The failure of an Australian-based travel wholesaler has had fallout in New Zealand.

Excite Holidays has been placed in administration across the Tasman and agents who used the firm here are working through the ramifications for bookings made through the company.

The president of the Travel Agents Association of NZ (Taanz), Brent Thomas, said there would be only relatively small sums — believed to be in the tens of thousands of dollars — involved but agents throughout the country may have used Excite's booking system primarily for hotel reservations.

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Excite was not a member of Taanz - which has rules covering agents' operations - and Thomas said the company had quit a similar industry organisation in Australia about a year ago.

Thomas is also commercial director at House of Travel and said his firm's exposure was low and it was working to help customers affected but finding hotels at short notice was a challenge.

''From our point of view they were not a preferred company. We are dealing with each one of those bookings but there is not a big number,'' he said.

''Some may take a harder line - we would hope this is not the case.''

Since its inception in 2002, Excite Holidays grew quickly, expanding from a single office in Sydney, Australia, to include offices in New Zealand, the United States, Thailand, Singapore, Greece and Britain.

Sydney-based KPMG confirmed has been appointed as voluntary administrators and a creditors' meeting had been called for next week.

Thomas said failures over the last year of travel businesses in Australia and airlines showed it was a tough business, despite the global tourism boom.

''If you speak to the airlines they will tell you how difficult their industry is - it's a high volume low margin game.''


Thomas said Teinz required its members to keep client funds separated from their working capital.

''If you have issues like this you have to deal with it comes right off the bottom line. That's why its so important to have separated funds,'' he said.

Taanz also requires members to keep a percentage of turnover as a bond and the association has a $100,000 emergency fund.