The Government says its Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme has helped return over $352 million of refunds and credits to New Zealanders who had overseas travel cancelled due to Covid-19.
That's a bit over half the estimated $690 million that was locked up due to Covid cancellations of overseas bookings.
The scheme, run through the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) was launched in October 2020 and pays New Zealand-based travel agents 7.5% of the value of all cash refunds they are able to successfully recover for their customers and 5% of the value of all credits successfully secured or rebooked for international travel. Details are here.
Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says the Government is "helping New Zealanders retrieve the money owed to them by overseas travel suppliers".
"The scheme has seen millions of dollars locked up offshore returned to everyday New Zealanders, who were at risk of never seeing a cent.
“This means more money is coming back into the local economies as Kiwis now look to holiday domestically supporting the local tourism industry."
Applications to the scheme close on June 30.