Carolina Tailwinds is taking the COVID 19 Coronavirus issue very seriously. While we are committed to running trips as conditions and authorities allow, we have been monitoring this fluid situation daily as our guests' and guides' safety is paramount.
Given the above, we want to work with our guests as much as possible. As a result, we would like to share the following information with you:
Tours through May 31, 2020 are cancelled. The CDC and the White House have determined that groups of 10 or more should be avoided through April 30. Some local states and communities through which we travel have extended their stay at home orders into the month of May.
As Carolina Tailwinds always has, if we are forced to cancel your tour, guests have the option of choosing between an immediate full refund or a credit toward any future tour in the amount of fees paid. If you opt for a credit, you may apply your credit to any 2021 tour or beyond at the 2020 price.
For tours between June 1 and August 1, 2020: We are very cognizant of the fact that travel, in the face of daily changes in public information, is one in which every individual needs to assess what is right for them. As such, we have modified and loosened our cancellation policy for these tours:
At any point up to 14 days prior to the start of tours in this timeframe, any enrolled guest may cancel his/her reservation without penalty in exchange for a full credit for a future tour. If you opt for a credit, you may apply your credit to any 2021 tour or beyond at the 2020 price. We ask that anyone wishing to exercise this option notify us immediately upon making their final decision.
Should you opt to receive a credit at any point, and Carolina Tailwinds subsequently is forced to cancel the tour, we will reach out to you once again to determine if you would prefer a refund by check or continue to hold your credit on file.
This credit will not expire and will remain on your account to apply to another tour of your choice. We are currently working hard with our innkeepers and catering partners to schedule 2021 tours and post them to our website. We will be reaching out to guests with a credit on file and our past guests to attempt to give guests in these categories “first dibs” on dates that may work with their schedule.
While there is no timeline for selecting another tour to which you may apply your credit, keep in mind that we do currently have limited spots available on some of our summer and fall tours already.
Should you select another tour to which you wish to apply your credit, our usual tour cancellation policies will apply. A copy of those policies can be found here: https://www.carolinatailwinds.com/reservation-terms-and-conditions
For tours between September 1 and November 30, 2020: The amended cancellation procedures above may be extended to later tours as events unfold. For tours within this timeline, our usual cancellation policies stipulate cancellation by 60 days in advance of the tour in order to avoid penalty. Carolina Tailwinds will be continuing to update and amend our policies as needed and circumstances deem necessary for tours in this timeframe. Again, full details on our our cancellation policy can be found here: https://www.carolinatailwinds.com/reservation-terms-and-conditions
Sanitation and safety:
Our focus has always been to present and maintain a professional, safe and clean experience. Nothing has changed in that regard. We are closely following the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) guidelines and recommendations on the steps we can take to help prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus.
While we will be re-emphasizing these specific instructions with our guide team and warehouse support staff, what we see is that Carolina Tailwinds’ sanitizing protocols will not require much change. As we always have, Carolina Tailwinds will be taking frequent morning and afternoon steps to sanitize high touch areas of our support vans and trailers. Bikes, bottles, and more will receive more frequent cleaning throughout each tour.
We have also procured and prepared individual guest sanitation “kits” so that each enrollee on arrival can have his/her own bottle of hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes for smart phones, bike bottle cleaner, etc. to help encourage a safe environment while on tour.
Our inn and catering partners are also working hard to be sure they are taking adequate precautions to protect guests in their environments. We all have the same goal of providing an awesome guest experience and the COVID 19 Coronavirus has not changed that priority.
Again, while creating a safe and awesome guest experience is our primary focus, we also have attempted to be responsible stewards of the areas through which we travel. The CDC has some great guidance up on their site regarding domestic travel within the United States:
All guests will be instructed to stay home if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, especially fever and cough. While this should have been common sense even before this outbreak, we will be explicit about it going forward.
Many of our clients (the best people in the world) have expressed concern for us during this crisis. We greatly appreciate that and have been unbelievably touched. Please don't worry about our financial stability. We are amply prepared to weather this ongoing current challenge. We have always been very conservative financially, and we maintain cash reserves so that we can refund every guest for the entire season if needed, and still be able to pay our bills. Carolina Tailwinds will be running bike tours in 2021 and beyond, and are looking forward to getting rolling again! In the interim, we are thinking up all kinds of projects to keep the guide team and home office staff occupied.
Please take care of yourselves, practice social distancing, and all the rest. We wish everyone sunshine, tailwinds and good health!
Anne & Greg Fleming
Carolina Tailwinds, Inc.