An Update and This Year's Travel Survey
Dear Travel Friends,
When we started our travels this year, we were excited about 2020 and the many beautiful destinations scheduled. We saw great groups for our Yellowstone in Winter, our Key West tour, our Iceland tour, as well as our Hawaii group cruise. More people showed interest in traveling and the possibility of expanding our tours was on the horizon. Little did any of us know how quickly a pandemic would put the brakes on our travels and normal life routines.
As you might imagine, this was an extremely devastating year for the travel industry, and Zachary Travel did not go untouched. All totaled, we were forced to cancel 36 of our tours this year. But, together with our general manager, Nancy Horn, I made the commitment back in March that first, this agency would not shut our doors and second, every client whose tour was cancelled would receive a full refund.
We made the very difficult decision to lay off our entire staff early on, and I am grateful for their willingness to still volunteer to help out when they could. I’m also very thankful to Nancy, who manned the office for months by herself while we waited for suppliers to refund us so we could in turn refund our clients.
Let me also say thank you to so many of you who patiently waited for those refunds to come. We know it wasn’t easy waiting months to receive your money back for tours that didn’t go. I believe it speaks to the strong relationships we have with you, as evidenced by the fact that we did not have one chargeback against our agency by a client - something that the credit card merchants have told us is certainly not the norm for travel agencies this year.
I’m also very happy to report that in a year where many travelers found their money completely lost or only partially recovered from travel suppliers, our office has refunded all of our clients who had group tours scheduled with us, and our staff are back and working. It is good to see activity in the office once again and it is wonderful hearing from you, our clients.
2021 will certainly be a rebuilding year for travel. We have tried to schedule our year with pandemic restrictions in mind, placing our international tours in the second half of the year with hopes that borders will open and restrictions will lessen once a vaccine is offered. For the time being, we will still limit our domestic motor coach tours to half capacity (28 travelers on a 56-passenger coach) and face coverings will be required when moving on and off and about the coach or when unable to social distance from others not in your party.
We have been back leading tours since the beginning of September and while different, we have seen that traveling during a pandemic can still be done safely. We’ve taken groups to Kentucky, the Smokies, and we’re looking forward to our Nashville and Biltmore/Greenbrier tours to complete this unusual year. If you’d like to see pictures of our tours, I’d encourage you to visit our Facebook and Instagram pages (keyword Zachary Travel).
If you haven't yet done so, you can see our complete list of 2021 tours here on our website. Please be aware that because of our limited number for signups, it’s important that you get your deposits in early to avoid the waitlist. Tours that we’re already seeing good response to include the Kansas City Quilt Show (a quilting tour), South Africa, Yellowstone, Washington/Oregon, Canadian Rockies, Holy Land in Fall and New England Fall Foliage.
For the most up-to-date information concerning any of our trips, or specific itineraries, please call our office at (225) 654-9210 or email us at email@example.com. Sara, Becky and Jessy will be happy to assist with any questions you may have.
Many of you enjoyed using the discount we offered last year; we are once again offering this to our travelers though slightly modified.
If you know of anyone who would like to be added to our database and receive our mailouts, please send us their names and addresses, or pass this information on to them so they can contact us. If you would prefer that your name be removed from our database, please call and let us know. We are utilizing email more often due to the problems we’ve seen with mail this year, so if you are not on our email list, you may sign up at zacharytravel.com. You can also keep up with us on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
I’ve greatly enjoyed traveling with many of you over the years and this year of not traveling has been very hard, but the hope of traveling again is what keeps us all going. Your participation in our survey is appreciated as it helps us gain fresh understanding on what our clients want to do in a post-pandemic travel year. I hope to see you on one or more of our 2021 tours very soon. Stay healthy and well.
Owner, Zachary Travel
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Zachary Travel is a full-service travel agency that's served the travel needs of Zachary, Baton Rouge, and clients in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and beyond for almost 40 years. Contact us at 225.654.9210 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.