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ATIA - logoIn a significant development for the Australian travel industry, the Australian Travel Industry Association (ATIA) has announced that Tom Manwaring, its Chair of the Board, will be retiring. Manwaring’s tenure, marked by transformative leadership and steadfast commitment, concludes after the ATIA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Sydney on June 19.

Manwaring’s retirement marks the end of an era for ATIA. Over the past six years as Chair and ten years as Director, he has been a pivotal figure in steering the organization through some of its most challenging periods. Since joining the Board on July 22, 2014, Manwaring’s strategic vision and relentless advocacy have led to numerous milestones.

One of the most critical phases of his leadership was during the COVID-19 pandemic. Manwaring’s guidance was instrumental in securing vital support from both Federal and State Governments. His efforts culminated in the $270 million Consumer Travel Support Grant, a lifeline for the Australian travel sector during unprecedented times. Manwaring’s relentless pursuit of advocacy ensured the successful implementation of this crucial grant, providing much-needed relief to the industry.

“Serving on the Board and leading as Chair has been an honor. During my tenure, I have been surrounded by a highly committed and proactive Board and Management team. Together, our collective efforts have strengthened the Association, delivering significant value and support to our members during both prosperous and challenging times,” Manwaring reflected on his impactful journey.

Under Manwaring’s leadership since December 2018, ATIA has undergone substantial reforms. He played a crucial role in developing and implementing a new constitution, ensuring the organization remains “fit for purpose” and well-positioned to support and advocate for the travel industry. Significant reforms include updating the Constitution, enhancing member representation, the ongoing evolution of the Australian Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS), and rebranding from the Australian Federation of Travel Agents to the Australian Travel Industry Association.

With ATIA now in a robust position at the Board and Management levels, Manwaring believes it is the right time for new leadership. “With ATIA now in an excellent position at a Board and Management level, it is the right time to allow a new industry leader to take the helm. I would like to thank all those I have served with on the Board over the years, the team at ATIA who continue to go from strength to strength under CEO Dean Long, as well as my team at ETG who have been so supportive of my contribution at Board level,” he stated.

Manwaring’s tenure leaves a legacy of resilience, strategic foresight, and unwavering commitment to the travel industry. His leadership navigated the association through turbulent times and positioned it for continued success. As the AGM approaches, new directors will step up, bringing fresh perspectives and expertise to the Board, marking the next exciting chapter for ATIA.

“This is a remarkable organization that has and will continue to make a real mark in our members’ businesses. The upcoming AGM will see new Directors step up and add their expertise to the Board. This renewal is important and marks the next exciting stage in our contribution as a peak body to our members and to Travel,” Manwaring concluded, underscoring the importance of renewal and continued progress.

Tom Manwaring’s departure signifies a momentous change for ATIA, but his legacy of transformative leadership will undoubtedly guide the organization for years. His successor will have big shoes to fill as they lead ATIA into its next era of advocacy and support for the Australian travel industry.




Written by: Anne Keam