From the Australian Federation of Travel Agents
With the AFTA board meeting today, it’s worth taking stock of where we are and just how much we have achieved together to date.
While many members (including Board members) continue to fight to be recognised as eligible travel businesses under the Federal Government’s very welcome COVID-19 Consumer Travel Grant program, the AFTA Board and team continue to be buoyed by the steady flow of emails confirming payments received.
Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has been and continues to be a staunch advocate and AFTA certainly appreciates the ongoing access to, and advice from, the Minister and his office.
AFTA and our members continue to press the case for ongoing, sector-wide support from the government.
Just yesterday, AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring presented to the Senate’s Rural and Regional Affair’s Inquiry into the future of Australia’s aviation sector in the context of COVID-19 and conditions post-pandemic.
The AFTA Board was grateful to have met with Committee Chair Senator Susan McDonald, Deputy Chair Senator Glenn Sterle, and Senator Tony Sheldon when in Canberra as part of Budget Week lobbying.
Additionally, yesterday, the AFTA Board met remotely with opposition leader the Anthony Albanese to discuss the current state of the sector, the critical importance of us all being able to travel again internationally and across the nation, and the need for ongoing support for the entire sector until international travel normalises.
It is reassuring to see that there is widespread acknowledgement of the economic importance of our sector, the importance of retaining and growing skills and expertise, and the value of travel agents and businesses in supporting consumers.
The skills and knowledge set of travel agents are going to be even more required when we resume international travel and AFTA’s message to government and consumers continues to resoundingly be “without a travel agent, you really are on your own.”