As at 30 March 2020
To our loyal travellers,
We hope you and your family are safe and well.
As a people, a company and a country we continue to sail into uncharted territory. These are difficult times yet all around us we have seen the very best of human nature shine through. We have been incredibly touched by the many messages of support we have received from our beloved clients, industry colleagues and friends.
The purpose of this update is to advise you on what is happening at Bunnik Tours and also to offer an apology for the delay in contacting impacted passengers individually with details of their credits.
The past 2 weeks, since the sudden suspension of our tours and subsequent closure of all borders, have been particularly difficult for the Bunnik Tours family.
What we've been doing
Our first priority was to get the hundreds of Bunnik Tours' passengers who were on tour back home as quickly as possible. As we tour some of the world’s most remote and exotic locations this proved to be very challenging as airlines cut back services and travel restrictions increased by the hour. We are pleased to report all passengers on land tours have now safely returned home. There are 8 passengers still on cruise ships with whom we are in daily contact.
Our second priority was our team both here in Australia and in Sri Lanka. Like all companies in the travel industry we have had to make some very difficult decisions regarding our team. However rather than making blanket and impersonal cuts like large companies had to do we took a more personal approach. Each staff member was asked what would be best for them - redundancy, reduced hours or combination of unpaid leave and using paid leave reserves. To say that this process was heartbreaking is an understatement. We have had to say goodbye to staff we never wanted to lose. Our sincere hope is that we are able to reemploy as many of the team as possible once this nightmare is over.
During this time we have also been working on enabling all remaining staff to work from home in anticipation of impending lockdowns. Meanwhile, our operations and product teams have been working with our overseas suppliers and airline partners to unravel the complex world of refunds and credits for impacted bookings.
What we're doing next
This week our focus firmly shifts to contacting each passenger who had their tour interrupted or suspended due to COVID-19. Our passengers’ travel arrangements are as diverse as our touring program so we anticipate that this will take us approximately 2 weeks to work through as April and May were particularly busy months for tour departures. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Moving forward we will continue to monitor our tour schedule and make a call on June departures by mid-April. All impacted passengers will be contacted directly or via their travel agent (if applicable) before we make any public announcements. This process will continue on a rolling basis until such a time that borders reopen. In the meantime, due to the uncertainty we will not be seeking any progress payments on tours and we are delaying the due date for final balances until 30 days prior to departure.
Like all of you we are hoping that this passes soon and we can again start exploring this incredible planet. Thank you for your continued support during this difficult time. We wish you and your family all the very best for a safe and healthy 2020.
Dennis, Marion & Sacha
Further updates will be provided as required.
Bunnik Tours is not a medical company and cannot provide advice on the safety of any destination or form of travel beyond that provided by the DFAT Smartraveller website. We recommend all passengers regularly check this website.
For further information regarding the coronavirus, please visit the following websites and resources:
The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that basic protective measures include some of the following:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
- Maintain social distancing keeping at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Practice respiratory hygiene by covering your nose and mouth with your bended elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
The contents of this statement are current as at the date of publication. Bunnik Tours has applied its best endeavours to provide you with the necessary advice and guidance on the subject matter of the statement but you should consider your personal circumstances and seek your own advice accordingly. Bunnik Tours expressly and unconditionally declines any statement of warranty in the contents of the publication and the reader must not infer any right of reliance in the subject matter of the publication whatsoever.