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Travel has a new home – the Australian Travel Industry Association (ATIA)

The biggest reform ever for Australia’s Travel Sector has been unveiled with the Australian Travel Industry Association (ATIA) launched today.

ATIA has been created to accurately reflect the existing membership of travel agents, corporate agents, tour operators, wholesalers and ITOs.

ATIA has been developed after two years of extensive review of members of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and a significant review and public consultation of the peak body’s Constitution and operations.

Reforms announced so far include a new fairer and more balanced voting structure and new objectives for the Association which reaffirm commitment to all participants and principles of the Australian Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS).

An independent ATAS Advisory Committee will be established with representation of the full ATIA membership base provide independent governance.

Members are at the heart of ATIA and, as part of the two-year review process, three specific membership segments expressed their wish to have dedicated engagement platforms to network and also provide advice on advocacy activities.

In response, ATIA will establish an initial three caucuses to create formal consultation processes in addition to those channels already in place. The caucus structure has been chosen as a platform because it does not have a formal hierarchy. It will allow for the members of each caucus to collaborate, network, define advocacy objectives within their specific areas. The three caucuses are;

  • Independent Travel Agents,
  • Independent Contractors (Homebased) and
  • Tour Operators / Wholesalers.

An ATIA Individual Membership option will now be available for $10 a month which will provide access to several ATIA advantages (while not having voting rights which sit with ATAS businesses). This will include access to a new online platform, Travel Exchange with a host of resources.

More details will be released in coming days about these benefits and others for ATIA members.

Quotes attributable to ATIA Chair Tom Manwaring

“ATIA represents a combined powerhouse of travel agents, tour operators, consolidators and wholesalers.”

“In reviewing where we were, it became fundamentally apparent that our name no longer was fit for purpose. Of our 1200 members which include travel agents, corporate agents, and OTAs, we also have 200 tour operators, wholesalers and ITOs. Of our 1000 travel agency members, only 14 were currently marketing or promoting their businesses as travel agents or agencies.”

“The world of Travel has transformed since AFTA was created in 1957 and to better reflect who we are and what we do, we have created ATIA. One voice, one future.”

“We must ensure that travellers and Government recognize the full reality of Australia’s vibrant Travel eco-system and that when you choose an ATAS travel business, you are choosing the highest quality of service and professionalism.”

“It’s not been an easy process to get here. It’s taken two long years and a countless number of frank and honest discussions. We’ve sought and listened to feedback from existing members, potential members, and others in and across the Travel Industry and the business sector more widely.”

Quotes attributable to ATIA CEO Dean long

“This is about delivering for our members now and in the future. It’s about inspiring, including, and empowering and having fun doing that. We’ve put the time into really listening to every part of this industry and to members now, those who choose to leave AFTA and those who have wanted to be part of the peak body but weren’t quite sure where they fitted.”

“It’s taken two years to get to this point. We’ve taken the time to go all the necessary reforms and to make sure that all the necessary foundation documents are in place and fit for purpose.”

“Making sure there’s a really powerful voice that represents international and domestic travel by Australians and the people that make that happen across travel agents, tour operators, wholesalers and consolidators is really important and having a united voice is absolutely critical.”

“Our members and their needs are what ATIA is all about.”  

MEDIA CONTACT: LJ Loch 0488 038 555 old email (new email as of 16 August so please update)

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