DARREN Rudd, Chief Executive Officer

Australian Federation of Travel Agents

It has been a busy start to the new year. The AFTA team and I have been busily working away in the background across a range of areas.

An absolute key priority remains working with the government on the travel support package. To that end, I am happy to announce that we have a series of meetings with key Cabinet Ministers including the Tourism Minister this week.

We are acutely aware of our members’ concerns across arrange of areas including the policy construct, the amounts within tiering levels, and structural imbalance based on the ambiguity of the G1 BAS statement definition.

Additionally, an extension of a version of JobKeeper for our sector is also high on the agenda for discussion in Canberra this week following on from our messaging across national TV, print and radio last week.

We appreciate that JobKeeper may take on a new name and form, but the underlying intention, to ensure travel agents can continue to repatriate the outstanding $4 billion in consumer travel funds, remains unchanged. It’s about providing a life-line to help businesses survive until borders are liberated.

It is also worth noting that AFTA has been collaborating with the ACCC in a purposeful and constructive way, and the efforts of this cooperation is resulting in more immediate and real benefit.

In late December, the ACCC updated their website with some key additions that will assist members by providing consumers with a more balanced and realistic approach to manage their expectations.

Specifically, this change relates to whether or not consumers are entitled to a refund for travel bookings cancelled due to government restrictions will depend on the terms and conditions of their booking. The information can be found HERE.

I encourage all members to please read the email communications that AFTA disseminates on a regular basis and visit our website to ensure that you remain informed about the work AFTA is undertaking to ensure the survival of the sector and how it relates to you and your business. Stay tuned as we develop a road map of webinars commencing this month to keep our members up-to-date.

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