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Tourism operators launch new strategic plan

Tourism operators launch new strategic plan
November 27, 2015

The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) have launched a new strategic plan at functions held this week in Melbourne and Sydney.

The plan follows a changing of the guard at the CATO AGM in June when Dennis Bunnik, founder of Bunnik Tours, took over as Chairman and a number of new members joined the CATO Committee.

Bunnik explained “in August the new committee spent a full day in a strategic planning session with the aim of clearly defining CATO’s role and future direction.

“This plan is the result of much work and discussion by the committee on where CATO sits within the newly deregulated industry.

“We have clearly defined CATO‘s purpose as being to represent, lead and serve the land product sector of the travel industry.

“This includes tour operators, wholesalers and national tourist offices who form part of the CATO membership and supply product and destinations to the retail travel industry.”

As the industry has become deregulated CATO has increasingly had to take a more active role in leading the sector, identifying a number of priorities that will add value for members with the key aim being to make CATO membership count.

As part of this leadership role, in 2016 CATO will be staging a series of professional development initiatives to share best practice techniques in a number of critical business areas.

This will commence with CATO hosting a Crisis Management Forum in Sydney in March 2016.

Coordinated by crisis expert David Beirman, the full day forum will include practical training and advice for our membership in how to handle various crisis management issues.

Speakers will include representatives from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and an expert industry panel who will share first-hand experience in deal with various crisis situations.

The forum also aims to develop a crisis management plan template for CATO members.

Continuing in the theme of business professionalism the CATO will, from January, feature individual registration numbers for all CATO tour operators.

A marketing campaign will be launched to encourage agents and consumers to ensure they only use registered CATO members.

The CATO website will be relaunched in 2016 with a full search facility added to make it easier for travel consultants to find niche product.

Bunnik added “we have an incredible array of CATO members with some fantastic unique product.

“Our new website will ensure that this product is easier for travel agents to find so that they are able to better compete with clients searching online and booking direct with overseas operators.
“We will also be providing a facility for Tourism Offices to feature information on their destinations, services and events for our members to connect with.”

Further initiatives from CATO include better engagement with other sectors of the industry and continued representation on the DFAT Smart Traveller Advisory Committee.

Progress updates on the CATO Strategic Plan will also be provided to all members on a regular basis.

For more information go to www.cato.asn.au

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