By Brett Jardine, Managing Director, Council of Australian Tour Operators
AS THE peak industry body, representing the land-supply sector, our role in supporting Australian tour operators and wholesalers is critical as we continue to evolve from COVID. The last couple of years will go down in history as more challenging than any of us could possibly have imagined.
As we transcend out of the COVID period, we will see many Australian businesses prosper and CATO is taking an active approach to ensuring our members lead the way, in delivering valuable and enriching experiences all over the world.
Australian consumers have always been resilient travellers and with eyes on 2023 and 2024 as being a period of incredible opportunity, it will also be a time for organisations involved in the delivery of leisure travel, to ensure the balance of exploration and purpose-led, sustainable travel is appropriate.
Reverting to and delivering product based on the old way of doing things will not likely suffice, with savvy consumers keen to minimise their environmental and social impact, whilst still being able to discover different cultures and connect authentically with communities.
CATO members have a proven track record of surviving where many have failed.
Within our strong network of like-minded business owners and senior executives, the COVID period has fuelled the imagination of many an entrepreneur from within our group, to bounce back with a greater level of resilience and a positive view of what opportunities are ahead of us.
Whilst my own crystal ball is not yet providing the clarity to answer the regular questions I receive around the exact timing of a full recovery, what I do know is that globally we are entering a boom period, and with all being well, a good 10 years of growth lies ahead. Businesses that have invested in their future, maintained strong and open engagement with in-destination suppliers, retained good staff, and keep a positive frame of mind will be the shining lights of our industry for the next generation.