Travel Daily

AFTA poll con­firms im­pact

- Business · Travel · Dan Tehan · Bank Central Asia

THE Aus­tralian Fed­er­a­tion of Travel Agents (AFTA) has to­day re­vealed the first re­sults of its “Travel sec­tor keeper” sur­vey, re­veal­ing that more than 40% of the in­dus­try does not ex­pect to re­turn to profit un­til 2023.

The sur­vey, cir­cu­lated last week (TD 17 Feb), had gar­nered more than 1,500 re­sponses by Sat, with the in­terim figures al­ready shared with Tourism Min­is­ter Dan Te­han as well as key MPs ahead of Lib­eral and Na­tional Party room meet­ings this week.

Of the en­ti­ties which re­sponded, 94% are deal­ing with a de­cline in rev­enue of 90%, while 99% have ex­pe­ri­enced at least a 70% de­cline.

The travel busi­nesses which par­tic­i­pated said 81% of their work was in help­ing cus­tomers with COVID-im­pacted travel ar­range­ments, while four out of five peo­ple in the in­dus­try work­force are women.

AFTA said the figures re­in­forced the ur­gency of mea­sures in its pre-Bud­get sub­mis­sion, in­clud­ing the “evo­lu­tion and ex­ten­sion of JobKeeper in a tai­lored way un­til one quar­ter after the in­ter­na­tional bor­der is lib­er­ated”.

The Fed­er­a­tion is also urg­ing the al­lo­ca­tion of any out­stand­ing funds from the first round of the COVID-19 Con­sumer Travel Sup­port Pro­gram, via a sec­ond round with an amended pay­ment scale to ad­dress iden­ti­fied flaws.

“AFTA is work­ing closely with other bod­ies in­clud­ing CATO, CLIA, TTF, BCA and ACCI to keep the pres­sure on, and en­sure the need for sec­tor sup­port re­mains at the fore­front of po­lit­i­cal de­lib­er­a­tions,” said AFTA CEO Dar­ren Rudd.

“This is our dark­est pe­riod... we need on­go­ing sup­port in a re­named, re­pur­posed JobKeeper equiv­a­lent for our sec­tor.”

Rudd said the dis­tress­ing figures re­vealed by the sur­vey showed that when JobKeeper ends on 28 Mar, eight in 10 peo­ple still work­ing in travel will be out of a job, while 30% of busi­nesses will close and an­other 52% face an un­cer­tain fu­ture.

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