By now, the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic has sunk in with most people across the globe and we all are navigating how to handle this new reality. We’d like to share our thoughts on how we are seeing and handling it today and what we aim to do in the future. With this fast evolving situation we understand that what we think and predict today may become obsolete in short time.
TODAY IN ARGENTINA
Tourism in Argentina has completely stopped and all lodges have shut their doors for the remainder of the fishing season. The Covid-19 outbreak has created an extraordinary challenge for each lodge/outfitter. Each lodge/outfitter will devise with their own plan regarding existing trips that had to be cancelled. Every lodge wants to honor payments but some are in positions where they have to make careful calculations regarding how to honor those payments while ensuring their doors will be open next year.
For our clients who paid in full and were not able to travel or had to cut their trip short, please know that we are in touch with each lodge/outfitter involved with your trip. Together we will provide a solution that respects your payments, loyalty and safely first and secondly ensures the vitality of the operator. If your trip was interrupted or cancelled, we have either already contacting your directly or will be soon and ask for your patience as we communicate with our partners. In the meantime, contact your airline or ticketing agent to understand your options for refunds or changes. Most carriers are waiving cancellation and change fees.
TODAY AT HOME
On a personal note, I’d like to remind everyone that the severity and duration of this pandemic depends greatly on the actions taken by you, me, and every individual human being. Even today, people are still flying domestically for vacations, eating out, shopping for non essentials and gathering with friends. While it’s still a free country, we all know the more everyone stays home the less problematic this will be. I commend the governmental officials who have shut down bars, restaurants and movie theaters in their areas and hope others will do the same while making efforts to soften the economic impact on those businesses and their employees.
If one absolutely must go out, educate yourself on the necessary precautions. If you can avoid going out, then just stay in for the next 14 days and use this time to connect with family, call old friends, tie some flies or start a new project. It’s a small price to pay to help prevent spreading the virus to those at high risk. One careless act today could end up infecting an a high risk loved one tomorrow, maybe even yours.
For now, please encourage your friends and family, especially those 16-35 years old, to stay home and stay informed via www.cdc.gov.
On a brighter note, we and our associates feel confident tourism will be alive and well for the upcoming 2020-2021 fishing season in Argentina. We also think the next few weeks may be the best time to book your trip because of increased opportunities and less financial risk.
We predict less competition for prime dates that normally get filled during the high booking months of April–May. Also, airlines are encouraging new reservations by offering low fares and waiving change fees on new reservations made between now and March 31, 2020. In addition, those that do book now can further protect their deposits with a comprehensive travel insurance policy.
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
Even in these uncertain times, have confidence in our ability and commitment to put your priorities first. We encourage you to contact us with upcoming travel plans and know that our goal is to always offer you extra flexibility and understanding with respect to worldwide travel developments.
This crisis is not our first, since we started operating in Argentina in 1999, our business has survived civil unrest, drastic currency devaluations, volcanic eruptions, 9/11 and previous virus outbreaks. Throughout all these past events, we put your well-being and interests first and you have our promise that we always will.
Stay healthy, stay positive, stay safe and stay at home and stay in touch.
Justiniano F Campa
Fly Fishing Patagonia, owner.