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Media release: AFTA’s 'Travelsectorkeeper' survey now live

[Tuesday 16 February 2021:] The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is asking all members to complete its Travelsectorkeeper survey in support of the ongoing Federal campaign for ongoing tailored sector support.

AFTA CEO Darren Rudd is again in Canberra this week for ongoing meetings and briefings with key political and departmental stakeholders.

The AFTA survey builds on the 2020 survey and will be used to provide an objective measure of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the sector in AFTA’s Pre-Budget Submission, Ministerial and Departmental Briefings as well as at a local political and media level.

To complete the confidential survey please visit

Quotes from AFTA CEO Darren Rudd:

“With JobKeeper set to end on 28 March 2021, we understand that now is a critical time for travel agents, tour operators and wholesalers.”

“JobKeeper has been central to helping businesses keep the doors open and support customers with cancellations, refunds and credits and we need Travelsectorkeeper moving forward.”

“We have been working closely with the Federal Government and have made known just how vital ongoing financial support is for your business until international travel resumes. Completing this confidential, short survey will further strengthen our case in fighting for the survival of your business and I encourage all members to do so.”


Media Contact: Joanne Arancibia,

Notes for Editors;

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is the peak body in Australia representing the retail travel industry. Founded in 1957, AFTA represents the majority of travel agents in Australia and includes all of the major travel agency groups.

AFTA is supporting the travel agency community, travelling public and travel suppliers to the best of our ability during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Australian travel agencies have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the facts:

  • 70% of international travel in Australia is booked through travel agents keeping money in Australia and generating taxes to benefit the Australian economy
  • Prior to COVID, the industry has experienced year on year growth of 11% and maintained growth of 7.25% over the past five years
  • In 2018-19, Australians spent over $46 Billion on international travel, representing the largest import sector of the Australian economy
  • Each year travel agents collect taxes worth $1 Billion and contribute $28 Billion nationally to the economy
  • 71% of the sector are women
  • These are predominantly independently owned small businesses
  • Travel agents have successfully repatriated $6 Billion in refunds and credits from overseas airlines, hotels and tour operators for Australian consumers – there is still $4 Billion outstanding. They have been doing this time consuming and frustrating work for free while having to continue to fund operating costs including GDS fees and insurances to allow this to happen.