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AFTA and members keep the pressure on

Ongoing lobbying of Members of Parliament and Government for $190m Travel Sector and Travel Sector Skills Retention and Recovery Package

15 February 2022: AFTA’s focus on key members of the backbench across Liberal, National and Labor parties continues with 100+ AFTA members invited to participate in the 11 meetings secured so far over the coming two weeks.

Australia’s travel agents and businesses have been in hard lockdown economically for close to 700 days due to international travel and cruising representing the bulk of revenue for most agencies. With international travelling only normalising in the second half of 2022, these two financial quarters are the toughest the sector has ever faced.

A survey of AFTA members shows revenue for Jan 22 is down 96% from Jan 30, compounding the 80% decline experienced in FY21. On average 51% of all travel businesses’ work is assisting clients to use travel credits for COVID-affected travel.

Quotes attributable to Dean Long, CEO of AFTA

“In our efforts to support travel businesses, we magnified our attention on key members of the backbench across, Liberal, National and Labor Parties. AFTA has secured 11 meetings in the next two week period and invited over 100 agents to participate in these meetings.”

“We have continued our engagement with the executive branch of government and securing media profiles in many community publications for our members. It is this strategic approach that maintains a comprehensive campaign, focusing on building public support while ensuring all members of parliament are aware of our need for support.

“We also continue to support our members and the wider sector, including through opening up our first webinar of the year to anyone in the sector looking to understand how to maximise impact when meeting your local member of parliament. Over 200 industry members joined the webinar and the feedback has been very positive.”

“In addition to pushing for the additional financial support, including the immediate release of the estimated $66m already approved for the Travel Sector but yet to be distributed, we continue to support the efforts of CLIA and their member cruise companies in boosting Government confidence in their plans to allow cruising to resume. The Government’s decision to extend the cruise ban, while disappointing, was not entirely unexpected and it’s important that we keep the pressue on here as well.”

“We also already have strong registrations for this week’s webinar with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to update members on the EU COVID-19 certificates as well as other insights from Australia’s consular and embassy network.”

Media Contact: LJ Loch 0488038555 lj.loch@afta.com.au