Maybe, after Covid, Colombia doesn’t seem so dangerous any more

19th October 2020 |

Mike Thomsen is a friend of mine who offers motorcycle tours from Cali in Colombia. I’d like to share my recent correspondence with him and a piece he’s written that I really like. It’s very clear and level-headed, and I recommended you read it.

 

Mike,

It has aways bothered me that I was of so little help to you after you so kindly invited me to ride with you at your expense, and also, if you recall, saved me from toppling over on a hotel ramp. I blush with shame.

I did write a piece and offered it to a magazine (can’t remember which one) but they wanted it to be longer and something got in the way of that.

Sorry. I should have done better.

I wish you the very best. Everyone should see Colombia.

Ted

 

The reality check Mike sent out to his own mailing list went like this…

 

YES, COLOMBIA IS OPEN!

IS BUSINESS BACK TO NORMAL? NO

We are all realizing that nothing will remain the same post-Covid. To blindly trust in a full rebound to 2019 or similar conditions in the near future is just irresponsible. Everything has been shaken and turned upside-down. Especially the motorcycle travel industry is struggling to find new feet to stand on and we are all forced to develop new ways to address customers travel concerns with the ever changing restriction and protective procedures being implemented and managed/mismanaged locally all around the world.

Our industry depend 100% on you customers wanting to go explore and travel the world with us. Often to less organized and less secure areas of the planet. And even though we are fortunate to have some of the most adventurous customers in the world, the practicalities and uncertainties just do not allow for much trust or commitment making short and long term planning very tricky.

We, for one, are down from 15 employees at the beginning of the year to just 4 working hard to maintain essential functions. We have halved our fleet of motorcycles and we are restructuring our services in an effort to adjust the business for the new reality that will be 2021.

There has been ZERO business for over 6 month and ZERO help from the Colombian authorities, though we for over 12 years of successfully operating in the country have duly been paying every single dime owed in taxes and on time.

Unfortunately the reality is becoming clear in Colombia. It’s everyone to fend for themselves and corruption and fraud starting at the highest level and trickling down through society has left over half of the population now estimated to be living under the poverty line of just $1,9 USD/day.

On top of that we already had close to 2 million refugees from the past years of exodus from neighbouring Venezuela. Families with nothing, struggling to survive one day at a time, camping out mainly on the streets and under bridges.

It’s an economic and human disaster all-round and the recovery, not only for Colombia, but for the entire continent will take years, if not decades.

Still Diana and I remain positive that the global situation will slowly change to a point where you, our dear customer, once again will dare commit to international travel and join us on an unforgettable journey somewhere on the planet in 2021, maybe even at the end of 2020.

The experience will surely be different than before, not less interesting, not less comfortable, but with more focus on quality, less on quantity, more on the personal experience, less corporate. More flexible booking process, payments, travel delays, cancellations and we will go the distance to make it all come together for you. That is our renewed guarantee to you.

For a small family run business like ours to continue to exist, develop and provide our niche premium services, we totally rely on you trusting us to deliver your next GREATEST adventure.

We have been fortunate enough to see borders reopen here in Colombia and international flights resuming since the end of September. This means that we are finally receiving the first international travelers and we now have a few tours confirmed for departure in November and December, still with a few spots available.

We have also released our global tour program for 2021, as we will continue to provide guided premium tours all throughout year in Colombia and the nearby region.

If you consider doing a trip next year, please get in touch rather sooner than later and lets start talking about the options and possible concerns you might have so we can get ahead of the game.