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International Travel a welcome step

1 October 2021: Confirmation that international travel will recommence from late November for those states that have reached 80 per cent double vaccination is brilliant news for Australia’s decimated travel sector.

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:
“The Prime Minister’s confirmation that international travel is back on the cards from late November for those states that successfully reach the 80% double-vax threshold is the best news we have had so far this year.”

“We are all desperate to get travelling again both across Australia and internationally. Today is a brilliant first step. However, along with eliminating airline seat caps, the aim must be quickly removing all hurdles for all approved, vaccinated inbound passengers to access rapid testing. Once they get a negative test, they should be able to go about normal activity immediately.”

“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.”

Media Contact: LJ Loch 0488038555