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Want a holiday without the scary bill at the end?

NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release
Sunday 1 November 2009

Want a holiday without the scary bill at the end? ‘Layby’ it!

New Zealanders now have a new way to pay for a holiday - without getting into debt or racking up credit card bills - using a fixed price payment system, similar to the ‘layby’ way of paying for goods.

It’s a recession-friendly trend that’s already gained a large following in Australia and the United States, and now it’s arrived in New Zealand, courtesy of new online travel company LayAway Holidays.

New Zealand’s first full service online layby travel agency, Layaway Holidays, allows travellers to book a complete holiday package online and pay it off at a pace that suits their budget. When it’s paid off, they can fly away and enjoy it – debt-free, interest-free and guilt-free.

LayAway Holidays founder Aaron Panapa says he was inspired to set up the model after a discussion about annual holidays with a friend.

“I asked my friend if he was going on holiday this year and his reply was “no - I don’t want to overload the plastic and with this recession, we can’t really justify paying cash”,” says Mr Panapa.

“This was the first of many discussions on the subject and further research revealed that many other wishful Kiwi travellers were feeling the same way. People wanted to travel, but didn’t want to pay large sums of money up front and the global credit crunch meant there was overall a general wariness of amassing debt on credit cards or using finance companies.”

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And so LayAway Holidays was born.

“With LayAways,” Mr Panapa adds, “New Zealanders can take a holiday without resorting to credit and contributing to the factors that caused the economic crisis in the first place. Travel and holidays are important to most Kiwis, and LayAway makes it simple to budget for a great holiday by putting aside just a few dollars a day.”

“Layby has long been a trusted and sensible method of paying for a huge range of consumer goods, from jeans to televisions, so it makes sense to extend that to holidays. It probably lost favour in the credit-card era of instant gratification, but those days are giving way to a new cautiousness that lends itself to this type of model. It’s old-fashioned but it makes perfect sense, especially in this climate.”

The process is completely safe. LayAway Holidays is bonded by the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ), which means consumer funds are held in trust in a TAANZ bonded account before being passed onto the travel supplier. Clients choose a payment plan that spans anywhere from three to 18 months, depending on their needs, and set up regular instalments. The online payment system operates under stringent, state-of-the-art security and encryption, through well-known online debit company, Debit Success.

Chief Executive of TAANZ Paul Yeo says “We’re pleased to welcome Layaways Holidays to our local travel industry – as New Zealand’s first full service online layby travel company. We’re looking forward to seeing many more New Zealanders planning for an annual holiday.”

LayAway Holidays is supported by Mondo Travel, most major airlines, global cruise companies and resorts. The company will launch with a range of resort and cruise packages to favourite destinations for Kiwis, including Australia, the South Pacific and beyond.

Ends

The New Zealand Travel Industry says:

“From the onset we were thrilled to be part of this revolutionary travel concept....Layaway Holidays will allow more Kiwis to travel debt and stress free, something our industry has been seeking for a very long time! Welcome to the future of travel.”

Tony Page

Manager / Director

Mondo Takapuna

“LayAway Holidays is a new concept for Kiwis to consider for their holiday arrangements and a great idea for those people that like the pay off before you go concept. It allows for clients to budget carefully whilst opening the entire globe up to every Kiwi to get them to their dream destination. “

Gordon Bayne

National Sales Manager

Mondo Travel

“Layaway Holidays are providing a way for Kiwi’s to not only plan what they are going to do for their holidays but plan how they are going to pay for them. Cruise World sees this as a great opportunity to open up the world of cruising to many more New Zealanders.”

Donal O’Sullivan

Managing Director

Cruise World & Canada Traveller


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