Let the votes roll in
It is very clear that the travel industry is alive and well if the record number of nominations for this year’s National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) is any indication, as we have been overwhelmed by the interest. For the NTIA 2015 program, AFTA introduced the requirement for some categories that nominations must be ATAS accredited or work for an ATAS accredited business to be eligible. Wow, that works! As ATAS heads towards its first year of operation and reaches the 3000 location target it is so pleasing to see how much accreditation has been embraced and how the idea of including this eligibility has underpinned the professional standard of the NTIAS. All industry awards need to be constantly reviewed to ensure they are relevant, responsive to industry change and add value to everyone that chooses to get involved. Clearly the NTIAS is doing this in spades for the industry and I am really delighted that 2015 will be yet another great year for the industry to celebrate and recognise the achievements of so many. The voting is now open and we have already seen an incredible take up of this process with the AFTA website abuzz with people casting their votes. This year we have made a change to the venue for the gala event which was brought about as a result of the shortage of event space availability in Sydney during the construction of the $1 billion International Convention Centre (IC) planned to be completed in December 2016. So the NTIAS will be held at Dockside Pavilion Darling Harbour for the next two years. In 2017 the NTIAS will move to the IC at which time the event will be open to many more as the venue sits a maximum capacity of 2000. I am confident that by 2017 there will be 2000 people wanting to attend as we go from strength to strength every year with so many fabulous sponsors. With the introduction this year of several new categories the field that has been nominated is vast. As with every year I wish all the nominees every success for this year and look forward to building excitement in the lead up to July 18th. Not to let a political moment pass, March will see another election, with the NSW state poll set to run on 28 March. As with Victoria and Queensland, the outcome of this pending election could go either way, and AFTA has continued to ensure our engagement across both sides of the political spectrum in NSW. It will be interesting to see the outcome because if the current NSW government is voted out it will mean the three east coast states will have Labor in charge. Some say that the balance of federal state relations are best served when states are of one inclination and the federal government is of another. The only problem is that all three east coast states will remain in place until the next federal election, so we might well be in for some interesting political times if we see a change in NSW.
All industry awards need to be constantly reviewed to ensure relevant’ they are