While New Zealanders have heard quite a bit about large travel booking websites and retail chains, there’s also been many smaller operators who have been equally affected by COVID-19.
Janine Mallon, owner and operator of The Travel Brokers – Tasty Tours Team, says despite nearly 15 months of living and operating in a world without global travel, operators are beginning to feel excited about turning a corner on the journey towards a world that is again able to travel for international holidays.
"It’s also really rewarding booking people who want to reunite with their families," Mallon says.
She suggests now is the time for those who want to experience somewhere new, or perhaps take their first holiday in some time, to take a look at the deals they have on offer.
"We highly recommend one of the fantastic Globus and Cosmos tour packages we have on offer for travel in the second half of this year to Tasmania, the Red Centre, Northern Territory or The Great Ocean Road and South Australia with plenty more on offer to Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia also," Mallon says.
"Tasmania is running red hot at the moment with the recent launch of Air New Zealand’s direct flights from Auckland to Hobart return. From personal experience, this is a destination which will wow you! Whether you’re into great beer, wine and food; nature, or cultural heritage.
"Perhaps you’re looking for an active adventure or a relaxing and refreshing holiday break. Whatever the focus of your experience, Tassie has something perfect on offer to suit you," she says.
In August, The Travel Brokers – Tasty Tours Team will be celebrating 11 years in business. Owner-operator Janine started out in the travel industry in Dunedin almost 20 years ago and has both managed and opened various stores throughout the Otago region for different travel brands.
"In 2010 I decided to start my own business working as a home-based travel broker and around six years ago, had become so busy I began hiring employees to enable the business to keep growing," she said.
Mallon says her business model enables the team to dedicate time to their customers and pay attention to every aspect of their journey, to ensure every detail is taken care of.
"We spend time researching and customising itineraries, tailored to suit each individual customer and their travelling companions," Mallon says.
"The philosophy of this business is to assist customers with all of the nitty gritty details which a street-front agency may not have time to help them with. This includes handling of Airpoints, pre-seating, baggage and not to mention most importantly right now, with Covid flexibility and health and safety protocols. Everything to get them away on their holiday and safely back home again."
If you are keen to travel but would like to talk with someone about it first, Mallon says she and her team will be happy to go through any queries or concerns potential customers might have.
"We’re here every step of the way to help our customers, including many we have repatriated or booked to reunite with family and friends overseas. No itinerary is too big or small for us whether domestic, a holiday to the Cook Islands or Australia."
"We’ve kept our team together right throughout Covid and have maintained our high level of service with a vested interest in looking after our existing customers, handling their credits and refunds, whilst looking to the future and helping people plan their holidays."
"We are here to help whenever people feel comfortable and ready to travel and look forward to planning their next, well-earned and enjoyable holiday," Mallon says.
She said it’s important travellers are confident about the booking flexibility policies, plus health and safety protocols in place to protect them on their holiday.
There are a number of boxes which need to be ticked according to which parts of Australia you’re travelling to including online health declarations and Covid tracer App downloads and the team will ensure you have all of the required information you need.
One final tip from Mallon that will make sure you get away on that holiday you deserve:
"Make sure to check the expiry date on your passport, and update it if required," she says.
This article is created for The Travel Brokers – Tasty Tours Team