Competing tour operators have banded together to restore confidence in school travel and mitigate financial risks to parents, students and schools for future tours.
The School Travel Collective Inc (STC) is addressing the two main questions asked by parents ask when contemplating sending their child on a school trip: Is my child going to be safe? Is my money going to be safe?
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 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.
The Cook Islands and (to a lesser extent) Australian bubbles have at least provided some green shoots in a challenging time and led to a change of attitude amongst brokers, says Steve Lee, director at NZ Travel Brokers.
A number of members have also found success in domestic travel, events and conferences – something they should not abandon when more borders open, Lee adds.
‘It’s a bit like only selling socks in a menswear shop, but at least our brokers are actually selling something instead of only handling credits and refunds.’
By Steve Lee, NZ Travel Brokers
In some circles it’s being called the ‘Great Travel Depression’ and at the end of 2020 it was estimated that Covid would have cost 197 million jobs and cost US$5.5 trillion globally.
Like the rest of the world, we’re hurting, and we’re a long way off getting back to anywhere like normal. (I use that word loosely, as ‘normal’ is pretty much extinct in our industry.)
The New Zealand Travel Brokers team has nominated supplier reps that have gone the extra mile over the past couple of challenging months.
Fiji has set out a guideline to restart tourism, utilising VIP (Vacation in Paradise) lanes, that will see arrivals from Australia and New Zealand ‘holidaying in a manner that is carefully controlled and safely insulated’.