It has been a long, and frankly, lousy Summer. All of my Tours were ultimately cancelled with the cancellations being drip-fed month by month as the situation changed, or rather, didn’t. I was lucky enough to receive some financial help from the government, but this was rather soured by their laissez-faire attitude to support for the Travel Industry. I know everyone has had it tough, but it does sometimes feel as though my industry has been singled out for utter destruction. The failure of the UK government to clarify, support and amend the procedures for Refund Credit Notes as was done in ALL other EU countries has caused needless distress to many customers and caused chaos within the industry.
Ok, that’s my rant over for the day. I feel better now.
The good news is that, at last, I have been offered a Tour that stands a good chance of actually going. On 6th September I’ve been offered Sirmione on Lake Garda. This is a lovely Tour (I have done it before) that includes day trips to Venice & Verona and has three free days to explore the beautiful Lake Garda at leisure. The best news of all is that our hotel is one of GRJ’s very best, the excellent Hotel Continental Thermae & Spa. This lovely lakeside hotel has been looking after GRJ clients for many years, and I know in advance that they are geared up to work with me as a team and to look after my clients.
There are of course, a range of new COVID-19 procedures and standards that will be in effect during the Tour. Great Rail Journeys has put a lot of work into making sure that their Tours are safe for clients (and Tour Managers) and I’m confident enough that I’m prepared to actually take the Tour. We now have a maximum group size in Europe & UK of 25 clients so for me, being more used to managing groups of 40+ in China, this will be a much easier experience.
I’ll keep you all in touch with my preparations as the departure date draws closer, and of course, as the Tour progresses there will be daily updates on how things go. It’s been a long time, but, fingers crossed, TimOnTheTrain will soon be back on the rails.