Travel Daily

We all need a hand: CATO


THE Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has accused the Australian Government of shortsight­edness in its extension of the $183.65 million federal aviation support, announced yesterday.

CATO said the assistance was welcome for airlines, but noted the government needed to spread funding across the entire industry, as it is a symbiotic sector, also made up of tour operators, wholesaler­s, travel advisors, OTAs, ITOs, cruise, hotels, and more.

“Favouring one segment over another is disastrous for an industry already in financial crisis,” CATO argues.

“As fears arise for the departure of key aviation workers leaving the industry, the same realisatio­n must be made for the travel industry as the impact could lead tour operators, wholesaler­s and travel agencies to potentiall­y close and industry knowledge, internatio­nal contacts, competitiv­e pricing, and $5 billion in travel credits go with them.

“These workers and businesses will be vital to enable Australian­s to travel the world safely and are the key to unlocking future travel credits when borders reopen.”

CATO also pointed out the government sought and was provided feedback for future grants, after a second round of endowments was provided to cover the travel industry through to the end of Jun.

“It is now late Sep and there is still no news on future grants,” CATO lamented.

MeanWhile, Federal Aviation Minister Barnaby Joyce said the latest package extension for airlines would play “a vital role in our economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis”, adding the time was now to ramp up services.

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