Travel Agents

“They deserve respect”: Former Labor leader states case for agent support from government

The need for tailored financial support for travel agents is once again being flagged on the floor of federal parliament, this time by former Labor leader Bill Shorten and member for Warringah Zali Steggall.

During Monday’s proceedings, Shorten, who is the member for Maribyrnong, spoke out about the workers who have been left behind by JobKeeper, and who will be left behind in December when the payments end.

“I want to talk about one group of people. If they are not the hardest hit, no other group is any harder hit. I talk about the small and medium-size businesses of the travel agency sector,” he said.

“They’ve been terribly hard hit in Australia, in Victoria and in my electorate of Maribyrnong and they are concerned that, without proper, targeted support, it will be the death knell for their businesses.”

Shorten said he recently met with a group of travel agents from his electorate as well as the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) CEO Darren Rudd.

“They made the directness of their plight very plain emotionally, truthfully, factually, painfully,” he said.

“Travel agents in Australia employ 40,000 Australians in metro and regional locations. Thirty thousand of the employees in the travel agency sector are women.

“They are the fabric of each community. They sponsor the local clubs and the local high street traders. They are part of our landscape.”

“I met with AFTA, and they have asked for sector-specific funding in the form of grants – a 12-month bridge back to business of $250 million, plus concessional loans. That’s AFTA’s ask. The government will have to work out if they can afford it, which I suspect they can.

“These travel agents, these small and medium-sized businesses, deserve imagination. They deserve passion. They deserve a bespoke approach. They deserve respect.

“Forty-thousand people who helped make the rest of us have a much more enjoyable quality of life. Let us, who have benefited from the travel agency industry, not abandon the travel agency industry, because certainly if we booked with them they wouldn’t do that to us.”

Steggall also mentioned meeting with travel agents from her electorate and said they are desperate.

“They are calling on Minister Birmingham to do something about their sector,” she said.

“They’re desperate that there either be some travel corridors or something to address it.

“They are in a situation of no pipeline of work for some 12 to 18 months, as we face worldwide uncertainty over what is happening with the pandemic.

“We can’t just assume that a vaccine will be available and it will be a return to business as usual. We must prepare and have a long-term plan.”

Rudd is currently in Canberra meeting with key decision-makers including the prime minister’s office continuing to push the cause for support.

A petition calling for tailored support with 5008 signatures was also lodged in the House of Representatives, which you can check out here.

This follows news that targeted travel agent support was the most-flagged issue raised by members of parliament at an early October Joint Coalition Party Room meeting.

According to a release from AFTA, this came as a result of its members briefing 42 cabinet and shadow cabinet ministers.


Featured image credit: Facebook/Bill Shorten

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

Aussie states and territories restrict NZ arrivals after Auckland declared a Commonwealth hotspot

by Huntley Mitchell

The trans-Tasman travel plans of Kiwis have once again been thrown into disarray thanks to a concerning COVID cluster in Auckland.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA’s interim survey results reveal “distressing” statistics, says Rudd

AFTA has released interim results of its ‘Travelsectorkeeper’ survey, and they make for some pretty grim reading, according to CEO Darren Rudd.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

American Airlines confirms pilot saw UFO, says to contact the FBI

by Ali Coulton

We don’t know about you, but we see this as proof enough to start constructing tinfoil hats and heading for the hills.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Here’s how Scotland is embracing the ‘new normal’

While international travel may be at a standstill, Scottish tourism businesses have kept busy adapting services for their guests and local communities.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Abercrombie & Kent unveils remote Flinders Island adventure

The luxury travel connoisseur is bringing remote and unusual parts of Australia into the spotlight with the launch of this new active adventure off the Tasmanian coast.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“There’s a fair bit of work to still go there”: ScoMo plays down hype around ‘vaccine passports’

by Ali Coulton

When the PM talks about international travel, the whole of Australia listens. However, in this instance, you’re going to have to switch on your eyes rather than your ears.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre posts $234m loss, but grows its share in “large and important” Aussie leisure market

by Huntley Mitchell

If you ignore that big negative number in the headline, it’s all very positive news here from FCTG.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas suffers $1bn half-yearly loss, pushes back international flight plans

by Huntley Mitchell

The flying kangaroo won’t be hopping overseas as soon as originally hoped, after posting a “stark, but not surprising” loss.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Brisvegas tapped as preferred host for 2032 Olympic Games

Crack a tinnie of XXXX Gold, because it looks like the Olympics might be coming to Queensland 32 years after Sydney’s hosting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line extends US pause, as Canadian port closures spark Seabourn, Princess and HAL cancellations

Canada’s obnoxiously handsome PM, Justin Trudeau, has chucked a spanner in the works for cruise fanatics over on that side of the globe.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Intrepid co-founder backs the Pinterest of travel apps

The social media platform claims to be the first to let users share travel-specific content to create real-world itineraries.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Why your clients will be drawn to Japan’s heartland once international travel restarts

by Sponsored by Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation

With your clients no doubt itching to get back overseas, here’s a destination that’s a realistic chance of reopening to Aussies before many others.

Share

CommentComments