Yesterday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg finally confirmed there would be a new package of support for the tourism and travel sector post-JobKeeper’s ending, with an announcement to be made on Thursday. So what did the industry think about the news?
Unless you were purposely hiding under a rock yesterday (and let’s face it – who could blame you?), you’ll know that the big story of the day was Treasurer Josh Frydenberg finally announcing that there will be a new package of support for the travel and tourism sectors beyond the end of March, with the details rumoured to be shared on Thursday.
“Finally” it seemed was the collective industry response.
Followed with “But why has it taken so long?”
News of the confirmation from Mr Frydenberg that there will indeed be “something” to help the ailing sector was the first degree of certainty that the entire industry has been lobbying so hard to ascertain for months.
But with just 19 days until the end of the current JobKeeper program, set to end on 28 March, for many, the news has sadly already come too late.
In the last month, many more travel agencies and tourism businesses have since been forced to close their retail outlets or lay off staff in anticipation of JobKeeper payments ceasing and not having sufficient funds to ‘bridge the gap’.
For those left, the million-dollar question now is “What will the proposed support package be and how long will it last?”
Not to mention, “Who will be eligible to actually receive it?”
As expected, most in our beloved sector were genuinely pleased and relieved with yesterday’s news, as at the very least it brings some hope and ensures a level of certainty for themselves and their businesses to take beyond March 28.
Numerous travel agents reacted positively to the news on our Together In Travel Facebook Group page with crossed finger emojis and phrases like “here’s hoping”.
One consultant commented “sitting on the edge of our seats here”.
Others, however, were not as optimistic, as 12 months in, the heavy toll of the pandemic on individuals and businesses in the industry continues.
With comments ranging from “Too little, too late”, to “Better not be a loan” or “Grants for airlines, loans for everyone else – no thanks!” the announcement has still left many anxiously on edge as to what the final details will look like.
With no government timeline around international borders reopening other than “at the end of this year”, the support package for the travel and tourism sector has never been more urgent and must be appropriately delivered.
However, the federal agent grant program debacle has, to date, left many agents frustrated and angry at losing out on financial support with a clear case of the ‘haves and have nots’ ensuing due to the inconsistent and unfair application metrics.
Here at Karryon, we’re full of gratitude to every single person in the industry who has tirelessly gone out of their way for the cause to lobby, push, nudge, influence and blast those in power who needed to hear the truth.
It’s another timely reminder of how collectively powerful we can be in getting our message out there when we work together for the greater good.
Give yourselves a massive pat on the back. You are all legends.
We can only hope that ScoMo and the federal government has listened to everything industry has repeatedly said in the last few months, and that common sense prevails.
With fingers, toes and everything else crossed, we’ll keep you updated as information comes to hand on Thursday.
Want to stay connected? Join over 6,000 of your travel industry peers on our closed Facebook ‘Together In Travel’ Group here.
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