season and for 2020 trips.
Italy is fighting an invisible enemy as many others in the world right now. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our habits with little warning and also put the lives of our families and fellow citizens at risk and a strain on the health system. The sad truth is that the virus is taking lives as we write.
We have been waiting to reach out because we wanted to postpone this communication until we saw the epidemic curve in Italy show its decline. We prefer not talking of a “peak” because numbers can always change and they depend on factors such as timing and number of positive cases found (which does not mean all of the cases). But the trend has finally shown an undeniable decline in the cases hospitalized, intensive care recovering and deaths. The number of new positive cases that need hospitalization is lower than the people recovering.
What does that mean looking ahead?
It is possible that the trend will continue at the steady pace that we see now and that by the end of April things will start normalizing. The Italian Government has extended the lockdown until the beginning of May.
We want to show some moderate confidence in the fact that it will be possible to travel to Italy in the summer. But it’s more complicated than that.
As we know, each country impacted is on a different stage of the epidemic spread and North America is a few weeks behind Italy. There are safety issues and logistical aspects (lack of flights and mandatory quarantines) that make any prediction no more than speculation.
There’s the economic impact of all of this, the extent of which is too soon to calculate. The travel and tourism industry has been hit harshly but it is also a very resilient industry. In adventure and active travel, we are an adaptable and passionate group of companies. As it has after other crises, travel will rebound. Tourissimo is well-positioned to respond to the new ways in which our guests will look at travel and we are excited for the possibilities.
We try to be well-informed, flexible and use best practices. We have a pretty full fall season and we are working on that while keeping our fingers crossed. We are also focusing on 2021, with heavy hearts for this awful global struggle but with a great deal of optimism and fresh ideas. Many of you are already planning the first trip you’re going to take when the pandemic ends and it’s safe to do so.
As previously announced to our 2020 confirmed guests, we have updated our cancellation policy with the possibility to rollover payments to a later trip. We will also reach out to those who are on trips that have been postponed. Please, get in touch if you need to discuss your options.
Be well and thank you for your attention.
Beppe and Heather
S & D Vacations LLC - Tourissimo 184 Park Avenue Bridgewater, MA 02324 USA
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