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Travel ban reinforces need for ongoing support


11 June 2021: The Federal Government’s extension of the international travel ban for 3 more months, while not unexpected, reinforces the need for wider, ongoing support for travel agents and businesses.

The Federal Government announced yesterday that the human biosecurity emergency period under the Biosecurity Act 2015 would extend to 17 September 2021.

Quotes from AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring:
“The decision to extend the international travel ban is not that much of a surprise especially given the low COVID-vaccination take up in Australia.”

“We look forward to the ongoing adoption of common-sense positive measures to get Australians travelling again including the impending introduction of more Safe Travel Zones with selected “Green” destinations.”

“We need more Australians getting vaccinated and being encouraged to get vaccinated.”

“We need greater clarity on the decision triggers for Government on re-opening our international border.”

“Most of all we need ongoing support for Australia’s travel agents and businesses who are performing such important work in supporting customers and whose skill and expertise will be so heavily relied on as Australians start travelling again given the complexities of COVID-travel.”

Media Contact: LJ Loch on 0488 038 555 or lj.loch@afta.com.au

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