ATAS changes gear as GM O’Riordan departs

Human hand with manual transmission

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents will no longer have a general manager for its accreditation scheme, with Gary O’Riordan departing the organisation after almost three years and no replacement sought.

O’Riordan was brought on board in April 2013 to head up the AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme as deregulation loomed, charged with overseeing the scheme’s development and implementation.GaryORiordan

It recently underwent its first year review, prompting some tweaks to the scheme which AFTA announced last week.

“AFTA has reviewed our structure and with the heavy lifting of the development and implementation of ATAS now complete and the first year review concluded, we feel that our structure can more than adequately accommodate the needs to ensure the scheme continues to achieve the success it has received to date,” AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury said.

He thanked O’Riordan for his “incredible” contribution which he said has seen the scheme win “extensive” industry support.

“AFTA membership has grown significantly over this period as the industry have embraced the scheme and see the benefit of the national advertising campaign promoting accredited agents,” he said.

“It has been a pleasure to have Gary on the AFTA team and he will be missed.”

Westbury reassured the industry that the absence of the general manager going forward was not a matter for concern.

“The team at AFTA will continue to perform the necessary tasks to continue in Gary’s foot steps to ensure that ATAS and AFTA remains successful,” he said.

The year ahead will see “considerable” advertising campaigns developed to ensure consumers are aware of ATAS travel agents.

“ATAS will continue to evolve for both the consumers and travel agents going forward,” Westbury promised.


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