[1 December 2020:] The Federal Government has recognised the travel sector and its critical importance to the Australian economy and public by announcing a financial support package of $128 million in cash grants. This is historic in its nature, size and the speed with which we are working with agencies across government to deliver the funds to the sector.
Under the scheme, eligible parties will receive a one-off cash grant. Grants will be scaled, starting with a minimum payment of $1,500 for a business with a turnover of $50,000 up to a maximum payment of $100,000 for a business with a turnover of $20 million.
AFTA is working with government to make available the web-based vehicle that eligible parties will use to access the grants. The aim is to ensure intended recipients get paid this month. Specific details of the support package are coming this week.
Quotes from AFTA CEO Darren Rudd (who is available for interview):
“This is a historic day for Australia’s travel industry. We are thrilled to see that the government recognises the need for sector specific support and we welcome the announcement of tailored support for Australia’s 4,000 travel agents, tour operators, wholesalers and the 40,000 people we employ and the many, many consumers our members support.”
“Travel agents have been amongst the hardest hit given their reliance on international travel. All have experienced revenue drops of close to 100% with no substantive income on the horizon until international travel returns. To say this support package is a financial lifeline is a significant understatement. We simply couldn’t ask for a better outcome from government and we are incredibly grateful to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham.”
“It’s been an incredibly challenging year for everyone in our sector but now we move into a new period – one of transformation, consolidation and growth. This milestone is the result of many people working together during this difficult time, including our travel agents, who have been going above and beyond to do what they can to process travel credits and refunds for Australians over the past ten months, despite having to return the commissions earned on these sales.”
“Today is the result of a tremendous, combined effort that saw travel agents around Australia email, call and meet with their local parliamentarians to make sure they understood the need for tailored support. This is democracy in its best and purest form.”
“Sincere thanks to every single parliamentarian who took our cause to government. I would also like to thank Small Business Commissioner, Kate Carnell and her team for their valuable work, the work of CATO and CLIA and the wider travel and tourism sector.”
“AFTA will continue to work with members, industry stakeholders, government, and media so that together we can rebuild our sector to its former brilliance.