Bellbird Tours Update
Tours starting in August -early Sept 2020
Tours starting September 10th 2020 or later
New tour bookings for 2020 and beyond
Official Advice and Updates on travel to and within Australia
Update from Bellbird Tours Pty Ltd – 1st July 2020
These are difficult times for everyone and we hope this message finds you and your communities fit and well.
We will only operate our tours if your trip will be safe, viable and within the relevant government guidelines for travel during this virus outbreak. We are in touch regularly with all the relevant authorities to try and safeguard the health of our guests, staff and the local communities where we operate. When deciding if tours can continue at this time these are not decisions we make lightly, and we will try to keep booked tours running whenever its possible whilst also being mindful of ensuring our business survives for staff and future guests.
Australia is currently not accepting international arrivals into the country. This is not expected to change for the remainder of 2020. If you are an international guest and have booked onto one or more of our tours please read on below. For our Australian guests, you may be aware that most states are allowing unlimited travel within their states again and across some state borders. Government guidance is still asking everyone to observe social distancing requirements (generally, 1.5 m between persons, however, this does not apply to tour vehicles). Most accommodation providers and restaurants are open again, some with restrictions on patronage. Borders between most states are set to open again soon but some will remain closed, especially to Victorians. This affects how we can run our tours as many tours cross state borders and many of our clients are from Victoria. We are hopeful that border closures will soon relax even further and will update you at that point. Click here for the current status of state borders.
We are allowed to run tours again. Click here for specific practical info applicable to tours. We will review the status of tours due to start on or after 11th Aug, around mid-July and will advise all participants on whether or not their tour can go ahead, depending on the government advice, travel restrictions and the practicalities of operating the tour at that time. This reviewing process will continue for bookings later in the year meaning we will be in touch with you having reviewed your tour around 4 weeks ahead of its anticipated start date to see if it can go ahead.
As the current situation is causing a significant financial impact to our business we are reducing staff time to the bare minimum only. If you phone us on 1800-birding, we may not be able to take your call immediately, but please leave a message and we’ll get back to you. And we will continue to monitor emails and are always available to respond to any questions or issues that you email to us on email@example.com
Our priority at this time will always be health – yours, ours and those you interact with during your tour. Please continue to check back here for updates.
If you are due to start your tour in August or early Sept 2020
While the various state borders are set to open again, some states restrict entry to Victorians. Some states also have ‘no-go’ areas within their state – such as Cape York in Queensland. If we are able to run our scheduled tours we will implement certain practical changes to the tours to comply with social distancing requirements and other health provisions where possible to do so. Click here for specific practical info applicable to tours. We will review the status of tours due to start on or after 11th Aug, around mid-July and will advise all participants on whether or not their tour can go ahead, depending on the government advice, travel restrictions and the practicalities of operating the tour at that time. This reviewing process will continue for bookings later in the year meaning we will be in touch with you having reviewed your tour ~ 4 weeks ahead of its anticipated start date to see if it can go ahead.
The Australian Government through its ACCC agency has instructed that for any tours we are unable to run we are required to provide a credit voucher to the value of all of your payments to date. This will be valid for the next 2 years to use against rebooking the same tour or a different one. Credit Vouchers are non-transferable and will be emailed to you upon request. If you want to rebook on the exact same scheduled tour for later in the year or next year then we will simply transfer your booking to the new date and we will also maintain your 2020 price regardless of any potential price increases. If you want to wait and see we will issue you with your credit voucher to be put towards any future Bellbird-branded tour(s) for the next 2 years at the advertised price of that particular tour(s).
If you prefer to pursue a refund now then you should contact your travel insurance company and ask to claim back your payments. This may be because you are unable to travel to your destination where your country has banned overseas travel or if you have health issues that prevent you travelling. Make sure you ask to claim under Travel Disruption and / or Cancellation clauses as some insurers are wrongly advising that you have to have caught the virus to be eligible. We can provide a letter for your insurers confirming you have cancelled along with details of our Terms and Conditions and a summary of what you have paid.
If you are due to start your tour on September 10th or later
We will not cancel or postpone your tour bookings without telling you but we will assess whether or not your tour can go ahead ~4 weeks before you are due to start your tour and get in touch with you at that point. If roads, accommodation and cafes and restaurants are closed, there is a ban on all but essential travel or a ‘lockdown’ we will need to cancel or postpone your tour. We will however do our best to make your tour work if it’s possible for you to travel here and bird with us under the latest Government advice and instructions. We will implement certain practical changes to the tour to comply with social distancing requirements and other health where possible to do so.
If you are due to pay your balance payment then we would advise you to only do this if we have confirmed with you that your tour will go ahead. If you decide to cancel your tour earlier than the 4 week point then this will be a cancellation by you and will be subject to our usual terms and conditions. You will forfeit your deposit but may be able to claim it back from your insurance company but please check before cancelling. In certain cases we may be able to transfer your booking to 2021 or issue you with a credit note as described above.
New tour bookings for 2020 and beyond
Until further notice we have halved the deposit required for new tour bookings from 20% to 10%. Deposits are subject to our usual terms and conditions which can be found here. In summary, in almost all circumstances your deposit is fully refundable (minus a small admin fee) should you decide to cancel up to 75 days before departure. After that point in time, if there are still government restrictions causing us to be unable to run your tour, we are required to provide you with a credit note to the value of all of your payments as described above.
Offer valid for bookings received from 01-Apr-2020 on all tours. Valid until further notice.