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CATO Leadership Team Engaging Key Government Stakeholders

Mon, March 18, 2024 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) convened in Canberra last week to address key government departments on the status of the land-supply sector of the Australian Travel Industry.

Following years of fostering strong relevant relationships, CATO is widely recognised across key areas of government due to its expert knowledge and intimate understanding of distribution within the global travel ecosystem.

In a proactive effort to continue driving outbound leisure travel, the CATO leadership held constructive discussions with Austrade to evaluate the efficacy of the Reviving International Travel Grant (RITG) program, with dialogue centred on expanding the program to bolster opportunities for successful grantees within the CATO membership.

A pivotal visit to the Egyptian Embassy saw CATO delegates affirming the robust growth in tourism traffic to Egypt, with a significant 42% increase in 2023 from 2018, matching the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. The meeting with His Excellency Mr. Hani Nagi, the newly appointed Ambassador to Australia, unveiled the positive trajectory of Egypt's tourism sector, the anticipated launch of the new Egyptian Museum (GEM), and other key developments.

Discussions were held around the inconsistency of DFAT’s Smarttraveller advice level compared to other countries in the region, with Egypt playing a pivotal role in attracting tourism to the Middle East. The Ambassador highlighted the work the Egyptian Government is doing to grow, protect and develop the tourism industry.  

Brett Jardine CATO Managing Director remarked “At a recent meeting DFAT confirmed to CATO that the Smarttraveller advice on Egypt is due for review in coming weeks.  In light of this, discussions were held on how CATO, its members and the Egyptian Embassy can work together to further boost Australian tourism to Egypt and the surrounding region.” 

During the mission, CATO also convened a productive session with Tourism Research Australia (TRA) to expand on current project plans for an extensive economic impact study and report to support outbound leisure travel.

The proposed economic impact study aims to utilise a variety of data sources that will provide invaluable insights into the industry's current state and future trajectory, empowering stakeholders with data-driven strategies for sustainable growth.

CATO remains committed to championing initiatives that foster resilience and prosperity within the Australian travel industry. By collaborating with key stakeholders and leveraging data-driven strategies, CATO Advocacy is poised to lead the industry towards a vibrant and sustainable future.

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