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Inbound tour operators have been specifically recognised at TRENZ Hui in Christchurch as part of the Tourism Communities Plan.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash says $14 million in existing loans from the 2020 Tourism Recovery Package will be able to be converted to grants for the sector. This means 26 ITOs may receive up to $500,000 each.
‘Inbound tour operators (ITOs) provide a vital link to global markets and need to be ready to facilitate the return of international visitors when it is safe to do so,’ says Nash
The tourism and travel sectors need to re-look at what ‘value’ really means and how it is defined, according to a panelist at the TRENZ Hui last week.
Strategist and researcher Carolyn Childs, who attended from Australia, says that when she came through the airport she noticed two people who ‘you literally couldn’t detach’.
‘They were hugging and crying. We need to think about that sort of thing when we consider value.’
The key to successfully restarting and growing trans-Tasman travel is to ensure that the standards expected by guests are met – and that there are contingency plans around health and safety challenges, says Melbourne based Peter Harding, managing director of Grand Pacific Tours.
Speaking at the TRENZ Hui in Christchurch late last week, Harding told delegates that getting people to travel with confidence, particularly in a group tour context, came down to not restarting too soon.
‘We’ve all got challenges when it comes to rebuilding and it is important to understand where everyone is at right now. We don’t want to give people an inferior experience.’