The impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the travel industry has been immediate and extensive, withtravel professionals working around the clock to assist clients whose travel plans have been affected by the ever-evolving measures being put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The Australian government announced a financial stimulus package on 12 March which includes tax breaks for small and medium businesses to assist in meeting wage costs. However, for Australia’s many home-based travel advisors who are sole traders, this assistance has been labelled irrelevant.
“Our 600-plus personal travel managers (PTMs) are among the many sole traders in the travel industry who have seen their livelihoods disappear literally overnight, with no foreseeable end to the current crisis,” notes TravelManagers Chief Operating Officer, Grant Campbell.
“Our National Partnership Office (NPO) is providing PTMs with all possible practical support in getting through this but there is a very real and urgent need for financial relief from the federal government.”
With this in mind, TravelManagers has drafted a letter for its PTMs to send to both their local MP and their state senators in Canberra, enabling their PTMs to draw their attention to the issue and enlist their support.
“Receiving federal relief from financial difficulty while Coronavirus is impacting the travel and tourism market would go a long way to alleviating the high levels of anxiety and stress our PTMs are currently experiencing,” Campbell explains.
“Whilst the relief measures that have been announced so far are well-intended, they completely overlook the unique situation of sole-trader travel professionals.”
Campbell believes that other home-based travel companies and individual sole traders will follow TravelManagers’ lead in calling for federal support and hopes that they will adapt TravelManagers’ letter to appeal to their own parliamentary representatives. He also points out that the industry has a strong history of banding together in times of crisis.
“This is not the first time we have been hit with a major challenge, and from 9/11 to SARS, each time the industry has worked collaboratively for the benefit of our clients and our people. Coronavirus represents an unprecedented level of complexity and uncertainty, and we are hopeful that the federal government, in recognising this, will move to soften the blow.”
Subscription successful! Thank you for subscribing.