By Brett Jardine, Managing Director, Council of Australian Tour Operators
Since the launch of CATO’s Accreditation scheme, we have fielded a number of queries from individuals and organisations keen to know more.
To ensure a clear understanding of the intent of CATO Accreditation, the following points can be taken as guidance directly from CATO.
There is no additional cost for CATO Accreditation. We have included the program in our annual membership fee as our members already have an overarching fiduciary responsibility, to fulfill numerous operational and financial obligations under Australian law to operate a business.
The CATO accreditation program is a fit-for-purpose scheme, specifically for the land-supply sector (tour operators and wholesalers) of the Australian travel industry developed by the CATO Board, to align with the CATO Member Code of Conduct (CMCC).
The CMCC provides operational guidance for members in order to demonstrate their professional standing within the global travel ecosystem and expectations, around high standards of product and/or service delivery through sustainable best practice.
CATO members design, create, market, and deliver the land-based travel experiences that are sold primarily through retail agents and enjoyed by Australians when they travel overseas. CATO Members are the manufacturers of packaged leisure travel product, unlike retailers that act as an agent when selling to the consumer.
Where a retail agent is packaging up various elements and selling at an inclusive price, under Australian law they are likely to be considered as the contract principal, effectively no longer an agent but what we refer to as a tour operator.
For retail agents that feel they may be regularly acting as a principal, feel free to contact CATO for some guidance on your situation, or join us at our May 15th 2023, Crisis, Risk & Resilience Conference in Sydney to find out more. Tickets available now at www.cato.travel/events.