Like so many other companies, we’ve felt the brunt of COVID-19 and the flow on effects it has had on the travel industry. As tough as things are, we support the governments lockdown laws and appreciate the support both federal and state governments are showing to small businesses like ours.
In early March, we were faced with a dilemma to either run our Morocco and the Canary Islands conference as planned, postpone it – or cancel it outright.
With due consideration of all the facts on hand at the time, we felt the only truly responsible decision that we could make was to postpone the conference.
Having prepaid all arrangements in full, the decision to postpone had financial implications for each of the participants and most certainly for us as a company as well.
However, our priority was, and has always been to ensure the health and safety of all participants – no matter the trip or the destination.
With most of our customers on the frontline of this battle with COVID-19 and the closing of borders, we’ve subsequently had to cancel or postpone conferences to New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Alaska which were to be held across May, June, July and August.
We are also currently in discussions with our many suppliers about the conferences we have planned for Greece and Cyprus in September. Sadly, the question is not whether the conferences will proceed, but rather whether the events need to be cancelled outright or postponed to a future date.
Unfortunate, we don’t envisage a scenario in the next 6 to 8 months whereby travel restrictions will be lifted, borders will be opened and we will once again be exploring the world and learning as we travel.
While it would be easy to be negative and spend our time stockpiling toilet paper, medications, hand sanitizer and the like, I prefer to remain the optimistic person that I’ve always been.
I will live in the present and deal as best as I can with whatever lands on my plate today. However, I will personally and professionally maintain my focus on the future knowing that our current predicament won’t last forever.
The Amaco team, including myself, Kerry and Christina are working as hard as ever to ensure we remain one of Australia’s leading providers of accredited offshore education.
Part of this is guaranteeing that you, our valuable customers continue to receive the highest levels of service and support possible.
We’re in constant communication with participants impacted by the postponement and cancellation of our conferences and where able have refunded all the money collected from them. We continue to provide advice and assistance to them with regard to the ever-changing airline and 3rd party supplier terms and conditions and have offered our services to assist with any travel insurance claims that may be lodged.
Making the most of the quieter times, we’ve also reached out to our global network of suppliers and have scheduled regular destination and product updates with them. These will assist us to improve our knowledge and ultimately help us prepare more enjoyable and fulfilling conference itineraries for all participants.
While these itinerary and program improvements may be hard to pick unless you’re a regular Amaco attendee, in the coming months you should also be seeing the launch of our new website and various other marketing initiatives.
We’re pleased to have extended our already strong relationship with The Australian Doctor Group. You’ll continue to see our conference adverts in print and online and we’re delighted to once again partner with them and offer a lucky subscriber the chance to win a place on one of our upcoming conferences.
The importance we’ve always had on having the highest quality educational syllabus has not been diminished or eroded. Our links to various medical and pharmaceutical associations and bodies is as strong now as it has ever been and we will continue to reach out to people we believe will enhance the experienced and dynamic faculty of keynote presenters that we’ve built up over the last 25 years.
Through all this activity I hope you can tell that our outlook remains positive and that we’re here for the long run.
On a final note – we’re so very fortunate to have some wonderfully skilled health professionals looking after us here in Australia. To each of you, I pass on my utmost thanks and gratitude for the tireless work you’re doing to keep us all safe and healthy.
The clouds will lift, and when they do our adventurous souls will once again be free to explore new and exciting destinations. When that happens, we’ll be there to accompany you on the journey.
In the meantime, I ask that you take care… of yourselves, your families and those around you who may be suffering or struggling.