The Federal Government has confirmed it is continuing to work with peak industry body, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) on how best to support Australia’s Travel Sector.
According to the lobbying group, there are ongoing discussions on AFTA’s request for the Travel Sector Skills Retention and Recovery Package.
Minister for Tourism, Dan Tehan, is consulting with AFTA and the broader tourism sector about support to ensure Australia’s COVID-19 recovery.
Australia’s travel agents and businesses have been in hard lockdown economically for close to 700 days due to international travel and cruising representing the bulk of revenue for most agencies. With international travelling only normalising in the second half of 2022, these two financial quarters are the toughest the sector has ever faced.
Australia’s travel agents are helping Australians manage up to $6 Billion in credits for COVID-impacted travel and this, on top of the complexities of travelling in COVID-times, means more and more Australians are relying more heavily on their travel professionals than ever before.
A survey of AFTA members shows revenue for Jan 22 is down 96 per cent from Jan 30, compounding the 80 per cent decline experienced in FY21. On average 51per cent of all travel businesses’ work is assisting clients to use travel credits for COVID-affected travel.
“Our Government is working with AFTA to ensure we retain the necessary people and skills in Australia’s travel sector to support travelling Australians and the management of the estimated $6 billion in consumer travel credits,” Tehan said.
Dean Long, CEO of AFTA said the travel agent community is very grateful that the Federal Government has made the announcement to open our international borders.
“These next two quarters will be the toughest for Australia’s Travel Sector yet and we will only start seeing revenue benefit flow after international travel normalises,” Long said.
“Over 70 per cent of all international travel out of Australia pre-COVID was booked through an Australian travel retailer and we know the complexities of travel in COVID-time mean the reliance on Australia’s travel professionals will climb as international travel returns to normal.”