Health Minister Greg Hunt has attended a Zoom meeting with 30 travel agencies, who briefed him on the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA)’s request for tailored financial support.
AFTA chair Tom Manwaring joined the agencies, who were all from Hunt’s electorate of Flinders, to speak to him about the $125 million support package for travel agents the association is requesting ahead of the Federal Budget. The meeting was part of AFTA’s National Mobilisation Program.
Managing director of Mornington Travel, Lee Midson, arranged the meeting with fellow Mornington Peninsula travel agencies and supported AFTA’s ‘strength in numbers’ approach to championing the agent cause.
“From big travel brands to independents, we saw a diverse cross-section of local travel agents come together today online to support each other and our cause,” Midson said.
“I was moved by our chairman’s [AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring] comments around the struggles we are all facing as fellow travel business owners, and the reality that because we represent a sector within a sector federal government support is essential to help us keep helping our customers into 2021.
“Minister Hunt understood the unique challenges facing travel agents and encouraged the Industry to continue to engage with their local members and states
“We need our domestic borders to be open so that hopefully future demand for domestic travel can help kick start a recovery in the travel and tourism industry.”
AFTA chief executive Darren Rudd said the meeting provided more proof of local AFTA members resonating with key federal decision-makers.
“I’m pleased to hear that Minister Hunt, as a frequent user of travel agents, understands the inherent value that travel agents bring and understands the situation AFTA members are currently facing.”
“In the lead up to the Federal Budget it’s critical we keep connecting with each other and our local politicians, and I warmly thank Lee for organising yesterday’s meeting.”
“I encourage AFTA members to use AFTA’s National Mobilisation Program toolkit if they have yet to do so and contact their local Federal Representative.”