Dragoman, 2021 And Beyond

Dragoman, 2021 And Beyond

Travel in 2021 is still looking uncertain and it is clear that it will be a gradual process for the world to return to full scale international travel. In the spirit of openness we would therefore like to take the opportunity to do a roundup of what we are planning for 2021 and beyond.

Dragoman are in this for the long term. We luckily came into this from a strong place and with the great support that we have had from clients, staff, suppliers and the government, we are in a solid place to weather the storm.   

We see the recovery of travel as a phased event. First will be the opening up of mainstream domestic and short haul travel. Long haul international travel will follow but will be far harder to predict. We will of course have to take into account host nations vaccination programmes and willingness to open borders and allow free travel, as well as our own government’s willingness to allow travellers to visit the destinations to which we will be travelling.

No one can be sure what will and what will not be possible. We are therefore planning a few tentative trips from the end of 2021 onwards. We have cancelled all departures up to 30th September 2021 and will have a reduced programme for 2022.

We hope to start operations in the tail end of 2021 in Patagonia and the Andes as well as in India and Nepal.  By the spring of 2022 we hope to be back to Turkey, the Balkans, the Central Silk Route and Pakistan and to take a tentative step back into Africa.  By the autumn of 2022 we hope to have a fuller programme running and we hope that in 2023 we can run pretty much a full programme, although the number of trips we will be running will be reduced from where we left off in early 2020.

As we said this is all very tentative, but we are planning and we wanted to make all our supporters aware that we are still here, still hopeful but realistic. 

 

Safe and Responsible Travel

Clearly we have a responsibility to be cautious and not to endanger either our clients or local communities and as always we will take this into account as we make plans. Equally, we have a need to get travellers, whose trips of a lifetime have been delayed, back out on the road as soon as we can. Added to which, we have a real responsibility to help our overseas partners, hosts and those local communities who rely on our visits. We need to get back on the road to help them get their businesses and lives back up and running again. Dragoman has always been about the teamwork of Dragoman, our clients and the local communities that we visit.

During the period when we are not operating trips we will be developing ideas of how we will practically start running our trips again and will be creating a Dragoman Safe Travel Protocol that will become the foundation stone of how we run our trips.

 

Travel with Confidence and Flexibility Policy

It is vital that anyone who is yet to travel with us, or who wants to book a trip, understands that we will be as flexible as possible and we have developed our “Travel With Confidence and Flexibility” policy for this purpose. Full details can be found on

https://www.dragoman.com/about-us/blogs/dragoman-updates/dragoman-travellers-confidence-toolkit

but in brief the policy covers the following:

Flexible Transfers

Travellers can transfer an existing booking without charge up to 28 days before departure. Exceptions will be any trips requiring permits (56 days for W Walk or Inca Trail and for Gorilla trips etc). This is limited to transfers to trips in 2021 through to 31st December 2022 but this can be extended if necessary.

Later Balance Due Dates

Travellers do not need to pay their balance until 28 days before departure. Exceptions will be any trips requiring permits (56 days for W Walk or Inca Trail and for gorilla etc). This is limited to trips in 2021 through to 31st December 2022 but this can be extended if necessary.

Flexible Deposits

If travellers cancel their trip before Balance Due Date, the deposit can be transferred

to another available trip of their choice. This does not apply to trips with permits, W Walk, Inca Trail or Gorilla trips, but these will be reviewed on a case by case basis to see whether we are able to transfer the permits to later dates. This is limited to transfers to trips in 2021 through to 31st December 2022 but this can be extended if necessary.

Cancellation Charges

If a trip is cancelled by the client on or before the Balance Due Date, then there is loss of the deposit unless another trip is booked immediately under our Flexible Deposit Scheme. From the balance due date onwards, cancellation charges will be 100%.

 

New Trips and Ideas for 2022

We have three new trips which we will start running in 2022:

Turkish Explorer – 14 days through Turkey https://www.dragoman.com/holidays/details/turkish-explorer.  This is absolutely ideal for those wanting a short sharp break in the spring or autumn and will get you under the skin of western and central Turkey. 

Balkan Wanderer – 23 days exploring Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia.  This is a full on overland trip exploring the Balkans with loads of off the beaten track activity, hiking, camping as well as the obvious highlights.  The trip will be available on the website later this spring so keep an eye out!

Northern Argentina and Chilean Explorer - A brilliant new trip of 21 days between Buenos Aires and Santiago, exploring Northern Argentina and Chile.  Travelling to the Iguassu Falls and onto Salta and Cordoba, taking in the Altiplano and the Andes, our wonderful Estancia visit and the wine regions of Argentina, this trip is the one we have had missing all these years.  It also links with our 5-week Patagonia & Beyond trip from Santiago to Buenos Aires to make one of the most comprehensive tours of Patagonia and the rest of Argentina and Chile that there is.

 

2021 Hibernation

In order to be able to achieve these goals and to re-emerge successfully, we will continue hibernating the company until autumn 2021. From 1st April until the end of the summer, the team will continue to work but on a very low part-time basis. 

You will still be able to contact us via email for any requests and our sales team will be able to call you back if you require a phone conversation. Please rest assured that we are still around to answer any queries; it might just take longer than usual for us to get back to you.

Dragoman came into this in a very strong position and because of our prudent planning, our loyal customers and staff we will be in a very strong position to re-emerge when the time is right.