Covid-19 has impacted many businesses within the travel sector. Trails & Travels, which offers walking and cycling tours in South Africa, is one such organisation.
Tour operator Piet Krynauw shed light on how they are coping.
He said: “We have spent the past decade taking great pride in creating a business that stands for quality walking and cycling holidays. The passion of our team and hospitality partners have been vital to our growth and success. No one could ever have imagined that a global pandemic would bring the business to a complete standstill.
“Our last booking was in the middle of March 2020. We have refunded all deposits and payments for 2020 and 2021 international bookings. These customers have spent a long time planning and dreaming about their adventures, no longer available. Our booking office remained available during the lockdown but the focus shifted to developing new packages and to improve our systems and products.”
On their most popular walking tours, Krynauw revealed: “Most of our tours are 4 days/3 nights. Some packages combine different areas and are up to 14 days. Seventy percent of our tours are in the Western Cape and the balance in the Drakensberg, the Kruger area in Mpumalanga and in the Eastern Cape. The Western Cape tours cover the Cape Winelands, Cape Town, the West Coast, Hermanus, Kogelberg, the Southernmost area, the Overberg, the Cederberg and the Garden Route. The tours in and around Cape Town are the more popular ones.”
With the lockdown levels easing, the tourism sector is slowly coming back to life.
Krynauw confirmed: “We are now in a phase of some tourism facilities re-opening and confidence re-building. The safety of our customers and partners is always our primary consideration, so we are negotiating the new landscape carefully. Many of our potential customers could be yearning for the outdoors and missing their favourite activities but the regulations and risks are still very restrictive in respect of restaurants and travel.”