2021/22 Touring Season
Travel Update

Kia ora,

Since March 2020, the tourism industry has been adversely affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday 19 April 2021, New Zealand opened its borders to Australia for ‘’green zone’’ quarantine free travel.   Whilst the opening was a fabulous step forward in terms of optimism, in the early stages we continue to be challenged in Australia with various state border closures due to COVID-19 outbreaks, that in turn result in a pause of quarantine free travel across the Tasman.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced on Friday 23 July 2021 a snap closure of the Trans-Tasman border for an 8-week period, and then further assessment will be made late September.  Based on the current COVID-19 situation in Sydney, it is highly likely this could influence the re-opening of the Trans-Tasman borders when the time comes for reassessment.

The Australia-wide closure of the Trans-Tasman border has come at a very crucial time with our planned commencement of touring in September. Whilst the September Tours will definitely not be able to travel due to closed borders, the unknown timeframe of the border re-opening will greatly impede our decision making to forecast if tours for the remaining key travel months of October to December would be able continue as normal or also need to be suspended. Our contracts with our suppliers in New Zealand to cancel tours without penalty is 60 days prior to commencement.

Due to the unknown timeframe of our ability to confidently restart touring, we have made the very difficult decision to suspend all tours in the first half of the touring season from 01 September 2021 to 31 December 2021 inclusive.   Touring will now recommence in January 2022.

We would like to take this opportunity to outline specifics pertaining to our selection of departure dates and the revised COVID-19 Disclaimer that forms part of the Booking Terms and Conditions for travel.

Download Document: 

2021/22 TOURING SEASON TRAVEL UPDATE

SCHEDULED DEPARTURE DATES

Scheduled Departures
01 September 2021 – 31 December 2021 (now suspended).

 

  • All tours will be suspended for the travel period 01 September 2021 to 31 December 2021. This situation is COVID-19 related, beyond our control and we apologise for the inconvenience caused.
     
  • Travellers can move to a future travel date within the second half of the current touring season - 01 January 2022  to 31 May 2022; alternatively choose a date for travel next season - 01 September 2022 to 31 May 2023. Based on selecting the same seasonality and tour type, the new date will be confirmed at the same cost. This is based on land only bookings, airline inclusive packages may incur additional charges determined by the airline.
     
  • At the time of making the new booking, if a traveller moves from a discounted shoulder season date to a high season travel date, additional monies may be required. If the situation is reversed and the move is from high season to a discounted shoulder season date, a refund will be provided.   
     
  • The current file can be put into a suspense file as a future travel credit, until travellers choose a new departure date.
     
  • If travellers wish to cancel completely, Travel Agents should contact the GPT Reservations Team for an outline of the cancellation Terms and Conditions.
     

Scheduled Departures
01 January 2022 – 31 May 2022

 

  • GPT has been highly regarded for the promotion of ‘guaranteed departure dates’ for 25 years. In the current COVID-19 travel climate, circumstances beyond our control could still affect the running of individual tours, including Australian state and Trans-Tasman border closures and their impact on required minimum numbers to operate. 

    Download the list of tour departure dates for this period.
     
  • If travellers are ‘holding’ seats on a tour no longer scheduled to travel, the GPT Reservations Team will be in touch, via the travel agent, to offer travellers the best alternative guaranteed departure.
     
  • The GPT Reservations team will be in touch with each travel agent to convert all ON HOLD bookings to CONFIRMED and an invoice will be distributed requiring the standard tour deposit to be paid within 7 days.    If monies are already on file, a Booking Confirmation will be issued showcasing the change of status.

    At this point, any cancellation not specifically related to COVID-19, standard cancellation conditions will apply.  Please visit https://www.grandpacifictours.com/terms-and-conditions to review our cancellation policy.
     
  • GPT want all customers to ‘Book and Travel with Confidence’, hence if a traveller wishes to move tour dates, based on the land only tour price of the same tour type, this can be done free of charge up until 75 days prior to the current travel booking.  If travellers wish to upgrade their style of tour, the differential will be quoted at time of rebooking.  A new departure date can be selected on any tour through to 31 May 2023.  If transferring an airfare inclusive booking, additional charges determined by the airline may apply, please contact the GPT Reservations team to discuss.

FUTURE TRAVEL CREDIT - SUSPENSE FILES

Many suspended travellers from the previous season/s have elected to put their file in ‘’credit’’ until a new date selection has been made.

The above terms and conditions will apply once a suspense file traveller uses the travel credit to place a new booking on a guaranteed departure date.

Travellers can hold monies in suspense at this stage until 30 June 2022, unless holding airline tickets with specific rebooking criteria.

Future travel credit can be used on departures from September 2021 through to 31 May 2023.
The 2022/2023 season dates will be launched mid-August and available on our website or Travel Agent portal (www.gptnzNOW.com).

AIRLINE TRAVEL

New tour bookings taken for the 2021/2022 touring season have been booked as ‘land only’ and the travel agent is responsible for the flight arrangements.  

For tour bookings suspended from March 2020 onwards, that were booked with GPT as an ‘airline inclusive package’, terms and conditions for the use of airline credits will vary depending on the airline. The GPT Reservations Team will communicate the relevant terms and conditions at the time of finalising new flights.  Any airfare price difference, increased tax costs or associated reissue fees quoted by the airline at the time of rebooking will be the responsibility of the traveller.

GET READY TO TRAVEL!

The below is valid at the time of publishing, however, all travellers are recommended to visit www.COVID19.govt.nz  for the most current and extensive information on quarantine free travel to New Zealand. Important updates include entry criteria, mandatory travel and health declarations, full vaccination requirements, use of face masks, visa requirements etc.

Travel Declaration – travellers must complete an online travel declaration before departing Australia. This declaration mainly asks about individual travel plans and contact details.  

Please also review the Australian COVID-19 government website www.australia.gov.au that outlines State by State requirements for completion of re-entry forms.  

All travellers from quarantine-free flights will be taken through a green zone at the arrival airport. There will be no contact with anyone who is arriving from other parts of the world and who are going into managed isolation and quarantine. The airlines will be utilising crew who have not flown on any high-risk routes for a set period of time.

At the time of print, travellers are required to be fully vaccinated from 01 February 2022 onwards plus any required negative pre-departure test result and approved documentation to enter New Zealand. If you have a COVID-19 vaccination, you still need to take a test. Travellers are responsible for checking their chosen testing provider can provide acceptable pre-departure documentation, the specified standard required by the New Zealand Government. Tests from free community testing stations may not be acceptable for travel clearance, so check before you test. You need to have both your COVID-19 test sample taken and your result returned within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your international flight.

All passengers must wear a mask on flights and will need to show they have downloaded NZ’s COVID Tracer app while in the country.   Random temperature checks are also to be expected at New Zealand Airports.

To travel to New Zealand on a quarantine-free flight, travellers must meet the following criteria:-

• Travellers must meet immigration requirements
• Travellers need to have spent 14 days in Australia before departure
• Travellers must be fully vaccinated
• Travellers must not have had a positive COVID-19 test in the 14 days before departure
• Travellers must not be waiting for results of a COVID-19 test taken in the past 14 days
• Travellers must complete a travel declaration before departure
• Travellers must answer questions about their health at departure
• Travellers must ensure they bring evidence of any pre-existing conditions (for example hay fever) when they check in, to avoid being denied boarding.

As mandatory requirements continue to change including full vaccination and/or pre travel COVID-19 testing, please review the most up to date requirements online with both your airline and GPT at www.grandpacifictours.com/healthandsafety

TRANSFERS

Airport transfers are included on the first and last day of the GPT tour and/or pre or post tour accommodation directly linked with the tour hotel. If GPT has not booked flights, it is the responsibility of the traveller/travel agent to ensure that GPT has the correct arrival and departure information. GPT is not responsible for providing amended transfers on the day of arrival if incorrect flight information has been provided and a transfer has already been administered.

ITINERARY CONTENT

At the time of releasing the 2021/2022 e-brochure, GPT had compiled the content of all tour itineraries based on the knowledge that all accommodation and attraction suppliers will be fully operational by commencement of the touring season.  

GPT is currently working through the ‘tour ready’ status of each operator included in our selection of itineraries. If for any reason a component of the tour is not available at the time of touring, a replacement  or refund will be provided.  

Any refund amount is based on GPT’s negotiated pricing and not retail prices. Known changes will be distributed as part of the Documentation process prior to departure.

BORDER CLOSURES (Departures from 01 January 2022)

While travelling there is still a fair chance that there could be the odd COVID-19 case or cluster outbreak either in Australia or New Zealand that results in border closure/s. This is a reality as we continue to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, a Force Majeure Event.

New Zealand will be working with a ‘’traffic light’’ response with three categories:-
 

Green:   Continue
Yellow:   Pause
Red:       Suspend the bubble
 

It is the traveller’s responsibility to understand what the travel guidelines and health advice (isolation and testing requirements) are relating to their state of origin and hot zones aligned with an exposure site.

All decisions to travel are the risk of the individual traveller and not the responsibility of GPT.

PRIOR TO TRAVEL

Border closures prior to travel may require travellers to suspend the tour departure date for varying reasons:-
 

  • Travellers that are unable to travel due to a border closure related to their state of origin or state of airline transiting
     

OR
 

  • If a traveller’s tour date is completely suspended by GPT due to border closure issues in Australia or New Zealand, that are beyond GPT’s control
     

Travellers can move to a future travel date within the current touring season - 01 January 2022  to 31 May 2022; alternatively choose a date for travel next season - 01 September 2022 to 31 May 2023. Based on selecting the same seasonality and tour type, the new date will be confirmed at the same cost.  This is based on land only bookings, airline inclusive packages may incur additional charges determined by the airline.

At the time of making the new booking, if a traveller moves from a discounted shoulder season date to a high season travel date, additional monies may be required. If the situation is reversed and the move is from high season to a discounted shoulder season date, a refund will be provided.   

Alternatively, funds can be issued as a future travel credit to be redeemed by a set date. Travel credits issued are not redeemable in whole or in part for cash.

Any flights booked would be controlled by the Terms and Conditions of the airline and any additional costs to make change to a new date are not the responsibility of GPT.

If the traveller chooses to not move to a future date or have monies held as a future travel credit the Travel Agents should contact the GPT Reservations Team for an outline of the cancellation Terms and Conditions.

IN NEW ZEALAND ON-TOUR

  • If an individual region of New Zealand goes into lockdown, GPT will manage all arrangements to redivert the itinerary. 

    Any unused portion of the itinerary will be refunded at the nett amount contracted by GPT (not the retail amount), unless required itinerary changes incur additional charges out of GPT’s control.

    Any unexpected additional costs incurred during a disrupt will be the responsibility of the traveller ie. Extra nights, meals etc.
     
  • If the borders close for a period of time leading into the travellers planned return flight and travellers cannot depart as planned, GPT can assist with securing accommodation for an extended stay, however, GPT is not responsible for any charges related to an unplanned extension due to border closures.

    In this instance, the party responsible for booking the return flight ie. GPT or Travel Agent is required to assist with making alternative flight arrangements. Any costs associated with flight changes are the traveller’s responsibility.
     
  • If a traveller opts to leave the tour to return home, based on inclination that a border may close, refunds on any unused portion of the itinerary will not be available prior to the official notification of a pending border closure.
     
  • If a traveller on tour has ‘’flu like symptoms’’ and opts to have a COVID test, they will be required to isolate in their hotel accommodation until results are returned.  If the timeframe requires them to catch up with the tour group due to isolation, all accommodation and travel costs incurred would be the traveller’s own responsibility.

    The above guidelines are subject to change at any time in accordance with government guidelines.

    Travellers should obtain travel insurance before travelling overseas. Read the travel insurance conditions and/or talk to the travel insurer if unsure about whether the policy covers COVID-19 related travel disruption.

HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY

Grand Pacific Tours number one priority is the health and safety of our travellers whilst on tour in New Zealand.

In this new and rapidly changing COVID world, it is imperative for us to now take additional hygiene measures. To read more about our health and safety protocols please visit https://www.grandpacifictours.com/healthandsafety A more extensive e-brochure, Touring with Confidence will be available prior to the season commencing.

CLIENT TRUST ACCOUNT

Your client funds are 100% secure as Grand Pacific Tours run a Trust Account holding client’s monies until tour payments are settled. 

When the time is right, we look forward to providing travellers with an unforgettable New Zealand Holiday, making memories that will last a lifetime.
 

Kind regards,

Peter Harding

Managing Director, Grand Pacific Tours