Adventure specialist Dragoman has made the ‘tough decision’ to temporarily close until ‘long-haul travel is feasible again’.
Dragoman has cancelled all current bookings and is suspending operations.
A statement on the company’s website says: “The management team at Dragoman will over the next few months be putting the organisation into full dormancy until we can see clear and permanent signs of being able to run trips again.
“This means that we will be suspending our operations and closing our HQ down for the time being. We will therefore be refunding all clients booked on future Dragoman trips and we will no longer be taking any new bookings on Dragoman trips.”
Director Charlie Hopkinson said: “We thought back in 2020 a chink of light meant we’d soon be overlanding again, albeit perhaps to countries closer to home than the norm.
“But we are now 16 months into the pandemic, and long-haul travel in the way that Dragoman has operated for the past 40 years is, sadly, unlikely to be possible in the short to medium term. We have got to batten down the hatches and to sit it out as best we can, much as we hate the idea of doing so.
“No new bookings will be taken until we see light at the end of the tunnel and feel confident that we can restart our operations. There is no alternative but to shut up shop until the world’s borders are once again open to travel.”
He added: “We are desperately sad to have to bid au revoir to everyone for now – our loyal in-house road crew and expedition leaders, engineers, reservations team and admin staff, all of whom have worked hard to keep things ticking over; our sales agents worldwide and in the UK; the many associated businesses with whom we’ve been linked, some for the full 40 years.
“And, of course, our loyal customers, many of whom have travelled with us multiple times.”
But he vowed: “This is not the end. The decision to pause is to ensure that Dragoman can – and will – live on in the future.
“Dragoman will return once the situation worldwide allows such a step. While we don’t know yet how long that will be, once things are clearer, we will be in touch with all concerned to let them know.”