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Incoming: AFTA confirms Dean Long as new CEO to start in October

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has today confirmed Dean Long as their incoming CEO. Mr Long will step into the role in October after previously working for AFTA from 2014-2018 where he held the position of Head of Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships.

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has today confirmed Dean Long as their incoming CEO. Mr Long will step into the role in October after previously working for AFTA from 2014-2018 where he held the position of Head of Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships.

Mr Long rejoins AFTA after 2 years as CEO and Executive Director of the peak industry body, the Accommodation Association of Australia and brings extensive government relations, stakeholder engagement, policy development, media and campaign expertise, as well as AFTA and sector-specific knowledge as a result of several of his past positions.

He brings a track record of achievement, strategic impact and policy outcomes in travel, tourism, financial services, insurance and property development following roles with American Express, AFTA, the NSW Minister for Tourism, and Tourism NSW.

Mr Long also holds a Master of Business in Management and a Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Environmental Management and Tourism).

“We couldn’t have asked for a better choice than Dean Long given his background across key sectors, his extensive experience within AFTA, and his expertise and networks across government at all levels. He is strategic, informed and proven in his ability to lead and strengthen member-based organisations during challenging times,” said AFTA chair Tom Manwaring.

“He well and truly knows our sector and the needs of AFTA’s members as we work together to navigate the current frustrations, secure and optimise Government support and continue to reinforce the value of travel agents and businesses at an economic, employment and consumer support level. He has a well-deserved reputation of collaboration to maximise impact and outcomes and that’s exactly what we need now and into the future.”

Speaking about his appointment, incoming AFTA CEO Dean Long said, “I’m incredibly proud to take on the role of AFTA CEO and to work with the AFTA Board and team to shape our sector’s future and to help as many member businesses as possible get through these difficult times to emerge successfully on the other side.”

“I look forward to working with members on evolving our sector and structures at an organisational and agency level so we are better able to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing marketplace.

“AFTA will need to continue to work closely with other key peak industry bodies including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Business Council of Australia and the Tourism Transport Forum as well as with industry-relevant associations such as IATA, WTAAA and BARA. I also look forward to continuing AFTA’s strategic collaborations with CATO and CLIA.

“There’s a lot of work to be done, but AFTA has a great Board, a highly committed and skilful team and a membership of passionate, skilled and essential businesses.

“I can’t wait to get started on this next phase of AFTA and our sector’s evolution in collaboration with members and with all of AFTA’s key relationships,” He said.

Mr Long replaces Darren Rudd who departed AFTA as CEO in April 2021.