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MEDIA RELEASE: Federal Support for Travel Agents comes at a critical time

[14 December 2020:] The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) says the Federal Government’s tailored $128m support package for travel agents and tour operators comes at a critical time, especially given the ongoing delays to full resumption of international travel.

Parallel to AFTA’s work on the grants support, given the severity of the COVID impact on Australia’s 4000 travel agents and the 40,000 employed in the sector, AFTA has continued to press the case for additional support including JobKeeper 3.0 for the travel industry. This work will form the basis of AFTA’s
pre-Budget submission to be lodged January.

Eligible businesses can lodge applications from today for the one-off grant support via the Services Australia Business Hub. To be eligible, businesses must:

  • be a travel agent or tour arrangement service provider;
  • be actively incorporated or registered in Australia as at 30 November 2020 with AFTA or other peak bodies;
  • have business turnover (gross income) of between $50,000 and $20 million for the 2019 calendar year;
  • have been eligible for a JobKeeper fortnight in October (either 28 September 2020 - 11 October 2020 or 12 October – 25 October).

Grants range from $1,500 to $100,000 per entity. Applications will be taken for 3 months.

Quotes from AFTA CEO Darren Rudd:
“Australia’s travel agents and tour operators who have been so devastated by COVID are incredibly grateful for this support and for the Government’s responsiveness from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham down in making this grant possible.”

“Given the numerous constructive, collaborative conversations had to date with Government, AFTA hopes this measure is the first of a number of support mechanisms including the tailored evolution of JobKeeper for our sector. As the Prime Minister himself has acknowledged in Question Time recently, travel agents will need ongoing support for some time.”

“AFTA looks forward to continuing to work closely with Government and Government agencies to ensure the implementation detail is right and that those travel agencies, tour operators and tour wholesalers who are unable to access funding through corporate debt raising receive the ongoing support they need to stay in business and continue to support their employees, clients and customers.”