First Travel Group is inviting travel agents and brokers to get a first hand demonstration of its new technology, saying its leading edge system will enable the trade to take full advantage of travel’s return.
‘We realise these are frustrating times for the sector,’ says First Travel Group’s (FTG’s) general manager retail, John Willson, ‘but we have been putting a lot of hard work into our offerings and we believe we are well positioned for the reboot of travel.
‘It’s a waiting game at the moment but we know it will come back strong – the experience in the US and UK, and soon Australia, show us that.’
First Travel Group has brought GOPASS Global’s pre-travel risk assessment technology to its national network of 47 shareholding members and across its independent network.
Through the partnership, First Travel agencies have access to accurate and up-to-date information about Covid travel impacts from 35 global data sources, in near real time, so they can plan travel safely for their customers.
First Travel Group has rebranded its consolidation unit First Fares to Express Tickets which will be available industry wide for new agencies. Express Tickets provides all fares and ticketing requirements 24/7 at competitive rates.
‘We have taken the Covid period to adapt to a changing market by providing our members with easy to use systems,’ First Travel Group CEO Malcolm MacLeod says.
Express Tickets has integrated into its operation the fares and ticketing technology, Aeronology, which FTG announced late last year. The software is expected to increase travel agent productivity with the ease of selling ancillary products at the time of booking.
First Travel Group (FTG) has launched a broker group. Independent Travel Advisors (ITA) increases FTG’s membership product and service portfolio and means ITA brokers can access First Travel’s technology and services, as well as provide an additional working model option for existing members, and new opportunities for experienced consultants outside First Travel.
First Travel Group is looking to relaunch, refresh and revitalise for 2021, says chief executive Malcolm MacLeod.
The year will see a focus on new technology, including the Odysseus booking system in conjunction with Creative Cruising New Zealand and the high-productivity air ticketing programme Aeronology. The group will also be looking to address points raised in its 2020 members satisfaction survey such as improving turnaround times on quotes and bookings, and introducing more exclusive deals.
Taiwan’s continued success in controlling Covid-19 is a reminder that New Zealand’s ‘travel bubble’ plans should not be restricted to Australia and the Pacific, a number of trade sources point out.
Paul Dymond, managing director of Wendy Wu Tours in New Zealand says the Taiwanese seem to have successfully managed Covid-19 and should soon be in a position to open borders with
The travel agency community has reasons to be optimistic about the future despite the current grim situation, according to an industry stalwart.
John Willson, general manager retail with First Travel Group says certain factors remain critical at the moment. These include an extension of the wage subsidy, a favourable response by government to the travel brand submission, and a gradual, steady opening of borders.
The Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ), with contributions and endorsements from Flight Centre, Helloworld, House of Travel and First Travel Group, has presented a submission to government on travel supplier credits – remedies and protections for travel agents and consumers.
TAANZ chief executive Andrew Olsen says the submission laid out the inherent risk in credits, supplier failure and consumers seeking refunds, and the travel agent bearing the brunt of chargebacks and collapse.
The travel industry is paying tribute to an agent who is credited with ‘opening up the world of travel and adventure’ to the Upper Hutt community.