The tourism industry worldwide has been drastically affected by the evolving COVID-19 situation, and the timeline for our industry to return to some sort of normality is unknown.
On Saturday 14 March 2020, Grand Pacific Tours took immediate action after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the enforcement of strict border control measures. Advice swiftly followed from our Government demanding all Australian travellers return home as border closures here were also imminent and airlines began drastically reducing schedules or suspending services.
We are experiencing unprecedented times and our business models need to adapt accordingly. I would like to take this opportunity to outline to the industry what you can expect from the loyal and passionate team at Grand Pacific Tours (GPT).
As per Government recommendation and for the health and safety of our staff, from Monday 30 March the business will be run remotely until the COVID-19 situation eases.
Business hours will be 8.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday (AEDT).
Whilst our main phone line 1800 622 768 will still be manned, you can also email requests to:
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will call you or respond to your enquiry.
• Email email@example.com and one of the team will call you or respond to your enquiry.
• Due to the current market conditions, at this time our Business Development Managers will not be on the road visiting agents and will be working on reduced hours, until further notice.
Twenty-one groups were on the road touring New Zealand during the period where travellers were advised to return home with a sense of urgency. Some tours ran through to completion as they were in their final days; others unfortunately were cut short and alternative arrangements were made to get everyone home at the first possible opportunity.
I am very proud of the team at GPT for the extraordinary efforts they put in around the clock to facilitate the return of just under 700 travellers in a matter of days.
Our Product and Operations team are now working on the reconciliation of these tours and assessing any refund for the unused portion of the tours, minus third party supplier fees. Each tour will differ and once the reconciliation is complete, we will be in touch with each travel agent to discuss and remit any refunds due. Please bear with us as we work through this process.
From the period of 17 March to 31 May 2020 we had 50 tours scheduled to travel and we are extremely disappointed that the COVID-19 situation, enforced Government restrictions and heavily reduced airline schedules will not allow us to run the tours as normal.
Your client funds are 100% secure as Grand Pacific Tours run a Trust Account holding client’s monies until tour payments are settled. All tours are prepaid to the New Zealand hotels and attractions.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FOR THE FUTURE?
On 1 April this year, Grand Pacific Tours celebrates 24 years of New Zealand Coach Touring. As a family owned and operated company, I am very proud of the strong brand we have built and the exceptional quality of product we deliver.
On our first tour in 1996 we had four people travel, today we are regarded as the market leader for New Zealand Coach Holidays and now have thousands tour with us each season, many are repeat travellers.
Once this period of uncertainty passes, we are very confident that as a destination New Zealand will continue to be a key destination . . . and we will be here waiting to assist you!
Thank you for your support and loyalty.
Peter HardingManaging Director
Grand Pacific Tours