THE Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has announced Visit Saudi as the major sponsor of its International Women’s Day (IWD) event taking place on Wed 08 March, a gathering expected to attract more than 170 attendees to L’Aqua at Cockle Bay Wharf, at Darling Harbour in Sydney.
“Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage and traditions have been shaped by its position as a historic trade hub,” CATO MD Brett Jardine said.
“In recent years, the Kingdom has undergone a significant cultural transformation, evolving century-old customs to fit the contemporary world we live in today, and their support of our local industry is to be applauded,” he added.
CATO also pointed to Saudi Arabia attracting international attention for the “momentum of its socio-economic transformation” taking place under the auspices of the Vision 2030 development plan, as well as the scale of major tourism projects being developed across the country.
“With a growing number of CATO members involved in the development of leisure travel experiences in Saudi, we are excited to be able to put a spotlight on the evolution of the country and as it diversifies its economy and opens up to new and exciting industries,” Jardine added.
The sold-out event will feature prominent women speakers in the travel sector, including APT Travel Group’s Lou Tandy, Managing Director Australasia, Globus Family of Brands Gai Tyrrell, World Expeditions CEO Sue Badyari, Managing Director Touring Brands, The Travel Corporation Toni Ambler, and Joint CEO, Evolution Travel Collective Ingrid Berthelsen.
*UPDATE effective 02 March 2023, the Council of Australian Tour Operators has announced the withdrawal of Visit Saudi’s sponsorship of their International Women’s Day Event. “We accept misreading this situation, despite our best intentions, and apologise for any distress this matter has caused our industry colleagues and our board,” the association said in a statement, confirming that the IWD event will still proceed but with replacement sponsors to be confirmed later today. “We would like to thank Visit Saudi for their support of CATO and our members and look forward to working with them to increase awareness and education of the positive changes being made and progression in the Kingdom,” CATO added.