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Ongoing Government-Industry collaboration key on Tourism Restart Plan

July 7, 2020 Business News No Comments Email Email

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) said ongoing collaboration between Federal, State and Territory Governments and industry bodies is key to successfully restarting tourism and the wider economy.The comments follow today’s release of the Tourism Restart Plan which includes a number of recommendations of specific relevance to the travel sector including:

  • the ongoing need for the easing of restrictions and border openings unless serious and transparent benchmarks are compromised;
  • the need for Governments and Health Authorities to reinforce to consumers that it is safe to travel within Australia;
  • the need to establish a Trans-Tasman bubble in July;
  • the need for Government to clarify the conditions which need to be met for country to country travel to reopen and ensure sufficient lead times to enable travel to commence efficiently;
  • the urgent need for JobKeeper or similar to be extended for those businesses directly impacted by government restrictions or completely shut down;
  • the need for a reprieve in demand dampening charges including the Passenger Movement Charge and FBT on travel/entertainment;
  • the reality that businesses need the support of insurers and their underwriters to offer the certainty that insurance provides at an affordable price.

AFTA Director Graham Turner represented the peak body on the taskforce. AFTA represents 3000 travel agents and their 40,000 employees.
Quotes attributable to Darren Rudd, AFTA CEO:
“The travel, tourism and hospitality sectors have been working closely with Government to constructively navigate the current challenges so that we are protecting jobs and businesses while also supporting Government in protecting lives.”
“There’s no doubt that significant challenges exist in getting this balance right. By working together as we have with the Tourism Restart Plan, we have been able to identify a number of realistic steps government can take that will unlock real and immediate benefit for travel agents and travel businesses as well as across tourism, hospitality and events.”
“These measures include greater clarity on the triggers for restriction easing and border re-opening; government and health authorities boosting consumer confidence that it’s safe to travel within Australia; and ongoing collaboration on the bold and necessary reforms needed to protect tourism and the important role of travel agents in restarting this critical driver of the national economy.”

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