It has been a very busy August.
AFTA Chair, Tom Manwaring and AFTA CEO had the opportunity to appear in front of the Senate Select Committee into COVID-19 on Thursday 20 August, where they argued a strong case for the need for on-going tailored support for Australia’s travel agents.
They covered a range of other key priorities for travel agents including the reality of the payment ecosystem including money flow and refund challenges; the devastating revenue reality for agents; the critical need for international travel to resume; and the compelling case for tailored, ongoing financial support and business relief measures for travel agencies. You can read the full transcript of the hearing - here.
AFTA’s grass roots campaign, where we bring travel agents together with their local MP, continued throughout August and is delivering for members. Just last week Member for Wentworth Dave Sharma raising the plight of travel agents in Federal Parliament. You can read about it here or watch the speech to the House of Representative here.
In August, AFTA visited the electorates of Kingsford Smith, Warringah, North Sydney and Blaxland, bringing together AFTA travel agent members and their local MP. This brings AFTA’s total co-ordinated visits with local Members to 9, and we have provided the opportunity for 26 travel agents to share their stories directly with political influencers.
Also last month, AFTA Launched an exciting new Micro Credentials Program for the Travel Industry. Through the Program, AFTA is allowing businesses – and their staff- to learn new skills or cross skill during this challenging time.
The Program has been enabled through a strategic partnership with Learning Vault, AFTA's online digital education partner.
There are over 60 courses to choose from and more are added each and every week. After completing each micro credential, AFTA members will be issued with a 'digital badge' for their achievement in completing the course. Being digitally native, these badges lend themselves to appearing easily on CVs, LinkedIn pages and more. Making AFTA members' credentials more visible, valuable and verifiable. You can learn more here.
AFTA held a Board meeting on Friday 28 August, and it was highlighted that since the start of the pandemic, AFTA has delivered more than 80 webinars reaching 35,000 Travel Agent Owners, Managers and their staff. The webinar program has been extensive and is part of our commitment to ensuring that members have the necessary support to navigate COVID-19.
We recognise however, that, in addition to business support, members need assistance with the emotional and financial stresses that has been brought on by COVID-19.
Because of this, at the end of August, AFTA launched a Resilient Mind Program in partnership with Paul Taylor and the Mind Body Brain Performance Institute. The Program is an innovative, scientifically-based 4-week mental wellbeing and resilience program that is designed to boost your resilience in a fun and proven way.
Paul Taylor is Paul is a Neuroscientist, Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist and who is currently completing a PhD in Applied Psychology, where he is developing and testing resilience strategies with the Australian Defence Science Technology Group & The University of Tasmania. As a Former British Royal Navy Aircrew Officer Paul underwent rigorous Military Combat Survival and Resistance-to-Interrogation Training and has gone on to help thousands of individuals enhance their resilience and become better versions of themselves.
In a single day of launching the program we had over 150 businesses and 500 individuals register take part in the challenge. The challenge runs from September 7 until Sunday 4 October and we look forward to sharing the results of the challenge with Industry. If ever there is a time to improve the way we each deal with the challenges that life throws at us, and our ability to cope, it’s now. You can learn more about a the initiative here.