More eligibility details have been released by Austrade on Round Two of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program, which aims to provide $130 million of support funding to “travel agents and tour providers who continue to provide refunds and hold credits for Australian consumers unable to travel internationally.”
Further details on Round Two of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program funding program have been released on the Austrade website, though frustratingly, a start date for applications other than ‘in late April’ has still not been announced.
In the meantime, Government says it will “continue to consult with the industry” to finalise the conditions of Round Two.
Key changes to the program include:
- Simplifying the assessment and payment process for businesses eligible for a second payment under the program.
- Increasing the payment amounts, from $7,500 up to a maximum of $100,000 (maximum payment amount remains unchanged).
- Reducing the number of turnover tiers used to calculate payments, from 41 in Round One to nine in Round Two.
Eligibility requirements for Round 2
- The business has been operating a business as either a travel agent or inbound tour operator, and tour wholesaler (tour arrangement service provider, consistent with ANZSIC code 7220), prior to the announcement of the closure of international borders by the Prime Minister on 19 March 2020, and is continuing to operate that business; and
- Had a turnover of between $50,000 and $20 million (which can equate to a Total Transaction Value (TTV) of between $500,000 and $200 million) for the 2019 calendar year; and
- Was in receipt of the extension of the JobKeeper payment from 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021.
- Have qualified and received a payment under Round One of the Program;
- Sign a declaration that your business is solvent as at the opening date of Round Two of the program, that you intend to continue to operate your business throughout the June quarter 2021, and make best endeavours to retain your staff; and
- Commit to continuing to trade and to meet your businesses obligations including processing refunds and travel credits to Australian consumers and to continue to provide services to your customers.
Additional verification points under Round 2
- Applicants whose appeals are upheld under Round One of the program (including those with TTV greater than $20m but turnover less than $20 million) will be eligible for Round Two. The turnover used to determine the Round One payment will be the basis of any Round Two payment.
- Eligible applicants who recorded and were assessed on a turnover of $500,000 or more under Round One will be subject to an additional assessment by Austrade. Those found to have received a payment based on TTV in Round One that was greater than they would otherwise have received if the payments for Round One and Two were calculated on turnover, will not be eligible for a Round Two payment.
The Government says consideration is also being given to the circumstances of mid-sized agents who operate multiple outlets under a single ABN.
The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has thanked Tourism Minister the Hon Dan Tehan and the Federal Government in response for their ongoing support including through the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Grant.
AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring said: “AFTA has been working closely with CATO and ATEC to inform Government’s thinking on both the first and second rounds of the $258 Million COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Grant.”
“It is pleasing to see increased support for those travel agents and businesses at the smaller end. We continue to push the case for those medium and larger businesses which also badly need support. Turnover for the purposes of the grant is total business income.
“With the resumption of international travel slipping further away, and with our AFTA members still facing the reality of revenue falls of over 90%, we are also continuing our discussions on the need for support in the Federal Budget and beyond to sustain members’ businesses through at least the first half of the 21/22 FY.” He said.
When can you apply?
Round one: This Round has now closed. Applications opened 14 December 2020 and closed midnight AEDT, 13 March 2021.
Round Two: The opening date for Round Two has not yet been announced, but is expected to open in ‘late April 2021’ and close in June 2021.
For more details, head to www.austrade.gov.au
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