To our dear community of travelers,
We want to address the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the world at the time of writing on March 11. This has created an enormous amount of personal and economic stress for folks both at home and in some of our favorite travel destinations. As we try to navigate these unprecedented circumstances, at the forefront is our great respect for the stressful nature of this situation for our travelers as well as the difficulties presented to the mostly small and family-owned businesses we work with around the world.
To remain up to date on the latest news about the epidemic we have been following The World Health Organization (WHO), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), travel advisories from the US State Department as well as the statistics at Worldometer.
We have also read many reports from Italy and spoken to numerous friends and colleagues there. While most people are fine and life up until the nationwide lockdown was mostly normal, especially the farther south you go, in infected regions the healthcare networks have become critically strained and those vulnerable folks in the population have become susceptible to extreme and life-threatening illnesses upon contraction of the virus. There is considerable fear that the conditions in the north may spread throughout the country. #IoRestoACasa or “I stay at home” has become a rallying cry in Italy and we admire Italy’s serious and dedicated response to this crisis.
After countless hours of discussion and research and weighing the odds and the pros and the cons, it is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of our three sold out small group tours to Italy that were scheduled for May 2020. All travelers will receive a full refund.
Our hope is that this decision will prove to be overly cautious, for the sake of our colleagues and friends working in the tourism industry in Italy. We will miss seeing them this spring. However it has become abundantly clear that for our travelers the longer we wait to make this cancellation the more difficult and stressful it becomes.
All of our Spring 2020 tours in Italy – Flavors of Tuscany, Ladies Getaway in Tuscany and Amore in Italy: Lakes Region – will be rescheduled for Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021. We’re working to announce those dates very soon. Please do consider coming along with us then to show a little love to beautiful, resilient Italy.
As of now, Fall 2020 tours will proceed as scheduled. We have great hope that as a global community we can overcome this virus. Rest assured that the comfort and peace of mind of all Onward Travelers is our top priority, and think about joining us this fall as we have a handful of spots available on our tours in France, the Czech Republic and Tuscany.
Stay healthy out there and try not to touch your face!
Kat & Molly