Andrew Olsen, TAANZ Andrew Olsen, TAANZ

TAANZ, brands submit to govt

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.

‘We have emphasised that the travel agent has passed the money to the supplier and has completed its services to the customer; the original booking was completed and in lieu of being able to travel, an acceptable remedy in the supplier application of a credit for future use.

‘Arguing for the position of the travel agent, the submission provided a range of remedies available to government that could be adopted to ensure consumers, travel agents and airlines were protected. These include the frustrated contract argument, a government-backed pause on credit card chargeback, government purchase of credits, government backing of loss to consumers, and seeding for the re-emergence of travel and tourism.’

Olsen says the trade needs to be ‘temperate in our expectations.

‘Sending a thoroughly persuasive submission is one thing from one point of view. Understanding the government’s appetite to adopt the measures is another.

‘We have continually emphasised the importance of the travel agent sector and how important it is to the reboot of tourism in the country. We remain cautiously optimistic the government will hear us and work with us.’

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