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向旅游团客户慷慨退款的GoGo Tours应得到的是称赞而非指责
GoGo Tours’ generosity deserves gratitude




《大中报》发表了有关多伦多一旅行团因取消了去摩洛哥的旅行计划而要求退款的文章后,有些读者对表示GoGo Tours扣除$200元表示不满,称公司应向所有团员全部退款方为正当之举。他们还认为TICO的规定旨在保护旅行社的利益,对消费者不公。但这些读者应该认识到这场全球性的瘟疫中旅游行业受创最重,许多旅行社遭受了超出想象的巨大经济损失。

In reaction to the Chinese News story about a tour group seeking refund for a canceled trip to Morocco, some readers say that the company should have provided a full refund to all group members, rather than deducting $200 from each of them. They also believe that TICO regulations are unfair to consumers and intend to protect the interest of tour operators. However, these readers should bear in mind that the coronavirus pandemic has hit the tourism industry the hardest, leaving many travel agencies struggling in much more dire financial hardship than expected.

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新冠瘟疫让世界多国进入封城状态,使大部分预先制定的旅行计划全部泡汤。被迫取消旅行的消费者们认为旅行社应该将更改事先制定的有关取消旅行的退款政策而将其预付游款全部退还消费者。USA Today有撰文称: “旅行社应竭力满足客户要求并做到让客户满意,而不是将旅行社的利益放置首位。那些拒绝向客户提供全部退款的政策是所有退款政策中的垃圾。”

The pandemic has pushed many countries into a locked-down mode and renders all pre-booked travel plans ineffective. Consumers forced to cancel their holiday bookings believe the travel agencies should waive the refund policies and make a full reimbursement of their payments without additional charge. “Travel agencies should go all the way to compensate consumers and make them happy, rather than to put their profits above consumers’ needs. Those who refused to provide a full refund are the worst refund policies, “ says a consumer advocacy in  an article in USA Today.

随着取消行程,要求退款的旅行客户蜂拥而至,全球旅游业遭受着前所未有的打击。美国旅游业损失高达数百亿元,是非典期间的七倍,同时就职于包括旅行社这类小生意在内的几十万人旅游业人士失业。加拿大旅游业的损失也在所难免,预期在夏季之前损失将达数百万元,仅航空公司的失业人数就高达数千人。

Inundated with requests to get a refund for canceled trips, the tourism industry across the globe has taken an unprecedented toll in history. The loss in the US tourism industry reached seven times more than during SARs outbreak to tens of billions, wiping out hundreds of thousands of jobs that include many small businesses such as travel agencies. The pandemic has also dealt a significant blow to the tourism industry in Canada, which sets to lose millions of tourism dollars by the summer and airlines to lay off workers in multiple thousands.



显然,在旅游业四面楚歌的今天,要求旅行社向所有取消行程的消费者提供全额退款无疑会加剧该行业面临的困境,对那些破产边缘挣扎的小旅行社来说更是雪上加霜。目前英国的旅游行业规定要求旅行社向取消行程的客户提供全额退款,而该国的大批旅行社目前已无法维持运营,将面临全盘倒闭的厄运。

Apparently, requesting travel agencies to provide a full refund for all canceled tours would put additional strain on the troubled industry, fueling the financial crisis the industry is facing. In the U.K., the existing regulations, which require tour operators to offer a full refund for a canceled tour, will lead a flood of companies to suffer the fate of demise, according to advocacy groups for the industry.

英国旅游协会目前要求政府采取紧急措施,动用英国政府的消费者急救资金向客户提供退款。协会强调称,英国当前这一行业的退款规定在这场“波及每一国家,每一旅行目的地”的巨型灾难中完全不适应,这一规定的继续施行将导致大量公司倒闭,数千名工作丧失。

The Association of British Travel Agency (Abta) is now seeking an emergency government consumer hardship fund to fulfill refund payment to consumers. The organization stresses that the current regulations are not suitable to cope with a disaster affecting every country and every destination worldwide, and that “to continue with the regulation would lead to innumerable company collapses and the loss of thousands of jobs.”



幸运的是,安省旅游业并未实施英国的退款规定。安省旅游监管机构(TICO)提供的疫情期间旅行指南明确规定,旅行社没有任何法律义务让客户随意取消行程。一般来说,如果消费者提出取消旅行,退款手续应完全遵循购团发票上所注明的退款条款,而退款政策往往规定客户要为取消的行程付出相当的代价。因此,安省旅行社向客户退款不是为履行法律义务而是完全出于善意的慷慨,是出于对客户的关心和体恤,且很可能是旅行社在自掏腰包。
Luckily, Ontario does not have the U.K. adopted regulations in place. TICO’s guidelines for coronavirus affected travel plans made it clear that travel operators are not obligated to allow consumers to cancel the tours at no additional cost. The steep penalties specified in the refund policies in the invoices will apply if consumers decide to cancel the trip. As such, Ontario travel agencies are under no legal obligations to refund consumers, and reimbursing the costs are the travel agency’s goodwill gestures out of empathy and care, and maybe at their own expense.

新冠瘟疫给旅游业带来了一场特殊的,前所未有的挑战。在这场疫情战役中,旅游业的上上下下,从消费者到旅行社都应同甘苦,共患难,并共同承担经济损失。GoGoTours向摩洛哥旅行团提供的不仅仅是退款,而是一份善心和奉献。而这份善心和奉献换来的应是读者的称赞和消费者的感激,而不是进一步的索求和众人的指责。

The pandemic brings out the most extraordinary and challenging times that the tourism industry has never experienced. Everyone in the industry, from consumers to travel providers, should stand in it together and take the hits like one.  What the Morocco tour groups have received were not just refund, but the acts of giving and kindness from their travel provider. But the kindness and generosity deserve appreciation and gratitude, and consumers should feel grateful rather than entitled.
   


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