ATIA names three new board members and appoints chair

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Edited by Travel Weekly


    UPDATE 19 June. 11:56am:

    The ATIA board has elected Christian Hunter as Chair, and Laura Ruffles has been elected vice chair alongside Graham Turner, who is returning as vice chair.

    Hunter said of his appointment “It is a great honour and privilege to be elected as ATIA’s Chair and lead such an esteemed Board. I’d like to acknowledge outgoing Chair, Tom Manwaring, for his outstanding leadership throughout some extremely challenging circumstances.

    Tom’s dedication and vision have left an indelible mark on the ATIA and the broader Travel industry. We extend our deepest gratitude to Tom for his exceptional service and leadership. His contributions have been invaluable, and his impact will be felt for many years to come.”

    “We are delighted to have such passionate and experienced industry leaders in the form of Brett, Gai, and Rohan join the Board. Our new Directors all love the industry and are eager to share their expertise and contribute.”

    ATIA’s new chair Christian Hunter

    This follows the news that three new directors have today joined the ATIA board: Intrepid Travel’s managing director ANZ Brett Mitchell, Globus’s managing director of Asia Pacific, Gai Tyrrell, and Helloworld’s Rohan Moss.

    Joining the new members were returning members David Hosking (The Travel Corporation), David Smith (Flight Centre), and Peter Muller (ATPI).

    The Association sought nominations for six available positions by the Association’s constitution to be director of ATIA.

    The news comes after Roy Merricks, Spiros Alysandratos and Tom Manwaring all announced their resignations from the Board.

    Each of the formally appointed members will serve a two-year term. The newly appointed directors join those already serving:

    • Christian Hunter (Travellors Choice)
    • Cinzia Burnes (Helloworld)
    • Danielle Russom (American Express)
    • Graham Turner (Flight Centre)
    • Laura Ruffles (Corporate Travel Management)
    • Shelley Beasley (Webjet)

    The ATIA’s highlights of the year include:

    • Establishment of an independent ATAS Advisory Committee, with representation of the full ATIA membership base.
    • Enhanced member engagement in the form of launching the Member Skills and Workforce Survey, and NTIA Custodians program.
    • ATIA continues to be active in discussions with political leaders in Canberra, including the Prime Minister, key Ministers and Senators in their offices, and Opposition Shadow Ministers to deliver on priorities for member businesses and discuss the economic importance of the travel industry, aviation competition, unfair conduct, price parity arrangements, and skills.
    • ATIA secured a number of Ministerial commitments on either implementing ATIA recommendations or consulting more closely with ATIA.
    • ATIA appearing before the Senate Committee Inquiry into Bilateral Air Service Agreements, in addition to making a submission. The Report contained 10 key recommendations, many of which aligned with key asks in ATIA’s submission.
    • ATIA is continuing to engage with the Federal Government to support travel businesses in rebuilding their workforces, with a submission to ensure key travel occupations are eligible for skilled migration.
    • ATIA conducted its first Skills & Workforce Survey early this year. The survey provides a useful benchmark and an important evidence base for ATIA’s advocacy, including submissions and participation in consultation processes throughout the year.

    A word from the new members 

    Gai Tyrrell, managing director of Asia Pacific, Globus

    “I learnt early in my career that for a travel business to succeed, you need to adapt to changes in the environment and build collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships. Having a peak industry body in ATIA makes this easier as you have the collective support of like-minded leaders, partners, and industry stakeholders who work together to amplify a shared voice for travel on your behalf.”

    My message for ATIA Members is a simple one. I will work to maintain your confidence and advocate on your behalf because I understand the economic importance of travel and the challenges Member businesses are facing. ATIA’s role as a crucial advocate for Members, and a steward of industry standards, is more important than ever as travel businesses continue rebuilding their workforces and meeting the needs of their customers.”

    Brett Mitchell, Managing Director ANZ at Intrepid Travel

    “I‘m a passionate believer in why the ATIA was created — that is, to bring our industry together. As Director, I will work with the Board to advocate strongly for Member business interests at all levels of government, representing the specific needs of the tour operator segment while also bringing my unique global perspective that encompasses the breadth of the travel landscape.”

    ATIA plays a critical role in promoting the key economic importance of the multibillion-dollar travel industry and engaging with key political decision-makers to continue rebuilding the travel workforce. I’m excited to take the opportunity to elevate ATIA’s position as a shared voice for travel and drive more industry collaboration and public awareness of the value of ATAS.”

    Rohan Moss, group general manager – consolidation, Helloworld 

    “Much like ATIA, which represents all facets of the travel industry, my background also covers a wide range of travel sectors, and I am grateful to now have the opportunity to share my insight, knowledge, and experience with the Board.”

    My deep understanding of all major segments of the travel landscape has been built over 40 years in the industry, including travel agents, wholesale, airlines and consolidation, hotels and corporate and government travel management. This means I provide an inclusive perspective and broad input to the Board to assist in delivering outcomes that work for all ATIA Members.”

     

    ATIA life member Spiros Alysandtratos to step down from board after 16 years, Roy Merricks follows suit

    Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

    ATIA board

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