The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has held an extraordinary general meeting to accept a revamped constitution, following a full review of the current version implemented in June 2014 at the time of deregulation of the Australian travel industry.
The primary outcome from the revamped constitution was to acknowledge the growing engagement from CATO’s associate members by allowing participation as board members, historically reserved for full tour operator/wholesale members only.
The meeting took place in Sydney in conjunction with CATO’s annual general meeting, and included elections to confirm the make-up of the next term of the council’s board members.
Notably, Dennis Bunnik, CEO of Bunnik Tours, was returned as chairman – his fifth year in the role.
“We’re delighted to have Dennis at the CATO helm for another term”, said managing director Brett Jardine.
“His experience, enthusiasm, smarts and profile bring so much value to the organisation.”
During his address, Bunnik highlighted CATO’s achievements of the last 12 months, which included:
- Welcoming CATO’s inaugural Platinum Partners, Gow Gates Insurance Brokers and Traveltek.
- A new IT platform for member services.
- A new website.
- The introduction of the CATO Awards at the 2019 NTIA Awards.
- Development and delivery of a crisis management conference.
- Roundtable discussions with Fairfax Media (now Nine).
- Hosting a youth touring summit for all industry participants.
- Initiation of extensive data and research projects.
- The appointment of Resource as CATO’s communications agency.
- The launch of CATO’s custom quarterly publication, Ground Control.
- A comprehensive review of the CATO Constitution.
Bunnik also used his address to highlight the importance of advertising with integrity, taking aim at “deceptive and misleading” tactics by industry disruptors.
CATO’s elections also confirmed Martin Edwards (Bench Africa) as vice chairman, along with board members Brett Mitchell (Intrepid Group), Julie King (Julie King & Associates), Amanda McCann (Collette), Matt Cameron-Smith (AAT Kings), David Walker (Sno’n’Ski), Halina Kubica (Greece & Mediterranean Travel), Justine Waddington (Encounter Travel), and Liz Anderson (Sundowners Overland).
The new CATO board will come together in the coming weeks for a full-day strategy meeting and to develop the council’s new business plan.