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It’s a long Runway to Recovery for Australia’s Travel Agents


22 October 2021: While the news fully vaccinated Australians can soon travel internationally without having to quarantine is very welcome, it’s unfortunately a long runway to recovery for Australia’s Travel Agents and Businesses.

Australia’s travel agents and businesses have been in hard lockdown for more than 600 days. This hard lockdown will continue until international travel returns to normal levels with pre-COVID flight volumes, seat capacity and the removal of the current requirement that non-Australians even if fully vaccinated must hotel quarantine.

Life for Australia’s travel agents only returns to normal after international travel is back in full swing. This is because travel agents only receive the bulk of payments generated from bookings AFTER travel takes place. Until international travel normalises which the Prime Minister has said won’t happen before March 2022, travel agents and businesses need ongoing support.

Additional Facts

  • 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
  • 70% of this international travel was booked through Australian travel agents
  • Each year travel agents collect taxes worth $1 Billion and contribute $28 Billion nationally to the economy

Quotes from AFTA CEO Dean Long (who is available for interview)
“With Singapore coming on line soon, and multiple destinations opening up for Australians, we are all looking forward to getting those passports out and getting travelling again."

“Travel expertise to navigate the complexities of COVID-travel is needed now more than ever and as events and tourism begin to ramp up again, travel agents will be essential. Our members are easy to find and everywhere from on-line to on the high street and proud to be using our travel expertise to support Australians through COVID travel and beyond.”

“However, Australia’s travel agents and businesses have been in hard lockdown for more than 600 days and until airlines and cruise capacity return to normal levels, which won’t be before the second quarter of 2022, we need support.”

“The 30,000 Australians who work in Australia’s travel sector and the 3,000 agencies and businesses who employ them urgently need ongoing Government help so we can keep providing the expert support travellers need as tourism gets back on track and recovers.”

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