An unintended consequence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020 is disruption to the travel sector. Airlines, hotels and convention halls will struggle to remain viable, and some may close. In our industry, dive resorts and liveaboard dive boats will have a hard time staying in business.
Often labors of love from divers who are passionate about the scuba lifestyle, these businesses don’t have significant cash reserves. They have cobbled together a meaningful dive enterprise with a lot of ingenuity and sweat equity, but that doesn’t mean they can withstand a precipitous and absolute cessation of business. Revenue drops to zero when airlines no longer serve a destination or when tourists are afraid to go there on vacation for fear of being put in a two-week quarantine upon their arrival home.
While we may not be able to flatten the travel risk curve by ourselves, we can do something simple to give some hope to our colleagues working in dive operations worldwide. If you have a dive trip booked in the next few months and are not certain the trip will happen, don’t cancel — reschedule it instead.
Cancellation can put you in a contentious situation with a tour agent, hotel or liveaboard when you ask for your money back. Aside from the likelihood that the businesses simply may not have enough cash reserves to refund all the scheduled bookings, there is also the possibility that you may not be legally entitled to a refund. Contact your travel agents, tour operators, airlines or dive centers to inquire about the status of your trip. If your trip has been rescheduled and you have purchased DAN travel insurance, you may submit a change request to DAN up to 24 hours before your departure date. To do so, call +1 (800) 446-2671, Option 3, to speak to DAN Member Services.
Consider rescheduling your trip. Book it for the same time next year or six months from now if you think travel will be less restrictive by then. Rescheduling is easy and gives you something to look forward to when we are able to venture out again — an awesome prepaid dive trip.
Our dive operators, resorts and liveaboards need your support now so they can be available for us when we are able to dive with them again. Simply rescheduling your reservation is one of the most powerful signs of support you can offer.
© Alert Diver — Q2 2020