Globus’ First Global Tour Since COVID Departs Tomorrow From Calgary
Lynn Elmhirst, Open Jaw Trends Editor
“This tour – and the travellers booked on it – absolutely represent a triumph. We know the road back to travel could be long, but this is a great start.”
That’s how Stephanie Bishop, Managing Director of Globus Canada, characterized this landmark moment to Open Jaw.
In August, Globus Canada announced a 5-day Canadian Rockies Escape, open only to Canadian guests.
On Saturday, the tour departs from Calgary. It’s the first tour for the entire company globally since March – and it’s a tour by Canadians, for Canadians.
The opportunity to book travel close to home clearly resonated with would-be travellers.
“On the day we announced the Canadian Rockies departure, we had seven bookings from Canadians eager to get away and enjoy a vacation,” Bishop revealed to Open Jaw.
A total of 21 guests booked the getaway. None took advantage of new policies to cancel due to COVID concerns. However, Bishop says this week two guests were forced to miss the trip due to a case of seasonal flu.
And it’s not a backyard ‘staycation’ for most of the guests. Only two guests are from Western Canada, she said. The others are travelling from Eastern Canada.
When the 19 tour participants gather in Calgary Saturday afternoon to begin their tour, Globus BDM Leslie Schaff and Bishop will be among them for the journey.“I’m excited to join fellow wayfarers and wanderers who miss travel as much as me,” she said.
“For the last several months, our Global Health & Safety Team has put together a comprehensive – and extensive – list of enhanced safety protocols to provide all guests – including me – the assurances we crave.”
The new health and safety protocols the tour will be following were outlined when Globus announced the tour in August. They include:
Pre-trip health screenings and temperature checks, plus daily health checks;
Disinfected coach with touch-ups at every stop;
Assigned seating (next to those in a guest’s travel party), required hand sanitization and luggage disinfection (before boarding each vehicle);
Social distancing and the use of Globus’ Go Beyond Devices to facilitate distancing;
Masks when social distancing is not possible;
Touch-free meals and enhanced disinfection at hand-picked hotels.
“I’m looking forward to witnessing, first-hand, the ways in which we are able to bundle” the new on-trip protocols with the pleasurable aspects of the tour that make people want to travel, Bishop told Open Jaw.
Canada’s relative success managing COVID – along with carefully chosen parameters – allowed this to be the company’s foray back to travel. The tour is brief – only 5-days - and “the Canadian Rockies provide the perfect backdrop, in nature and in wide-open spaces, to represent our return to travel, with a small group of Canadian travellers as our guests,” explained Bishop.
“We’re starting small – with this Canadian tour, followed closely by a few U.S.-operated tours. This tour represents an entry point on our journey back to travel.”
The company is well aware that all eyes will be on the success of this highly symbolic tour, with Bishop saying,“ We hope this escape will spark trust in the hearts and minds of our travel advisor partners. We anticipate that the world will open back up again in 2021 and are not only providing advisors – and their clients – the assurances and peace of mind they require, we’re also invested in offering more opportunities to fulfil wanderlust for Canadian travellers closer to home.”