Travel industry has no plan to cope with coronavirus

Travelers waiting or their luggage at Schiphol
Travelers waiting or their luggage at SchipholkruwtDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

The travel industry does not have an action plan for dealing with the consequences of coronavirus Covid-19, Frank Oostdam of travel agencies' organization ANVR said to BNR. Now that the virus is spreading to holiday destinations like Tenerife, travel agencies are facing hundreds of questions about cancelations. 

"We are talking about situations that we could not have imagined two months ago. This is unknown waters. We receive many questions about how to act with regard to anxious customers. There are also many questions about people who booked a trip last month and want to cancel their trip."

The ANVR is refering travel agencies to the rules when they come with queries about cancellations and refunds, Oostdam said to the broadcaster "The travel advice of Foreign Affairs is leading, there is no reason to cancel free of charge." 

If the situation continues when the May holidays arrive, Oostdam expects a big financial blow for travel agencies. 

A hotel on Tenerife is currently under quarantine after an Italian doctor and three others traveling with him were diagnosed with Covid 19. There are at least 23 Dutch among the over 700 guests quarantined in the hotel. One Dutch tourist told NOS that a large group of guests were allowed to leave on Wednesday. These involved guests who arrived after the coronavirus patients had been quarantined elsewhere. 

Two Dutch tourists are also in quarantine in the Grand Hotel Europa in Innsbruck, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter. There is no indication that any of the Dutch currently in quarantine have been infected, the Ministry said.