CATO commemorates 25 years of industry leadership and innovation

  • Cato Dinner (1)
  • CATO dinner 2 (1)
  • CATO dinner 3 (1)
  • CATO dinner 4 (1)
  • CATO dinner 5 (1)
  • CATO dinner 6 (1)
  • CATO dinner 7 (1)
  • CATO dinner 8 (1)
  • CATO dinner 9 (1)
  • CATO dinner 11 (1)
  • CATO dinner 12 (1)
  • CATO dinner 13 (1)
  • CATO dinner 14 (1)
  • CATO dinner 15 (1)
  • CATO dinner 16 (1)
  • CATO dinner 17 (1)
  • CATO dinner 19 (1)
  • CATO dinner 20 (1)
1 / 18
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) commemorated its 25th anniversary with a gala dinner at the Sydney Hilton Hotel that marked a significant milestone in its history.

    The celebration last Thursday was attended by 100 members and industry stalwarts, and was generously sponsored by CATO’s Platinum Partners: TravelPay, Gow Gates, and MINT Payments.

    Since its foundation in 1999, CATO has been a cornerstone of innovation and ethical practices within the land-supply sector of the Australian travel industry. For 25 years, CATO has diligently worked to elevate industry standards, foster innovation, and advocate for sustainable tourism practices.

    The Anniversary Dinner commemorated CATO’s historic milestones and an opportunity to reflect on numerous significant achievements as well as areas where the association has collaborated on advocacy over the last 25 years.

    Some of the highlights include GST exemptions on international travel, price advertising guidelines with ACCC, formation of DFAT’s Smarttraveller Consultative Group, and playing a pivotal role in the review of consumer protection in the travel industry.

    In addition, the association’s heavy involvement in the Consumer Travel Support Program (CTSP), to ensure the land supply sector was included in support programs at the onset of COVID and CATO was at the forefront of delivery of the Reinvigorating International Travel Program (RITG).

    CATO managing director Brett Jardine delivered a compelling speech that highlighted the enduring partnership between tour operators and wholesalers, a collaborative spirit that dates back to 60 years prior to CATO’s official formation.

    From fewer than 50 members, CATO now proudly represents over 260, underscoring the associations substantial growth and ongoing impact on the travel industry.

    A special highlight of the evening was a fireside chat moderated by CATO vice chair Lisa Pagotto. The discussion panel included CATO Life Member Peter Baily, chairman Dennis Bunnik, long-serving former board member Greg McCallum from the Entire Travel Group, and current long-term board member Martin Edwards from The Explorer Society.

    The panel shared invaluable insights into the early days of CATO, its evolution from an informal networking club to a crucial advocate for its members during the pandemic and the organisation that it is today.

    The evening concluded with a ceremonial cake cutting by Life Member Peter Baily, in honour of CATO’s 25 years of dedication and success in the travel industry.

    “It was such a pleasure to host our members and their guests as we celebrated 25-years of all things CATO. When looking back at all the challenges placed in front of us, we can be very proud of what we have achieved in advocating for Australian based tour operators and wholesalers,” said Jardine.

    Feature image: CATO chairman Dennis Bunnik with life member Peter Baily.

    Latest News

    • Aviation
    • News

    UPDATE: Crash compensation unlikely, says head of digital disruption payment system

    Southern Cross Travel Insurance says it will be covering claimable losses caused by the Crowdstrike global network outage event, despite its own operations not being affected. “We will be covering claimable losses caused by this event, provided all other conditions and criteria for cover are met (and subject to any limits, sub-limits and/or any exclusions […]

    • Food & Beverage

    Exciting culinary experiences across Asia

    Here is a look at some exciting experiences across Asia to enhance traveller vacations in iconic cities across the continent. The Mai Restaurant at Meliá Chiang Mai Located on the 21st floor of the iconic hotel, the Mai Restaurant has launched a Thai-inspired afternoon tea for two that pays tribute to the Baan Tawai Wood […]

    • Regional
    • Tour Operators

    On Foot Holidays launches Ligurian Hills hiking tour promotion

    Australians can explore Italy’s Ligurian Hills on foot on a self-guided, inn-to-inn hike with Onn Foot Holidays new promotional rates. Liguria is a coastal region in north-western Italy near the French border, known for its mountains, rolling hills and seaside ports. On Foot Holidays’ seven-night holiday begins with two days of walking through vineyards and […]

    • Products

    Mandarin Oriental takes a dive into swimwear with $360 board shorts

    If you were inspired by The Inspired Unemployed’s Liam Moore limited-edition pair of Budgy Smugglers but want a bit more coverage, then here’s your chance. The Orlebar Brown brand has introduced an original design of the Bulldog swim short for Mandarin Oriental hotels – yours for a snip at US$242.25 (AU$360). They have been “designed […]

    • Health & Wellness
    • Luxury

    Trisara showcases sustainable dining via wellspring program

    Phuket-based resort Trisara is transporting guests from resort to farm to table then back again courtesy of a new limited-time program, Wellspring. The package is a collaboration with Tri Vananda, a US$182 million (AU $270 million) wellness community in northern Phuket, conceived by Montara Hospitality Group, the owners of Trisara. In addition to entitling guests […]

    • Aviation

    Emirates SkyCargo expands fleet with five Boeing 777 freighters

    Emirates SkyCargo announced an investment of US$1 billion (AU$1.484b) to expand its fleet with an order of five new Boeing 777 freighters. The investment follows a strong performance in the first quarter of the 2024/25 financial year. Emirates SkyCargo expects the new freighters to increase its capacity by 30 per cent. The increase enables the […]

    • Events
    • Tour Operators

    ITE HCMC 2024 focuses on sustainable tourism for creating a future

    The 18th annual International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC) will take place from 5 to 7 September at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center. Under the theme “Responsible Travel, Creating Future”, the expo will highlight its dedication to promoting sustainable tourism practices and showcasing innovative tourism products and services to meet rigorous […]