CATO View – April 2013

Now is the time to support the drive for an industry-led accreditation scheme

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Peter BaileyNow is the time to support the drive for
an industry-led accreditation scheme

By Peter Baily, general manager,
Council of Australian Tour Operators


THE Travel Industry Transition Plan (TITP) is gathering momentum with the recent appointment by AFTA of Gary O’Riordan as general manager – accreditation and the retention of KPMG to help build the accreditation criteria within the framework of the ACCC – Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct.
This highlights a significant investment and commitment by AFTA in its role to ensure the travel industry gets a truly workable and fair accreditation scheme.

Gary’s appointment is a great step forward; he is well known in the travel and tourism industry for his services to the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), and he also has wide knowledge and skills in developing accreditation schemes and has the experience, knowledge and commitment to make a difference in this important reform.

One of his most challenging roles to begin with is to ensure people have a clear understanding of the intention of the accreditation scheme and that they have an opportunity to have their say and buy into the scheme in terms of its structure and framework.

Communication with the travel industry over coming months is vital to help build up the confidence and awareness of the new scheme so that it gets the support that we in CATO believe it deserves.
Now is the time for the travel industry to show their support for AFTA and the commitment they have shown over the past four years in working for an industry-led accreditation scheme to protect agents, wholesalers and the travelling public.

We have the opportunity to make a difference. Don’t let us waste this chance.

• CATO is pleased to announce the launch of its new website. The main objectives for the redevelopment are to refresh the look and feel of the site, incorporating a clean and sophisticated website design and make it more engaging.

A content management system will support the new website design and enable CATO staff to easily create and manage website content.

The site was built by Fuse Digital, the digital arm of long time tourism industry specialist, Enterprise Marketing.

“Given our long association with CATO it was a pleasure to develop the new site,” said managing director Joe Cristaudo. “It seemed a perfect fit for us given the many wholesale, tourist bureau and hospitality websites that we have developed over the years.

n With nominations for the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIAs) closing in mid-April it is good to see 15 CATO members have been nominated for the new category “Best Niche Wholesaler”.

CATO has been working for a number of years to get this new award introduced as we see it as great opportunity for the smaller wholesalers and tour operators to be recognised.

• The next meeting of CATO will be the annual general meeting to be held at the Harbourview Hotel in North Sydney from 5.30pm on Wednesday, June 5, and it will be followed by dinner. Full details will be sent out in May but in the meantime those who are interested in attending please contact Gina at AFTA to make a booking.


Peter Baily’s CATO View column appears quarterly.





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