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AFTA: The Door Is Still Open For Financial Support

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents welcomed the ongoing business support measures outlined in Tuesday's Federal Budget and is continuing to work with the Government towards additional financial support for the industry.

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents welcomed the ongoing business support measures outlined in Tuesday’s Federal Budget and is continuing to work with the Government towards additional financial support for the industry.

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents says the door is still open for financial support for travel agents, travel wholesalers, and tour operators with negotiations with the Federal Government continuing after the announcement of the Federal Budget earlier this week.

Although AFTA welcomed the Government’s decision to enact loss carry-back provisions to allow current year losses to be carried back, Agents around Australia were “disappointed” and “disgusted” about the lack of support for the industry.

AFTA is aware of how many people in the travel industry are feeling and negotiations are also continuing at a State and Territory level.

“We know everyone is distressed, disappointed and frustrated at the lack of specific measures in the Federal Budget but we need to remain constructive, strategic and focussed in our lobbying.”

Darren Rudd, AFTA CEO

Darren Rudd, AFTA CEO stated “the door is still open for support to address our very specific needs and we are in detailed, data-driven dialogue with the Federal Government. There were close to 600 submissions made to Government in the pre-budget process. Ours is one of only a very few which the Government is still considering.”

“The National Mobilisation Campaign has successfully fuelled this awareness. In addition to a number of parliamentarians calling for tailored support in Parliament, four federal politicians raised our plight during the joint coalition party room, making it the most-discussed topic at the meeting.”

“Government at all levels is aware of the acute plight of members. If you haven’t already contacted your local member of parliament, now is the time. If you have, please get back in touch and reinforce the need for them to continue to champion specific support where it is needed most.”

What’s the story?

From the introduction of the international travel ban on 18 March 2020, many travel agents have experienced at least a 90% fall in revenue and zero income and without tailored government support, a number of these businesses will be forced to close.

Travel agents were the first hit and will be the last to recover from the global pandemic, with recovery only possible once international travel resumes and normalises.

“We know our united voices are being heard.  We are working with Federal Government on sector-specific support.”

Darren Rudd, AFTA CEO

Until this happens, the sector is asking for the first time for Government support in the form of a $125M Federal support package plus State and Territory Government support which AFTA will continue to lobby on.

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READ: AFTA Welcomes Budget Initiatives, But More Sector Help Is Needed