ACTIVE ASIA’S COVID-19 RESPONSE
The emergence of the Covid-19 virus and surrounding press coverage has understandably generated questions and concerns around planning clients travel when the virus is still spreading, and official government travel advice continues to change. As a highly personalised and service-driven company, Active Asia is keen to support all our clients in helping you to make the best possible decisions around your clients travel plans. Every client’s situation is different, and so we always make recommendations on a case-by-case basis, but the below gives some general guidelines of how we are managing the Covid-19 situation:
We are closely monitoring and managing this situation as it evolves; we receive daily updates from our local contacts in-country and carefully review any news and official changes in travel advice from the MFAT into destinations we operate in.
Should official travel advice change to recommend against travel to your chosen destination, we will work actively with you to reroute or reschedule your client itinerary. Again, with Active Asia you will have a personal contact to speak with about your clients plans and our 24/7 emergency number while you are travelling; we are actively communicating any changes in travel advice for clients due to depart within 90 days, and are always available to speak about any concerns or questions you may have, regardless of when or where you may be travelling.
Despite the extensive news coverage around travel disruptions, the vast majority of our clients are continuing to travel as planned and are experiencing no disruptions to their itineraries.
As always, our primary priority is the health, wellbeing and happiness of our clients and staff, and we will continue to take any action necessary to support those travelling with us as fully as possible.
LESS FEAR AND MORE CARE
A note from the owners.
Take a deep breath. Each morning, we wake to fresh news about the increasingly fearful world we live in. Whilst the situation of Covid-19 and its rapid spread must not be underestimated, it’s fair to say that the level with which we are hit by superlatives and doomsday scenarios can be overwhelming. Even for the most positive of souls.
And all of us are feeling it. Not just in our emotions but in our day to day behavior. It seems to be all-encompassing yet (some) people think it will become even more so. So, we wait. The world waits. And it hopes, prays and searches for a horizon that brings with it positive signs of Coronavirus abating.
Whilst we – as a travel operator – are in no way positioned to offer any expert view on how or when this situation will draw to a close, we do know that we need to find balance. Balance to counteract the levels of hyperbole, and a need to focus on the facts. More importantly, we need to focus on caring for each other and the world we inhabit. While extreme reactions to the virus might have an understandable rationale, there’s need to ensure that our responses are reasonable and measured.
With Active Asia, we created a travel company that is rooted in care. Caring for our staff, our clients and the people and partners we work with around Asia. Care has been a by-word for how we operate. And in times like these, it’s important for us to remind ourselves that caring will always defeat fearing. Anxiety-driven clicks and shares won’t change this fact. But they might injure it.
“We need to focus on caring for each other and the world we inhabit.”
So, what does caring mean to us? It means looking after the people who make Active Asia what it is. It’s about caring for our staff, in our NZ or VN offices, or for those travelling around the Asia – and for those on the ground. It means caring for our partners, some of whom we’ve worked with for over 22 years.
Importantly, it also means listening to the needs of our clients. For some, that means moving planned trips to other, safer destinations. For others, it means working hard to find new dates or helping to plan travel for the future when these challenging times have passed. And for many, it means providing reassurance that travel to many parts of Asia is still absolutely fine – while encouraging them to get out there and keep exploring this incredible planet of ours.
Caring also means supporting the many wonderful people, partners and communities around the Asia who we’ve worked with for years. Fear-driven conversations and knee-jerk reactions will only hurt the livelihoods of communities, people and places for whom travel has always been their lifeblood. And these are some of the most spectacular and unique places in the world.
That’s why we want to continue to support and encourage people to travel to such places. Our staff will be on hand to help our clients, new and old, to achieve their travel dreams. Paying heed to their concerns while providing help in navigating the fluid and often confusing messages that are circulating our media and social networks.
In short, caring means finding balance. It means continuing to celebrate this planet of ours and making sure we don’t let down the communities for whom travel is a way of life. And it’s about providing care, information and support in times of considerable stress.
Ultimately, we’ll continue to monitor Covid-19 as the story develops. But while we wait, we will still be here, ready to talk – and always caring.
Lance and Valentina
Owners of Active Asia
31 March 2020
21 March 2020
19 March 2020
18 March 2020
16 March 2020
13 March 2020
12 March 2020
Medical checks and quarantines form can be found at this link.
Based on the latest information we have received from our partners in Vietnam; clients who have obtained an e-visa or pre approval letter that has been issued before the 10th March are still able to enter Vietnam.
Otherwise a visa needs to be obtained through the Vietnamese Embassy in Wellington.
We also strongly recommend contacting the Vietnamese Embassy in Wellington or a Visa specialist such as Travcour to obtain the latest up to date information.
The Embassy of Viet Nam in New Zealand
Level 21 Grand Plimmer Tower,
2-6 Gilmer Terrace,
Tel: (64-4) 473 5912
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (09) 366 0635
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 0900 58472 – Visa enquires (fee applies)
We will continue to update you on the situation as more information is available.
11 March 2020
The latest overnight developments have been that the Vietnam visa on arrival has been suspended for ALL countries. Therefore visitors planning to visit Vietnam or who are booked to for trips to Vietnam now need to apply for a visa at the Vietnamese Embassy here in New Zealand before travelling. Options include applying directly at the embassy or requesting an approval letter through a travel agency, as passengers with a visa approval letter can still enter Vietnam as usual. All visitors are required to comply with Vietnam’s regulations on health check and quarantine upon arrival as per yesterday’s announcement.