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AFTA welcomes Round 2 Federal Government COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Grant

[11 April 2021:] The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) thanks Tourism Minister the Hon Dan Tehan and the Federal Government for their ongoing support including through the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Grant.

AFTA has been heavily involved, along with CATO and ATEC, in helping the Government shape the $130 Million second round of the grant as well as continuing to make representations on the $128 Million first round.

The shared goal is a simple one – the desire to ensure as many travel agents and businesses are financially supported as equitably as possible with funds distributed as quickly as possible.

The Federal Government today released the framework for the second round.

Quotes from AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring:
“AFTA has been working closely with CATO and ATEC to inform Government’s thinking on both the first and second rounds of the $258 Million COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Grant.”

“This has continued to involve detailed conversations with Tourism Minister Dan Tehan as well as through to the implementation body, Austrade. We are very grateful for the level of engagement from Minister Tehan and for his commitment to making sure these desperately needed funds get to travel agents and businesses that so badly need support to get through this.”

“It is pleasing to see increased support for those travel agents and businesses at the smaller end. We continue to push the case for those medium and larger businesses which also badly need support. Turnover for the purposes of the grant is total business income.”

“With the resumption of international travel slipping further away, and with our AFTA members still facing the reality of revenue falls of 90% plus, we are also continuing our discussions on the need for support in the Federal Budget and beyond to sustain members’ businesses through at least the first half of the 21/22 FY.”

“The AFTA Board and Team are united in our focus on securing and maximising support for our members.”

Media Contact: LJ Loch 0488038555 or

Notes for Editors; 

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is the peak body in Australia representing the retail travel industry. Founded in 1957, AFTA represents the majority of travel agents in Australia and includes all of the major travel agency groups.
AFTA is supporting the travel agency community, travelling public and travel suppliers to the best of our ability during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Australian travel agencies have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the facts:

  • 70% of international travel in Australia is booked through travel agents keeping money in Australia and generating taxes to benefit the Australian economy
  • 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
  • Each year travel agents collect taxes worth $1 Billion and contribute $28 Billion nationally to the economy
  • 71% of the sector are women
  • These are predominantly independently owned small businesses
  • Travel agents have successfully repatriated $6 Billion in refunds and credits from overseas airlines, hotels and tour operators for Australian consumers – there is still $4 Billion outstanding. They have been doing this time consuming and frustrating work for free while having to continue to fund operating costs including GDS fees and insurances to allow this to happen.