We would like to assure members that the door is still open and we are discussing financial support for travel agents, travel wholesalers and tour operators as negotiations with the Federal Government continue.
Last Wednesday, the day after the budget announcement, AFTA CEO Darren Rudd met with representatives of the Prime Ministers Office to continue discussions on sector specific support.
The government has asked that we provide additional data to demonstrate the rationale behind the modelling in our pre-budget submission. This constructive and open dialogue continues with a further series of meetings this week.
Additionally, the outstanding effort from members as part of the National Mobilisation Program has assisted the process greatly. The number of known meetings with Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet Ministers along with House of Representative members and Senators is 42. Last week at the Joint Coalition Party Room, 4 Members of Parliament raised the need for targeted support for travel agents and requested that the expenditure review committee consider this urgently.
At the same time, AFTA has successfully partnered with News Corp, to tell the devastaing reality of being at the frontline of travel in as many of its 120 local mastheads as possible. This is in addition to AFTA’s ongoing media campaign. Multiple stories have already appeared as part of a wider sector support initiative and AFTA will be circulating these stories with members.
We need to keep maintaining the momentum in our efforts to rebuild and re-establish the travel sector. We will provide regular updates during the course of this and next week, including timelines once they have been finalised.