Since 2006, STC Expeditions has been proud to realise the dreams of young people who want to travel to some of the world’s most unique and incredible places.
As a company, we have had an amazing opportunity to stretch horizons and assist students to escape the school classroom for a bigger and (in our humble opinion) a better one. Sadly, that opportunity has been taken away from us, and your students, for the time being. To say we are living in an uncertain time is an understatement. Never could any of us have imagined it. No one could have predicted it. And yet everyone has been touched by it. Everyone’s experience of this pandemic is so different. We cannot begin to assume we know how it has affected you, but we hope you are keeping well and finding your feet in the new world of remote teaching and learning.
The travel industry has been hit hard, like many other sectors, and this is probably the biggest challenge all of us have ever had to face. Expeditions, trips, classes, sports fixtures and exams have been cancelled and postponed. Dreams have been dashed and educational horizons narrowed.
In spite of all these challenges, we wanted to assure you that STC Expeditions remains strong. Our focus is firmly on coming out the other side of this difficult period and travelling with you again as soon as possible. We also want to express our heartfelt thanks to our staff, teachers, students and their parents for their hard work, understanding and messages of support. We send you all our best wishes. Some of our staff have been furloughed or hours reduced. Our partners and communities across the globe, who rely on tourism just as much as we do, are being deeply affected too. There are no winners, just a rock and hard place. Unless, of course, PPE or ‘zooming’ happens to be your industry.
We have always thought of ourselves as a little different from our competitors. We understand and know this has been a stressful time - we are parents ourselves, and some of us have been teachers in a previous lifetime too! As business owners, we have had to make difficult decisions in a rapidly evolving situation. We are not in normal times. And so it only felt right not to stick rigidly to our normal booking conditions for this summer's expeditions. Instead, we have listened and worked to mitigate our clients’ financial and health risks, providing bespoke solutions to each of our groups due to travel in the next few months. We have tried to be proactive and helpful, as many of you have recognised. Despite the unchartered territory, we are striving to do the best for our staff, our customers and our planet. This is certainly an unprecedented time, but it will also be temporary. Travel will be back, and STC Expeditions will be stronger and travelling more responsibly than ever before. Watch this space. We have exciting plans to take the world of school expeditions and educational journeys into a more sustainable future.
Finally, for those of you with friends, relations, sons, daughters, partners, mums or dads working on the front line – be that in the NHS, care homes, deliveries, supermarkets, child care for key workers, government and more, please thank them from us.
And look to the future.
With best wishes,
Chris and Adrian