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AFTA Heads To Canberra To Lobby For Better Agent Outcomes

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is keeping the pressure on in Canberra with eight Directors currently in Canberra for this week’s Federal Budget sittings.

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is keeping the pressure on in Canberra with eight Directors currently in Canberra for this week’s Federal Budget sittings.

AFTA says Its Directors are volunteering their own time to spend several days in Canberra lobbying and briefing stakeholders across the political spectrum and participating in all key events plus holding a series of strategy sessions.

In addition to Chair Tom Manwaring (Express Travel Group), Vice Chairs Christian Hunter (Travellers Choice) and Graham Turner (Flight Centre Limited), David Smith (Flight Centre Limited), Laura Ruffles (Corporate Travel Management), David Greenland (Reed & Mackay), David Padman (Helloworld Business Travel) and Jo Sully (American Express Business Travel) will be briefing stakeholders across the political spectrum, and participating in all key events and a series of strategy sessions.

Speaking about AFTA’s aligned approach, AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring said;

“AFTA’s lobbying continues to be on two levels. There’s our immediate focus on the grants support and the push for it to be extended. Plus, there’s the longer-term push for ongoing government support separate to the grants program until international travel resumes and the need for a pathway plan for international travel around borders and travel bubbles.”

“We also want greater recognition of the value of the travel agency distribution model and our service to the Australian community.

Tom Manwaring, AFTA chair
Tom Manwaring, AFTA Chair

“As well as briefing a number of Government and Opposition offices, AFTA is also working on a wider industry strategy with other key bodies including the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Airports Association, Minerals Council, Association of Australian Convention Bureaux as well as several Embassy and Diplomatic staff.
 
“Do we expect to see any headline items in the Budget for travel agents and businesses? It’s unlikely. But we continue to be buoyed by the positive response from Government, ALP and the key independents who all acknowledge the identification of the travel sector for continued consideration.”

Since applications went live for Round Two of The COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program on 2 May, a number of agents have contacted us to let us know that payments are being processed speedily, sometimes even within 24 hours of applying.

Thank goodness for that.

Applications for Round Two will be accepted up until 11:59 PM (AEDT) 12 June 2021.

Further information is available on the Services Australia website and via the Austrade Website.