Australia’s Tourism Minister has once again called on travel agents to apply for federal government funding, with more than $61 million handed out so far as part of the sector-specific support scheme.
At a meeting with Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) chief executive Darren Rudd and chair Tom Manwaring in Canberra yesterday, Dan Tehan revealed that over $61 million has been paid to nearly 1,600 businesses under the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program.
The Tourism Minister noted that a further 1,010 claims are being processed, and encouraged agents to keep applying until applications close on 13 March 2021.
“I urge all travel agents to submit their grant application for the Travel Support Program as soon as possible,” he said in a statement issued by AFTA.
Tehan also thanked AFTA for its constructive engagement with the government about the challenges that the travel industry faces.
“The Morrison government has supported travel agents through JobKeeper and the $128 million Travel Support Program, and it was valuable to hear firsthand from the sector how businesses are coping,” he said.
Manwaring said the meeting was a constructive one in which the issues and concerns of the sector were discussed in great detail.
“The Minister spent considerable time listening to us in order to understand, in detail, the nuances of the travel sector’s operations and challenges before moving on to discuss the grants program,” the AFTA chair said.
“Minister Tehan acknowledges the distress of businesses within the travel and tourism sector. The Minister is committed to continuing to work with AFTA to support the industry.”
Last month, Tehan revealed that a potential post-JobKeeper support package for the tourism industry was being considered.