Travel Agents

AFTA chief says new ‘Tourism Restart Plan’ will unlock “real and immediate benefits” for agents

The boss of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has welcomed the Tourism Restart Taskforce’s newly released plan for the federal government.

The taskforce’s Tourism Restart Plan includes a wide range of recommended actions for the government to take immediately and over the medium- and long-term, such as:

  • Federal, state and territory governments continuing with restriction easing and border openings unless serious and transparent benchmarks are compromised.
  • Governments and health authorities reinforcing that it is safe to travel within Australia.
  • The establishment of a trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ in July.
  • Clarification by the government of the conditions that need to be met for country-to-country travel to reopen, and ensuring sufficient lead times to enable travel to commence efficiently.
  • JobKeeper or similar be extended for those businesses directly impacted by government restrictions or completely shut down.
  • Government consideration for a reprieve in demand dampening charges, including the Passenger Movement Charge and FBT on travel/entertainment.
  • Support from insurers and their underwriters for businesses in regard to offering the certainty that insurance provides at an affordable price.

Newly appointed AFTA chief executive Darren Rudd said the association was proud to be part of the Tourism Restart Taskforce, having been represented by Flight Centre boss Graham “Skroo” Turner on the panel.

“The successful collaboration across a number of key industry sectors with government that resulted in the Tourism Restart Plan is the best way to protect jobs and businesses, while also supporting the government in protecting lives,” he said.

“There’s no doubt that significant challenges exist in getting this balance right. By working together as we have with the Tourism Restart Plan, we have been able to identify a number of realistic steps government can take that will unlock real and immediate benefits for travel agents and travel businesses, as well as across tourism, hospitality and events.”

“These measures include greater clarity on the triggers for restriction easing and border re-opening; government and health authorities boosting consumer confidence that it’s safe to travel within Australia; and ongoing collaboration on the bold and necessary reforms needed to protect tourism and the important role of travel agents in restarting this critical driver of the national economy.”

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