AFTA CEO Darren Rudd is in Canberra again this week, for the fourth week in a row, to further progress discussions with Federal Government and supporting agencies on the travel sector rescue package. Darren has also had ongoing discussions with The Hon Bill Shorten and will be meeting with a of range of politically diverse parliamentarians when in Canberra. As a place holder, we have tentatively scheduled our monthly webinar update for 11am on Wednesday 25th November to provide members with a detailed update. An invite will be distributed to members in due course.
AFTA’s schedule of strategically planned electoral visits continue. Last week Darren Rudd met with Senator Hollie Hughes and on Tuesday, the AFTA Team had a constructive meeting with 25 AFTA/ATAS members in the Gosford area with Lucy Wicks MP, Federal Member for Robertson, at the Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club. And later this month AFTA, together with its members, has a further two meetings organised with Cabinet Ministers in the Morrison Government. These meetings will take place with The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Member for Farrer and The Hon. Paul Fletcher, Member for Bradfield.
This detailed engagement at an electorate level, between travel agents and their Federal parliamentary representatives is ongoing as we navigate the changes in the travel landscape and the policy adjustments required.
In fact, these meetings continue to prove to be a valuable tool to connect, engage and educate key decision makers within Government. Through the tremendous and collaborative efforts of AFTA members through the National Mobilisation Program together with the grass-roots electoral visits, we have connected with 76% of members within Cabinet – those members of Parliament who are responsible for directing government policy and making decisions about national issues.
Therefore, it is important both now, and for the future of our sector, that we continue to connect with Parliamentarians (Federal and State) so that they understand the critical role that travel agents play in the travel supply chain. AFTA is committed, following the rescue phase, to continue our energetic drive in pursuit of our strategy to navigate the Reform, Rebuild and Restore phases of the travel and tourism sector.
On other good news, Tourism Australia has confirmed a campaign which includes a regional print media and radio live reads whereby travel agents are the call to action. We would like to thank Tourism Australia for recognising the professionalism and expertise that travel agents bring to the consumer travel booking process as they plan their holiday here this year.
Additionally, AFTA continues to work with the various state tourism organisations, each one developing a range of tools and resources to support travel agents sell domestic holidays. More information on how to access the trade resources can be found on the AFTA Website – here.