At Encore, we take the welfare of each and every participant on our tours very seriously. Just as we work tirelessly to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences to group leaders and their ensembles, we are equally committed to ensuring that all of our travelers return home safely. Our safety and support infrastructure has been a cornerstone of our business for nearly thirty years.
We’re now preparing extra safety measures throughout the on-tour process to ensure our groups are protected when we begin to hit the road again in the months ahead. This new approach to travel is based on the best expert information currently available. As conditions change, we will follow the science and adjust our response accordingly.
Travelers can take the first step in protecting themselves and their group by getting vaccinated. This will also ensure that they can fully participate in all of the activities planned on the itinerary.
Visit Encore's Our Response page to see how we have added flexibility to our pre-departure policies as well.
We are reviewing all of our tour itineraries to see where we can incorporate a heightened focus on well-being from the beginning. Safety and security have always been a hallmark of traveling with Encore, and with the introduction of new travel protocols for 2021 and 2022 groups, that focus will be even sharper in the year ahead. We’re also adjusting our use of different modes of transportation, the types of activities we offer, and the times of day at which we offer them, all with our participants’ safety in mind.
To maximize safety, we’re also reducing unnecessary interactions in the day. For example, room allocations will be completed while en route so that travelers will be able to go directly to their rooms upon arrival at a hotel. We will do everything in our power so that you can feel more assured when you tuck yourself in for the night.
We will adhere to the use of face masks, hand sanitizer (which we will provide) and physical distancing on all our tours. These moves follow the advice of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control, along with local input from our worldwide offices and partners in every destination to which we travel to ensure we’re up to date and compliant on each destination’s guidelines regarding hygiene.
As a member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), we are also participating in USTOA’s TourCare program. TourCare Guidelines provide direction tour operators across all touchpoints of a trip – staff, suppliers, and passengers – to ensure that health and sanitization protections are in place for each stakeholder and the communities visited.
Encore Tour Managers are travel experts and will take you on an unforgettable journey. They’re highly educated and passionate about music, culture, and travel. They’re also highly trained on handling any type of situation on tour and will have a major role to play in fulfilling safety promises made to our travelers.
Our veteran tour managers have been closely involved in developing our enhanced safety protocols and our full tour manager team will receive comprehensive training on these new health and safety steps in advance of our next travel season.
All Encore participants are enrolled in an international protection plan that will provide needed care should someone fall ill. In the event participants become sick and/or are quarantined, Encore will work with local and international authorities to get them home as quickly as possible. If housing is not provided, Encore will secure accommodations. We will also buy new return airline tickets, if necessary. If a minor is ill or quarantined on tour, Encore will arrange for flights and a hotel for a parent to be present for the full duration of the quarantine as well.
We put considerable time into choosing industry partners that uphold and represent the Encore quality standard. We’ve been speaking to all our partners to ensure they’re following the same hygiene protocols we have set in place.
Our airline partners are sanitizing their cabins before each flight, requiring the use of masks, physical distancing when necessary and using disposable paper products among their precautionary measures.
Our hotel partners are using similar tactics: sanitizing rooms before and after each use, limiting guests in their lobby/public spaces and removing common high-touch items from hotel rooms.
Our restaurant partners are limiting their capacities and sanitizing between each guest. Servers practice extra caution and many locations are using paper menus and other creative methods to ensure your safety.
We monitor all safety-related events, making proactive decisions to optimize security.
Encore/ACIS offices in London, Paris, Madrid and Rome and our affiliate partner offices in other major destination cities ensure that we have on-the-ground support when it is needed.
Our 24-hour Duty Officer system operates seven days a week in the U.S. and overseas to deal with any emergency quickly and professionally.
Top-quality Encore Tour Managers work in tandem with group leaders throughout each trip. They discuss security measures during each group’s arrival briefing and have access to Encore’s 24-hour Duty Officer system.
Group leaders receive safety-related information and a card with emergency contact numbers prior to departure. For youth and student trips, group leaders establish guidelines for free time activities, keep track of participants’ whereabouts, and provide overall adult supervision.
All participants are enrolled in an international medical insurance plan coordinated by AXA, our round-the-clock, 365-day travel assistance provider.
Encore is a division of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), an industry leader that has organized quality international educational experiences for over 1 million students in its 50+ year history.
Encore/ACIS carries $50 million in general liability insurance that covers school districts and teachers on our tours, as well as a $1 million indemnity bond with the United States Tour Operators Association.
All travelers are offered a re-routed itinerary at no charge that takes effect in the event that the https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/ issues an official Travel Warning following a terrorist attack against US interests or other threat in a country to be visited on an upcoming trip.
The safety of Encore travelers is our paramount concern. Encore follows the recommendations of the US State Department regarding overseas travel. We receive daily updates and rely on government guidelines to help us make decisions concerning the safety of our travelers. In addition, we comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding any issues affecting public health.