The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has been replaced with the launch of a new peak industry body, Australian Travel Industry Association (ATIA), on August 15.
Created to accurately reflect the existing membership of travel agents, corporate agents, tour operators, wholesalers and ITOs, ATIA was developed after two years of extensive review of members of 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 ATIA which reaffirm its 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 to provide independent governance.
ATIA chair Tom Manwaring shared: “ATIA represents a combined powerhouse of travel agents, tour operators, consolidators and wholesalers. 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.”
In response to three specific membership segments expressing their wish to have dedicated engagement platforms to network and also provide advice on advocacy activities, 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 (home-based), and Tour Operators/Wholesalers.
An ATIA Individual Membership option will now be available for AUD$10 (US$6) a month which will provide access to several ATIA advantages, including access to a new online platform and travel exchange with a host of resources.
More details on benefits will be released soon.