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Help to get Kiwi travellers’ cash back

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New Zealanders who have money locked up offshore due to cancelled travel plans as a result of COVID-19 are set to benefit from a new Government scheme to support the recovery of refunds and credits from overseas travels suppliers.

“We know the travel sector and their customers have taken a massive hit due to the disruption caused by COVID-19. The Government’s been working with the sector to find a way to help agents assist their customers to get back money that they are owed by travel suppliers,” says Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi.

“We will provide a consumer travel reimbursement scheme to assist the return of credits to New Zealand consumers via travel agents. The scheme will be funded to a maximum of $47.6 million.”

Travel agencies will be paid: 7.5 per cent of the value of cash refunds and five per cent of the value of credits successfully secured on behalf of consumers.

“This will mean, for example, that if an agent recoups $10,000 in a cash refund on cancelled travel, the customer gets that money back and the agent will receive $750. If it’s a credit for the $10,000 cancelled travel, the customer gets the credit and the agent receives $500.

“The travel sector and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimate around $690 million of New Zealanders’ money is locked up because of travel cancelled due to COVID-19.

“We want to get that money back for Kiwi customers and into the local economy as quickly as possible. The scheme we are announcing today will help those in the travel industry with financial support to facilitate the recovery of those funds,” says Faafoi.

“I know that travel agents and wholesalers have been working hard to recover refunds and credits owed to New Zealand consumers, but are under severe financial pressure, with many facing the prospect of insolvency.

Many of the outstanding bookings that remain stalled were complex to put in place and are complicated to unwind. That’s where the expertise of the sector is crucial to help consumers get back money tied up in stranded bookings.

“The travel reimbursement scheme will help increase the likelihood of consumers recovering refunds and credits owed to them. It will also give greater confidence to the travel industry by limiting further insolvencies.”

Faafoi says the scheme will be established as soon as practicable, with details such as eligibility to be worked through over the coming weeks.

He says the move to help retrieve New Zealand travellers’ money was in line with the range of other support the Government had offered in the wake of COVID-19, such as the Wage Subsidy Scheme.

 

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Travel Agents

Posted on 10-09-2020 16:51 | By

What if you booked the trip yourself? I’ve never understood why people pay a premium to go through an agent when everything can be done yourself online for much less cost. Now I know why. It’s so the Nanny State can reimburse those that don’t have it in them to be independent.

It's a hell of a way............

Posted on 09-09-2020 07:52 | By groutby

........to secure a few extra votes from the ’other’ side of the political spectrum, you can bet the payouts will happen shortly after the election only if the incumbent is returned. The Professor I totally agree, surely this is why insurances are available!.. Just imagine if this catches on and almost everything becomes ’government guaranteed’...it will cost all taxpayers a fortune!

Bang out of order!!

Posted on 08-09-2020 20:49 | By

Why the hell should taxpayers bail people out who could not be bothered to take out travel insurance at the time of booking!! Insurers will pay out if holidays were booked pre-COVID19. If people booked after the virus hit, then tough luck. The taxpayer should not be paying for all losses incurred by thousands of Kiwis.