Coronavirus: Message from our CEO

Hiking on Mt Vihren, Bulgaria's highest peak
Hiking on Mt Vihren, Bulgaria's highest peak

Coronavirus: a Message from our CEO

Maintaining a rational perspective with international travel


04 March 2020

There’s no doubt that Coronavirus has caused disruption and inconvenience to individuals and to the authorities in affected areas, but I would like to reassure travellers with a calm and rational assessment of the facts.

Uncertainty about the virus in its early weeks has bred fear, which is being heightened by the barrage of news headlines and amplified by social media.  The situation now is that it is rare to read balanced information. 

World Expeditions Travel Group has been operating adventures across the globe for 45 years and, during that time, we have experienced and overcome many adversities.  We have well-developed and tested risk strategies for these very occurrences. 

Coronavirus outbreak is the latest challenge and we do not see any reason for travellers to panic. We advocate continuing with travel plans as we are doing with our own staff travel program. 

As with travel at any time, there are risks of infection from a virus. At no time are we able to guarantee you will not become ill during your travels with World Expeditions Travel Group or, indeed, in your daily life at home.  Weighing up the risks of travel is a personal decision and we encourage you to investigate the facts to come to an informed decision about the risks. 

According to the Director General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus:
 
Everyone should know the symptoms – for most people, it starts with a fever and a dry cough, not a runny nose.  Most people will have mild disease and get better without needing any special care.

We develop robust risk strategies based on multiple sources, primarily: 
We encourage you to visit these websites.  It may be helpful to understand that destinations are divided into advisory levels. 
 
For Canada they are:
Level 1 Exercise normal security precautions
Level 2 Exercise a high degree of caution
Level 3 Avoid non-essential travel
Level 4 Avoid all travel
 
In the USA they are:
Level 1 Exercise normal precautions
Level 2 Exercise increased caution
Level 3 Reconsider travel
Level 4 Do not travel

With respect to coronavirus, mainland China and Iran remain the only two countries for which the US Department of State has increased the advisory to a Level 4. The Government of Canada does not currently have any Level 4 advisories with relation to coronavirus.

Johns Hopkins University in the US has a map with helpful facts: https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 

We make regular updates to the travel advisory section of our own website and I encourage you to check it: https://www.utracks.com/travel-advisory

I would also remind you that a typical World Expeditions Travel Group holiday is one in which you’ll be immersed in the natural landscape and generally off the beaten track, where the chance of catching any virus is far lower than in most urban environments.

I do advise departing travellers, including staff who are travelling both now and in the future, to take extra precautions in washing your hands regularly.

In conclusion, I would like to assure you that your safety – and that of all our travellers - has always been at the core of everything we do.  I acknowledge that any new health outbreak that is widely covered by the media will cause concern and I encourage you to maintain a rational perspective and continue with what you do daily and what you love to do on your holidays.

Yours sincerely,

Sue Badyari
CEO

 
On the scary lake trek in Bulgaria Rila monastery Enjoying the scenery en-route to Asolo |  <i>Rob Mills</i>
Coronavirus, Europe, Travel

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