In an outpouring of grassroots sentiment, hundreds of travel agents are planning to stage ‘survival rallies’ in Sydney and Brisbane this month calling on the Federal Government to end international travel and cruise bans to give their hard-hit sector certainty and to save their businesses and jobs.
The ‘survival rallies’ are the inspiration of travel agent Belle Goldie who said the time had come for the travel industry to stand up and let federal and state governments and the community know just how serious the crisis has become.
Ms Goldie said the federal government’s recent two-month extension of the cruise ban to February 17, in the absence of a serious restart plan, was the ‘last straw’ for many agents.
“It is as if the federal government two years ago confiscated our businesses to stop international travel for the health and well-being of the people of Australia,” Ms Goldie said.
“Having done everything that was asked of us and made sacrifices no other sectors have been asked to endure, we now find ourselves with businesses that have been rendered worthless should things remain as they are.”
The first of a series of ‘survival rallies’ will be held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Sydney’s Circular Quay at 11am on Sunday January 9.
Speakers at the rally will include other cruise industry suppliers whose fresh produce, marine engineering and entertainment businesses have also been badly affected.
A second travel agent rally will be held in Brisbane on January 23 at the still-to-be-used Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.
Ms Goldie said it was time for the travel sector to “rise up and show we cannot survive any longer while this international travel and cruise ban is in place.
“Together, we can make one hell of an impact and show just how much this amazing industry means to us all and that we are not going down without a fight.
“The time to is now to let Canberra and the states know we are fed up and we are no longer prepared to remain silent.”
Contact Belle for more information.
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