Hot Off The Press
After 12 years with the company and the past nine years as chief executive officer of House of Travel New Zealand, Mark O’Donnell (MOD) has announced he will be standing down from his CEO role in December. MOD is relocating with his wife to the Hawke's Bay and taking up a CEO role with a local company.
The 2020-21 New Zealand cruise season continues to look grim, with about 40% of port calls in the country cancelled so far, according to NZ Cruise Association figures.
At the same time the number of expected cruise guests in the country over summer has already reduced by nearly 150,000 from the expected 384,000 plus.
Two travel industry stalwarts have launched what they describe as an ‘agent-centric’ domestic wholesaler. New Zealand 4 Discovery has been created by Mike Geary, formerly of GO Holidays and House of Travel; and Francis Mortimer, previously with Air New Zealand.
More recently, the two have run their own travel businesses – Geary in hotel representation across the South Pacific and Mortimer wholesaling inbound travel from the French markets.
In light of Covid-19 they have used their resources in distribution and product to create opportunities for retail travel agencies and brokers to offer new travel options for their clients. ‘We’re not just rolling out the same old holiday packages on the so called golden route,’ says Geary. While they will offer short breaks in traditional centres, the pair will also highlight out of the ordinary experiences in places like the West Coast, Catlins, and Stewart Island plus new product like the Manea Footprints project in the Hokianga.
‘The website is deigned with the agent in mind,’ says Mortimer, ‘and this includes itinerary sggestions and destinational sheets with our favourite places to stay and things to do.
‘All products are fully commissionable,’ he adds. email@example.com
The Government will provide a consumer travel reimbursement scheme to assist the return of credits and refunds to New Zealand consumers via travel agents. In an announcement today, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says the scheme will be funded to a maximum of $47.6 million.
Travel agencies will be paid 7.5% of the value of cash refunds and 5% of the value of credits successfully secured on behalf of customers.
Despite QF’s ultra-long haul flights, dubbed Project Sunrise, currently being shelved, Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce predicts that when borders open it will be the type of service to resonate even more with passengers.
‘There is likely to be a stronger business case for flights like Sydney / Melbourne to London or New York, without the necessity to stop anywhere on the way.’
Flight Centre Travel Group NZ currently has a greater emphasis on the short to medium term than the longer term vision – something that is unusual for the group, says managing director David Colombes.
The group has just released a case study entitled Our Business Journey Through Covid-19. In his summary, Coombes says ‘it is important to accept what we can’t influence and control, and focus on what we can, which is more restricted than ever before.