Company makes move after sending executives to the country
Riviera Travel is to return to Italy from September 14, with tours in Lake Garda, Lake Como and Puglia after the company sent a team to the country to ensure it was safe for guests.
Riviera’s chief commercial officer, Jim Forward said: “We want people to be confident travelling to Italy and have been working with UK health experts and Italian hoteliers amongst others to ensure that British tourists can enjoy a fantastic experience in a safe environment.
“I wanted to be personally reassured and so put this to the test, taking a team of Riviera staff – from Operations, Health & Safety, Customer Service and the Agency Sales team – to inspect hotels and visit attractions in Lake Como, Venice, Verona and Lake Garda. We experienced first-hand what travel and touring is like for those that want to take advantage of a quieter time to explore some of the country’s most iconic sights.
“We concluded that those arriving in Italy will have a great time, with a richer and more personal holiday experience. With fewer people you get the opportunity for a more intimate exploration of normally busy tourist hot spots, plus a warm welcome from hotels, bars and restaurants – seeing St Mark’s Square in Venice without the crowds is really special. You are temperature tested entering hotels and other facilities, and hand sanitiser is everywhere. Just as in the UK, you cover your face on public transport and in enclosed spaces. The new processes are sound and I felt safe.”
The company has introduced a range of customer guarantees and flexibility for those who book now. There is also a Covid-19 cancellation and curtailment protection as standard.
Stuart Milan, channel director for Riviera Travel, who was also on the trip, added: “We recognise that travel agents often have a personal relationship with customers and today more than ever it is important that they have confidence in recommending an operator to travel with. That is why it was important for our Agency Sales team to experience the trip, so they can speak to our travel partners with confidence about the measures that are in place to protect our customers.
“Personally, I didn’t find wearing a face covering much of a bother, and in any case it was more than made up for by exploring the gardens, stately homes and galleries without the normal crowds. Of course, travelling now won’t be for everyone, but for those with a yearning for a unique and immersive travel experience we are confident that these tours offer something special. Our regular tours to Italy resume from April 2021, and forward bookings are already very strong.”
- Lake Garda, Venice and Verona 14th & 21st September, prices start from £919.
- Lake Como, 25th September, prices start from £1,169.
- Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn 22nd September, prices start from £1,249.
- Sardinia – Alghero, Costa Smeralda & Corsica 15th & 19th September, prices start from £1,179.
- Puglia, Lecce & Vieste – Undiscovered Italy 19th & 25th September, prices start from £1,069.