TRAVEL agents will be able to apply for a one-off payment of up to $10,000 as part of a Federal Government rescue package designed to support the struggling industry.
The $128 million support package will help roughly 3,000 to 4,000 agents whose annual turnover is in the vicinity of $50,000 and $20 million, who’ve been among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses at the bottom of the turnover bracket will be eligible to collect a minimum one-off payment of $1,500, and those at the top end will be able to claim the maximum payment of $100,000.
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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.”