CATO launches new phase of Accreditation Program

The peak tourism body has announced its latest strategic move to improve credibility and recognition within the industry, Janie Medbury reports.

THE Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has officially kicked off the next phase of its Accreditation program, which aims to set a new benchmark for industry excellence.

The introduction of an external and independent assessment of member financials from 01 April 2024 is a key element of the upcoming phase, forming part of the 2024/25 membership renewal cycle.

“Our move towards an annual financial health assessment is a direct response to sustained industry growth, increased government relations, and our commitment to nurturing a vibrant land-supply ecosystem,” CATO Managing Director Brett Jardine (pictured) said.

The Council has partnered with Moore Australia to open a secure online portal for independent assessment of member operations, offering a ‘financial health check’ that aligns with the highest industry appropriate standards.

“This process is designed with the strictest confidentiality protocols to ensure that sensitive financial data remains inaccessible to CATO personnel, safeguarding member privacy with the utmost integrity,” Jardine explained.

CATO confirmed that, while it expects the majority of eligible members to participate in the assessment, tour operators and wholesale members can opt out by informing the Council in writing. By choosing not to undergo the financial check, they will still retain their membership status – however, members who wish to gain full CATO Accreditation status will need to complete the assessment.

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