1 December 2020
The Morrison Government will provide a one-off payment to assist travel agents in recognition that many continue to work hard processing consumer refunds, whilst unable to trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said most travel agents face the unique circumstance of having to refund existing bookings at the same time as they manage their operating models in the face of ongoing uncertainty about international travel.
“This one off payment recognises that travel agents are operating in an exceptional set of circumstances where most are having to refund last year’s income while continuing to work with no additional income,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Providing further assistance to travel agents in the current environment will help keep them afloat at a time when they are continuing to hold travel credits for consumers who have previously cancelled travel.
“This one off payment is in addition to our significant economic support for the tourism and travel industry during the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to assist hundreds of thousands of tourism businesses across Australia.”
Australian Federation of Travel Agents Chief Executive Officer Darren Rudd welcomed the Morrison Government’s assistance payments for travel agents.
“We are delighted that the Morrison Government has acknowledged the unique and challenging circumstances that Travel Agents have been confronted with,” Mr Rudd said.
“This package will help to ensure the sectors sustainability to assist Australian travellers with the new world of COVIDSafe travel.”
Under the $128 million scheme, eligible travel agents with a turnover of between $50,000 and $20 million a year will be able to apply for the one off payment.
Payments will be scaled, with a minimum payment of $1500 for a business with a turnover of $50 000 up to a maximum payment of $100,000 for a business with a turnover of $20 million.