Can I just get a refund as my booking cannot proceed due to the Covid-19 situation?

The tourism industry in Australia continues to be one of the industries most heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The vast majority of Tourism operators in Australia (almost ALL of them on the Sunshine Coast in fact) are small, usually family owned and operated businesses, that need as much assistance as possible to ensure we are able to get through this unprecedented period of time. The inevitable issues with getting financial support for businesses, which mean ongoing costs during a time of zero revenue, places each and every small business in a financial situation never encountered before.

It may force us to use funds provided to us by our customers for future bookings at a time that is not in line with that booking (for us for the first time ever). This action is not taken lightly but forced upon us by a situation none of us have any control over.

As such refunds become a cost that few if any small business can cope with in addition to the other operational costs still in effect (for the moment at the time of writing this at least). It also means we need to be a lot more strict on when refunds are able to be claimed in comparison with pre-Covid times.

Here at Sunshine Coast Afloat, we’re extremely confident that through these and other measures we will be able to get through these challenging times. And your help all of this is invaluable! Your help in this should also have benefit both parties, not just Sunshine Coast Afloat. We believe that the best way to ensure there is mutual benefits are to firstly ensure you that your booking remains completely valid. In addition we can then proceed in one of 2 ways at this point, whichever you feel is best suited to your situation;

  1. If you are cancelling a trip based on the Covid situation ON THE SUNSHINE COAST and AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRIP, then you can request a refund for the amount you have paid (excluding credit card fees if applicable) or continue as per points 3 and 4 below. Please note cancellations outside the timeframes set out within our terms, for potential or feared Covid impacts will not be considered a valid reason for cancellations.
  2. If you are cancelling a trip based on the Covid situation OUTSIDE THE SUNSHINE COAST and AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRIP, even though the trip itself is able to proceed, and such cancelation request is made OUTSIDE our required times frames as set out in our terms and conditions, Such request will NOT be considered valid. You will be able to either proceed with the booking or forfeit the amount already paid at the time of the request. Sunshine Coast reserves the right to offer the processes in points 3 and 4 below based on the circumstances at the time.
  3. If your booking is not able to proceed due to Covid related restrictions here on the Sunshine Coast, you need to nothing. We will have already placed your booking “On Hold” within our system, and once we are able to legally operate normally again, you can simply choose another suitable date to proceed. All funds paid will be applied to that booking. In addition, for fully paid bookings only, any price difference at the time of the rebooking will be removed, thus ensuring you are not financially disadvantaged by using your booking at a later (and possibly more expensive) time. No time limits to this apply.
  4. If your booking is not able to proceed due to Covid related restrictions here on the Sunshine Coast, you can request a voucher to the value of your funds paid for the booking originally made. In this case your booking will be cancelled from our system. The voucher WILL NOT HAVE AN EXPIRY DATE as we fully realise that it will vary from person to person and situation to situation as to when a rebooking will be able to be made. This voucher will be emailed to you (ensuring the no-contact rule so desperately required at this time) and will be entered into our booking system as a normal voucher awaiting use.

Sunshine Coast Afloat, it’s owners and it’s small team appreciate your support, and for choosing us in the first place! Please feel assured that our focus has not shifted and remains firmly on ensuring you as our customer are provided with the best experience possible on your outing with us! Please stay safe during this horrible time in our county’s (and the world’s) history, and we cannot think of anything more enjoyable than to be able to have you aboard with us soon!

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Jerry van Driel-Vis