A new refundable bookings system introduced to support New Zealand’s strained tourism sector has seen unprecedented uptake in its first week on the market.
Since launching on Monday, May 17, almost 20 per cent of eligible travellers have chosen to upgrade their bookings to be fully refundable.
This has been made possible through landmark initiative introduced by tourism marketing company, Tomahawk.
Tomahawk has partnered with the administrators of the service, UK-based Protect Group, to offer accommodation providers and the public protection from financial losses when travel plans are disrupted through enhanced cancellation guarantees. Under the upgraded booking terms, guests receive a refund if they can’t proceed with their plans while accommodation providers retain any payments already made.
At a time when cancelled bookings and changing travel plans have become commonplace, the initiative is touted as a ‘win-win’ for both accommodation providers and their guests.
The Refundable Bookings initiative has been seamlessly integrated with ResBook, New Zealand’s first booking engine, which is owned by Auckland-based Tomahawk. It became available to existing ResBook customers this week as one of the first in a series of exciting new developments road-mapped for release in 2021.
ResBook CEO John Hayson says the idea was the result of a deep dive into how travel has changed since the emergence of COVID-19, and how more support could be offered.
“One issue that keeps coming up is that of uncertainty… Uncertainty from accommodation providers when it comes to cashflow and capacity and uncertainty from travellers as to whether their plans would change for reasons outside of their control,” says John.
“Refundable bookings were introduced to minimise the financial risk for all parties and to help give travellers the confidence to start booking holidays again.”
All new features to be integrated with ResBook in 2021 have a focus on financial sustainability and assisting accommodation providers and vacation rental managers to become more profitable.
For more information, visit: www.resbook.com