BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

Dragoman shuts down for foreseeable future

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Overlanding specialist Dragoman has revealed plans to go “dormant” for the foreseeable future in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company said it was going to “sit tight” until the resumption of long-haul travel is again feasible.

All future bookings for those who have yet to travel are being refunded in full, the 27 Dragoman trucks – parked up all over the world – continue to stay off-road, and the (much longer than originally foreseen) wait for normal long-haul travel to resume continues, the company said in a statement.

Charlie Hopkinson, a director of Dragoman, explained: “This has been a very tough decision to take. 

“We thought back in 2020 that a chink of light meant we’d soon be overlanding again, albeit perhaps to countries closer to home than the norm. 

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“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.”

He added: “This means refunding our loyal customers who have yet to travel and agents worldwide, suspending our operations and closing down our HQ. 

“No new bookings will be taken until we see light at the end of the tunnel and feel confident that we can re-start our operations.”

This year saw Dragoman’s 40th anniversary of overlanding worldwide.

The company has taken 77,000 passionate travellers to myriad destinations worldwide during those 40 years – across Asia, trans Africa and trans North and South America. 

“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,” said Hopkinson.

“To those who have bookings with us, we would appreciate your patience until we contact you, please; we have only a small skeleton team working at present, and we will contact everyone in strict date order. 

“It will take time, but you will hear from us just as soon as possible. 

“Please do not try to reclaim your funds via your credit card company – this will take a great deal of time and effort on your part, and it also means that we will be unable to refund you ourselves; thank you.”

Hopkinson concluded: “This is not the end. 

“The decision to pause is to ensure that Dragoman can – and will – live on in the future.”

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