Travel for the Arts’ forthcoming programme and our ability to deal with enquiries are of course being seriously challenged by the Covid-19 outbreak. We expect that by now you will be familiar with the advice pages from the Government, FCO and ABTA:
As you would expect, our staff are all working from home. They are processing tour cancellations in chronological order of tour departure date. That involves trying to recover deposits paid to airlines, opera houses, local suppliers, etc as well as trying to ascertain whether productions have been postponed rather than cancelled – which informs the responses we give. Given that most or all of those suppliers are, in turn, also under lockdown, this process is very slow – if we get answers at all.
It is worth remembering that the automatic cancellation of future tours on the basis of FCO advice only applies one month into the future at any time. It can be difficult for us to give advice for tours planned to depart later than that, unless whole festivals or seasons are cancelled.
In common with many UK companies, we have furloughed a proportion of our staff which is putting even more pressure on those still working. Direct lines are all 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; this could result in a faster response.
On a positive note, we are still receiving new bookings, and working on plans for the remainder of the 2020 season, and some exciting offerings for 2021.
Above all, I hope you stay fit and healthy through these extraordinary times.
Chairman & CEO
Updated 31st March 2020