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CATO members take tourism recovery message to Canberra

The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) met with various government departments last week to strengthen relationships and continue its advocacy on areas that impact members as they struggle to emerge from the effects of the pandemic.

The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) met with various government departments last week to strengthen relationships and continue its advocacy on areas that impact members as they struggle to emerge from the effects of the pandemic.

CATO Managing Director Brett Jardine and Chair Dennis Bunnik met with the Federal Tourism Minister’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Tourism Policy Advisor, while separate meetings with Tourism Research Australia (TRA), Treasury, DFAT and Austrade were joined by CATO Board Members Lisa Pagotto and James O’Donnell.

During the pandemic, CATO worked closely with TRA to provide credible data and help define the true value of the contribution of outbound leisure travel (more than AUD$12 billion) to the Australian economy.

Brett Jardine and Dennis Bunnik.

CATO and TRA have committed to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that details scope of work for a major data analysis project that will commence before the end of 2022.

CATO representatives also highlighted three key areas of concern for the state of the outbound land-supply sector: air capacity, reemployment of skilled workers and consumer confidence, to senior Treasury officials.

“Our ongoing relationship with Treasury is important for the government to be well-informed on our challenges,” Mr Jardine said.

A formal industry update was provided to Austrade, whose role has now formally expanded to include tourism recovery.

CATO members met with TRA in Canberra.

Austrade is seeking to understand the current propensity to travel, the ongoing use of future travel credits versus new business, and feedback from organisations that enable travel.

CATO Board Member and Director James O’Donnell will also participate in two major events in Canberra on Friday 5 August that include a roundtable of senior leaders from tourism peak bodies with Tourism Minister Don Farrell and an Austrade roundtable session to provide input into the Australian Government Jobs and Skills Summit.

To find out more, visit cato.travel