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AFTA Update

AFTA Update | Travel Daily 24 February 2021

The focus of working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the past few months makes our upcoming webinar a must-attend. This will take place next Tuesday 2 March at 3:30pm. In this webinar hear directly from special guest Delia Rickard, Deputy Chair of the ACCC on how they are approaching COVID related issues and their plans for a travel recovery. Places are limited so please register here.

Thank you to everyone who completed the AFTA Survey last week. We received a tremendous response rate with over 1,500 small to medium size businesses completing the survey.

The results are powerful and will be used as the basis of ministerial briefings, party room briefings and strategic media as we continue to fight for ongoing financial assistance including an extension of JobKeeper or alike until international travel resumes.

The survey confirms what we know, that international borders closes have had a devastating impact on travel agencies, tour operators and wholesalers. 94% of travel businesses have experienced a revenue decline exceeding 90%, and a massive 99% of businesses have seen a decline in revenue of 70% or more.

The survey highlighted that for small to medium size businesses there will be an 82% decline in the number of staff employed if JobKeeper is not extended, forcing a significant proportion of staff from travel agents, tour operator and wholesale businesses out of business (32%) and forcing well-trained and experienced travel agent staff into unemployment. A further 52% are unsure about their business’ future should JobKeeper not be extended.

Currently 81% of all travel business’ work is assisting customers with COVID impacted travel. Of that, 71% of that work is related to outstanding international bookings and the remaining 29% is assisting customers with domestic related bookings from state government border closures. The important question we are proposing to government is who will look after these existing bookings if travel businesses cease to operate?

We want you to know that the AFTA team is deeply entrenched in the complex task of converting the tremendous groundswell of political awareness of the plight of our sector into financial support at all levels of government.

We are perhaps guilty of not articulating the depth and breadth of our workings but you need to know that you are not alone and that your industry body is fighting, in collaboration with CATO, CLIA and wider organisations like Tourism and Transport Forum, the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for your survival.