UPDATE 22 JUNE 2020

It’s complicated!

The future of Tom Hutton MTB post COVID-19 

We’re as relieved as anybody that the COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted in England, Wales and Scotland and that our lives might start to return to some form of normality again. We’re also excited that we can once again start to plan days in the hills with our wonderful customers – it’s what we do and we’ve missed you. 

Sadly though, the nature of our business really doesn’t lend itself to the situation we now find ourselves in, so we’ve made the heartbreaking decision to cancel the remainder of our 2020 holiday and weekend programme.

There is just so much working against us

All of our trips – week or weekend – comprise of many different parts, most of which are beyond our direct control. And as we look ahead to the autumn, we have no idea whether we will actually be able to deliver these parts, and if we can, how we could go about doing so safely, in a way that we’d be happy with and that our customers would be happy with. 

The issues we need to overcome are almost endless. 

Hotels and hostels – will they be allowed to open? And if so, would total strangers be happy sharing rooms? Or bathroom facilities? 

Will our drivers be able to operate? And if so, will people be happy to spend hours in a minibus with others that they don’t know? 

Eating? Will restaurants/pubs/cafes/hotel breakfast rooms be open? Will social distancing detract too much from the experience? Can we provide our customers with lunches? Or breakfasts? Or even snacks? 

Will we need to reduce numbers to maintain distancing? If so, how would we do this with sold out trips? And would the trip still be financially viable? If not, would customers be prepared to pay more? 

On top of all this remains the issue of whether we could actually get insurance cover – critical even under normal circumstances. 

If you’re booked on any of these trips, we’ll be writing to you over the next few days to discuss options.

Phased recovery

So, our plan now is now a phased one. 

From July 6th 2020, assuming the Welsh Government allows us to travel again, we will be offering bespoke guiding and coaching in Wales, Scotland and England, socially-distanced and in-line with the regulations of the country we’re working in. 

As things settle down and regulations ease further, we’ll fill our remaining diary slots with a series of guided day rides in the Lakes, the Peak District, Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons, the Cairngorms and Torridon/Skye. Full details will be announced shortly. 

2021

By April 2021, we will return to delivering full packages in line with our published schedule. We anticipate that we will still need to take some measures to prevent transmission of Covid-19, but are confident that by then best practices will have been established so these should cause minimum disruption. 

As always, you can book these trips with total confidence and refunds or postponements will be available to anybody who’s unable to travel, or is just uncomfortable with any of the new arrangements – see below for more details.

What if these trips can’t run?

The good news is that your money is 100% safe!

Here comes the boring bit:

To comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 (something many of our competitors choose not to do), any deposit or payment for any of our trips, is not actually paid to us. It instead goes into a trust fund and won’t be released until we’ve delivered your trip.

So, if we can’t run a trip, we can simply return the money.

This arrangement costs us a fair bit and is also a pain in the bum to administer, but it does mean we can sleep at night and also hopefully encourages our customers to book the trips they want to come on, with no fear of losing their money.

As you’ll have no doubt heard, many travel businesses, including the large bonded ones such as airlines and mainstream agencies, are unable to make promises like these.

 

 

 

UPDATE 5 JUNE 2020

BOOKING WITH CONFIDENCE!

Thinking of booking for Autumn, or even 2021? Go for it… your money’s safe with us. Read on for details… 

It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly 3 months since we first wrote regarding Covid-19. While I think we now have a better understanding of the virus and its implications, I’m not sure that we’re any the wiser as to when we may be able run again, or in what capacity. 

At the moment, we’re still hoping to kick off 2020 at the end of August – but of course, we’ll be reviewing this nearer the time. 

Meanwhile, we do have a few places for our Snowdonia trip on August Bank Holiday weekend and also on our various Scotland trips planned for September. We also now have a full calendar for 2021! 

So we’re definitely open for bookings. 

What if these trips can’t run? 

The good news is that your money is 100% safe!

Here comes the boring bit:

To comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 (something many of our competitors choose not to do), any deposit or payment for any of our trips, is not actually paid to us. It instead goes into a trust fund and won’t be released until we’ve delivered your trip.

So, if we can’t run a trip, we can simply return the money. 

This arrangement costs us a fair bit and is also a pain in the bum to administer, but it does mean we can sleep at night and also hopefully encourages our customers to book the trips they want to come on, with no fear of losing their money. 

As you’ll have no doubt heard, many travel businesses, including the large bonded ones such as airlines and mainstream agencies, are unable to make promises like these.

So please check out the calendar and click the booking form as always, and we really hope we get to ride with you soon 🙂

Tom & Steph x

 

 

UPDATE 18 MAY 2020

With heavy hearts we have taken the decision to cancel our remaining 2020 trips until at least the end of August. While there may be some light at the end of the tunnel as far as the general Covid-19 lockdown is concerned, based on all the information we currently have, we feel that there are just too many factors working against us running the kind of trips that we do at this time.  

We’ll continue to monitor the situation closely and update things as we approach our Autumn schedule. 

Bookings for the final few places on the autumn trips will be very welcome – and our 2021 schedule is now live, so we will be happy to take bookings for next year too. 

In both cases, be reassured that full refunds will be available should we not be able to run these trips. 

As always, we operate within the Package Travel, Package Tours and Package Holidays Regulations 1992, so the money you pay us is held independently in a trust fund until your holiday is actually over. 

This is an expensive way to operate but it does mean you can book with Tom Hutton MTB with complete confidence, even during these uncertain times. 

We’ll keep you updated as things progress but if you have any specific concerns or questions, please let us know.

And many thanks for your continued support – this is definitely proving to be a very testing time for us 🙂 

Tom and Steph x