The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is pleading with the government to act now on urgent economic measures to save the Australian travel sector.
AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury has called for drastic and immediate action to address the implications of closed borders on the local travel industry, which have been put in place in Australia and around the world to arrest the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Here’s what he had to say, in full.
“We are facing a health and economic crisis of epic proportions.
The travel sector is hurting badly as a result of this civil war on common sense and travel agents are stuck in the middle and desperately need help to manage this cash crisis of catastrophic proportions.
AFTA on behalf of the 2700-plus travel agencies in Australia has put together a package of additional economic support measures which Government must act on to avoid the complete wipe-out of our industry.
Importantly, the approach is one which is not sector-specific.
It has positive effects on every small and medium size business in Australia, allowing them to survive this once-in-a-generation emergency.
While the first round of financial stimulus package announced last week is a step in the right direction, the Government must do more to provide immediate relief to struggling businesses in desperate need of cash flow.
The travel sector is hurting badly. Our first priorities are to obtain a debt covenants guarantee, activate s524 of the Fair Work Act, and increase the immediate cash injections needed for businesses to keep employing people.
We have today lodged an emergency support submission with the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit at Federal Treasury and are lobbying hard to make sure every single politician understands why these measures must be enacted immediately.”
To view AFTA’s government submission, click here.
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