Travel Agents

AFTA reveals job criteria for new CEO, urges industry to “speak with a single voice”

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has commenced its search for the replacement of disgraced former CEO Jayson Westbury.

AFTA’s board has appointed a subcommittee to manage the process, as well as enlisting the services of Brown & Chase and Temple Executive Search to help find the peak industry body’s new chief.

According to a statement issued on Friday, the AFTA board of directors is seeking “an experienced and strategic-minded business leader who can appropriately represent and advocate on behalf of our diverse travel sector”.

“The board is looking for a skilled business leader who can develop effective and influential relationships with key stakeholders across government, members, suppliers, media, and leaders of allied industry bodies,” AFTA chair Tom Manwaring (pictured above) said.

“We are cognisant of the fact that the post-COVID travel landscape is going to be very different and we are recruiting with this in mind.

“The incoming CEO will be someone who can develop high-quality business strategies that address the needs of AFTA’s membership base, which consists of some 3,000 travel agency businesses, from large corporations through to the small independent travel business, as well as build the framework for a strong and resilient industry post-COVID-19.”

Manwaring said the new CEO will also be responsible for leading a team of nine staff at AFTA’s head office in Sydney.

“Until such time as we appoint a suitably qualified CEO, the AFTA team remains robust, well connected and committed,” he said.

AFTA’s search for a new leader comes after the resignation of Jayson Westbury last month over comments he made about TV host Tracy Grimshaw during an online seminar.

In a separate statement issued on Friday, AFTA urged the travel industry to “speak with a single voice” to maximise the potential for ongoing government support.

The industry body said it has produced a number of detailed submissions to Treasury in partnership with KPMG as part of its ongoing lobbying, with a final paper formally putting forward the travel industry’s case for a JobKeeper extension expected to be lodged on Tuesday.

However, AFTA warned that a grassroots email campaign from tour operators and agents targeting local parliamentarians threatens to derail its hard work at a critical time, and has asked its members to instead channel their energy via its sentiment survey.

“Treasury and government have made it very clear that they need hard facts and data to determine the expansion of eligibility for JobKeeper,” Manwaring said.

“This is why we have invested time and resources in partnering with KPMG to provide the level of detail necessary.

“This lobbying has been underway since the start of the pandemic with the AFTA team advocating since late January on the need for government support for travel agents and our sector. It’s a complex and detailed interaction and it takes time.

“We are fighting on multiple fronts and we want to make sure that our message does not get diluted or confused. Writing a letter to your MP might make you feel good, but it may in fact be counter-productive to AFTA’s efforts and may not assist with the process at this late stage.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Events

Travel DAZE 2020 agenda revealed!

With just one week to go until Travel DAZE 2020 kicks off, get ready to block out time in your diary so you can tune in to all of our fabulous speakers!

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Sabre and Google unveil industry-first AI travel platform

This new platform is being dubbed an industry first by Sabre and Google, and rather than fact check this claim, we’re just going to take their word for it.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid becomes first tour operator with verified, science-based targets

What does that mean, you might ask? Well… we’re not really sure, but this press release does a great job of explaining it.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter to join P&O’s Aussie fleet in first half of 2021

Sture Myrmell has been spotted doing the happy dance in celebration of this encouraging cruise announcement.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Corporate Travel Management raises remaining $113m needed for US acquisition

Were you one of those who snapped up some new shares in CTM? Well, give yourself a pat on the back for your role in this achievement.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

WATCH: Transport Workers’ Union stages ‘alternative’ Qantas AGM, complete with fake Alan Joyce

And by fake Alan Joyce, we mean an unidentified man putting on a very thick Irish accent and coming up with any excuse to say “tink” instead of “think”.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival cruise ship rescues 24 people off the coast of Florida

Just because most of the world’s cruise ships are currently out of action doesn’t mean they can’t perform a good deed every now and again.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wendy Wu Tours is slinging free flights to Japan!

Who doesn’t love free airfares? Seriously though, point them out to us – we’d like to have a chat with them and find out what their problem is.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Travel DAZE 2020 is just around the corner! Have you registered?

Is your diary looking pretty empty in the first week of November? Well, consider it full now thanks to the only industry event of its scale in Australia this year: Travel DAZE 2020!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air Canada’s longstanding president and CEO to depart, successor revealed

The changing of the guard at airlines continues apace, with Air Canada’s boss the latest to signal their exit.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA’s Resilient Mind Program yields huge results

It appears alcohol-free days, cold showers and a digital detox are just what the doctor ordered for agents across Australia.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland brewing company creates ‘The Big Slab’ attraction to boost state’s tourism industry

This bizarre new attraction has already drawn the likes of surfing legend Mick Fanning and his baby boy, and we have photographic evidence to prove it.

Share

CommentComments