On the 11th of March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic (www.who.int). On the same day, the Government of India issued travel related notifications which effectively shut down all modes of travel, both within India and also to foreign countries (www.india.gov.in). Around this time, similar travel restrictions also came to be imposed by governments of many countries the world over. Further, across the world, these travel restrictions were accompanied by lockdown on the movement of people, and also on commercial activities.
This force majeure situation and the worldwide travel related lockdown made it impossible for tourists (individuals and groups) to undertake their travel plans and altogether made it impossible for travel and tourism companies like BTP YATRA to deliver services, despite most travel logistics at our end being in a state of readiness, sometimes over a year in advance.
Under these circumstances, and particularly with a view to ensuring that our guests do not lose their hard-earned monies, BTP YATRA postponed all its group tour departures until 30th September 2020, and since lockdowns have been continually extended, further postponements, if any, would be in line with travel advisories issued by the Indian as well as other governments.
While some guests have opted to cancel their tours as per BTP YATRA’s cancellation policy, an overwhelmingly large number of our guests have postponed their tours to a future date. To those who have postponed their tours, BTP YATRA has decided to issue fresh Future Tour Vouchers (FTVs). In these FTVs, guests would notice that 100% of their tour money has been protected and placed into a credit shell. Also, for these future tours, BTP YATRA will honour the original tour price paid by guests (except where any future bookings are for super peak season dates, in which case a surcharge could be applicable). For guests with FTVs, there may be a small expense payable. This estimated maximum expense for all group tour guests is towards but not limited to: fresh visa charges, any airline fee increase, our operational expenses, foreign exchange fluctuations, statutory taxes, etc. (+ applicable GST). We have further protected our guests by indicating in the FTV the maximum estimated expense which may have to be paid. The said expense would be payable when guests confirm the booking of their future tour. Additionally, Guests who have opted for additional service/s like business-class air tickets, cruise upgradations, deviations etc. may please note that unless our associates reduce these expenses, guests may be charged any price differential as on the date of booking these services for the future tour. The process of issuing fresh FTVs has commenced and guests would soon receive these on their registered email ID.
Our guests would appreciate that despite there being no guarantee that prices worldwide (including taxes) will or will not increase over the next 18 months, we at BTP YATRA are taking that risk purely keeping in mind the interests of our guests. Guests are requested to note that BTP YATRA would continue to work closely with its travel partners/associates worldwide to try and reduce the said estimated expenses even lower; and should our worldwide associates give us any reduction/consideration, that would immediately be credited to the guest’s future tour voucher, thereby reducing this expense.
Recently, guests have enquired whether these future tour vouchers can be extended for travel beyond March 31, 2021? At great risk in these uncertain times, BTP YATRA is happy to announce that the future tour option has now been extended for travel before December 31, 2021 (subject of course to travel-related notifications of various governments).
Individual travellers who have booked their holidays with BTP YATRA's ‘Customized Holidays’ division have been contacted for the postponement of their holiday. Any difference in holiday prices due to change of travel dates/hotels/package category/fare difference/GST will be additional and will be advised at the time of confirmation of a holiday as per revised dates.
After six months of strict lockdown, Unlock 4.0 has now been initiated by the Government of India. As part of the guidelines of Unlock 4.0, in the State of Maharashtra, all private offices are now allowed to operate at 30% strength with strict social distancing guidelines. With this background, and looking forward to a fresh start, a few of our Sales offices i.e. Pune – Bhandarkar Road, Prabhadevi - A.M. Marg, Borivali - S.V. Road, Thane - Ram Maruti Road, Dombivali - Phadke Road, Vashi - Real Tech Park, Chembur - Acharya Garden and Kolkata - Lee Road, are proposed to physically open from 28th September 2020, a day after World Tourism Day, from Monday to Friday between 11 AM and 5 PM. Keeping in mind the government guidelines on social distancing and health-n-safety of all, office visits will be allowed with a prior appointment. Please contact your travel advisor for a confirmed appointment slot. Of course, our helpline 1800 22 7979 is always open for you from Monday to Saturday between 10 AM and 6 PM or you can also write to us on email@example.com for any tour query/assistance.
BTP YATRA looks forward to serving you soon and wishes you and your family good health & safety.
Take Care, Stay Safe
Dated: September 23, 2020