The group says that Davis’ comments showed a serious lack of understanding of the need for support at this time. ‘It was frustrating to say the least, but a testament to the industry's efforts to be heard,’ the group says in a statement.
‘We were pleased to have Grant Robertson confirm that we do sit within the tourism portfolio, and additionally receive an invite to meet with Robertson, Faafoi and Davis to address any misconceptions and discuss our proposal. It is good news for our sector, and at least something good may have come from yesterday’s comments.
‘We believe that this development is recognition that the government acknowledges the need to understand more about our situation, and that they are still open to providing some assistance.’
Suppliers acknowledge progress
Robyn Galloway of the NZ Travel Suppliers group says it was pleasing to see Minister Kelvin Davis acknowledge on Wednesday that he has been commissioned to work with Minister Faafoi, to work with officials to find ways to support the travel agents and tour operators.
She says Tuesday’s comments by Davis rightfully drew a huge response from the sector. Some agents who are located in Minister Robertson's electorate called his office to request a retraction.
‘The power of one, multiplied hundreds of times creates a ripple effect. It has been critical in this campaign for the travel industry to become an election issue. National’s tourism spokesperson Todd McClay has been persistent in his questioning of Davis. ‘McClay gave his commitment to back our sector in a meeting in Wellington last week, with NZ Travel Supplier representative Joe O'Sullivan.’