AFTA view

DARREN Rudd, Chief Executive Officer

DARREN Rudd, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Federation of Travel Agents

We know Australians want to travel again. We also know that travel agents want to help get Australians travelling again.

International travel is the bread and butter for Australia’s travel agents and while we’re starting to see domestic travel slowly emerge, albeit with the ongoing challenges of COVID-clusters, until outbound travel resumes, life is going to continue to be extremely challenging for our sector.

So how can we re-open our domestic and national borders in a medically-led and responsible manner while protecting lives? The answer is simple. Conceptually, travel bubbles could start right now between those states and countries that already have low rates of COVID-19 and little risk of community transmission, as deemed so by epidemiologists.

This would allow Australia to work through its own international travel protocols as distinct from all other countries which are currently experiencing full commercial airline travel.

At present, the establishment of scientifically-and medically-led travel bubbles is the main focus of AFTA and we believe a step in the right direction to restarting the economy and creating jobs.

AFTA is bringing together a group of experts and business leaders within our sector, and across others, to deliver solid thought-leadership, drive change and bring confidence to consumers, businesses and governments. We must find a better balance that accommodates both health precautions and border openings, and travel bubbles are the right way forward.

What is extremely promising is that the Asia-Pacific zone is seen as one of two large travel bubbles that could occur, along with Europe.

AFTA is committed to doing all that it can to help members get through this period and will continue to work closely and collaboratively with government, at all levels and across parties, and with other industry bodies, to map out the best path forward and get Australians doing what we do best — travelling!


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