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Financial Lifeline for Travel Sector is critical


29 September 2021: With Australia’s travel sector in hard lockdown for 600 days and no relief in sight until international travel normalises in 2022, and with 15,000 jobs already lost, an ongoing financial lifeline is now critical.

Ongoing support until well into 2022 is desperately needed for the remaining 30,000 jobs and 3,000 travel agencies and businesses and ideally that support is anchored to the business.

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
  • 71% of the sector are women

Quotes from AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring:
“Australia’s travel agents are a critical support for consumers navigating COVID lockdowns and border shutdowns. Travel agents have successfully securing $8 Billion worth of credits and refunds for COVID-impacted travel from suppliers (hotels, airlines, tour operators, cruise lines etc) on behalf of their customers with $2 Billion still outstanding. As so many consumers have discovered, travel agents are essential and even important given the challenges of COVID. Without a travel agent, you really are on your own.”

“Australia’s travel agents and businesses have been battling on for 600 days, continuing to provide the support consumers have needed so desperately during COVID. Our revenues fell from the day the international travel ban was imposed 18 months ago and for 600 days we have been slammed with revenue falls of 90 per cent plus.”

“A third of our sector, 15000 jobs, have been wiped out. We need help and we need it until international travel normalises so we are here as employers and to support travelling Australians. It’s simply not the case that everything returns to normal when the international travel ban is lifted. There will be a lag before flight capacity lifts and prices normalise and until then, we need support well into 2022.”

Media Contact: LJ Loch 0488038555 lj.loch@afta.com.au