Dear Tauck family of friends,
From the outset of this pandemic, I have shared with anyone who asked that the same values that guided us over the decades, will guide us through to the other side. I find it both interesting and comforting to read messages crafted many decades ago such as the one above, written in 1931. The times and the “product” were certainly different from today. Yet, I find many more similarities than you might imagine, whether they relate to guest needs or to core company beliefs. The words feel timeless and there is a reassuring “constant” about them. Reliability. Responsibility. Safety. Comfort. Service. They permeated Tauck’s thinking decades ago and do still today.
While our offices remain closed and our employees continue to work remotely, the work “effort” has never been higher as we progress towards restarting operations. There are several criteria guiding our decision to restart. Some are within our control and some are not. First, we endeavor to make our experience the most comfortable and safe as possible for our guests. Our Worldwide Operations team has been working meticulously with our global partners to plan for each individual itinerary, across land, rivers and sea. Each partner, whether they be a hotel, museum, ship/boat, restaurant or other provider, has been thoughtful about how to operate in this environment. We are heartened to see the effort that has gone into each partner’s health and safety protocols.
Secondly, the experience must be of “Tauck quality,” recognizing that while much of the experience will be very similar, there will be modifications in places. We are learning from watching our partners and the broader world around us as economies reopen and the world evolves into a different place. In fact, our river partner Scylla was the first European riverboat company to commence operations and several Tauck riverboats will be carrying only Europeans this summer. To date it’s gratifying to note the high levels of overall satisfaction for those first groups of passengers. We feel fortunate to gain these valuable learnings from them, as they will serve to inform Tauck as we think about our restart of similar river itineraries.
Ultimately the final criteria will be when our guests feel the time is right for them personally. As we’ve done for almost a century, Tauck has been in constant contact with our guests. Thousands participated in a survey in May, regarding our restart, and we’ve talked with thousands more on the phones. In times like these, there is no perfect answer, only the best answer available. Regardless of when we decide to resume operations, some will feel it is too soon while others will be frustrated that we were not out there sooner. Only you can decide when it is right for you.
We will travel again and that day is getting closer, and as soon as we make the decision, we will reach out to you. We are so appreciative of the many thousands of guests who have either rescheduled their reservations to 2021, or who have made new reservations for 2021. At the same time, we understand and respect that traveling will be a very personal decision and more time is required before we elect to resume our journeys.
We thank you for your continuing trust that we will always endeavor to do the right thing for our team, partners, and most importantly, to you our valued guests.
Daniel W. Mahar, CEO