Future Travel Credits: Saving your Vacation & The Travel Industry
If your March, April and May travel plans have been cancelled due to the current pandemic, you may be wondering why you are not eligible for a full refund (if you did not purchase travel insurance).
The reason is this:
Travel suppliers (tour operators, airlines, hotel, etc.) have never planned for a total stop-service for an extended period of time. Most companies use prepaid trips to do just that, prepay your trip. Tour operators, for example, forward a significant amount of that money to their suppliers. As a result, they do not have large reserves for situations like the one we find ourselves in today.
The suppliers are also finding themselves in situations where they do not have the funds in-house to refund all clients who have not travelled. As a result, they are issuing future travel credits which are then being forwarded to the travellers.
Your travel agent/specialist/expert & advocate finds themself in the middle of this situation. Still, regardless of how you submitted your payment, all of the funds have been sent to the tour operator or our suppliers directly. Therefore, there is no money for us to personally reimburse our clients.
To avoid mass bankruptcies in the travel industry (where there’s a good chance no one would get their money back). Travel authorities, such as the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) and the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), are supporting the offer of future travel credits or vouchers as long as they do not expire in an unreasonably short period of time.
Most, if not all, of the tour operators in Canada are issuing future travel credits that are valid for 24 months. Some suppliers (if booked direct) are issuing refunds and your travel person will inform you of all the options that are available to you, based on your individual booking.
If you have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to them.