Here we are, the travel agency community, on the doorsteps of Christmas having weathered 21 months of the worst crisis ever to hit the industry. Travel Agents and Brokers have worked tirelessly on behalf of the New Zealand consumer to manage bookings through the nightmare of Covid. Changes in supplier conditions, border openings and then their subsequent closing have all been dealt with the customer centric focus the industry is renowned for.
Then Christmas was stolen for the travel agent and broker community. Not by the pandemic, not by the Government but, without even the respect of any consultation, by our single largest supplier and partner. A partner who the travel agency and broker community have whole-
Now is the time for agents to reconsider whether they are an agency or a consultancy business.
Air New Zealand announced last week that point-of-sale commission levels are reducing from 5% to 1% for long haul routes and 3% to 0% for short haul routes. This will have an immediate effect on travel agents’ and consultants’ business income. Now you have no choice but to take control of your own business profits.
The Travel Agents' Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) says agents will feel let down by the national carrier's announcement that it is reducing front end commissions next year.
The airline advised brand heads and TAANZ yesterday that from 1 July 2022 it is adjusting current New Zealand point of sale commission levels from 5% to 1% for long haul routes and 3% to 0% for short haul routes.
While technology will obviously have a key role in alleviating stress points at airports in other parts of overseas journeys, the travel trade globally will also be drawn upon to make sure clients are properly prepared.
This was made clear during a Tourism Industry Aotearoa summit yesterday, where Matteo Zanarini, area manager South Pacific for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that changing requirements, rules and checks could extend customs clearance to 5.5 hours. That is if travel numbers reached even 75% of pre-Covid levels.
The New Zealand Government has reneged on a promise that it would reopen borders and reconnect to the world in the first quarter of 2022 on the condition that the country’s population was 90% fully vaccinated, says the chair of the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ).
Scott Mehrtens who is also managing director of Leisure Time Travel, says this week’s announcement around borders was really just a tinkering of the MIQ situation for returning New Zealanders.
The travel trade and clients have responded with enthusiasm to the Cook Islands Government’s announcement that two-way quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands will resume on 14 January 2022 (NZ time).
However, wholesalers and agents say they are now keenly waiting for more information on border openings in Q1 2022.
As it stands, the Cook Islands will be the only international destination that people in New Zealand can travel to and from for a holiday, without any quarantine or isolation.
Air New Zealand will trial the digital Travel Pass app developed by International Air Transport Association (IATA) on its Auckland-Sydney route in April. The carrier's chief digital officer Jennifer Sepull says the goal is to enable customers to seamlessly manage their digital travel documentation throughout their travel experience.
Air New Zealand’s chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace has resigned from the airline.
He will step away from Air New Zealand on 30 September and will provide consultancy support to CEO Greg Foran until the end of 2020. Wallace has been with Air New Zealand for 19 years and has held a variety of senior and executive roles.
In a sign of the Covid-19 times, travel industry people are catching up with friends and colleagues as they head off to new adventures – hopefully to return to the sector in the not too distant future.
Pacific specialist Rebecca Goodin has moved on from Flight Centre and picked up a new job. She was joined for a casual goodbye at the Sweat Shop Brew Bar in Auckland last Friday.