By Brett Jardine, Managing Director, Council of Australian Tour Operators
WITH the federal election now behind us and a new Government in place, CATO’s advocacy efforts will continue to focus on the challenges that remain for our sector.
Tour Operators and Wholesalers play a critical role in product development to provide a wide offering to travelling Australians.
This results in the need to continually invest in new product long before travel can take place and underpins much of what retail agents sell and earn commission from.
The investment in product and resource requires significant cash to support through to final delivery, and these organisations are not able to recognise real revenue until travel has availed.
CATO will continue to seek ongoing support from government to ensure Tour Operators and Wholesalers are here for the long-term to support Australians venturing overseas.
In the weeks leading up to the election it was pleasing to hear the outgoing government pay homage to outbound travel, traditionally seen as Australians taking their holiday dollars out of the country.
What is now well understood within government circles is the simple fact that outbound travel does deliver an economic impact as it is complimentary to inbound travel and underpins aviation capacity, two areas that are critical to our economy.
It goes without saying that if fewer Australians are leaving to go overseas, there will not only be less capacity for inbound travellers but also less capacity for freight — not a great outcome for Australia!
From our ongoing engagement with the Labor Party whilst in opposition, this overarching message was very clear and well understood.
We are now very keen to ensure the new government is true to their word and continues to recognise the value we bring to the economy, through ongoing support as we emerge from COVID.