THE CATO CODE OF ETHICS FOR FULL MEMBERS
The membership of the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) comprises of two categories – Full Members and Associate Members.
Full Members are Australian based, ATAS Accredited tour operators and wholesalers.
Associate Members are organisations capable of contributing to the objectives and activities of CATO by way of involvement or interest in the Australian travel industry.
CATO is an organisation that through collaboration commands the highest product and service standards to be provided to the travel industry and consumer. All full members of CATO pledge themselves to conduct their business activities in a manner that promotes the ideal of integrity in travel and agree to act in accordance with the principles of the CATO Code of Ethics.
In a world of dynamic change, travellers are faced with a myriad of choices for transportation, accommodation and other travel services and arrangements. CATO full members must provide their travel product/s to the standard and value expressed in their advertised programmes.
CATO full members must aspire to be factual and accurate when providing information or describing facilities or services they provide and the services and facilities of any operator they utilise or represent. They will not use deceptive practices.
CATO full members will not falsely represent a person’s affiliation with their company.
CATO full members will abide by all Federal, State and local laws and regulations and are ATAS accredited. Information on the criteria of ATAS accreditation can be found at http://www.afta.com.au/atas-scheme-criteria.
CATO full members will treat every client transaction confidentially and will not disclose any information without the permission of the client, unless required by law.
CATO full members will use every effort to protect their clients against any fraud, misrepresentation or unethical practices, which may arise in the travel industry.
CATO full members will cooperate with any enquiry conducted by CATO to resolve any dispute involving consumers or another member.
CATO full members will provide complete details about terms and conditions of all or any travel service or provision, including cancellation and service fee obligations, before accepting payment for the booking.
CATO full members will promptly advise the client or their agent, of any change in itinerary, services, features or price in line with the members booking conditions.
Qualifications and Professionalism
CATO full members must educate consultants on an ongoing basis to ensure their professional development. CATO full members will strive to ensure that all consultants offer true and accurate advice and services, by being fully informed about the products, destinations and various facets of Australian and international travel they promote and sell.
CATO full members will refund any undisputed client funds under their control within a timely manor. Reasons for any delay in providing refunds will be promptly advised to the claimant.
Responsiveness to complaints
CATO full members will respond in accordance with their Customer Complaint Policy Handling Procedures.
CATO Education and Training
CATO offers training seminars for its members to encourage best business practices within their organisation.