March 23, 2020

Hotel Contracts Leave Little Wiggle Room for Passover Operators, Vacationers

London…According to travel expert Raphi Bloom, operators of Passover programs are only now realizing the limitations of their contracts with some of the most prized hotel properties in the world. The iron-clad guarantee for hotel room nights, says Mr. Bloom, leaves no loopholes and does not ever mention unusual circumstances such as the world is facing these days with the Corona pandemic. Worse, says Bloom, patrons are totally unforgiving even while recognizing that several of the operators face economic ruin. Two young entrepreneurs had already invested in a huge deposit for a luxury hotel, bought new dishes and flatware, spent a large amount on marketing and so forth and are staring at bankruptcy, Bloom recounted. “It’s hard to have patrons understand when they too invested money into a Passover program.”

Bloom Continues: “Running a Passover program takes 8-9 months to plan and involves a huge investment in equipment, food, entertainment, staff, marketing and logistics. For example - shipping kosher for Passover food to a small Greek island for 400 people, along with kitchen equipment and crockery is not a cheap task. In addition, Passover programs often have to pay the hotels in stages over several months with the final large payment being made 6 to 8 weeks BEFORE Pesach. While they know they will not get any refund for their time and for money spent purchasing equipment, paying workers, sales and advertising, many of the program operators are still struggling and negotiating with the hotels to get a refund for their own deposits.”

Bloom concludes: “This needs to be considered against the very real possibility that many Passover programs are at very real risk of losing everything. In some cases, this can be businesses that have been built over many, many years. For others in their first year it can mean being saddled with debt of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. This can destroy the families who run Passover programs and have a devastating effect on their lives forever. We ask customers to please consider this when judging Passover programs.”