The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has welcomed the launch of a $1 million support package for agents in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Travel Agent Support Package will be delivered in two rounds, and applicants must successfully complete both rounds to be considered for grant funding.
The Tasmanian government’s website also notes that meeting the eligibility criteria will not automatically result in a successful grant.
The government is first seeking eligible travel agents to register through an expression of interest (EOI) process.
Applicants who register through this EOI process are requested to answer all questions as accurately as possible. Providing information through this process will assist the Tasmanian government and guide the development of the funding approach to eligible agents.
Only those applicants that meet the eligibility criteria and have registered through the EOI process will be invited to apply for round two of the application process.
The EOI process will close at midday on Wednesday 21 April 2021.
Applicants are not expected to provide supporting documentation in round one. However, they will be required to substantiate their claims in round two.
Applicants deemed eligible under the EOI process will be invited to complete an application form (round two) and will be provided with a copy of the program guidelines.
Eligible applicants will be asked to review the guidelines carefully prior to submitting an application form.
To complete an application in round two, applicants will need to submit documented evidence to support claims made in round one and round two.
The Tasmanian government notes on its website that the grant funding application process (round two) “will be competitive and not all applicants will be successful”.
Applicants must apply to complete the EOI process first and only those eligible agents will be invited to apply for grant funding from 30 April until 14 May 2021. You can read the program guidelines here and submit your EOI here.
It is anticipated that successful applicants will be notified in late May.
AFTA chair Tom Manwaring said the $1 million package was “welcome support for travel agents in Tasmania, who play such an important part in the state’s tourism economy and in supporting consumers whose travel plans have been impacted by COVID-19”.
“Travel agents have had to survive with revenue falls of 90 per cent and more since the ban on international travel more than a year ago and the end of JobKeeper meant an end to a heavily-relied on financial lifeline,” he said.
“This support comes at a critical time for these small businesses and will help them keep their doors open and their experienced teams in place so that they can continue to help consumers secure their refunds and credits and navigate the many challenges of travel in a COVID landscape.
“AFTA is proud of our role in pushing for this support and wishes to thank the Tasmanian government for delivering this $1m Tasmanian Travel Agent Support Package.”
“We continue to work with all levels of government to increase awareness of the plight of travel agents and businesses and secure ongoing support.”
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