Like others across the travel industry, the foremost questions in our minds are "when will we travel again?" and "how will we travel safely?". Much is dependent on the conditions in the destination including whether visitors from foreign countries will have to quarantine upon arrival, whether hotels have reopened, if attractions are welcoming visitors and more. We want to get back on the road as much as anyone, but we want to do it in a way that is safe for all involved.
As the leader in Ireland and Britain and one of the longest-standing tour operators in North America, CIE Tours is partnered with the leading tourism authorities, and operates at the highest levels of health and safety guidelines in the US and Europe, including regional and national standards for COVID-19 procedures. We are proud to work in conjunction with the following organizations and charters and operate in compliance with all local and international tourism certification guidelines.
Because rules and guidelines vary from country to country and are continually changing, before you travel, we will provide you with the most up-to-date information to ensure you are informed about protocols in your destination.
Most airlines have announced new procedures including requiring flight attendants to wear masks, sanitizing all surfaces between flights and having seating configurations that allow for physical distancing. We recommend visiting your airline's website for specific information on their policies.
For guests who elect to go on a group tour, the majority of our departures will be small groups, with a number of empty seats on coaches to allow guests to space out for a more comfortable experience. For those who prefer an even smaller group and more independence, we have an extensive offering of private driver and self-drive options. While specific protocols will vary from location to location, some general guidelines will be followed:
Our Tour Directors are not only local experts but are also trained to handle a variety of unexpected situations - including illnesses and emergencies. They will be thoroughly trained on enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures and will ensure that guests know what to expect every step of the way. If any issues arise, we have systems and protocols in place and the Tours Directors also have extensive local support to assist.
Our in-country operations and logistics team is on call 24/7. In Ireland alone, we have 30 back-office operations staff, who have accumulated over 500 years of experience with CIE Tours. This team, based in our Dublin operations office, is always ready to assist our Tour Directors in the event of an emergency. Having this local support has allowed CIE Tours to become the largest coach tour operator to Ireland and Scotland from the USA.
We have weathered many challenges during our nearly nine decades in business, and I myself have been with CIE for 20 of those years. We have seen both rain and shine, and we are confident that together we will be back on the road again soon.
Travel might look a bit different, but at heart, our primary goal will still be the same - - to provide our guests with the safe and memorable trip of their dreams.
Looking forward to welcoming you back again with our signature Irish hospitality.
Céad Mile Fáilte,
Chief Operations Officer
CIE Tours International