The Morrison Government will provide an additional $130 million to support travel agents.
Our Government has now committed $258 million to support travel agents through the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program, this is on top of the 800,000 discounted airfares provided via the $1.2 billion aviation and tourism support package as well as access to JobSeeker.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said applications for Round 2 of the program were now open to provide further support for eligible travel agents, inbound tour operators and tour wholesalers.
“Our Government is finalising payments under Round One of the program valued at $128 million, which has supported around 3000 travel agents who continue to service their customers, including by providing refunds and credits for Australians whose travel has been impacted by state border lockdowns and the closure of international borders,” Mr Tehan said.
“We have been working with industry associations to ensure the delivery of effective and efficient support packages targeted to those industries impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19.
“I would like to thank the Australian Federation of Travel Agents Limited (AFTA), Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) for working closely with the Government on the design of the second round of this package.
Under Round Two, eligible travel agents and tour operators who have received a payment under Round One may be entitled to a second payment, ranging between $7,500 and $100,000. To be eligible the business must:
- Have been operating a travel agent, inbound tour operator or tour wholesaler business prior to the announcement of the closure of international borders, and are continuing to operate that business;
- Have a turnover of between $50,000 and $20 million (or between $500,000 and $200 million Total Transaction Value – TTV) for the 2019 calendar year; and
- Have been in receipt of the JobKeeper extension (28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021).
To ensure equity, businesses found to have received a payment based on TTV in Round One that was greater than they would otherwise have received if the payments for Round One and Two were calculated on turnover, will not be eligible for a Round Two payment.
“The best thing the Government can do for our tourism businesses is to get tourists back spending money,” Mr Tehan said.
“Before COVID-19, domestic tourism made up approximately 77 per cent – or $107 billion – of tourism spend and we want to see that level of spending return.
“Our Government announced 800,000 half-price airfares to support airlines and tourist destinations and when you’re booking your discount holiday, do it through your local travel agent to support them as well.”