Travel Agents

AFTA’s electorate visits deliver with MP raising plight of agents in Parliament

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents’ electorate program continues to deliver, with Member for Wentworth David Sharma raising the plight of travel agents in federal Parliament.

Sharma (pictured above) singled out agents in the House of Representatives on Monday, saying he had recently visited a number of travel agencies in his own electorate in Sydney to find out firsthand how they are dealing with the unprecedented challenges they are facing right now.

“Some have never been as busy, but it is in processing refunds. When they have processed the refunds, they have also had to return the commissions they earned from these sales,” he told Parliament.

“These businesses have benefited from JobKeeper, but in many respects, it has never been tougher for them. They have many of the same costs, but their cash flow is often negative because they have no new bookings coming through the door.

“International travel has taken a big hit. There are no cruises or even domestic travel, flights or packages to places like Queensland, Broome and Uluru. I want today to acknowledge the tough times they face and the stress they’re under.

“But they are all doing the right thing, serving their customers, keeping their doors open, keeping their employees on and, for many, keeping a smile on their faces. I know this is a story being replicated across the country.

“I want to encourage people, if you’re looking to book travel soon, to please use your local travel agents.”

AFTA chief executive Darren Rudd has now coordinated nine visits to local members of Parliament and provided the opportunity for 26 travel agents to share their stories directly with political influencers.

The electorate campaign builds on AFTA’s direct lobbying at a federal level, multiple submissions and recent appearance before the Senate Select Committee into COVID-19.

“AFTA is attacking this problem at multiple levels to make sure our political decision-makers understand how devastatingly hard hit travel agents have been by COVID, border closures and travel restrictions, and why tailored, ongoing financial support and business relief measures are essential,” Rudd said.

“The impact of hearing directly from agents from within their local community really hits home, as David Sharma’s comments to Parliament show.

“He, and in fact all the parliamentarians briefed so far, now understand the multiple challenges travel agents face, the value of travel agents and the important work travel agents have been providing in supporting consumers.

“One of the many benefits of the electorate visits, in addition to raising understanding of travel agents’ challenges, is that they ensure our community has a voice in our national Parliament and amongst our political class at all levels.

“AFTA and our members will continue to raise awareness and push for support at a federal, state and territory level as we work together to get through this.”


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

AFTA lays down grand plan for 2022

Given how bumpy these last few years have been it’s pretty risky to make long term plans, but AFTA is giving it a crack.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise delegation expresses “bitter disappointment” at lack of progress in lifting cruise ban

Aussie cruises are (still) on hold and cruise suppliers are (still) furious about it, accusing the federal government of breaking its promise.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

US airline CEOs warn of “chaos” as 5G controversy causes flight cancellations

5G scepticism is spreading throughout the world and this time it isn’t just the tinfoil hat crowd saying their piece.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Aussie travellers left stranded, forced to spend thousands due to “antiquated” re-entry requirements

A Melbourne woman said she was forced to fork out $15,000 to meet Australian re-entry requirements after holidaying with family in Fiji.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

SNEAK PEEK: Art deco dream hotel to open next month in Sydney

A heritage-listed hotel with a modern twist is opening its doors on Pitt Street next month, and we’ve got some sneaky pictures to show off ahead of its grand unveiling.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with W Sydney’s Roxanne Markovina

Ahead of W Sydney’s grand opening in November, we had a chat with its director of sales and marketing to see if we could get a discount room. Just kidding… or are we?

Share

CommentComments

News

Contiki achieves carbon neutral goal, announces brand refresh

Whoever says that Contiki holidays are just a bunch of young people partying is wrong. It’s carbon-neutral young people partying!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Thailand to impose a tourist tax on international visitors

The Australian government is also considering a tourist tax, however, it applies exclusively to the Barmy Army.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Ryanair has overseas fans desperate to fly with it after blowing up on TikTok

It’s only a matter of time before Qantas comes up with a new dance, Virgin creates the latest inside joke and Rex invents the latest TikTok sound that will be stuck in your kid’s head for a week.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre appoints Michelle Degenhardt as global sustainability officer

The newly created role was made to ensure the company’s business practices are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Chris Watson Travel welcomes new Sydney-based team members

Rumour has it the Tamworth-based travel group has brought out the good bikkies for morning tea to celebrate this fantastic news.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wendy Wu offers free single supplement on popular tours

Tell your solo travelling clients to pack their bags because this sale includes savings of up to a whopping $3,550 on some of the tour operators most sought after trips.

Share

CommentComments