The Ebola Effect: Tour Operator Amends Cancellation Policy
Austin Adventures to Waive Cancellation Fee if Health Officials Report a Confirmed Case of Ebola within a 500-mile Radius of a Trip’s Host City
BILLINGS, MT – Oct. 29, 2014 – It’s a highly unlikely event, but should health officials report a confirmed case of Ebola within 500 miles of an Austin Adventures vacation host city, the company is announcing that it will waive its trip cancellation fee.
“While we realize that the odds of Ebola affecting our itineraries are miniscule at best, we hope to assuage any fears that a guest may have by updating our cancellation policy to address this sensitive subject,” said Dan Austin, President and Founder of Austin Adventures (http://www.austinadventures.com/).
The adventure travel company, which offers trips to all seven continents, is applying the revised policy to all of its trips – not just those to Africa where many of its partners are also adjusting their cancellation policies.
As with most tour operators, Austin Adventures’ cancellation fee ranges in amount from 15 percent to 100 percent of the price of the trip depending on when the trip is cancelled. In order to avoid the cancellation fee, guests would have to cancel at least seven days prior to their scheduled departure.
The company’s host cities in Africa include Arusha, Brazzaville, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Livingstone, Maun, Nairobi and Windhoek. Brazzaville, the capital city of the Republic of the Congo, is nearest to the African countries that have reported confirmed Ebola cases, but even then it’s more than 3,000 miles away. This is roughly the distance between Maine and California.
On the improbable occasion that a case of Ebola is confirmed within the parameters, booked guests could either cancel their trip completely, at least seven days prior to their scheduled departure, without having to pay a cancellation fee, or they could postpone their trip and travel at a later date for the same price. In addition, Austin Adventures offers all of its guests travel insurance and encourages travelers to obtain coverage to cover any flight cancellation fees or penalties.
Austin Adventures’ legacy in the adventure travel industry goes back more than 40 years, and the company has been selling trips to Africa for more than a decade. It currently offers 10 different adult and family vacation packages and a river cruise in African countries including Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and the Republic of Congo. The company’s adventure travel consultants can also arrange custom travel itineraries to the continent.
About Austin Adventures
Based in Billings, MT, Austin Adventures (formerly Austin-Lehman Adventures) has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a provider of scheduled small group tours and customized trips to all seven continents. In 2014, Kasey Austin, Vice President of Operations, was named the World’s Top Family Guide by Outside Magazine. In 2013, Austin Adventures joined the Xanterra Parks & Resorts® portfolio of experiential leisure offerings. Xanterra Parks & Resorts has operations in the Grand Canyon, including Grand Canyon Railway and The Grand Hotel; Yellowstone; Zion; Crater Lake; Glacier, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park and five Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio’s Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also operates Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., Windstar Cruises, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations.
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