The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has welcomed initiatives designed to help businesses in the Federal Budget, but says more is needed to support travel agents and the travel industry more broadly.
While AFTA has given the thumbs up to the Government’s tax loss carry back initiative, as well as an increased investment in mental health, it says it will continue to lobby for sector-specific support, without which many travel businesses “will be forced to close”.
“The Federal Budget contains a number of new and innovative measures for small businesses that should provide much needed initial relief to travel agents, travel wholesalers and tour operators, businesses which will only be able to recover after international travel is again possible,” AFTA CEO Darren Rudd said.
“We are currently examining the details of the wider Budget and its impact upon the industry and continue to work with the Government closely on developing a sector-specific package.”
“Travel agents, tour operators and travel wholesalers right across the country have been meeting with their local Federal Parliamentarians, explaining the brutal reality of being on the pandemic frontline, helping Australian consumers get home and get their money back while being among the worst hit of Australian businesses with a complete fall in revenue, and income and recovery impossible without the resumption of international travel.”
Specifically, AFTA is asking the Government to provide a special Travel Agent Support Package worth $125 million.
Meanwhile, the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) says it is pleased with measures outlined in the Budget that “will provide support across the economy and for regional tourism businesses specifically, plus some welcome additional funding for Tourism Australia”.
“What the tourism industry needs right now is support for businesses to get back on their feet and, where they are reliant on international borders being open, support to hang in there,” ATEC managing director Peter Shelley said.
“Our research has shown the industry is surviving on JobKeeper and its continuation through until international borders reopen will be crucial to the future of many Australian tourism businesses.”
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