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Travel Agents Support Safe Travel Campaign

THE TRAVEL AGENTS ASSOCIATION OF NEW ZEALAND
Web: www.taanz.org.nz

Media Release

16 June 2006

Travel Agents Support Safe Travel Campaign

Travel agents have come out strongly in support of the Safe Travel campaign launched today by Foreign Minister Winston Peters.

Travel Agents Association chief executive Paul Yeo said that travel agents accept that they have an obligation to promote 'safe travel' messages to the public.

“Travel is generally very safe, but with so much to think about when you’re planning a trip overseas it’s important that someone takes on the responsibility and reminds travellers of the risks and trouble spots that do exist out there,” Mr Yeo said.

“That’s clearly not only the responsibility of government, who are there to look after their tax paying citizens, but also the commercial entities – airlines and travel agents – who are there to look after their fare paying customers.”

“This collaboration – the Safe Travel campaign – is therefore not only a good idea but a clear necessity”

“There has been huge growth in Kiwi’s travelling overseas in recent years. In the last year we took over 1.8 million trips overseas – equivalent to almost half the country’s population taking off overseas at least once. In the last year the growth was 4 percent and the previous year it leapt a phenomenal 22 percent. By 2011 the NZ Tourism Research Council predicts that it will reach 2.1 million trips annually.”

“Numbers may be small but some of the biggest growth in percentage terms in the past year has been to non-traditional destinations such as South America (up 20 percent), Africa (other than South Africa, up 23 percent), the Middle East (up 25 percent) and India (up 18 percent) - countries and regions that we are generally less familiar with.”

“Enjoying your holiday is all about doing your research before you go. As well as doing the obvious – travel bookings - travel agents also provide expert guidance and professional advice in a range of areas including insurance and safe travel. We’ve been doing that for years but this new campaign with its website and brochure makes it much easier.”

“We were delighted when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs involved us at an early stage in helping develop the Safe Travel campaign and have recently invited us to participate in a safe travel advisory group that has been established to work with the Ministry to review the programme and assist in its further development.”

TAANZ will be encouraging travel agents to support the campaign by distributing Safe Travel brochures to travellers and directing them to the website at www.safetravel.govt.nz, Mr Yeo said.

ENDS

The Travel Agents Association of NZ was founded in 1962.
It represents 511 travel agencies throughout the country who employ 3,500 staff and undertake over $3 billion worth of travel business annually.

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