Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm
Sat 9am-1pm (Cruises & Rail only)
Phone

Statement on COVID-19

March 23rd 2020

Postponed travel with the Arena Travel Group

We are naturally disappointed that we are unable to fulfil our customers’ travel plans as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are currently facing an industry crisis of unprecedented scale, which is impacting all tour operators, transport providers and their customers. As countries have effectively closed down, the Travel Industry has had to manage arrangements for customers in destination, including repatriation, as well as for imminent travel, often at significant additional cost.

As members of ABTA, our trade association, and licenced by the C.A.A., we are liaising closely with the Foreign Office in respect of those arrangements. With regards to customers yet to travel, we have been trying to provide alternative arrangements, but that this is becoming increasingly difficult as the virus spreads. We have therefore taken the decision to postpone all holidays departing in the month of April and we have been in touch with our travellers to discuss alternative future dates of travel. We are currently reviewing our operations for departures in May and will similarly be in touch with all those customers to discuss alternative arrangements over the coming weeks.

Because of the unique circumstances of this pandemic, ABTA has been working at UK and European level to temporarily alter the normal provisions of the Package Travel Directive. The policy that credits be allowed as an acceptable alternative to cash refunds, which will still provide the consumer protection of the original package, has now been approved. They have stated that it is unreasonable for a tour operator to be obliged to refund clients when monies may well have not been recovered from the service provider such as hotels and transport arrangements. Come what may our customers’ monies are protected through the CAA’s ATOL scheme and our financial failure insurance for non-air packages as members of ABTA.

The policy that Arena Travel has adopted in these unprecedented times is to transfer customers from postponed holidays, with a full credit, to a similar holiday of their choice later this year or into next. We are regrettably not making any refunds for postponed holidays.

I would personally like to thank all our customers at this difficult time for their patience and understanding, and trust that we can all look forward to a time in the future when travel resumes.

 

Steve Goodenough
Managing Director

March 16th 2020

In light of the current Coronavirus crisis the Arena Travel Group has taken the decision to cease operation of all holidays until the end of April. All holidays due to depart before the 30th April will be postponed to a future date. Our telephone lines are extremely busy as we are dealing with those customers due to depart over the next 2 weeks, so we would ask that you wait for us to contact you regarding alternative arrangements for your holiday. Thank you for your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

March 10th 2020

A message from Steve Goodenough, Arena Travel Group Managing Director

The safety and wellbeing of all our customers is always our priority, and we are constantly reviewing the advice and information provided by the British Government, World Health Organisation, Public Health England and travel industry association ABTA. 

As a long established company, with an experienced team of travel professionals, I would like to reassure you that we are monitoring this situation extremely closely on a daily, and hour by hour basis, keeping abreast of developments and the processes that our industry will need to adopt.  We are ready to be flexible, act swiftly and implement processes and procedures as required, as we have done during the many events that have impacted on the travel industry and the travelling public over recent decades.

The British travel community of businesses and travellers has always taken its lead from the Government and the advice that it issues through the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO), and this remains the case.  Their sole interest is the wellbeing of British nationals abroad and their advice will determine whether we operate our holidays to a particular destination or region.  The current advice is against travel to China, part of South Korea and Italy as a result of this situation.  In line with advice and historical protocols we will be implementing this advice approximately 3 weeks prior to travel, or earlier if deemed necessary.   Our holiday reservations team will be in touch with each customer directly regarding holidays that are affected.  If the FCO advice does not affect where you are due to travel, then your holiday will proceed as planned. You can check the FCO advice here https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Arena Travel would like to thank all its customers in advance for their patience and understanding during this concerning situation for everyone involved, and through what is clearly a difficult time for travellers, the travel industry and the local regions we visit.  The British travelling public have been notoriously resilient in previously challenging times and I am confident that this spirit will once again prevail.  In anticipation of this I would like to thank you all for the support for not only Arena Travel, but for continuing where possible, with all of your travel plans, supporting those hotels, attractions and all other communities that can be dependent on the benefits from tourism. 

If you do have any health concerns regarding the virus please do call the NHS helpline on 111 for guidance and if you have pre-existing medical conditions that make you at a high risk please consult your doctor regarding your ability to travel. Anyone who is due to travel with us and is displaying symptoms of flu or fever should seek medical advice. Further information can be found on the NHS/Public Health England website, https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

In closing, I would like to once again reassure you that myself and the whole Arena team will do all that we can to deliver a safe and enjoyable holiday for you.

 

Steve Goodenough
Managing Director