The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has been forced to take the unprecedented step of reducing operating hours as a result of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
From 1 September 2020, AFTA will operate Monday to Wednesdays from 9am to 5pm.
AFTA chief executive Darren Rudd (pictured above) said the association’s focus right from when the coronavirus pandemic hit has been on supporting members and helping them navigate through these unprecedented and challenging times.
“This included the removal of membership fees for this year, as well as changes to the annual ATAS renewal period to remove any barriers to membership,” he said.
“As well, AFTA has produced an extensive range of dedicated resources to support members including webinars across a range of priority areas, ongoing skills and training support including the recently launched Micro Credentials program, plus individual member advice as well as extensive political lobbying.
“The economic reality, however, means that we have had to take this difficult decision to reduce our hours of operation to three days a week.
“This decision, while tough, is the right one. During this time of reduced operations, we ask for members’ patience as we navigate the high volume of member queries.”
Rudd said AFTA remains committed to supporting members get through the pandemic and delivering initiatives that support the recovery of the travel and tourism sector.
“At this stage, it is anticipated that these measures will need to be in place until the end of the year,” he said.