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Additional support welcome and dialogue re Round 3 ongoing

6 October 2021: The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) today thanked Federal Minister The Hon Dan Tehan and the Morrison Government for the additional support for travel agents and tour arrangement service providers with multiple shopfronts.

The additional funding is on top of support provided to travel agents and businesses through the $258 Million Consumer Travel Program, JobKeeper and business support grants.

Until international travel normalises however Australia’s travel agents and businesses need ongoing support including Round 3 of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Grant and beyond to allow us to sustain our businesses and keep the necessary expertise within the sector to allow us to continue to support travelling Australians.

Australia’s travel sector has been in hard lockdown for 600 days already and until international travel normalises in 2022, an ongoing financial lifeline is now critical for the 30,000 Australians working in travel and 3,000 travel agencies and businesses who employ them.

A third of the travel sector (15,000 jobs) has already been wiped out.

Additional Facts

  • Prior to COVID, the industry has experienced year on year growth of 11% and maintained growth of 7.25% over the past five years.
  • In 2018-19, Australians spent over $46 Billion on international travel, representing the largest import sector of the Australian economy
  • 70% of this international travel was booked through Australian travel agents
  • Each year travel agents collect taxes worth $1 Billion and contribute $28 Billion nationally to the economy

Quotes from AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring:
“There are a number of our members who have multiple shopfronts under a single ABN who haven’t been eligible for support on a store by store basis until now so this additional support is very welcome for those businesses.”

“However, Australia’s travel agents and businesses have been in hard lockdown for more than 600 days and until airlines and cruise capacity returns to normal levels, we will continue to be in lockdown. Until international travel normalises, the 30,000 Australians who work in Australia’s travel sector and the 3,000 agencies and businesses who employ them urgently need ongoing help.”

“As so many Australians have discovered during COVID, travel agents are essential and even more important given the challenges of travelling internationally given the morass of differing requirements. Without a travel agent, you really are on your own.”

“Even when international travel resumes, there will be an economic hangover for our sector of several months, well into 2022 before revenue streams return let alone return at a sustainable level.”

“AFTA continues to make the case for ongoing support including through the extension of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support grant program into Round 3 and beyond to the Federal Government.

Media Contact: LJ Loch 0488038555