Coronavirus Update from our CEO

person_outline Jürgen Himmelmann
Mar 16, 2020

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As we’re sure you’re all too familiar with already, the global issue of the Coronavirus pandemic is continuing to escalate with governments around the world taking drastic measures to limit people’s mobility and imposing self-quarantining policies.

I'm reaching out today to all current and future customers of Global Work & Travel about this situation, how it affects you and us, and what we’re suggesting to all customers at the current time. My name is Jürgen Himmelmann, and I’m the Co-Founder & CEO of Global.

It’s not very often I get invited to write personally, but in crazy times like this, I feel it’s a good opportunity to talk to you directly whilst my team at HQ in Australia are about to wake up to what is going to be the busiest and most unpredictable week of their careers.

I actually just flew on Friday from Australia to London via Dubai, and was amazed to see just how many people were actually still travelling too, given what the media and my newsfeed was saying. 80% of my flight was full, only 2 of 10 people in the airports were wearing face masks, and none of the actual airport or airline staff had one themselves. Here’s a photo of the airport in Dubai, full of travellers in transit to somewhere in the world.


I know, and I understand, many people are feeling a bit worried. It’s hard not to when you open social media, turn the news on, glimpse at a newspaper or tune into someone’s conversation next to you in the elevator. We’ve never experienced something like this before in our lives, so it’s ok to feel a bit anxious about it. We sent an email out last week, which we’ve converted into a blog here, outlining some hard facts about this Coronavirus, because we know the media’s main objective is to get views & clicks. We know it’s a new flu, we know some, but very few people will die from it (as all flus) and we also know that it will pass and life will return to normal. We know people want to travel and will keep on travelling, and that any border closures are going to be very temporary whilst they buy governments some time to prepare their hospitals for the eldery. We know you will travel again and keep exploring this amazing world we’re lucky to be born in.

Given many countries over the weekend have imposed 14 day self-quarantining, and others have even enforced nation-wide lockdowns for their citizens. Our current recommendation for customers due to depart on their trips for the rest of March until April 30, is to consider delaying their trips until May 1 or later in the year. We’re waiving any change fees no matter when you’re due to go and can re-book your trip to any future date, for free. We’re partnered with many airlines, and most are also offering free changes on flights. If you’d like to do so, please contact your Trip Coordinator immediately. We do not want you to feel any pressure to travel right now if you’re worried at all. If you are happy to go abroad, like most our customers are, you can feel confident knowing we’ve got your back. All our offices are open and running, and our excellent team & project partners are working extra hard to make experiences run as smoothly as possible. Most customers are actually still travelling as planned, understanding the infection rate is quite low globally and the mortality rate for someone 30 or under is less than 0.5%. We’re with you either way you choose.

If you’re yet to join Global Work & Travel, now may just be the best time in our company’s history to take the first step. Sure, right this minute people are fighting over toilet paper, but given most of our customers get things started 6-12+ months beforehand, by the time you’re ready to go this will be a thing of the past. But, because the travel industry is not having its best of years at the moment, we’re able to pass some huge savings from our trip partners & suppliers, directly onto you! We’re able to offer deals we’ve never been able to before, so we’re calling on you to support the travel industry at a time when it really needs a hug. You don’t want to be stuck at home forever when there’s so much to see and explore out there, so get in touch and find out more about where you could be heading later this or next year, when the only Corona you’ll be thinking about is the one in your hand.

We’ve been offering our Lifetime Deposit Guarantee since Day 1, so no matter when you’ve booked to go abroad, you can change it as you please. We’ve negotiated with our suppliers and partners to waive any change charges so if you’re meant to go in the next 28 days but would prefer to go a bit later, we can change it for you for free, you just let us know. Most of our trips are still running, most of our Partner Organisations are still hiring travellers, our projects are still welcoming visitors and our staff are all working, most planes are still flying and most of our customers are still living life to the max. The choice is yours more than ever before, whether to delay and go later, still go now with our 24/7 & local team support, or to join the Global Work & Travel family in a time when the travel industry could use some loving, and benefit from some amazing savings at the same time.

We’re committed to looking after the safety, health & wellbeing of our customers, staff, suppliers and partners as much as possible in this time of anxiety in world affairs. We know the world will keep turning, people will keep exploring, and very soon life will return to normal. We’re looking forward to moving forward together as a company, and hopefully with you too.

I thank you for supporting us, whether you’re a customer or newsletter subscriber. We’ll keep working to the bone to make the world more accessible, meaningful and educational to the everyday person, everywhere in the world and well into the future.


Yours sincerely,


Jürgen Himmelmann

Co-Founder & CEO


Jürgen Himmelmann

Jürgen Himmelmann

Jürgen Himmelmann is the CEO and Co-Founder of Global Work & Travel, an award-winning travel company promoting Gap Year and Ethical Volunteering opportunities. Stay up to date or be inspired with new travel inspirations by following Global on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.