Travel Agents

AFTA suffers $450K annual loss

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

The financial health of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has been laid bare in its annual report, with the industry body swinging to a loss.

AFTA recorded a $450,699 loss for the 12 months to 31 March 2020, compared to a $6,971 surplus it posted during the prior corresponding period.

Chair Tom Manwaring noted that AFTA was on track for a “solid year” and was operating within its means, but a severe contraction in the share market in March meant the federation’s financial assets were “heavily impacted”.

The report revealed that AFTA’s total revenue plummeted by 31.1 per cent over the 12-month period to $2.2 million, due largely to a $430,377 loss for its financial assets – a big swing away from the $380,972 gain enjoyed a year earlier.

Membership and accreditation income remained the most significant income stream for AFTA, dropping just 0.3 per cent as a result of industry consolidation to $2.2 million.

As of 31 March 2020, there were a total number of 2,738 ATAS accredited locations throughout Australia – down 2.4 per cent compared to 2019.

Bucking the negative trend, income from the National Travel Industry Awards rose 6.9 per cent to $78,578.

Income generated from AFTA’s marketing activities declined by 21.6 per cent to $12,425, while education and training revenue halved to $3,000.

AFTA was forced to cancel this year’s NTIAs due to COVID-19, and also decided not to charge membership fees for the next billing year.

The federation also withdrew all consumer marketing of ATAS, with a focus on member support, and suspended its Chargeback Scheme and reduced its operating hours.

Manwaring said that while the sale of AFTA’s property asset in 2018 realised a “significant” profit and has provided the organisation with a cash pool and the capacity to waive member fees, the intention going forward is to preserve these funds for as long as possible.

Disgraced former CEO Jayson Westbury also got a mention in AFTA’s annual report, with Manwaring acknowledging his “significant” contribution to the federation and the travel industry at an Australian and global level.

“Jayson led our sector for 13 years through the transformation to industry self-regulation as well as many other game-changing initiatives,” Manwaring said.

“His work cemented AFTA’s position as the peak industry body, and we thank him for that.”

Westbury, who has since moved on to launch his own consultancy, resigned from the top job at AFTA back in May over comments he made about TV host Tracy Grimshaw during an online seminar.

He has since been replaced by Darren Rudd, who has kept himself very busy by lobbying the federal government to provide a travel agent support package of $125 million, as well as a range of business relief measures.

AFTA chief Darren Rudd will be speaking at the travel industry’s most thought-provoking conference, Travel DAZE 2020. To find out more or to register, click here.


Featured image source: iStock/kemie

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

The Travel Industry Hub creates online community

Are you sick of attending webinars where everyone leaves straight after they end, leaving no chance to network and chat? Well, TTIH is doing something about it.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Brisbane Airport achieves global COVID-safe accreditation

While the health and safety protocols at Brisbane’s quarantine hotels are being questioned, at least the airport’s got it together.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Nail-biting images emerge of youths taking selfies on Sydney hotel ledge

Bloody kids these days and their death-defying selfies. Back in our day, the cameras were so big that we’d be lucky to get one up a staircase, let alone onto the ledge of a building.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australia changes border restrictions for travellers from NSW

by Huntley Mitchell

Finding it hard to follow of all the constantly-changing domestic border restrictions? Travel Weekly has done some of the deciphering for you here.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean extends cruise suspension, announces US$40m funding pool for agents

Despite what the headline suggests, the cruise group isn’t offering agents to take a dip in a literal pool of cash, much to our disappointment.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

The Travel Corporation’s Aussie CEO to depart as part of major exec changes

Here’s some very big news right here for your Friday, with TTC’s Fiona Dalton set to fly the coop after just three months in the top role.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Indonesian socialite books out entire flight to Bali to avoid COVID-19

The grandson of a pharmaceutical tycoon reckons booking out an entire commercial flight is cheaper than chartering a private jet.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Opening date revealed for W Melbourne

Have you been waiting with bated breath for Marriott to reveal the opening date for its new Melbourne property? Well, you can now rid yourself of all that anxiety.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

CTM boss in legal stoush with Brisbane City Council over $20 million property plan

Jamie Pherous has become entangled in a legal battle with the council over a swimming pool he wants to build at his new property on Brisbane River.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Get in quick! Trafalgar launches ‘Break Out & Break Free’ sale

It appears 2021 is the year of the sale, with Trafalgar joining the already long list of travel brands spruiking their discounted wares.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Unions take Qantas to High Court over JobKeeper “wage theft”

by Ali Coulton

Having lost on appeal in the Federal Court late last year, the unions are now taking their JobKeeper fight against Qantas to the High Court.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival to ditch 19 ships, as company posts $2.8 billion quarterly loss

Carnival Corporation has added another ship to the pile of vessels that it will offload in order to stay afloat beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share

CommentComments