Wholesalers

CATO calls for domestic ‘vaccine passport’ and transparency around PM’s pathway out of COVID-19

The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) is urging the federal government to give hard timelines and transparency around the trigger points for each phase of its new four-phase plan.

Last week, the Prime Minister announced a roadmap ‘out of COVID-19’ that would introduce more relaxed restrictions on international travel for vaccinated Australians, ranging from a shorter quarantine period to unrestricted overseas travel.

However, CATO chairman Dennis Bunnik said the industry needs more information to protect their businesses until international borders reopen.

“What the federal government is not taking into consideration is that businesses in the travel industry cannot continue to borrow financially in order to keep their doors open for an indiscriminate amount of time,” he said.

“The travel industry needs clear trigger points regarding vaccination levels for easing both domestic and international border restrictions.

“We need a simple and easy-to-access vaccination passport for non-restricted domestic travel – this can be used to incentivise vaccinations so that Australians can see the positive benefits of getting the jab.

“We also need approval of a seven-day home quarantine option for returning, fully-vaccinated international travellers.”

Bunnik also argued the need for more public messaging about planning ahead for travel and not waiting till the borders open before deciding to be vaccinated, noting this may prolong travel further for consumers (three months plus) particularly for the over 50s and 60s.

 “This will allow them the freedom to fly and reconnect with their family, loved ones, friends and or colleagues both domestically and internationally and to say goodbye to lockdowns and cancelled domestic travel,” he said.

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) estimates that international travel is still at least six months if not a year away for most Australians, given that the government has estimated that the vaccine will be available to everyone by the end of the year.

“The government needs to protect the remaining high-skilled jobs in the travel sector through extending grant schemes and improving eligibility,” Bunnik said.

“In tandem, it needs to work with the travel industry to prepare for a return of international travel to avoid massive skills shortage and enable Australians to travel safely.”

CATO is just the latest industry body to demand clarity and support in reaction to the plan, with AFTA, The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) all sharing a similar messages on Friday.


Featured image source: iStock/Onfokus



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Qantas proposes scrapping bonuses if it is “harmed”

Qantas has copped some bad press lately, but the silver lining is it’s a great excuse for Alan Joyce to get a nice makeover!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing 737 MAX mid-air emergencies revealed in new investigation

Surprisingly the investigation came from the ABC and not from Air Crash Investigation, which kind of puts the show to shame a bit.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Western travel agents banned from booking Hajj pilgrimage

Those looking to complete Hajj will have to enter the Hajj lottery, which you are still astronomically more likely to win than the actual lottery.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Virtuoso uncovers key differences in how each generation travels

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly staff are conducting our own research to tap into the zoomer market by teaching the office dog TikTok dances. It’s not going well.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group completes its comeback with all ships back at sea

To honour the milestone, all 63 ships in the group’s fleet sounded their horns at once, which most likely scared the sh*t out of nearby fishing boats and unsuspecting wales across the world.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Virgin teams up with Flight Centre for money-can’t-buy workshop

It’s the second time a Flight Centre partnership has come up this week and it’s only Tuesday! Skroo must be feeling extra convivial this week.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“It’s more like a bribe”: Unions slam Qantas’ $5,000 ‘thank you’ payment

Speaking of bribes, if anyone would like to bribe us with an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan we promise to give you a good review on TripAdvisor.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Solomon Islands to reduce mandatory quarantine

Good news for those looking to travel across the Pacific Islands! Not so good news for those who enjoy being confined to a hotel room for days on end.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Oakwood solidifies Aussie presence with full opening of Melbourne luxury property

Looking to treat yourself? Don’t get a chocolate at the shops, book yourself a stay at the new Oakwood property in Melbourne (or do both)!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight Centre signs landmark agreement with Rex as pilots prepare for industrial action

While seemingly struggling to win popularity among its pilots, the regional carrier has turned to its agency partners for reassurance.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess reveals The Real Love Boat crew, celebrates ‘Top Gun Agents’

Say a prayer for the poor souls tasked with wrangling a ship full of reality dating contestants hell-bent on getting frisky at sea.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

How your clients can skip the rebound chaos with South America

Got clients keen to travel but hoping to avoid inflated prices and hoards of European Summer revellers? We’ve got the answer for you.

Share

CommentComments