The federal government has released the framework for the second round of its COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program.
An additional $130 million has been provided under round two to help give eligible agents breathing space to facilitate customer refunds and follow up travel credits.
Several adjustments have been made to the second round to take into account industry feedback. Round two is expected to open in late April 2021 and close in June 2021.
The government said it will continue to consult with the industry to finalise the conditions of round two.
However, the key changes include simplifying the assessment and payment process for businesses eligible for a second payment under the program, as well as increasing the payment amounts, from $7,500 up to a maximum of $100,000.
The government is also reducing the number of turnover tiers used to calculate payments, from 41 in round one to nine in round two.
You can check out all of the eligibility requirements for the second round of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program here.
Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) chair Tom Manwaring said the federation has been working closely with the Council of Australian Tour Operators and the Australian Tourism Export Council in helping the government shape round two of the program.
“This has continued to involve detailed conversations with Tourism Minister Dan Tehan as well as through to the implementation body, Austrade,” he said.
“We are very grateful for the level of engagement from Minister Tehan and for his commitment to making sure these desperately needed funds get to travel agents and businesses that so badly need support to get through this.
“It is pleasing to see increased support for those travel agents and businesses at the smaller end. We continue to push the case for those medium and larger businesses which also badly need support – turnover for the purposes of the grant is total business income.
“With the resumption of international travel slipping further away, and with our AFTA members still facing the reality of revenue falls of over 90 per cent, we are also continuing our discussions on the need for support in the federal Budget and beyond to sustain members’ businesses through at least the first half of the [2021-22 financial year].
“The AFTA board and team are united in our focus on securing and maximising support for our members.”
Featured image source: iStock/Olivier Le Moal