The National Tour Association (NTA) continues to monitor the ongoing developments related to the outbreak of H1N1, according to NTA President Lisa Simon.
"We are listening to the experts’ advice and recommend travelers use common sense to help stop the spread of swine flu," Simon said. "Like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we do not believe people should be discouraged from traveling to or within the United States. This week, NTA did a brief survey of its tour operator membership and found that when asked if their company has been affected by the outbreak of swine flu nearly two-thirds said their company had not been impacted. Of those that have been impacted, many asked to postpone the trip rather than cancel.
“Past history tells us that people will travel no matter what," Simon continued. "Because of this, NTA is encouraging its members to stay abreast of the changing travel conditions posed by the swine flu, and communicate with travelers about these changes as openly and quickly as possible. In uncertain times like this, communication is essential.
“NTA also is encouraging its members to respect travelers’ concerns and attempt to be as flexible as possible in their cancellation policies while still adhering to contract obligations," Simon said. "NTA is advising tour operator members to work closely with industry partners and suppliers to offer the best solution for their travelers.
“NTA is recommending that travelers work with their tour operator closely to become familiar with their cancellation and refund policies before making a decision to cancel their trip. Ask the tour operator to review the terms and conditions of the trip cancellation insurance, and discuss possible alternative destinations or the chance to receive credit toward another later trip with the tour company,” Simon said.