Digital travel business Webjet Limited will join the AFTA board, which approved the appointment of Webjet Group Chief Commercial Officer Shelley Beasley to the remaining board vacancy.
The following directors are up for reappointment at the Annual General Meeting on 23 September:
SPIROS ALYSANDRATOS, Consolidated Travel
JULIE PRIMMER, Helloworld Travel
ANDREW MACFARLANE, Magellan Travel
GRAHAM TURNER, Flight Centre Travel Group Limited
DAVID SMITH, Flight Centre Travel Group Limited
IAN EDWARDS, CT Partners
Two nominations have been received:
SIMON TE HENNEPE, Travelr Pty Ltd
MICHELLE EMERTON, Australian Travel Agents Co-operative
Based in Melbourne, Webjet services both the consumer markets through its Webjet OTA and Online Republic brands, and the global wholesale accommodation market through its WebBeds brand.
"We are pleased to welcome Shelley Beasley to the AFTA Board following Webjet becoming ATAS accredited and an AFTA member. Now more than ever, we need to speak with one voice in order to secure government support and having Webjet as part of the AFTA family amplifies our impact," AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring said.
Mr Beasley said he was "delighted to be joining the AFTA Board as Webjet’s representative at this challenging time for our industry".
"I look forward to working closely with my fellow Directors and the AFTA team as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 impact to recovery and beyond."
MEANWHILE, agents are throwing their weight behind AFTA’s National Mobilisation Program to secure political support federally for a Sector Specific Support Package of $125 million.
Agents are already reporting back on confirmed meetings with the AFTA CEO Darren Rudd and directors are happy to join meetings remotely.
The National Mobilisation Program (https://www.afta.com.au/afta/covid-19-updates/national-mobilisation-program) harnesses the passion, experiences and personal stories of AFTA’s members as part of a co-ordinated, strategic approach.
The campaign dovetails with the organisation’s formal electorate visit program which AFTA CEO Darren Rudd initiated on his first day in the role as well as the direct lobbying which has been underway since the pandemic first hit.
AFTA’s Travel Agent Support Package calls for a range of initiatives to ensure travel agents’ survival including:
- Scaled Back to Business grants forecast to be an average $40,000 based on total transaction value in FY19 to assist them to stay in business, cover some operational costs, continue the work of both returning refunds to customers and assisting travellers in 2021 and beyond
- Back in Business concessional loans of up to $100,000 per agency outlet to sustain business and service to travellers, delivered through commercial banks, backed up by a three-year Commonwealth guarantee. These loans will enable viable businesses to endure the COVID-19 related downturn and slow return to profitability
- The critical need to get Australians travelling again through the establishment of travel bubbles and through Government promoting the purchase of travel through Australian-owned travel businesses
- The reinstatement of previous loss carry-back provisions to allow current year losses to be carried back to FY19 and FY20
- Federal Government guarantee of corporate debt covenants until 30 June 2021
- All states and territories to extend the Mandatory Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies to 31 March 2021.
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