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SOME OF the most respected and influential names in travel will be speaking at an International Women’s Day lunch next month.

The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has unveiled a stellar line-up for their event in Sydney on March 8.

Panellists include Lou Tandy, co-owner, Australian Pacific Holdings Travel Group; Gai Tyrrell, Managing Director Australasia, Globus Family of Brands, and Sue Badyari: Chief Executive Officer, World Expeditions.

They will be joined on stage for a discussion session by Toni Ambler: Managing Director Touring Brands, The Travel Corporation, and Ingrid Berthelsen, Joint CEO, Evolution Travel Collective.

“We are very excited to be able to showcase some of the incredible talent that exists within the CATO membership group,” said Brett Jardine, CATO Managing Director.

“Each of our panellists have a unique journey to share that will be thought-provoking and inspirational.”

The panel discussion will be hosted by Lisa Pagotto, CATO Vice-Chair and Crooked Compass Founder, and the event will be hosted by media personality, Julia Zaetta.

Meanwhile The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has announced its first ‘Women in Travel’ summit.

Designed to celebrate the fact that 72 per cent of frontline roles and 74 per cent of middle-management roles in travel are held by women, the summit will promote empowerment, diversity and inclusion.

The event will kick off what AFTA says will be a year of in-person events to reconnect, learn and thrive. It will take place on March 13 at Swissotel Sydney with a range of presentations taking place from 10am to 4pm.

“The Women in Travel Summit will allow us to draw from and recognise the tremendous expertise and extensive experience across Australia’s travel sector through breakout sessions, industry leaders and keynote speakers across the day-long event,” said Dean Long, AFTA CEO.

“We are constantly being asked by Government and other sectors what it is that travel does differently and this summit will allow the industry to continue to evaluate what we do and plan for the future.

“Plus, on top of the learning and the networking, we’re going to have a whole lot of fun.”

In addition to keynote speakers and presentations, the event will feature panel discussions and breakout rooms for smaller, more focused sessions.

Gai Tyrrell

Ingrid Berthelsen

Lou Tandy

Sue Badyari

Toni Ambler