There have been several times throughout the 46 year history of ETS when world events have given us pause: the first and second Gulf Wars, the first and second Intifadas, the Great Recession of 2008, and the ongoing Gaza conflicts.
Only once before, on 9/11, have I seen the travel industry or for that matter the world come to a grinding halt as it has over the last few weeks.
Here in Florida, we have worked tirelessly to bring guests and staff home who were touring overseas. We’ve postponed or cancelled all tours and cruises through April and have been diligently working to reschedule tours and/or process refund requests.
It was my hope, like yours, that the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play would premiere in May as scheduled. As the situation developed I simply hoped that at least part of the season would still happen. However, it was not to be.
Due to the world-wide impact of COVID-19, the Oberammergau Passion Play Committee announced on March 19 that the 2020 Passion Play season has been postponed until 2022. The feedback we received from Oberammergau is that the ever changing environment the COVID-19 Pandemic is causing, simply caused too many unknowns for all parties involved to effectively manage all the logistics and produce an excellent experience for all guests.
At this time, we are working on options with our suppliers -- many who have been paid deposits in the normal course of business. The options will vary by tour, but our goal is to offer programs for those who still wish to travel, have available options to move the planned tour to the 2022 season, or to to offer the maximum refund we can.
We are not likely to receive word from the Oberammergau Passion Play board on the refund arrangements until mid-April given the current circumstances. We do hope to have some touring options for you as early as next week.
Thank you for your patience as we reorganize to handle your requests. For precautionary measures, we have quarantined several staff members who recently traveled or cruised and those who are able to work from home have been encouraged to do so.
Please know that you and your family are in our prayers. For now, take the necessary steps to stay well and protect others.
ETS - The Leader in Faith Based Travel