CATO announces its Touring Academy to train agents and industry newcomers

Brisbane city and Soutbank view during a sunny afternoon. Brisbane is the third largest city of Australia and capital of the Queensland state.
Edited by Travel Weekly


    The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has today announced the launch of the CATO Touring Academy, an education program tailored for retail agents and other newcomers to the travel industry.

    In response to the industry’s ongoing need for skilled professionals, CATO’s certification program, developed in collaboration with touring experts, is designed to offer accessible sector-specific training delivered online through an internationally recognised platform.

    CATO said the demand for comprehensive knowledge to confidently and effectively promote the wide variety of tour options is paramount as the landscape of touring evolves and to take advantage of the high-paying commissions on offer to agents.

    The CATO Touring Academy addresses this demand, equipping agents with the necessary skills, expertise and greater capability in selling land-based holidays around the globe. This ultimately leads to a formal certification issued by CATO.

    “Set to commence in Q2 2024, the CATO Touring Academy represents a major step forward in support of our members and the retail travel agent community. Our academy will provide a flexible and personalised e-learning journey allowing participants to gain expertise at their own pace, culminating in the attainment of CATO Certified status upon successful completion,” said CATO managing director, Brett Jardine.

    Key Program Details:

    • Participants will be required to accumulate 200 points through module completion and activities that lead to CATO Certification.

    – The academy’s e-learning path will feature;

    • Mandatory Modules (20 points each)
    • Elective Modules (15 points each)
    • CATO Member Brand and Destination Training (10 points each)

    – Other activities that will be recognised toward certification include;

    • Participation CATO Member Familiarisations of five days or more (10 points each)
    • Completion of other endorsed CATO member brand training

    Jardine added: “The CATO Touring Academy is leveraging the internationally recognised Learning Management Software (LMS) provider, ABSORB, to deliver this cutting-edge program as the partnership ensures a robust and user-friendly learning experience for all participants. CATO Certified Agents can promote their status demonstrating their knowledge and expertise gained through completion of their certification.”

    An exclusive feature of the Academy is that CATO members will have direct access to the Touring Academy platform, allowing them to build their own “white label” training content.

    This aspect allows CATO members to tailor the learning material to align closely with each brand’s unique selling points, communicating the depth and variety of land-based holiday options available through Australian operators.

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