The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has released its new priorities for 2022 and has vowed to fight for free and open travel and additional financial support for the sector.
AFTA will also fight the apparent uniform decision by carriers to reduce commissions to agents and will review its constitution as 2022 kicks off.
AFTA CEO, Dean Long, said the travel agents in the federation will be determined to exploit the changing travel landscape and the upcoming election for their advantage.
“The more things change, the more they feel the same but 2022 has some very key differences which we are determined to exploit for members’ advantage – a federal election, the ongoing successful rollout and impact of vaccines, and the precedents on travel happening in other markets,” Long said.
“There’s no doubt that re-election is front and centre for our Federal members of Parliament and AFTA’s toolkit is amplifying member traction within local electorates in highlighting the need for additional support until travel normalises given the increasing reliance on travel experts by consumers and corporate Australia.”
AFTA’s direct lobbying of MPs and Senators will resume as they return from holidays as the federation prioritises a need for a consistent position on borders and travel requirements.
Long has also highlighted the importance of fighting reduced commissions from carriers.
“Another priority is fighting the apparently uniform decision by carriers to reduce commission to agents,” Long said.
“We’re exploring avenues for action given the fact this approach ignores the important role of agents in lowering overheads and optimising the journey for the customer to the benefit of the airlines as well as the traveller.”
Long also said in his statement that the consultation on the AFTA constitution will be done through the wider sector as well as members to be part of the federations consultation, including its initial survey.