AFTA to seek additional share of TCF reserves

AFTA to seek additional share of TCF reserves
By admin


The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has confirmed it will apply for additional funding from Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) reserves at the end of the year to conduct a large-scale consumer awareness campaign on the benefits of accreditation.

The body revealed yesterday that it had been awarded $2.8 million from TCF reserves to finance its first year of operation.

It had originally sought around  $9 million of the TCF's approximate $30m reserves according to its submission to the Travel Industry Transition Plan last year but general manager accreditation, Gary O'Riordan, confirmed that number had been reduced to $2.8 million before being put forward for final approval.

"The government were being fairly conservative in terms of ensuring there are still funds in the TCF scheme while its still operating," he told Travel Today.

"The scheme itself still has 12 months to run so I don't think they were willing to hand over too much initially."

However, O'Riordan said the body had worked on several different models in order to enable the new accreditation scheme to function on the smaller budget.

"It allows us to employ staff to help build the scheme and conduct all the various industry consultation workshops that we've got coming up," he said.

While no further funding is required for the scheme in the short term, O'Riordan confirmed AFTA will return to the table to request additional funds in December, although the amount has yet to be decided.

"We've got to build a business case again which will need to stand up and the ministers will need to consider that," he said. 

"We would certainly like to get hold of additional funding to conduct a much larger and broader consumer education piece which will be for the benefit of travel agents that become accredited agents participating in the scheme."

Meanwhile, although venues and times have yet to be confirmed, the draft schedule for the nationwide workshops has been announced as: Adelaide, August 6; Canberra, August 8; Brisbane, August 12; Gold Coast, August 13; Melbourne, August 20; Hobart, August 21; Sydney, August 22; Darwin, August 27 and Perth, August 29.

More details will be revealed in coming weeks. For agents unable to attend these sessions, AFTA will also be running webinars.

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