Tauck management talk - return to travel

Got the invite today for a webinar next week with a panel of Tauck management. Signed up. Should be interesting.

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Comments

  • I didn't get the invite either. Please share what you learn.

  • Been thinking about submitting a question or two, re: XMAS Mkts 2021 :o>:)

  • Disappointing that everyone wasn't invited. I have two trips planned and I'd like to hear what Tauck is considering. Hope those of you attending will summarize for the rest of us.

  • There is only a certain number of people that can be invited on zoom. They usually record all their zooms so anyone can watch them later. I’ve only known them not do that once and I think it was for security reasons. I’ve no idea how they chose to send out the invites. Maybe you can submit a questionnaire about that

  • At British's suggestion, I e-mailed Tauck last night. I received a reply today from Dustin at Tauck in which he said that they send out their invitation in batches -- and I received mine and signed up, so I'll be "there" next Wednesday. Maybe the others will also eventually get their invitations, but I'm glad I wasn't patient this time.

  • Zoom’s website indicates they have two high capacity plans...one is up to 500 and one is up to 1,000 attendees. These are primarily for presentations and not useful for interactive mode.

  • Ed, have you seen any of the Tauck zooms? The moderator sees the questions on the chat feature and relays them to the speaker, it’s pretty effective.

  • Thanks British. We have seen that feature in action.

  • I just received my invitation this morning.

  • Just finished this webinar which they recorded and said would be available for others to watch. My notes below - main take aways. First and foremost, very little specific info on which countries would be opening when, which tours would operate, etc.

    Things are changing very fast and even they are having trouble keeping up. Some new info was just posted on the Tauck web page today - Open For Travel Pages. No clear answers on border openings (though did comment that Canada unlikely before the end of summer).

    From the survey recently, 97% of Tauck guests vaccinated.

    They are balancing 3 requirements for tours: safe as possible, comfortable as possible and be a Tauck experience (enjoyable).

    Shared safety responsibility. They are operating on trust. The Travel Well Pledge everyone will be required to sign where you have to attest that you are either fully vaccinated OR have had a negative PCR test within 5 days. They won't require proof BUT that doesn't mean a specific country you're going to won't. They will be following local requirements for covid safe practices (vaccines, masks, social distancing).

    Non-compliant guests - they will work with them initially but if they remain non-compliant they will be removed from the tour.

    Health credentials - there is work going on in the international community for agreement on health credentials.

    Learning from recent tour experiences that did operate. There were 7 Yellowstone Winter tours and the 1st Charleston/Savannah tour just ended. Feedback from guests was positive even with mask wearing where required. TDs let people know where they were required but also where they weren't like touring plantations/gardens. Meals were either ala carte or buffets they were not self serve. Also something about using QR codes for ordering so menus didn't have to be shared (sorry didn't understand this one).

    Masks required on coaches for now even though they are being cleaned/sanitized frequently and have great air filtration.

    Insurance/Cancellation/Travel Wallets - basically a discussion that they were operating on a 60 day decision process for those who want to hold out as long as possible but also make cancellation easy for those who don't.

    Talked about wait times for agents - caused by interest going up very fast with our country's rapid vaccine rollout. Working hard to address this.

    Small group travel - expect to see more of in large part due to feedback they've been getting.

  • Claudia —-thanks for the info ... still a lot of open issues that are venting the control of Tauck. So we keep waiting...

  • Claudia - QR codes are the square, bar-code like figures that lots of restaurants now use. When you scan the QR code with your phone it brings up a copy of the restaurants menu. This saves the menu cleaning costs (if the restaurant uses reusable menus) or printing costs (if the restaurant uses disposable menus). It works fine assuming you have a phone, your phone has the capability to process a QR code, and you have the knowledge of how to do it. On my iPhone I use the camera to scan the QR code, which then pops up the menu.

  • I also watched the Webinar today and Claudia did a great job of summarizing the subjects discussed. Here is a link, in case you need it, for the Open For Travel Pages - Travel updates.

    https://www.tauck.com/travel-and-health/travel-updates

    They also mentioned that they would respond to individual questions sent in by e-mail as there obviously wasn't enough time to address all the questions. I am not sure about replying to the questions submitted by chat.

  • Thanx Sam, I knew what QR codes were but not how they'd be used for menus. Likely to be one of the solutions that came out of covid that will continue to be useful.

    Would have been nice to see the questions and better yet the answers.

  • Claudia, I agree with you that it would be nice to see a summary of all questions asked and responses as I am sure that would benefit all of us.

  • Shared safety responsibility. They are operating on trust

    I think this is a mistake and conveyed my opinion to Tuack via the chat function. It only takes one ne'er-do-well anti-vaxxer to screw it up for everyone. Personally, I was on one tour where one guest entered with bronchitis and half the group was sick within 5 days.

  • edited April 7

    :( none of my questions were answered. I'll wait to to see if I get an email response with answers.

    The webinar was informative, but did not impart anything I didn't know or, as a relatively rational, sentient being, already surmised. I also think it was mainly targeted at newbies, folks that don't get the new trip books, and travelers who aren't one of the crazies like me who routinely frequent the forum. :o

    When they talked about updates, etc. I thought it might be nice to have a tour matrix (Excel Spreadsheet?) on the website. With just a few pages, they could summarize all tour info- Status (TBD, cancelled thru date, start-up date), country info (countries open, closed to that tour), entry rqmts (72 hr COVID test/type test, vaccine, etc.), special tour rqmts- masks, final payment dates (30, 60, 90 prior, etc.), etc. etc. I would think something like this is already being maintained by the tour management team.

  • AlanS - You are an exception and we all appreciate that about you. I mean who else has the Jordan & Egypt toured researched to a PhD thesis level:

    a) knows how many steps there are to each of the different sights in Petra,
    b) has the minute-by-minute temperature forecasts for each site visited
    c) knows each company, contractor, and minister working to get the GEM opened
    d) knows the location of each current and rapid in the Nile river
    e) etc, etc, etc

    :D:D

  • Concur that "trust" alone not really enough but since I also believe countrys will be requiring proof it's kind of a moot point.

  • Claudia, I watched too, great summery, except they didn’t answer the insurance at all, they were going to and then the zoom finished before it was addressed.
    I don’t like the trusting people idea either. If an anti vaccer wants to go on a tour , they will lie and take the tour. I would have liked to know how they will deal with a tour member that gets a positive Covid test while on tour, which may show up when you change countries mid way and everyone gets tested. Will we all go in quarantine, will insurance cover that, not sure it does.
    Still, they were lovely and caring people.

  • Also watched the webcast, agree with Claudia’s great summation. For us it appears that from this and other resources that Canada will not be opened by mid-August....Boo. As to USA trips, that which is presently available is either sold out or to locations close to us or we’ve previously visited. My one concern is the waiver forms they are requiring. While it’s nice to say shared responsibility for everyone’s safety, the travelers are required to hold Tauck and its suppliers harmless, not only for Covid related issues, but for everything and anything. Not a lawyer here, but have reviewed hundreds of contracts over my career. It’s definitely a one-party advantage agreement.

  • njhoo,

    Indemnification ("hold harmless") clauses are boilerplate terms in virtually all contracts. They really are a moot point since you will most certainly win contract disputes if successful in proving gross negligence on the part of the other party.

  • Smiling Sam
    4:01PM
    . . . . I mean who else has the Jordan & Egypt toured researched to a PhD thesis level:

    Not quite!

    a) knows how many steps there are to each of the different sights in Petra,

    Hmmm, not all, approx 850 steps :o from Qasr el-Bint (Temple of Dushares) to Ad-Deir (the Monastery). But I do have the mileage and walking times. (fyi there are only 463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi's dome in Florence.)

    b) has the minute-by-minute temperature forecasts for each site visited

    Got links for that. It is 76° in Petra right now (11:00 pm local)

    c) knows each company, contractor, and minister working to get the GEM opened

    I don't know them personally, but the main players are Khaled Al Anany (Minister of Antiquities and Tourism); Mustafa Waziri (Secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities) (webinar guy?), Heneghan Peng (architects); Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) and the Belgian BESIX Group (main contractors); Major General Atef Moftah, (General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum); and Dr. Tarek Tawfik (General Director of the Grand Egyptian Museum).

    d) knows the location of each current and rapid in the Nile river

    Not a clue other than I know there were six, and I know the location of the 1st and 2nd cataracts (rapids)- the First Cataract is in the Aswan area and at one time continued upstream past both low and high dams. It is easily viewed from the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel. The Second Cataract which was in Nubia is gone and now submerged in Lake Nasser.

    e) etc, etc, etc

    How about this factoid- there are more Egyptian pyramids in upper Egypt (Nubia/Kush/Sudan) than lower Egypt (Giza, etc.)

  • This forum has become so entertaining lately.

  • It’s a symptom of travel-withdrawal

  • Claudia. We were not on the invitation list and greatly appreciate your concise summary. There seem to be many vague answers and questions that were not addressed . We’re getting a bad case of trip cancellation fatigue and the “Trust Me” approach is not going to reduce our concerns over the short term.

  • AshvEd
    9:14PM
    . . . . . . We’re getting a bad case of trip cancellation fatigue

    I guess there is one advantage, if you can call it that, to re-booking a full year away. 12 months without a cancellation to deal with. :):/

  • Ed, they tried to answer questions but too many unknowns. The knowledge that they are operating 60 days out at least gives us an idea of the soonest a decision would be made.

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