Specialised Travel has of course been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many upcoming tour operations have been cancelled or postponed and we closely follow the advice provided by HM Government, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and our regulatory bodies, including ABTA, in all our dealings. Their websites are being continuously updated. In common with many other companies, we have furloughed a proportion of our staff, who are mainly working from home. We ask for your patience in trying to reach them; phone lines have all been forwarded but staff can only see and deal with one call at a time. We would encourage you to email rather than call where possible as this could result in a faster response. We apologise sincerely for any inconvenience.
To expedite correspondence for refund claims, please note we have set up a dedicated email address: email@example.com
On a positive note, we are receiving new bookings, working on plans for the remainder of the 2020 season and some exciting offerings for 2021, paying particular attention to all necessary health and safety protocols.
As Brexit negotiations enter the final stage with – as yet – no clarity of outcome, our staff are watching and waiting for further announcements on how the worlds of travel and music touring will be affected. If a free trade agreement (FTA) is struck, that may simplify some processes but it is clear that the ending of the free movement of people between the UK and the EU will have a major impact. Regulations on who can stay and work, where and for how long, are likely to be determined by individual countries. It is also likely that musical instruments freighted between the UK and EU may need carnets and also CITES certification, with attendant costs and administration. DCMS spokespeople confirm that all systems will not be in place by January 1 2020 on either side, and warn that there is likely to be a period of some months where all parties try to adapt to the new regulations and improve processes. We will do our best to keep abreast of the changes, and keep our clients updated.
I know we are all looking forward with eager anticipation to the re-start of live music making and hope you and yours are remaining fit and healthy through these extraordinary times.
Chairman & CEO, Specialised Travel Ltd
Updated 4th December, 2020