Wholesalers

CATO rolls out industry-standard T&Cs for land supply sector

The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has teamed up with a travel specialist law firm to develop a set of standard agreements and policies for the land-supply sector.

Working alongside travel law specialist lawyers, Pointon Partners, CATO has developed a set of Industry Standard Booking Terms and Conditions, short-form Supplier Agreements and a Privacy Policy for Australian based tour operators and wholesalers.

During its recent engagement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over COVID-19 related travel cancellations, CATO said it identified the need for reform through standardisation of booking T&Cs.

“A real challenge in our lobbying and consultation efforts with regulators and the media during the COVID crisis has been the variation across operators’ T&Cs, so consistency of messaging has been difficult,” CATO managing director Brett Jardine said.

The new standards aim to better align with obligations under Australian Consumer Law and help tour operators and wholesalers mitigate future risk.

“Once adopted by the majority of CATO members, this will provide consistent delivery of best practice for all concerned, and enable operators to take collective positions if an event like this pandemic ever arose again,” Jardine said.

On top of the industry-standard T&Cs, CATO is giving its members a standard short form supplier agreement and a privacy policy relevant to the land-supply sector.

“With purse-strings understandably tight during these trying times, CATO has kept licence fees to a minimum – significantly less than having them drafted independently,” Jardine said.

“Right now, ensuring your operating structure is in the best possible position for the post-COVID recovery is a sensible course of action.”

Pointon Partners will provide a complimentary 30-minute consultation with CATO members that adopt the new CATO Standard Booking Terms and Conditions to determine if additional bespoke T&Cs are required for specific organisational needs.

To take advantage of CATO’s best-practice project and be part of a positive change for the land-supply sector, Australian-based tour operators and wholesalers are encouraged to contact the council directly.


Featured image source: iStock/Tero Vesalainen

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