AFTA membership renewals climb, as calls for more govt support continue

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The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has continued to praise the strong endorsement from members, with more than 80 per cent now having renewed.

This number is up from 70 per cent last month, with more still submitting their membership renewals, according to AFTA.

“Given the devastating reality of the impact of COVID on so many businesses, this is quite a remarkable outcome,” the federation said in a statement.

“Through the ongoing support of our members, AFTA can continue to lobby daily on behalf of travel agents throughout Australia to secure support from the government.

“AFTA is confident these agents will re-emerge early 2022 with the vaccination hurdles reached and travel reopening.”

The industry body has been pushing hard for more government support in recent weeks, with chair Tom Manwaring pleading for the return of JobKeeper and a widening of support beyond NSW and Victoria.

Manwaring is also urging the government to speed up the rollout of the government’s COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program.

“We are very grateful for the federal government’s COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program, which has seen $258 million in support for Australian travel and tourism businesses, including travel agents,” he said.

“But we need the support from rounds one and two of the grants program to flow more quickly to those eligible agents and, given the ongoing pause in outbound travel, we need this support extended and supplemented urgently across the entire travel sector.

“We were the first hit and will be the last to recover with that only possible after international travel resumes.”

Featured image source: iStock/Eoneren

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