CATO has ramped up its extensive discussions with the Federal Government over the last month with meetings with the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s Office and Minister for Tourism, Dan Tehan’s Office in order to keep pressure on Government, ahead of the national approach to opening up borders.
CATO Managing Director, Brett Jardine said, “Despite vaccine rates rapidly increasing, signifying the resumption of international travel within sight – we are not out of the woods yet. The travel industry needs financial support to enable its recovery. For many, a lack of income over the last two years combined with employee reduction is a difficult starting point for the anticipated pent up travel demand and will place a lot of pressure on businesses, at a time when they need to re-invest”.
CATO has called for continued government financial support to enable sector recovery, combined with a co-ordinated national approach to opening up and staying open once Australia reaches 80% vaccination rate. Jardine said, “CATO’s efforts in supporting the land-supply sector will deliver direct benefit to its travel agent distribution partners”.
“The industry needs to be able to act with confidence in the national approach with clear and transparent communication. It will struggle to survive if it invests in opening, only to have borders shut again. Consumer confidence is crucial to our recovery and the government plays a critical role in the unification of our states around a commitment to opening and allowing our industry to rebuild,” said Jardine.
CATO supports the Federal Government vaccination program and subsequent easing of border restrictions and has been vocal on the importance of home quarantine. CATO Chair, Dennis Bunnik recently appeared on the ABC’s 7.30 Report outlining home quarantine as a solution to one of the ongoing current barriers to travel.
Jardine confirmed that CATO’s continues to send a strong message to government around the structure of the industry. “Whilst borders may open in the coming months, travel businesses are unable to recognise revenue until travel has been undertaken. It is crucial that our sector can invest now to prepare their businesses for recovery, to re-start operations, re-employ and train staff, put in place processes to ensure safe travel and create new products and packages for Australians to be able to travel with confidence once travel resumes,” he said.