Mehrtens says Leisure Time Tours has always had a domestic component to its business but in the current situation that has been enhanced even further to offer experiences that many Kiwis (trade and their clients) may not even realise existed.
‘We have 25 inbound consultants who are now domestic consultants. We’re set up and we’re ready to trade,’ he adds. ‘For the last few weeks we have appreciated that the first cab off the rank will be domestic, so we have tasked our team to create more packages and products for this market.’
He says while many people may know the company for its coach tour offerings, Leisure Time Tours is also proficient in FIT, special interest and tailor made product.
Mehrtens says it is important that New Zealanders realise the stay local, buy local message applies not only to tangible products but also to the service industry – travel agents included.
‘People need to think around their purchasing decisions. Sure they can jump online and get a special through an anonymous search engine with all the money going offshore.
‘But if they purchase through a local agent they are getting extra service, knowledge and back up if anything goes wrong. And by supporting the agent, they are also supporting the agency staff, which in turn keeps people employed and able to spend in the community. We want everyone to come out of this with as little damage as possible.’