It is with an open heart that we share our thoughts on a subject we’ve all come to know, too well during the last year or so. The Global Finances and the World wide Travel Industry are heavily damage by the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the Travel companies in Italy, are small, family businesses, and so is Discovery Tours. We are all facing many challenges and exceptional losses. Priorities have changed. Traveling is on hold. We need to take care of our loved ones, stay home and protect our families, following our Government’s Guidelines, while they work to provide us with the most efficient response to guarantee our well being.
Since March 2020, to ensure the survival of thousands of Italian Companies, and to protect small businesses like ours, during these difficult times, the Italian Government has issued a Law (A Decree of March 17 2020) authorizing Tour Operators, Travel Agencies, Museums & Tansport Providers to supply clients with Travel Vouchers for the full value of the client’s initial reservation, to give the possibility of rescheduling, in case of cancellations due to Covid outbreaks, instead of resorting to refunds. In addition to these measures, the Italian Government has promised to grant us stimulus funds and resources to avoid a major default in the Travel Industry. Sadly, we are yet to receive any funds. It’s been a year. Us Italian Travel providers, Tour Operators, etc. were, and still are, left with very little. So we are comprehensibly doing everything we can with what we were given, which is barely anything. Whilst following the above Government Directives.
As a result, the Cancellation policy you’ve previously agreed to while booking our services, has been updated as required by law, in accordance with the Governmental measures we’ve been provided with, since March 17th 2020.
As travel restrictions were adopted around the world, in the first months of the Pandemic, and our services were progressively jeopardized, we started processing refunds, for cancellations. But as we were adjusting to the new rules, we were forced to deal with other complications. Because to guarantee a prime quality service, we’ve been accustomed for the last 25 years, to make all the arrangements and prepay our many suppliers (such as tickets offices, museums, private guides and transport providers, etc.), the minute a booking is confirmed. But our suppliers had started applying the new measures, foreseen in the March 17 2020 Decree. So we found ourselves having already paid our suppliers, while we were actually refunding our clients in full, for the same services.
Like many others in Italy, we are a small family business. Had we continued to reimburse customers in full, Discovery Tours would’ve sadly had to declare bankruptcy, leaving our dedicated, hard working staff unemployed. Destroying our many accomplishments and everything we’ve worked for the past 25 years. So we’ve decided after due consideration, to comply with the March 17 2020 Law Decree, and update our cancellation policy to provide travel credit vouchers, in case of cancellations due to the pandemic.
We realize this adds to all the frustration you may be enduring. But we are faithful you’ll understand that in order for our Company to survive, and maintain our staff’s livelihood in this pandemic, we are forced to make difficult choices. By taking all the necessary decisions, and applying the above Decree, we’ll be able to put our Company on hold, until the World has overcome this Global crisis. By doing so, we will save our Company, our staff’s jobs, and more importantly, the money you’ve invested in your private tours.
We are ready to jump into action, the second this pandemic is over. Serving you is our priority. Because you, our customers, have always been the vital essence of our Company, we will strive to guarantee you a somewhat satisfying outcome, given the circumstances.
WHAT ARE YOUR BENEFITS
* A Travel Voucher, for the full credit of your reservations. Redeemable any time, since it won’t have an expiration date.
* You can use your vouchers to book the same tour(s) you’ve originally booked. Or you can choose a different service with the same retail price, with our Company, Nation wide! (Check out the several locations in Italy we operate in, on our website) If you need extras (i.e. tickets) we will update your vouchers with a small surcharge for whatever you request. (-Please note, all prices may increase in the years to come)
* The Voucher is transferable! You can give up your voucher to any family member, friend, or anyone you choose, if they happen to come to Italy. Just let us know and we will update the name and details of the reservation.
* Once you are ready to cancel your current reservations, let us know. We will send you your converted vouchers you can use whenever you like. You are free to make any arrangement (update or reschedule your travel dates, gift your vouchers to someone else) at any time. All you’ll have to do is contact us. We will give you our full assistance at all times.
Obviously we are aware that some may not be able to re-schedule our services or gift the vouchers to others in the future, and a refund will be needed. In accordance with our Policy and Italian Law we will do our best to provide a *partial reimbursement; but given the dire circumstances the Italian travel companies are facing including Discovery Tours, we are afraid it will not be issued any time soon.
*In case of a refund, our cancellation policy includes some deductions, you can consult on the policies page.
Thank You for choosing Discovery Tours. We are greatful for your trust and understanding. Your kindness and support have been vital for us, during these trying times. But we’ll overcome difficulties, together. When the World will recover from all this, we will be there. To welcome you with open arms, with renewed hope for a better future exploring the magnificence of our great Nation. With the same passion which has distinguished us for the past 25 years.
You can find any information on the March 17 2020 Decree on the Italian Governmental websites.
CANCELLATION OR CHANGE POLICY
Cancellation 15 or more days in advance- Tours are refundable until 15 days before the date of the tour. Each tour refund is subject to a 75 EURO administration fee + 22% taxes (VAT) on the total amount paid. That fee will be deducted from the refund amount of each canceled tour. Only the client or their authorized Travel Agent can make a cancellation. We cannot honor cancellation requests from your cruise line or its employees. All cancellations must be requested in writing by email or fax.
- *From 14 to 8 days: 25% of the total cost
- *From 7 to 5 days: 50% of the total cost
- *From 4 to 0 days and no show: 100% of the total cost
Please Note – Upon request we can arrange reservations for a tour, with separate payments to split the cost. However each transaction will be considered an individual booking and will be subject to Administration fees.
Cancellations Due to Cruise Ship No Show – Discovery Tours will honor a 50% refund in case your cruise line does not come into port due to severe weather, mecchanical problems or political unrest. To receive a 50% refund for these rare cases, the customer or their travel agent will have to submit the refund request in writing, by email in the 24 hours of the tour date. In any case, Discovery Tours will have to withhold 75 Euros from the reimbursement, for administrative fees. Please understand that items such as prepaid meals or entrance fees are not refundable.
Client No Shows – No refunds will be provided to any customer who does not show up for a tour at the designated time or place (unless the cruise ship does not come into port). Likewise, no refund will be provided if a client chooses to shorten a tour, or not use an element or entrance ticket purchased as part of the tour. Tours operate in a variety of weather and/or political conditions, and no refunds will be made to any customer who chooses not to participate in a tour for these reasons when the cruise ship comes to port and the tour operator deems it completely safe to operate.
Changes – Changes to confirmed tours must be requested in writing by email at least 72 hours in advance of the tour. Discovery Tours will do all it can to make the requested changes, however we cannot guarantee that it will always be possible. Changes made less than 72 hours in advance must be made by calling the local tour operator by telephone. In the event that you request a last minute change to a tour which increases the price, payment must be settled directly with the local tour company, in their local currency. There are no refunds, partial or otherwise, based on one or more members of your private group being unable to join the tour for any reason.
Tickets to monuments, museums etc. purchased through Discovery Tours, will be reserved by the Company 3 months prior to the date of the tour, in order to guarantee availability. In case of cancellation, tickets are refundable only up to 3 months prior to the tour date.
Discovery Tours has the right to make changes to any tour without notice. Changes are typically only made based on current events or traffic delays. These changes are made to make your experience the best possible, and to fulfill our commitment to return you to your ship on time.
Disputes – Customers who dispute Discovery Tours credit card charge by filing a chargeback notice with their credit card company, will be charged a € 75 EURO administration fee (per chargeback) by Discovery Tours if the chargeback is ruled in the favor of Discovery Tours Srl. by the financial institution.
TRAVEL INSURANCE We strongly recommend that you arrange travel insurance to cover cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, or those beyond your control. Also we recommend a medical and personal insurance to cover medical expenses and loss of baggage or personal belonging.