A word from the LUEX CEO
Hey Surfers, Snowboarders, Skiers, Travelers and Clients of LUEX!
Wow - the last three weeks have been a rough ride. Covid-19 and the potential impact on our lives, on tourism and our business LUEX has been on my mind for quite some time. But I have to admit – at first I wasn't too worried.
LUEX has withstood many crises over the years. Swine Flu in 2009, volcanic eruptions in Iceland in 2010, the tsunami in Sumatra in 2010, MERS in 2013, Ebola in 2014, Zika in 2016, and all of Bali's Mount Agung's periodic eruptions from 2017 to 2019. Thousands of LUEX's clients have been affected. We had clients that got sick, some that needed to save themselves by climbing trees, or got stuck for days/weeks on the way back home. Some were also "just" worried or concerned to travel.
But in the end, everything usually worked out fine. Some of it was definitely not fun, but our clients survived, most can look back with a smile, and a number have another good story to tell. I am very proud to say that we have always worked really well with our clients and that we have always found good solutions for even the toughest challenges along the way. In return our clients have rewarded us with many impeccable reviews of LUEX on Facebook, Trustpilot, Google and elsewhere. Whereas most of our competitors have disabled Facebook reviews, ours are purely in the excellent range. Check them out.
And then came Covid-19. Ah, just another one of those events - I thought. The first clients canceled their trips with us in early February. But even then, I was convinced that it would go away. By end of February, I started to be really concerned about my family, our clients, and the business. It was still so abstract though. I was enjoying the best powder and freeskiing in Austria and life was just too good. All friends around, and happy and healthy. You just couldn’t feel or touch this damn Corona virus. Giulia, one of our travel experts, managed to change my perspective rapidly. She is a globetrotter, but originally comes from Italy. Her mum is a doctor in the north of Italy - one of the most impacted places in the world - and shared insights about how the situation got more and more out of control.
"Let's stop saying it is just a flu". Well, that couldn't be more true. Tens of thousands of people have died by now, the world has been locked down, my sister, mother and father are infected and obviously pretty much all of our travelers have canceled their trips. Within a few days, everything turned upside down. Since then, we are in full crisis mode. How can we save the trips for our guests and rescue their money? How can we pay and keep our staff? What happens to LUEX? What happens to our families? I wouldn't be honest if I said I wasn't stressed and partly pessimistic at times.
However, some very special things happened. The vast majority of our clients are just amazing to work with. Even with a lot of money on the line, we have found a fair solution for everyone so far. We have given refunds wherever possible, value vouchers in other cases, and we have changed dates of travel with convenient conditions or found other individual solutions if needed. All this while keeping an eye on our valued suppliers and trying to keep the trips alive for them as well. Big hugs to all our clients and suppliers for the good work! But that's not all. I am so grateful for the LUEX team. They are the ones doing the magic. LUEX has hundreds of bookings affected, and they work relentlessly to find the best compromises for all. They just love surf and snow travel so much and are too passionate to fail. One of them told me, "Tim, we have something really special here. Let's turn it around and get out even stronger". That is heartbreaking and wonderful. A huge thanks to the team! You guys are awesome!
I am not concerned anymore. With this team, plus our amazing clients and great partners we have turned it around already. We are in a solid financial standing and additional funding is on the way. So, you damn Sars Cov 2 virus. Unless you keep raging for many years you won’t get us down!
And to all clients, please continue to contact us. We love to assist you and will be able to offer risk-free bookings and trips you will never forget!