Stéphanie Bishop is CATO’s Vice Chair and Joanne Dhue is CATO’s appointed TICO Director. Brett Walker is CATO Chair; Richard Edwards, Treasurer; and Nicole Bursey, CATO appointed TICO Director.
Walker says the executive now better represents the 73% of females that make up workforce in the tour operator sector.
The AGM, held Nov. 25, tackled three key topics: CATO’s advocacy efforts, rebranding and development of a new website and community hub for members.
Walker says that as well as working diligently on its own advocacy efforts, CATO has served on the Hardest Hit Coalition as well as the steering committee of the Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable. The culmination of all these efforts was the tabling this week of Bill C-2, An Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19 in the House of Commons which includes the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP).
Walker notes that while the bill isn’t perfect, CATO is pleased the Liberal government has followed through on its commitments. However, as there is some opposition to the bill, CATO continues to pressure all parties and all sides of the debate to insure the bill receives Royal Ascent without delay.
CATO has changed over past few years and continues to change, says Walker.
CATO’s rebranding includes six pillars: inclusion, access and equity as well as being progressive, representative and cooperative.
These six principles are the basis for CATO’s mission and vision going forward.
Also at the AGM, CATO officially unveiled its new logo.
CATO is developing a new website and community hub for its members, geared to supporting CATO’s advocacy and research while also hosting educational opportunities and facilitating member forums.
The new site and community hub is expected to launch in mid-February 2022.
CATO is simplifying and reducing its fee structure, in keeping with its mission to be more inclusive, more accessible and more representative
The membership fee for tour operators under $10 million in gross Canada sales is now $800. The membership fee for tour operators with $10 million in gross Canada sales or higher will be $2,000. Walker says it’s hoped the new fee structure will encourage even more tour operators to join.
CATO is also deferring any payment of fees for the 2022 membership year until July 1, 2022, to further accommodate existing and prospective members during the pandemic.