Covid-19 Surf Travel News

Please find here all relevant news & facts about the Covid-19 crisis. We will reguarly post updates to our booking terms and consitions and how we keep your money safe. We will also produce podcasts with our partners in the destinations or keep you otherwise informed about everything related to the pandemic. Stay safe and tuned.

18.08.2020

Tribute to the LUEX Team and Valued Customers /

Maldives Reopening

our good friend Curtis Redden just edited a nice little clip of the LUEX Sales Team on our last "business trip" to the Maldives in late 2019. Sadly, most of the team members are only part-time with LUEX or had to leave us due to the pandemic and drop in bookings. Also our Head of Sales - Martin Jenner - wasn't with us for this trip as he was busy "working" on another trip in the Mentawais.

However, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to say a huge thanks to them all and as a tribute to our team and all our clients. You guys are awesome! We hope to see you all back with LUEX in full force and even bigger than ever before.

I am confident that this will happen sooner rather than later. July and current bookings are on a steep rise already with many stoked clients traveling right now. In the Maldives, most of our boats are operating already. Four Seasons, Cinnamon Dhonveli, Six Senses, and Ayada Resort have already opened. Hudhuranfushi and Niyama are following suit soon enough...

All resorts offer great specials. For example:
Ayada: Welcome Back Offer - 45% Room Rate Discount!
Six Senses: 30% Discount on Room Rates and Transfers & Free Half Board Meal Plan!

Many airlines are also running flights to the Maldives again.

Besides this, the Maldives has installed plenty of Covid-19 Test Stations throughout the country. A negative test will exempt most travelers from any quarantine upon return to their home country.

Stay tuned!

Yours Tim Heising
CEO and Founder of LUEX Travel

22.06.2020

The Maldives is open for Surfing!

Breaking News: The Maldives has officially confirmed that they are open for travel and tourism from ALL countries! Free visa's on arrival will be issued from the 15th of July for all travelers, with no extras fees, limitations, or quarantine rules as once suggested.

This is it, this is your year to surf the Maldives with crowd levels you could have only dreamed of. Our partners who have remained in the Maldives throughout this time have been surfing perfect waves by themselves and they are ready to start sharing them with you! It will be a while before the crowd's crawl back again, so make the most of this season!

Want to travel back in time to the Maldives of distant memory... It's GO time.

Summary

  • Tourists will be provided a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival.

  • A confirmed booking in a tourist establishment registered with the Ministry of Tourism, prior to traveling to the Maldives is mandatory.

  • Tourist resorts, liveaboard vessels, and hotels located on uninhabited islands are open for bookings starting from July 15, 2020.

  • Indicative date for guesthouses and hotels located on inhabited islands opening for bookings is August 1, 2020.

  • Movements between resorts and islands will be permitted without quarantine requirements from the date of opening of guest houses.

  • Tourists will not be required to submit any medical test results for entry to the Maldives. However, travelers presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival will be subjected to a PCR test at the travelers' cost. Additionally, local health authorities may conduct random testing, at no cost to travelers.

  • A health declaration card will be required as part of the on-arrival procedure.

Please find the full details of the rules, statement, and all safety procedures here.

Book with certainty in an uncertain time.

If the last months have taught us anything, it's that anything can happen. We want to ensure your peace of mind when booking a trip in these times.

Refundable deposit payments, reduced payment dates, security if your flights canceled, and more... We are doing everything possible to ensure that you can book your trip with confidence no matter what happens.

Ready to score the Maldives with the crowd levels of 25 years ago...?

Just get in touch!

Thanks, Tim Heising

16.06.2020

Let's travel again - The LUEX Podcast Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort - Sri Lanka

Corona travel updates with partners of LUEX and how the pandemic impacts traveling to their destinations:

My guest today is:
Champika De Silva - Area Director of Sales at the Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort Sri Lanka
View and listen to their first hand knowledge and insights:

00:24 Intro
00:44 Champika De Silva - Area Director of Sales at Anantara Peace Haven
01:27 Current situation in Sri Lanka
02:39 Sri Lanka opening borders - 01st August
03:04 Flights to Sri Lanka
03:39 Visas for Sri Lanka Full Details (see attachment)
06:56 Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle stayed open throughout for some guests
08:02 Health and Safety changes to the Resort
11:33 Hotel running all services from 01st August
12:59 Surf team and services running at the resort with new hygiene plan
13:34 Flexible booking terms
15:22 How are booking requests currently
17:11 Anantara Tangalle has natural social distancing
18:44 Outro

Please also check Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort Sri Lanka here:
www.luex.com/surf/places/anantara-peace-haven-tangalle-surf-sri-lanka.html

27.05.2020

Let's travel again - The LUEX Podcast Surfers Lodge Peniche Portugal

Corona travel updates with partners of LUEX and how the pandemic impacts traveling to their destinations:

My guests today are:

John Malmqvist - Founder, Owner and CEO of Surfers Lodge Peniche in Portugal
and Martin Jenner - Head of Sales at LUEX

View and listen to their first hand knowledge and insights:
00:00 Intro
01:18 John Malmqvist - Founder and CEO of Surfers Lodge Peniche / Portugal
01.30 Finally allowed to surf again in Portugal
02:29 Hotel restaurant in Surfers Lodge Peniche opened again
04:05 Hotel opens June 1st
04:35 Flexible booking terms
05:17 No entry restrictions into Portugal at the moment
07:17 Travel restrictions within Europe
08:19 Portugal among the safest destinations
08:57 Safety measures on flights
10:42 Changes to expect in Peniche
11:26 No impact on surf services
12:10 Portugal may bounce back quicker than other destinations
14:21 Attractive low season
15:34 Safety measurements at Surfers Lodge Peniche
16:39 Portugal's Clean & Safe Seal
18:05 How LUEX is handling the crisis
22:00 Kitesurfing packages at Surfers Lodge Peniche
22:50 Outro

Please also check Surfers Lodge Peniche here: https://www.luex.com/surf/places/surfers-lodge-peniche.html

14.05.2020

Let's travel again - The LUEX Podcast Niyama Maldives

Corona travel updates with partners of LUEX and how the pandemic impacts traveling to their destinations:

My guests today are:
Nathan Kemp - Surf Development Director at Niyama Private Island Resort in the beautiful Maldives,
Haf Al Busaidy - General Manager at Niyama Private Island Resort,
and Martin Jenner - Head of Sales at LUEX

View or listen to their first hand knowldege and insights:

00:00 Intro

01:23 Haf about the situation on the island

02:11 Haf telling us about current visa and flight impacts

02:42 Haf on the low spread of the virus in the Maldives

03:36 Reopening Dates

04:24 Airlines Servicing the Maldives

07:23 Plans of Ministry of Tourism in the Maldives

08:02 Haf on how the Maldives will open again

08:51 More flexible booking terms to reduce the risk for the clients

11:13 How the resort will look like when it opens again

12:12 Crowd levels for surfers

13:13 Extra Corona Safety Measures

16:05 Maldives the perfect fit during times of Corona

18:18 Nathan about lockdown in paradise and beautiful Niyama

19:44 Impact on surf services

20:25 Perfect Late surf season October to December

22:47 Nathan asks LUEX about how LUEX deals with the situation

24:28 How LUEX and Niyama work together to keep the services at highest standards.

26:04 Outro

13.05.2020

FAQ by travelers and suppliers

Here some of the questions we have been asked frequently in the last few weeks.

Traveler or Suppliers: How has LUEX changed its services for clients in the current situation?

Martin Jenner - Sales Expert at LUEX:

Ultimately the service we offer still remains the same, but obviously people are much more hesitant to book at the moment.

So we have focused our negotiations with partners not only on getting the best rates as normal but better cancelation and payment terms, as well as attractive options for rebooking and changing dates, should the situation continue.

There are actually some great deals to be had at the moment, as long as you are willing to accept some flexibility with the change of travel dates. For example, that your holiday dates could be changed within the next 18 months should the situation continue.

Traveler or Suppliers: I can imagine you have had many trips affected by this, how was that process?

Martin Jenner - Sales Expert at LUEX:

Well, yes - Our team has been overwhelmed with cases affected by Corona. We have managed to keep on top of it, but it was very daunting at the start.

We had to switch straight away into "Crisis Mode" and work towards getting the best deals possible for our clients and helping with any stranded customers. We had some clients stranded in the Maldives for example and figured out how they could stay until their new flight date.

We worked towards finding the best solutions possible for all bookings, starting with the ones traveling soonest and I'm proud to say we've managed to do really well.

Traveler or Suppliers: Do you have some preparations for the time after travel restrictions ease?

Martin Jenner - Sales Expert at LUEX:

We want to get back to normal as soon as possible, we are ready to help everyone get back in the water and the mountains as soon as they can!

The crisis won't be over as soon as travel restrictions ease, so we are looking to make everything as easy as possible from that time onwards and understand extra precautions may be needed.

Things like increased sanitation measures at resorts, social distancing, and testing of staff. The trips that offer these will be the ones that people are most comfortable booking when they can again, so we are encouraging these measures wherever we can.

07.04.2020

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!