Airlines appear to be overselling flights and blaming travel agents when passengers are bumped, according to the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ).
The probability that the travel industry will continue to thrive through 2023 may attract people back to the industry and help alleviate the staff shortage as the year goes on, says Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) president Brent Thomas.
Signs are growing that a number of sectors, including real estate, will be in for a tough year but continuing pent up demand and increased capacity means travel retailers are likely to avoid the worst impacts of economic slow-downs.
Now is the time to really drive home the value message of dealing with a Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) accredited agent – especially when it comes to the protection of their money, says the organisation’s chief executive officer Greg Hamilton.
The Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) is noting some positive movement in terms of increasing staff numbers on the front line, despite human resources still being a major challenge for the industry.
Chief executive Greg Hamilton says he is hearing from a number of members who have done well at attracting people back and employing new staff.
A ‘charter’ or template around the protection of consumer funds and a ‘plain English’ list of frequently asked questions and answers are both possible outcomes of the second Travel Partners Forum involving The Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) and suppliers to the industry.
Greg Hamilton, chief executive officer of TAANZ, noted that at the first such meeting early this year, participants were concerned about consumer confidence around getting back on planes and travelling again.
Developing a public relations and marketing strategy around attracting new people into the industry is a major priority for the Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand, says chief executive officer Greg Hamilton.
‘We will be going out to engage with members about what they need on this front,’ says Hamilton.
‘Presuming members will not be able to replace all the gaps with experienced people, what skill sets do new people need and what does the training for that look like?
The industry is having to cope with rapid growth in volume on as little as 25% of the pre-Covid workforce, says new Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) CEO Greg Hamilton.
‘In every agency and head-office I have visited in my first week, I have seen empty desks waiting to be filled again.’
Collaboration and confidence were the two key words at the hybrid TAANZ (Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand) Partner Forum early February.
The event attracted some 30 members of New Zealand’s travel retail and supplier community to a face to face workshop at Flight Centre head office in Vincent Street, while another dozen attendees beamed in on-line.
The travel and tourism sectors have greeted the Government’s five step opening plan with enthusiasm, with TAANZ president Brent Thomas saying this is the first time since March 2020 that the message has clearly been ‘the borders are open’.
However they have also pinpointed major ongoing challenges, particualrly the self isolation requirement. (See separate story this page)
The Board of Airline Representatives (BARNZ) says self-isolation requirements need to go as soon as possible, or some airlines will cut New Zealand from their routes for a third summer in a row.
‘The airlines have told me they want to fly here, but they need to know New Zealand is open to business. Leisure and business travellers will not come if they have to self-isolate for days – it’s a market killer,’ says Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of BARNZ.