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AFTA in Canberra; Ministerial meetings await


Travel industry group keeps pressure on for tailored Government support

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is continuing to keep the pressure on for ongoing tailored Government support of travel agents, travel wholesalers and tour operators.

 

AFTA CEO Darren Rudd is in Canberra this week, the first sitting week of Parliament for the year, to meet with a range of Cabinet Ministers including the Tourism Minister, the Hon Dan Tehan and other key influencers.

 

 

AFTA’s political engagement priorities continue to be:

- Refinement of the implementation approach of the Federal Government Travel Support Program;

- The need for a re-purposed, renamed JobKeeper from 1 April for the sector;

- Ensuring understanding that recent Federal Government initiatives to drive domestic holidays boost consumer confidence rather than driving any meaningful financial or revenue benefits for travel agents, travel wholesalers or tour operators who rely on Australians travelling overseas.

 

AFTA also continues to work closely with regulatory bodies such as the ACCC and relevant departments as well as engaging mainstream media including at a travel agent and sector level.

 

"The AFTA team and I have been busily working away in the background across a range of areas including briefing the new tourism minister on the federal government travel support program, the need for a re-purposed, renamed JobKeeper from 1 April, a more robust engagement framework with the ACCC at the executive level, terms and conditions, travel bubbles and COVIDSafe travel, underpinned by a renewed drive in all forms of national media," AFTA CEO Darren Rudd said.

 

"An absolute key priority remains working with the government on the travel support package. To that end, I am happy to announce that we have a series of meetings with key Cabinet Ministers including the Tourism Minister this week. We are acutely aware of our members’ concerns across arrange of areas including the policy construct, the amounts within tiering levels and structural imbalance based on the ambiguity of the G1 BAS statement definition.



"Additionally, an extension of a version of JobKeeper for our sector is also high on the agenda for discussion in Canberra this week following on from our messaging across national TV, print and radio last week. We appreciate that JobKeeper may take on a new name and form, but the underling intention of ensuring that travel agents can continue to repatriate the outstanding $4 billion in consumer travel funds, remains unchanged. It’s about providing a life-line to help businesses survive until borders are liberated.



"It is also worth noting that AFTA has been collaborating with the ACCC in a more purposeful and constructive way than ever before and the efforts of this cooperation is resulting in more immediate and real benefit. In late December the ACCC updated their website with some key additions that will assist members by providing consumers with a more balanced and realistic approach to manage their expectations." 

 


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