On 30th December 2020, CNN issued an article about the winners and losers of 2020. Among the top losers were the travel and hospitality industry. Many cancellations and refunds left many tours and travel businesses sinking. With this heavy blow, many operators revised their cancellation and reschedule policies.
Happily; for the case of Uganda; Uganda Wildlife Authority the organization in charge of all national parks in Uganda where most of the tours in Uganda take place also revised its reschedule policies allowing tour operators to reschedule trekking permits for their chimpanzee and gorilla trips more than once in a span of up to two years. This was a relief and good news to the tour operators until the case of “no show” guests arose.
It is, and it was mandatory for anyone entering Uganda to have a negative PCR certificate acquired utmost 4days before boarding a flight. This was to cap the spread of the coronavirus. Unfortunately; this also meant that clients would end up not showing up even after making final arrangements leaving no room for rescheduling since they simply disappoint on the final day.
Many Uganda tour operators who have registered no-shows are confused about how to go about the matter. Our sources have it that Uganda Wildlife Authority is planning to issue letters of regret to all tour operators who had “no-show” clients. While tour operators have to deal with clients who didn’t show up because of circumstances outside their control, Uganda wildlife Authority seems reluctant about the matter. The tour operators that we have interacted with feel cheated claiming they have been charged for services they didn’t even receive.
Furthermore, their other concern is the fact that gorilla trekking permits are really expensive. It is not easy to just let it pass. Assuming a company was expecting four gorilla trekking clients who didn’t show up would imply a loss of US$2800. However, according to the Uganda wildlife authority cancelation policy; they offer no refunds for cancellations of 8 days and below. The big question is; are “no-show” guests considered under the policy of “no refunds for cancelation of 8 days and below. Share with us your thoughts on this matter in the comments