The Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) has announced that Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has accepted an offer to join the organisation for the first time.
The decision comes following months of lobbying efforts by TAANZ to gain more government support for agents in the wake of COVID-19.
“There is now an extremely urgent need to deliver a strong and proactive leadership position on behalf of the New Zealand travel industry as one voice,” TAANZ president Brent Thomas said.
“To do that, we need all of NZ’s biggest players on board.
“We’re excited to welcome FCTG to join forces as a full member of TAANZ, recognising its significant role and well-earned reputation and influence on the marketplace.
“Much goodwill was established during the gruelling Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme process, achieved only with all major parties participating. We’re looking forward to building on that relationship to create further opportunities for our sector.”
To make the partnership viable for FCTG, the association has made necessary adjustments to accommodate its business model for membership purposes. Collectively, TAANZ and FCTG have agreed to fund $100,000 with the sole focus to support an industry lobbying effort.
David Coombes, managing director of Flight Centre NZ, said: “Our primary goal in joining is to ensure our sector can speak with one, consistent voice as lobbying efforts continue.
“Additionally, TAANZ and FCTG are aligned on the fact that the association requires reform in light of COVID-19. By being a constructive member, we can effectively contribute to that change in line with our aligned objectives.
“TAANZ has been flexible to our requirements, and we’re pleased to be officially joining forces to create a strong team as we move forward in this climate”.
FCTG will continue to bond via the International Air Transport Association, and TAANZ has appointed Coombes and Victoria Courtney (general manager of product) to its board.
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