Reply To: Hi Travel & Business Experts!I have a boutique travel agency in Australia and expanded into New Zealand about 8 months ago – I am based in New Zealand. Due to the nature of COVID-19, I have lost all business (income) until at least December 2020. I still have a few inquiries coming through for next year, but certainly not at capacity of what I am used to.. My people (Clients) are uncertain about future travel at this time because of the issues that have come up with cancellation terms and conditions through airlines/suppliers, time-due of refunds, which for most of my AU database, is upwards of 9 months, and with these changing every day, and insurance not covering, they are not confident in placing funds down.. What I am thinking of doing, is posting some ‘pre-registration’ options for some holidays for 2021. I am thinking of basing these packages on the usual travel spots, inc; Bali, Fiji, New Zealand. I am then thinking of contacting Intrepid / Scenic / Royal, to start working on some deals for next year. I was just wondering if anyone can please advise me on the best way to do this and if I even should do it? How should I notify my people of these awesome 2021 programs I can create? How much do I charge for a ‘pre-reg’ deposit – to ensure a financial commitment? What should my rules around this be?Any assistance here would be greatly appreciated. I am trying my best to stay positive, but with all income down the drain, I am just as nervous as my clients are around where the industry is heading.. Thanks in advance, Soleil

Some excellent advice from Andy, Leslie and Glenn, and to reiterate the point about using this time to inspire and not sell yet.. too early and risky for you.. and them. Time to stay in engaged with past customers, look at what domestic opportunists there are as well as cross Tasman as I think this will be the first market to open up again..

Following on from Glenn’s great thinking about domestic.. Family travel is not something I believe has not been focused on or well thought out in this part of the world.. Maybe this lock down has brought families closer together and made people slow down and realise what is really important to them. Maybe multi generational travel will become a thing in Australasia like it has in parts of Asia and Europe…? It is a challenge as we tend to have a “we can do domestic travel ourselves” mindset.. Think why we used to travel to places like Fiji and Bali and see if the same deep down wants and needs can be delivered in different destinations locally, potentially at great prices in the short term.
Think differently and best of luck!