It is certainly great news that the Australian Government is preparing Australia for reopening to the world with a “smarter, easier and more secure national border”.
Over the weekend news headlines spruiked the Australian and New Zealand Trans-Tasman travel corridor and we saw some great television footage of family and friends reuniting.
And on Saturday the Hon Alan Trudge MP and The Hon Stuart Robert MP put out a press release on the steps the Australian Government is undertaking to prepare of the safe opening of global travel with the with the announcement of a digital system that will support the quick and secure collection of incoming passenger information and replace the Incoming Passenger Card.
The new Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) will be completed by Australia-bound travellers on their mobile device or computer. The DPD will facilitate information being collected and shared more efficiently while still using the same authority for collection. The DPD will also allow certified COVID vaccination certificates to be digitally uploaded and connected if and when they become available.
AFTA continues to have its own conversations with a collection of invaluable stakeholders on the future of travel and COVID-Safe travel, an important conversation as we re-build consumer travel confidence.
Negotiations between AFTA and Federal Government around sector specific funding continue this week.
AFTA CEO Darren Rudd is in Canberra today meeting with Treasury, Finance, Tourism and the Prime Minister’s Office. We will keep members informed of any outcomes of these conversations throughout the week.
AFTA is also pleased to share the results of the Resilient Mind Program, which was run in conjunction with the Mind Body Brain Performance Institute. Throughout September, more than 1,350 travel agents and employees of travel industry from airlines, cruise lines, tour operator businesses and wholesalers participated in the 4-week scientifically led challenge to help our sector with their mental wellbeing and resilience in the face of the ongoing personal and professional challenges posed by COVID-19.
The program resulted in a 350% improvement in the number of people with high mental wellbeing and a 150% improvement in the number of people who now report having high resilience.
Low levels of mental wellbeing or likely mental health issues were experienced by 49% of agents who took the survey before completing the Program. This dropped to just 9% following the completion of the Program.
Over the course of the challenge, participants watched 6,250 educational videos, performed more than 10,500 workouts and logged 135,000 healthy habits in the Resilient Mind App.
Some of the most popular rituals completed by members were alcohol free days (9,480), cold showers (6,676) and digital detox (6,552).
With an overwhelming number of members requesting continued access to the Resilient Mind App, Paul Taylor, Director of the Mind Body Brain Performance Institute, has responded by offering a complimentary 12-month extension for all existing users.