About CATO

The Value of Being a CATO Member

Membership of the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) is a hallmark of competence and integrity. CATO is the representative body for wholesale tour operators who supply travel and tour packages to domestic and international destinations.

CATO Members

  • Are accredited under the AFTA Travel Agents Accreditation Scheme (ATAS).
  • Produce annually at least one full colour brochure which is distributed to the retail travel agents and the public via printed material and/or electronic media.
  • Are covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance.

To assist in maintaining the highest possible product and service standards, CATO provides a forum for members to present their views and convenes regular meetings where members are updated on current issues and are able to raise subjects of mutual interest.

CATO acts as a representative body for its members and is in regular contact lobbying both State and Federal Governments on issues that include Licensing, GST, Travel Advisories, and Consumer Affairs.

CATO has established a Code of Ethics for members to consider in their dealings with the public, travel agents, carriers, other principals and fellow members.

The CATO Advantage

A symbol of integrity and commitment, CATO members are specialists who work in conjunction with licensed travel agents to make the customers’ journey, no matter how big or small, a better and safer experience.


The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) was formed and incorporated as an independent association in September 1999.

Prior to the CATO incorporation Tour Operators were associated as the Australian Council of Tour Operators (ACTW) which was a division of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).

CATO’s independence coincided with the restructure of AFTA in September 1999.

While Tour Operators have a professional affiliation with Retail Travel Agents, their independence allows CATO to focus squarely on the specific issues related to them and their particular network. Today CATO is an industry hallmark and will continue to strive toward its goals.