COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program

On 2 May 2021, the Australian Government announced the launch of Round Two of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program. Round Two of the program opened 2 May 2021 and closed 11:59 AEDT 12 June 2021. Round Two Program Guidelines and FAQs are available under ‘Key Documents’.

Exceptional circumstances requests must be submitted by:

  • Round One – whichever is the later of: 
    • 11:59 PM AEST 10 June 2021 or
    • within 10 business days of your claim or review/appeal outcome being finalised.
  • Round Two –  whichever is the later of:
    • 11:59 PM AEST 4 July 2021 or
    • within 10 business days of your claim or review/appeal outcome being finalised.

Exceptional circumstances applications received beyond these dates will not be considered.

If your Round One exceptional circumstances case is currently under review, you will not be affected by the above deadlines.

Applicants seeking Round Two exceptional circumstances must email consumertravelsupport@austrade.gov.au and provide further details.

Eligible multi-outlet businesses with a combined turnover of greater than $20 million

In June Minister Tehan considered this cohort and decided to make no changes in relation to this group and their eligibility to apply under the program at this time. The Minister may reconsider this group when total demand on Round 2 of the program is known and payments have been finalised - likely in mid to late August. Austrade will engage with stakeholders and update the website at that time.

Eligible multi-outlet businesses with a combined turnover of less than $20 million

A decision on multi-outlet businesses in this category is still under review and once total demand for Round Two funds is known and when it is known that sufficient funds are available to support these businesses, a further update is expected to be by mid- August 2021.

Program overview

On 1 December 2020, the Australian Government announced a $128 million scheme to assist travel agents and inbound tour operators and tour wholesalers (tour arrangement service providers, consistent with ANZSIC code 7220) who have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The scheme provides eligible travel agents and tour arrangement service providers with a one-off payment to assist with their legal obligations to continue to hold credits and seek refunds for Australian consumers who were unable to travel due to COVID-19. The program closed on 13 March 2021.

On 11 March 2021, the Australian Government announced a second round of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program. An additional $130 million has been provided under round two to help give eligible travel agents breathing space to facilitate customer refunds, and follow up travel credits.

Changes under round two of the program

Several adjustments have been made as part of the second round as a result of industry feedback and to create a more equitable program. These include:

  • Simplifying the assessment and payment process for eligible businesses.
  • Increasing the minimum payment from $1500 to $7,500 with payments tiers up to a maximum of $100,000.
  • Reducing the number of turnover tiers used to calculate payments, from 41 in round one to nine in round two.

Please refer to the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program round two program guidelines for full eligibility criteria.

Application dates

Round one:  Applications opened 14 December 2020 and closed midnight AEDT, 13 March 2021.

Round two: Applications opened 2 May 2021 and closed 11:59pm AEDT, 12 June 2021.

Eligibility under round two

Businesses must meet all eligibility requirements and have received payment under round one to be eligible for round two of the program, unless an exceptional circumstance decision applies.

Round two applicants must also:

  • Sign an e-declaration (as part of the online application form) that:
    • You have been eligible for, and received a round one payment;
    • Your business’ round one turnover figure was not based on TTV; and
    • Your business is solvent and intends to continue to operate for the April to June 2021 quarter, (refer to “Declaration of Solvency’ at 4 below); and
    • You will make best endeavours to retain your staff; and to meet your obligations to process refunds and travel credits to Australian consumers.
  • Confirm the information you have provided is complete and correct;
    • If your declaration is false then any overpayment will be recovered.
    • Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence under the Criminal Code 1995.

Businesses must be able to declare that no part of the turnover figure used to calculate your round one payment was based on Total Transaction Value (TTV).

For businesses with a G1 figure of $500,000 or more, an additional financial verification by Austrade will confirm that TTV was not the basis for your round one payment.

A Flowchart has been included in the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program Round two FAQs to assist applicants in determining their eligibility.

Timeline

The assessment process can take between four to 12 weeks depending on the number of applications received .

Note: The timeline below is a guide only and is subject to change.

Timeline for applications

Timeline for applications 2021. Estimated payment times for Exceptional Circumstances, G1 over/under $500,000, and no Exceptional Circumstances, G1 under $500,000

*This is the amount that appears next to the G1 label on your Business Activity Statement (BAS).

Important information about the timeline for Exceptional Circumstances and applications with a G1 over $500,000

If your application (including Exceptional Circumstances applications) has a G1 figure of $500,000 or more, Austrade will conduct an additional financial verification. Additional financial verifications will be based on advice from the accounting firm, Deloitte.

Once your application has been referred to Deloitte you will receive an email requesting you register and verify your application online via the Halo portal (managed by Deloitte). You will also be required to upload:

  1. Detailed profit and loss statement, and balance sheet for the 2019 financial year.
  2. A letter from a Qualified Accountant confirming you have applied the appropriate definition of Turnover in your application.

Once the verification is complete the findings will be referred to Austrade, who will then advise Services Australia if payment is supported.

Exceptional circumstances

Applications will also be considered under the following exceptional circumstances:

  • The turnover used to determine the round one payment will be the basis of any round two payment. If the figure on the G1 of your BAS does not reflect your business’ actual turnover for the reporting period, you may be considered for exceptional circumstances for round one. We will not be able to reverse decisions already made through round one exceptional circumstances reviews in round two.
  • Businesses found to have received a payment based on TTV in round one that was less than they would otherwise have received if the payments for round one and two were calculated on turnover, will be able to lodge an exceptional circumstances claim for the difference. 

Applicants seeking exceptional circumstances must submit their requests via email to consumertravelsupport@austrade.gov.au

Key documents

Round One

Round Two

Need to get in touch?

Enquiry Contact
Application or system support issues Services Australia
1800 560 774
Australian tax enquiries Australian Tax Office
13 28 66
Between 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday
General Tourism enquiries Austrade Tourism Recovery
tourism@Austrade.gov.au
CTSP Round Two Enquiries
(including exceptional circumstance requests)
consumertravelsupport@austrade.gov.au
Report a scam/phishing attack Services Australia Scams and Identify Theft Helpdesk
1800 941 126
reportascam@servicesaustralia.gov.au