Extreme measures to reduce the spread of COVID
While our industry is most affected by the COVID pandemic, it has also been the main catalyst behind its spread. We strongly believe that temporarily limiting the movement and congregation of people to extreme levels, will result in saving tens to hundreds of thousands of lives in the short-run and lead to faster global economic recovery in the long-run. Advocating for the cancellation of all but emergency travel is key to achieving this result.
While government policy is key to imposing travel restrictions, responses have been limited in nature in order to allow for emergency flow of goods and people to proceed. Unfortunately, some governments have not yet implemented any preventative measures. It is us, companies that act at the last point of contact with customers, that must warn people against the risk of traveling at this time. Further-restricting our revenues during this period of time is a small price to pay against the cost of pandemic-spread. Our belief is that it is not safe to travel at this time. Any other entity attempting to relax your concerns does not have your own best interest in mind.
As part of our personal and collective duty to reduce the spread of COVID, we will be adopting the following measures effective immediately:
- Unfortunately, a large number of hotels and airlines are refusing to refund travel bookings made by customers - forcing them to bear the financial burden or travel at their own risk at worst. Yamsafer will now bear the full financial responsibility on behalf of customers wishing to cancel already booked travel plans scheduled before April 30th. We are following COVID developments closely and may extend this policy beyond April 30th if deemed unsafe.
- We have witnessed a large number of online travel agents engaging in advertising prompting leisure travel at highly discounted rates, in an attempt to drive demand from low-income users. We urge our peers in the travel industry to halt all marketing activities, and shift advertising budgets into free cancellation assistance, as we have done.
- We have placed warnings across our web, iOS and Android app homepages highlighting the dangers of travel and discouraging all but emergency travel bookings.