To school officials, class advisors, teachers and parents:
The impact of the Coronavirus on our world is unprecedented. It has affected education, government, healthcare and many small and large businesses including the travel industry. This situation of isolation and self-quarantine has made all businesses come to a temporary halt including Bella Tours. These uncertain times mean we will continue to evaluate our operations and work on how to move forward in regards to school tours scheduled. Because we value our relationship with our clients, we want to be transparent and fair to all our clients involved as to what to expect in the coming months. Some school tours are postponing indefinitely yet many are moving their trip to later dates, while some are asking to transfer monies to next year. We will be inquiring with ALL vendors in regards to all these possible options and base how we handle things for our school groups on those answers. Many payments and funds have already been paid out for all tours to hotels, bussing, restaurants, theatre and sporting events, cruises and other activities, as per our contracts with these vendors. It is our plan to create procedures to make everything fair and sensible.
Please note, group trip reservations are very different than individual trip reservations. Because we are contracted with all venues in your school name, we must first see how vendors are going to proceed in regard to the signed contracts we have with each venue for your school tour. We need to investigate if we will incur penalties, if monies paid to vendors are refundable or non-refundable or if monies can be transferred to another travel date and if so, exactly how long this will all take to transpire based on their contracts with Bella Tours. Because many, if not all of these businesses are closed at this time with no definite plan to reopen as of yet, we must wait to get the answers we need from vendors to allow us to move forward with procedures on our end. As soon as we get those answers on each individual trip from all venues involved, we will be in touch with a write up to the teacher/class advisor in charge of the trip, of the exact process as to how monies collected to date will be handled. We will do this in date order that schools were to travel to make sense of it all. We ask all schools to make parents aware that we are working on this. We know this might be a difficult task since schools are closed so we will be posting this letter on our Bella Tours website page www.bellatoursofsyracuse.com and on our Bella Tours & Travel Facebook page for parents to reference.
Because we are a small business, we lack the financial flexibility and liquid assets of a major corporation. We ask your patience and understanding while we sort through everything. We cannot bear the burden of unexpectedly refunding hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially when many of those dollars are in the hands of our vendors. Doing this would be detrimental and could lead us to shutting our doors if not done in a sensible and efficient way. No monies will be refunded, exchanged or transferred to future tours until we can verify our contractual obligation with each venue for each trip. This is going to take us some time once things reopen.
We understand these are extremely challenging financial times for everyone and many have obligations, but rest assured we will get through this together. This is unchartered territory for all of us. We are confident we will find the answers and get back to business as soon as we can. Most importantly, we hope everyone is and remains healthy!
Lori A Cavelli
Bella Tours & Travel Inc.
Be the teacher that makes learning “click” for your students! Lift the words off your textbooks and make them come alive in real time by visiting historic sites at a destination of your classes choice. Take advantage of the opportunities to take your students beyond the classroom walls to experience what they have only read in a book. Encourage lifelong learning and memories through these opportunities for social, personal. and intellectual growth with their peers, while enjoying the beauty around them and creating memories of a lifetime!