COVID-19 Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme (the Scheme)
The Scheme supports the recovery of refunds and credits owed to New Zealand consumers by overseas travel suppliers.
An estimated $690 million of New Zealanders’ money is locked up from travel cancelled due to COVID-19, with approximately 85% related to international travel. The Scheme has been established to support travel agents and wholesalers to recover refunds and credits owed to New Zealand consumers.
The Scheme is funded up to a maximum of $47.2 million, to 31 December 2021. Participating travel agencies and wholesalers will be reimbursed for:
- 7.5% of the value of cash refunds (excluding GST), and
- 5% of the value of credits successfully secured or rebooked on behalf of consumers (excluding GST).
Reimbursement can be sought for refunds, credits and rebookings processed from 14 August 2020, which are made in respect of bookings confirmed on or before 14 August 2020.
On 11 June 2021 the Scheme was extended 6 months from the original end date of 30 June 2021, to 31 December 2021.
The Scheme has been established to support New Zealand travel agents and wholesalers to obtain refunds and credits for cancelled travel on behalf of their customers. Consumers are not able to apply directly to the Scheme.
Consumers seeking refunds or credits should contact the travel agent or wholesaler they booked through. MBIE does not collect identifiable consumer information about individual bookings.
If the travel agent successfully recovers a refund or credit, consumers should receive the full value of what is recovered.
To be eligible for the Scheme, travel must have been confirmed on or before 14 August 2020 and be for travel overseas.
Customers of insolvent businesses
If the travel agent or wholesaler that you booked with is insolvent, in liquidation, in receivership, or in administration, you should contact the administrator of the company. Administrators of insolvent businesses may participate in the Scheme if they can meet all the eligibility criteria, and provide MBIE with a warranty that they are legally entitled and able to return refunds to New Zealand consumers.
Who can apply
The scheme is no longer accepting new applicants.
The last date to apply for the Scheme was 15 December 2021. This is to enable enough time for a submission for payment before the Scheme closes on 31 December 2021.