The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has confirmed Dean Long as incoming CEO.
Long joins AFTA from 2 years as CEO and Executive Director of the Accommodation Association of Australia and brings extensive government relations, stakeholder engagement, policy development, media and campaign expertise, as well as AFTA and sector specific knowledge as a result of several of his past positions.
Long’s previous role with AFTA was as Head of Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships, a position he held for 4.5 years before joining American Express in September 2018.
He brings a track record of achievement, strategic impact and policy outcomes in travel, tourism, financial services, insurance and property development following roles with American Express, AFTA, the NSW Minister for Tourism, and Tourism NSW.
Tom Manwaring, AFTA chair
“We couldn’t have asked for a better choice than Dean Long given his background across key sectors, his extensive experience within AFTA, and his expertise and networks across government at all levels,” said AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring.
“He is strategic, informed and proven in his ability to lead and strengthen member-based organisations during challenging times.”
“He well and truly knows our sector and the needs of AFTA’s members as we work together to navigate the current frustrations, secure and optimise Government support and continue to reinforce the value of travel agents and businesses at an economic, employment and consumer support level. He has a well deserved reputation of collaboration to maximise impact and outcomes and that’s exactly what we need now and into the future.”
Dean Long, AFTA incoming CEO
Long said he was incredibly proud to take the role and steer the sector’s future “and to help as many member businesses as possible get through these difficult times to emerge successfully on the other side.”
“I look forward to working with members on evolving our sector and structures at an organisational and agency level so we are better able to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing marketplace,” Long said.
“AFTA will need to continue to work closely with other key peak industry bodies including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Business Council of Australia and the Tourism Transport Forum as well as with industry-relevant associations such as IATA, WTAAA and BARA. I also look forward to continuing AFTA’s strategic collaborations with CATO and CLIA.”
“There’s a lot of work to be done but AFTA has a great Board, a highly-committed and skilful team and a membership of passionate, skilled and essential businesses. I can’t wait to get started on this next phase of AFTA and our sector’s evolution in collaboration with members and with all of AFTA’s key relationships,” he added.
Long will take the post with AFTA no later than mid-October.