25 March 2020
Due to the current COVID-19 crisis facing Australia, a number of measures are being implemented to support AFTA/ATAS accredited members through this time.
AFTA members do not need to take any action or contact AFTA in relation to these support measures, they will be automatically implemented.
At such time as action is required, AFTA will contact you.
The support measures to be implemented are:
1. Membership Fees will not be charged for the next billing year.
No current Active ATAS Member will be charged the combined AFTA/ATAS fee for the next billing year. This will apply to the next billing due. Any member who has already paid for a renewal, will not be refunded. Instead the monies paid will be applied as a credit when the next fee is due.
This essentially provides one-year FREE membership for all members. Any member with a current renewal in arrears, will be contacted by AFTA and managed on a case by case basis.
2. Completion of Renewals Postponed
In order to reduce the burden on ATAS members at this time, the requirement to complete the annual online renewal form will be delayed. Any member with an outstanding renewal due between 31 March 2020 and 31 August 2020, will not be required to complete it until 30 September 2020.
Again, no action is required. AFTA will send members regular updates and reminders at the appropriate time.
3. Monitor and Support Mode
AFTA are suspending the enforcement of the cl 2.5(g) Financial Assessment criteria of the ATAS Charter and Attachment D Solvency Definitions until further notice. AFTA has demonstrated a strong track record of successfully enforcing the financial assessment criteria however in the current unprecedented crisis facing the nation, no mechanism exists for AFTA to be able to continually assess each ATAS member against the criteria at this time.
This decision is also made in light of recent government decisions lifting the Corporations Act requirements in relation to insolvent trading.
We do note however, that if as an ATAS accredited agency you find yourself in the position of insolvency, you MUST notify AFTA immediately and we will do our best to support you. AFTA has access to several experienced and briefed insolvency firms who may be able to provide guidance and support.
AFTA will provide further advice and guidance to members on requirements in due course.
AFTA's focus at this time is to support members rather than placing more onerous financial assessments.
4. Cancellation of NTIA 2020 and other measures
Given the current landscape and increasing financial pressures on everyone, AFTA have made the decision that it would be inappropriate to proceed with the 2020 National Travel Industry Awards. A full refund of all monies will be provided to all sponsors and for any tickets pre-purchased.
A recovery event is planned for members in November 2020 however this will be subject to the governments advice at that time.
AFTA has also conducted its own Business Health Check and implemented a number of austerity measures across the operations of the Federation. AFTA's primary focus will be on industry support and government engagement over the next 6 months.
AFTA Request for Support
AFTA staff are aware of the stress and anxiety members are experiencing. The AFTA team are here to help, and are working tirelessly to support members, affected consumers and working with all levels of government to address member issues.
What we ask is that members continue to communicate with us. Should your business be faced with the devastating decision that you may need to close your business, or enter administration, we ask that you reach out to us, communicate and update us. Our goal is to continue to support members by being there to assist you and your customers through this unprecedented time in our history.
Know that we are here, and know that we continue to fight for our members. Whilst no action is required on any of the above points, please feel free to contact the AFTA team with any questions or feedback.