The last three months have been challenging for HE Travel, as with all our peers in the travel industry.
In mid-March, India had few known COVID-19 cases, but to be safe, we canceled the extensions for our Jewels of India tour. Our in-house flight specialists rerouted clients onto non-stop flights from Delhi to the US. This avoided the pandemonium in Europe the weekend that restrictions were applied to flights from Europe to the US. That same week we ended our Ecuador Highlands tour early. Getting our clients comfortably home before the Ecuador government shut down all air traffic.
Our final clients abroad were a couple visiting friends in Arles, France. They waited until the wave of nervous travelers arrived home, and most flights were empty. Our flight specialist Greg found them a set of 3 flights with fewer than 15 passengers each. Allowing total “social distancing” and a relaxing trip home.
Since then we have had no clients on the road anywhere in the world, for the first time since I bought Hanns Ebensten Travel in 2001. We have canceled all international tours through August. However, we have stayed busy taking reservations for domestic tours. This tours include our August rafting tours in the Grand Canyon, rafting the Salmon River in Idaho, and our Colorado Ranch tour. We are also preparing new domestic tours to explore some of the most fascinating parts of the United States this fall (to be announced shortly!).
The international travel situation is more complicated. To understand trends, I regularly update detailed charts tracking the coronavirus cases and reopening status. I am doing this for every country and state where we operate tours, plus a few others. These are critical tools to help us decide which tours we will operate in the fall and winter, as well as next year.
To keep you, our travelers, as well-informed as possible, I will provide regular updates about patterns and trends that I see developing. Also included will be which countries and states are truly ready for prudent visitors!
Health and safety can never be guaranteed during travel. That was true before COVID-19 and it is certainly still true now. The role of the HE Travel team and our fellow travel professionals around the world is to anticipate and minimize the risks for travelers. As well as those who serve them while ensuring a fun and meaningful experience for our travelers.
Stay tuned for analysis of worldwide trends!