By Dean Long, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Federation of Travel Agents
Another big month for AFTA! Thank you for all the positive feedback on NTIA. It was three years in the waiting, 6 months in making and the 1,200 travel professionals in the room had a brilliant time.
We are committed to ensuring the NTIA’s continue to be the pre-eminent event in the travel industry calendar. By offering the highest recognition in our sector for both businesses and individuals the night is certainly the celebration of the year. We also took the step this year of removing the AFTA branding from the evening in recognition of the power of collaboration and inclusion that saw us pull together so well in recent years.
Thank you to our media partners, Travel Daily and travelBulletin, for capturing the evening so well and allowing every winner to share their thoughts, which we live streamed through Facebook and Instagram from the ATAS Champions Lounge.
These videos can be accessed now via @traveldailyau instagram profile and are an inspiring reminder of the talent and professionalism that makes our sector shine and reflects the importance of NTIA recognition to each of our winners.
On the advocacy front, Tom, LJ and I were down in Canberra last week as we continued to increase awareness of the importance of ATAS travel businesses. Importantly the new government didn’t increase any of the fees or charges which would slow our recovery. AFTA continues to monitor this closely, especially since we will have another budget in May of next year.
While the budget had the headline, AFTA is also reviewing the Workplace Relations Bill which has caused some concern for us, particularly the multi bargaining arrangements. As ATAS travel business, we continue to have pay and conditions significantly above award rates and we don’t want these conditions be errored which may occur if this bill remains unchanged. AFTA continues to work with our economy wide Industry Associations partners including Business Council and ACCI to ensure we get the balance right.