At the time of writing (30 Jan 2020), the corona virus has infected 7,000 people worldwide and sadly killed 170. In Thailand, there are 14 cases (all in Bangkok) but thankfully no deaths. The situation is perceived as unpredictable and we’ve had a significant number of cancellations, both voluntary (people who’ve chosen to cancel their trip) and forced (people whose airlines have cancelled their flights).
In all cancellation cases due to corona virus, customers have written to us asking for full refunds based on extenuating circumstances. However, we have had to apply our supplier cancellation terms & conditions, as outlined in this website. This has resulted in some customers becoming confrontational in further correspondence, which is what has led to the publication of this update.
Firstly, we are very sorry that people are having to cancel holidays because of the corona virus outbreak. We can certainly agree that this is an extenuating circumstance worthy of either voluntary or forced cancellation. However, it is an extenuating circumstance affecting a vast number of people (including ourselves) and although highly unexpected, it constitutes a reason as to why we have terms & conditions which are in turn enforced and why we recommend that customers take out travel insurance to cover themselves for unforeseeable situations.
We are sorry that cancellation of Surin trips may result in the partial or full loss of deposits. The reasons for this are outlined in our terms & conditions and in e-mails sent acknowledging cancellations. We do hope that customers heeded the advice in our terms & conditions recommending travel insurance, which will allow recovery of deposit payments. If not and the loss has to be bourn personally, this is a regrettable circumstance.
In any normal season, we offer the opportunity of trip rescheduling within the same season without loss of trip deposit (excluding Surin bungalow payments which the National Park always treat as non-refundable and non-changeable). However, as a goodwill gesture, under the current exceptional circumstances, we are extending our offer to allow trip rescheduling without loss of deposit for next season as well: October 2020 – May 2021.
As a final cautionary note, whereas peoples’ cancellations may result in the loss of deposits, the corona virus threat has put our entire business and personal health in jeopardy. Cancelling all these trips incurs additional costs and new bookings have almost stopped. For a seasonal business such as ours, we rely on a certain number of bookings each season to cover our fixed costs. Where new bookings are cut off mid-season and cancellations start flooding in, business viability going forward is put into question. Consequently, our goodwill gesture to reschedule trips for the 2020 – 2021 season is conditional on our business remaining operational. If we become insolvent and are forced to shut down, this offer is withdrawn. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused by our business potentially be forced to close due the corona virus.