Travel Agents

National party pushes for $400 fortnightly top-up for travel industry post-JobKeeper

The National Party is pushing for a redirection of $180 million in federal funding to help the travel industry survive post-Jobkeeper.

Spearheaded by Nationals MP Pat Conaghan, the plan would see $180 million from the two assistance packages for travel agents used as a top-up payment to the JobSeeker unemployment benefit, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The top-up would be aimed at travel agency staff who lose their jobs after the 31 March JobKeeper deadline, adding a $400 fortnightly supplement to the $620.80 JobSeeker payment.

“The travel industry has lost everything,” Conaghan said during a meeting with Minister for Tourism Dan Tehan.

In an impassioned speech he posted to his Facebook page, Conaghan said domestic travel only accounts for between five and ten per cent of income for travel agents and that 17,000 people have left the industry so far. 

“This is an industry we cannot leave to die,” he said.

A press release from the Federal National Party said the party supports Conaghan’s advocating for an industry-specific package.

“After meeting with travel agents from my electorate in September and facilitating a zoom meeting with travel representatives from across Nationals and LNP electorates recently, the Nationals Members of Parliament have discussed the industry’s plight and are calling for an industry-specific support package,” Conaghan said.

“I want the travel industry to know the Nationals have your back and we appreciate 40 per cent of your travel agencies operate in regional and rural Australia and 80 per cent of your workers are women.”


Conaghan has met with AFTA CEO Darren Rudd and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack in recent days to discuss the contents of a potential support package to take to Cabinet.

“There is still $4 billion owed to Australians in refunds from internationally based airlines, hotels and tour operators,” Rudd said.

“Travel agents have successfully secured $6 billion back for their customers already. It’s a process that is complex, frustrating in the current circumstances and time-consuming.

“Travel agents are doing this for free while continuing to bear the associated operating costs. Without tailored support, this already financially untenable situation becomes unbearable. If travel agents are forced to close their doors, not only will more jobs go but who will look after those consumers still waiting to get their money back?

“This is why we are so grateful for every bit of support including from so many MPs including Pat Conaghan in raising the desperate need of travel agents and travelling Australians.”

Rudd and AFTA director David Smith met with Tehan on Wednesday to discuss the additional $130 million of the consumer support grant.

“The focus of the meeting was the design principles for the $130 million second round of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Consumer Support Grant and the need to ensure the balance of the $128 Million round one is distributed appropriately,” said Rudd.

“In addition to encouraging the Government to look at extending the grant period beyond the current June end, AFTA continues to push for equitable and timely distribution of funds to those travel businesses that so desperately need support.”


Image: Twitter/@PatConaghanMP

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Events

Bali travel forced to refund attendees after “underwhelming” event

A festival aiming to quench the thirst of those who would rather be in Bali right now was forced to issue refunds and offer free entry after attendees claim they were lied to.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

ScoMo “in no hurry” to reopen Australia’s international borders

It appears the likelihood of more travel bubbles being announced soon is about the same as ScoMo’s beloved Sharkies winning the NRL Premiership this year … not good.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

YIPPEE! Two-way trans-Tasman bubble finally kicks off

Today is the day, folks! As of midnight last night, the two-way trans-Tasman bubble is FINALLY open! Get the lowdown on NZ flights and tour discounts right here.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

“Do not trust the GPS”: Google Maps places rural town 85km north of its actual location

According to the mayors of a handful of rural Aussie towns, this isn’t the first time the popular travel app has caused problems for them.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“We call it the triple win”: Global Work & Travel launches new affiliate program

Have you been searching for ways to earn some much-needed moolah ever since JobKeeper ended? Here’s one that doesn’t involve busking on the street or spinning signs.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

CLIA to welcome 18 new ships with virtual showcase

The association is bringing you all the latest vessel news from the maritime world with this exclusive showcase.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

GM appointed to lead Best Western’s newest Aussie hotel

Australia’s newest luxe boutique hotel has named its GM who, according to the accompanying press photo, has a strong beard game.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Savenio restructures commission model

There’s been plenty of tszujing happening over at Savenio lately. However, that’s not to suggest the “Fab Five” paid the agency network a visit.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas still committed to October restart for international flights, says Joyce

Qantas’ CEO doesn’t plan on letting a few vaccine “speedbumps” get in the way of the flying kangaroo going international in October.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Florida Governor sues CDC and Biden administration, demanding resumption of cruising

The lawsuit claims the US government is “singling out” the cruise industry and costing the state billions.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Man blows almost $20,000 after refusing temperature check at Disney World

Today, in what NOT to do at Disney World, we bring you reports of a man who blew almost $20,000 after getting kicked out for refusing a temperature check.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Rail Europe launches fresh e-learning program for agents

Are you looking to get your rail bookings back on track? Go full steam ahead with this new online training tool.

Share

CommentComments