The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has acknowledged the “tireless effort” by Darren Rudd during his short stint as CEO of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).
Rudd announced his shock resignation after just over nine months in the top role at AFTA last Thursday, citing personal reasons.
In a statement, CATO managing director Brett Jardine said: “Historically, government lobbying has not been a major focus for our industry.
“We are predominantly made up of SMEs and entrepreneurs keen to get on with business without government interference or support, but the COVID crisis has certainly shown the value of being politically well-connected.
“To this end, we acknowledge the cut-through Darren has achieved in serving the travel industry and we wish him with his future endeavours.”
Jardine said CATO remains “extremely focused” on delivering a strong message to the federal government on the need for continued support for its members and the broader travel industry.
“[We] look forward to continuing to work with AFTA and [the] ATEC (Australian Tourism Expert Council) as we navigate through the next phase of the COVID crisis,” he said.
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