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AFTA strong financially as public chooses favourite agencies

June 25, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is in a strong financial position, according to its latest annual report. The federation is raising its profile through consumer advertising, and its quest to find the country’s best travel agency, by public vote, is going equally well.

The 2019 People’s Choice: Retail Travel Agency of the Year, as voted by the public, has garnered an impressive and unprecedented 13,000 consumer votes across the campaign period.

Yesterday, AFTA announced the state finalists for the retail agency contest, in which the Australian public backs their favourite ATAS accredited travel agencies.

AFTA has also released its annual report, with much good news.

“AFTA is in a very strong financial position and this report outlines that in detail,” AFTA chairman Tom Manwaring, wrote.

“Releasing the value of the Sydney CBD property asset at the peak of the commercial property cycle has enabled supplementary income to flow to AFTA for the provision of extended consumer advertising which has already demonstrated value and benefit for members and the Board is very pleased with this approach.”

AFTA chief executive, Jayson Westbury, noted: “AFTA is in a very strong financial position with significant equity and capacity to invest in a sustained program of consumer engagement via television and radio above the line advertising. Something that members have been asking for over many years.”

In similar manner, the People’s Choice Campaign has been conveyed to the public through dedicated consumer marketing initiatives on channels including Facebook and Instagram, accompanied by short-form video advertising on major news platforms such as

Australian consumers were asked to vote for their favourite ATAS travel agency and in return for their vote, offered the chance to win a big prize courtesy of APT.

The campaign was administered by International Traveller Magazine and Australian Traveller Magazine and further supported through a new media partnership with Nine Entertainment and The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age Traveller.

Consumers were invited to vote either online or through magazine survey forms. To promote further awareness, AFTA created branded assets that agencies could use to promote their agency and rally consumer votes.

And now for the finalists!

The travel agencies who received the most consumer votes in each state have become category finalists, with the winner set to be announced at the National Travel Industry Award Gala Dinner, to be held on Saturday 20 July 2019 at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.

The 2019 People’s Choice Finalists:

  • QLD: Noosa Cruise and Travel
  • NSW: Chris Watson Travel
  • ACT: Weston Cruise & Travel
  • VIC: Sisterhood Women’s Travel
  • TAS: Burnie Travel Centre
  • SA: Kingscote Travel
  • NT:  Helloworld Travel Alice Springs
  • WA:  Bicton Travel

“Thank you to all ATAS accredited travel agencies, and prize partner APT, who got behind this years’ campaign,” Westbury commented.

“We are delighted to see the campaign grow year-on-year, gaining significant traction in the market.

“We’ve witnessed a sizable increase in the number of consumers who voted for their favourite accredited retail agency this year. This increased participation by consumers speaks volumes for the role that travel agents continue to play in the travel booking processes.”

AFTA’s annual report can be downloaded here.

Written by Peter Needham

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