Almost everyone in the world is affected in some way by the corona crisis. The virus has had a significant impact on the travel industry for months and international travel has come to a halt; mainly because of closed borders and the strict measures that apply in both Europe and Africa. For us and our travellers, the near future in terms of planned trips is uncertain and impossible to predict. The corona crisis is having serious consequences for many of our local partners in Africa, without reserves or government support. As most of you know, many small-scale entrepreneurs in Africa live “from hand to mouth”, that day’s earnings are used the same day for daily necessities. At Charlie’s Travels, we partner with the small-scale entrepreneur primarily, to support them, but also because they generally offer a unique and authentic product or experience. And that is exactly what we love so much! To support them, we donate € 0.10 per video viewed from our Charlie’s and Chill channel. Our angels Dominic and Marieke are also selling RAIFIKI t-shirts, the proceeds of which go to our local partners.
To find a balance in responsibilities to all the different parties involved, we have thought carefully about our best approach during these difficult times. The health and safety of our travellers, employees and partners are of course paramount. We are there for each other and help where possible. Do you have any questions or are you worried about your trip? We are here for you! Get in touch with your contact person, chat with one of our employees on the website or send an email to [email protected].
We are flexible and will first of all provide alternative solutions, such as moving the trip to a later time (with your departure date within 2 years). We hereby omit the usual booking fee per change and will also not pass on additional costs for these changes to the traveller. Postponing the trip is therefore completely free of charge because we guarantee that the agreed price will remain the same for 2021, there is a minimal risk when rescheduling.
Until the choice has been made to postpone or not, the agreements we have made when booking the trip apply. So be sure to transfer any outstanding balance payments, otherwise, we will be obliged to treat this as a cancellation and to charge costs.
If it is not possible to postpone the trip, the cancellation conditions below apply, based on our General Conditions. These apply to all our destinations and if the situation changes significantly, we reserve the right to change the conditions:
- If cancelled 8 or more weeks before departure, the amount already paid will be reduced by USD 200 p.p. + the costs that we cannot get returned from partners. The remaining amount will be refunded in the form of a voucher *.
- In case of cancellation between 8 and 4 weeks before departure, we guarantee a refund of 50% of the total travel sum in the form of a voucher *.
- If cancelled within 4 weeks of departure we cannot guarantee a refund but will do everything in our power to minimize costs. If we receive any costs incurred from our partners, you will receive this amount in the form of a voucher *.
* This voucher is equal to the amount you can spend on your next trip with Charlie’s Travels and is valid for 1 year for a trip that takes place in the next 2 years.
The current situation is so exceptional that we have to deviate from the usual procedures. Many Dutch travel organizations now use this policy. A voucher, with the amount that you can spend on your next trip, can be used in the coming year for a trip within a period of 2 years. You can use the voucher for the trip as you had previously thought of, or you can make adjustments such as a different destination or a different interpretation. As long as it is within our capabilities, we will do our utmost to accommodate your specific travel needs, even if they have changed from the trip originally booked!
The trip must commence within 1 year of issue. The start date of the trip may fall outside the period of the year, up to a maximum of 2 years after the voucher has been issued. You may ask “what if you go bankrupt?” In that case, you are protected as we are affiliated with the GGTO guarantee fund; this is a compulsory insurance cover in the Netherlands for small tour operators and it insures you against the unlikely event that we go bankrupt. The Corona Voucher is also covered by GGTO.
Charlie’s Travel | Corona Vouchers
Recently, there has been a lot of debate in the press and European politics about travellers’ rights in Corona times. We have also relaxed our travel conditions and are taking part in the Corona voucher. This is in line with the guidelines of the ANVR and the European Commission.
These conditions have been used to help our travellers postpone the trip easily with very little to no extra cost. In this way, the special trips can still be done in the future, and it helps us as a small travel company to keep our heads above water in these months of crisis. Unfortunately, if a large portion of our trips are cancelled, this will endanger our continuity.
As a traveller, you basically have the right not to accept the voucher and request a refund. However, it is currently not possible for travel organizations (such as us) to do this within the 14-day period.
It is therefore important to take into account that, in the event of Charlie’s Travels bankruptcy, under European law and GGTO coverage, travellers are covered only when the trip has been moved or the voucher has been accepted, not when waiting for a refund. Paying money instead of vouchers is unfortunately not a realistic option, because costs have already been incurred for the trips to various destinations. Accepting the voucher is therefore in the interest of both the traveller and us. Our voucher meets the guidelines of the ANVR and the European Commission, we urge our travellers to accept it.
We will, therefore, continue to hold on to vouchers and hope that we can continue to organize fantastic trips to this special continent together with our travellers!