BRETT Jardine, Managing Director, Council of Australian Tour Operators
The Annual General Meeting of the Council of Australian Tour Operators was held late last month with a record eleven nominees vying for six vacant Board positions.
Having a field of high-quality candidates seeking to join the board speaks to how engaged our members are.
Our Board is made up of ten representatives from within our 170 plus membership group.
Four CATO Board Members are mid-way through their two-year term including current Chair, Dennis Bunnik, Bunnik Tours, along with Brett Mitchell, Intrepid Group; Amanda McCann, Collette and Julie King, Julie King & Associates.
Liz Anderson from Sundowners Overland was elected unopposed as CATO’s Vice-Chair for the next two years, while David Walker from Sno’n’Ski Holidays has been returned to the Board for his third consecutive term.
The four other successful nominees that join the CATO Board are all newcomers and include a strong line-up of youth, capability, and experience from a cross-section of our membership. They are Aaron Zoanetti, Pointon Partners Lawyers; Lisa Pagotto, Crooked Compass; Brad McDonnell, Entire Travel Group and Peter Douglas, Globus Family of Brands.
With many learnings coming from the current COVID crisis, the CATO Board will be leading our membership group in tackling a number of potential reform areas.
A good example of one such topic is operators’ booking terms & conditions, where a lack of consistency has not served us well during COVID.
We have already moved on this issue and are working with CATO Associate Member, Pointon Partners, to develop what we are keen to see as a core set of standard T&Cs that can potentially be adopted by all participants in the land-supply sector. In many (if not all) cases, operators are likely to require some bespoke additions to any standard T&Cs but if the vast majority are working off the same base line, future tussles with the likes of the ACCC should certainly be kept to a minimum.