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National Travel Day of Action: Travel workers rally for urgent support

On Tuesday, 'National Travel Day of Action', Travel industry business owners and workers came together to rally federal and state politicians for urgent support for their devastated sector.

On Tuesday, ‘National Travel Day of Action’, Travel industry business owners and workers came together to rally federal and state politicians for urgent support for their devastated sector.

Tuesday saw travel industry business owners, suppliers, travel advisors, tour operators and stakeholders use their collective voice and gather outside the offices of their local politicians, calling for the lifting of travel restrictions and additional support for their beloved, yet damaged, sector.

Around 15 to 20 agents attended the offices of 25 government MPs across the country, putting their faces on the frontline with the hope of compassionate action.

Campaign organiser, Belle Goldie, who owns the itravel agency in Penrith in western Sydney, said in a statement that the mental and financial toll on people in the travel and tourism sector was horrendous and becoming worse.

Ms Goldie said she is just months away from having to abandon her 22-year career in the industry, due to the ongoing restrictions and lack of hope for the sector.

“I would rather go down fighting and speaking up than see my business, in which I’ve invested my family’s life savings, die slowly and silently on its knees,” Belle Goldie said.

Dennis Bunnik, joint CEO of Bunnik Travels attended the event. He said the day travel companies actually make money is being pushed further and further back.

Already, turnover is down 91% and 15,000 jobs have already been lost within the industry.

Although many were optimistic about 2022, thanks to high vaccination rates, travel confidence has plummeted.

“The travel industry has no certainty at the moment”, Bunnik said.

“Australians will travel again, they are eager to travel again, they can’t wait to travel again,” he concluded.

Phil Hoffmann, Managing Director of Phil Hoffmann Travel, told 7 News that the losses of jobs and the loss of income are enormous, and the government needs to wake up to it.

The travel and tourism businesses are calling for a job-keeper-style payment to cover overheads until travel fully returns.

Did you attend a rally on Tuesday? Would you like to share your story? Email us – editor@karryon.com.au.