Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 100 - May 2016

Circulated to 10,000 Professionals Worldwide

Tourforce Turns 100! 

Welcome to the 100th edition of Tourforce!

It all started back in April 2007 and quoting from my first editorial: “Tourforce is an industry newsletter designed to keep both the direct and indirect participants in the tourism network connected with: issues raised in peak conferences...; new policy and planning initiatives; product development; marketing; and best practice case studies. I will also endeavour to keep you informed of grant programs and other areas of assistance. Tourforce will also feature cutting edge projects being undertaken within my practice and those of my Associates… The newsletter reaches a national and international reader body of 9,000."

Tourforce still focuses on these issues although we now have a much stronger international focus in line with my professional networks. The major change seems to be the colour and quantity of my hair! I hope you continue to enjoy Tourforce as it evolves into the future.

Tony Charters AM


Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference - Call for Papers! 

The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference, the premier event of Ecotourism Australia, is calling for papers relevant to the theme Ecotourism: Fostering Innovation – Sustaining Excellence.

The conference to be held 21 - 23 November 2016 in Hobart, Tasmania is in its 24th year -  the world’s most established ecotourism conference. It’s no coincidence that Global Eco attracts the world's best ecotourism operators, protected area managers and tourism professionals.

The theme focuses on the very fundamentals of ecotourism – pushing the boundaries to provide travellers with outstanding tourism experiences in a way that respects the environment, the local community and the culture of the destination.  It brings together the key players that can deliver on these fundamentals – the operators, the protected area managers the destination developers and the marketers.

"With 25 years of history (as the first National ecotourism body in the world) it is important to take stock and reflect on the growth of the industry. More importantly, there is a key responsibility to look 25 years into the future - to see how we may continue to pioneer and strive for excellence. Ecotourism is a business and it is growing across the globe at an extraordinary rate. So how do we maintain the focus on sustainability in a world that has very unequal access to technology? What is the role of innovation in overstepping limited access to technology?” said Conference Convenor, Tony Charters AM. 

The theme also explores how new players are taking a critical role in developing ecotourism - bringing economic, community and environmental benefits.

Apply now to present a paper at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference:

Restroom Guide

Lonely Planet has released a new book ‘Toilets: A Spotter’s Guide’ which features more than 100 restrooms from Antarctica to Zambia with a photo and description of its location.

Further information:


Climbing the Roof

Adelaide has launched the Adelaide Oval RoofClimb which operates daily, excluding public holidays, match days and events. Climbers will travel along the impressive curved roofline of the Western Stand before navigating across a link bridge to the Riverbank Stand. On the Riverbank Stand, climbers then walk the gantry to an open viewing deck overlooking the goal square, where in a world first, they can sit on one of 16 seats to take in the impressive vistas of Adelaide Oval and beyond.

Further information:

Surf Park

Australia's first surf park will be developed on a site adjoining Melbourne Tullamarine Airport by Perth-based Wave Park Group. The $18.5 million world class surfing lagoon will be almost twice the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and generate multiple waves every 90 seconds. This unique recreation and leisure facility on seven hectares will be called URBNSURF Melbourne and will provide an authentic surfing experience suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Construction is expected to start in the second half of 2016

Further information:


Motorhome Bed and Breakfast

Mighway, an AirBnB type concept for Motorhomes created by Tourism Holdings Limited, is up and running in New Zealand. Mighway allows you to rent your vehicle to travellers when you’re not on the road, earning money and sharing the experience. There is two levels of service which includes comprehensive insurance cover, customer vetting, security deposits, payment processing and round the clock customer support for renters.

Further information:

Stopover Buddy

Icelandair recently allowed passengers flying between Europe and the USA or Canada a stopover in Iceland for up to seven nights, at no extra cost. Customers simply requested a stopover buddy to accompany them at no additional cost when booking their flights. Users could choose from adventure buddies, culture buddies, food buddies, health buddies and nature buddies.

Further information:


Expressions of Interest for Monkey Mia

Expressions of interest for the operation
of vessel-based wildlife interaction tours from Monkey Mia, Shark Bay Marine Park, including
Red Cliff Bay Marine Mammal Interaction Restriction Area are being sought by the Department of Parks
and Wildlife. Proposals will need to address
criteria dealing with environmental, social and
economic sustainability.

The Expressions of Interest Guidelines for Submission are available at:


Eco-wise Hotel

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced the launch of its eco-incubator Element brand in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The hotel is located in a former office building at the Gelderlandplein shopping mall and offers bright, modern design and eco-minded sensibilities. It features 160 spacious studios and suites, all featuring a fully-equipped kitchenette, flexible living space, as well as the signature Westin Heavenly Bed and spa-inspired bathroom.

Further information:


Brisbane Aquarium

A world-class aquarium is part of a proposed $100 million redevelopment of the Queensland Maritime Museum on Brisbane’s South Bank. The project proposed by the Queensland Maritime Museum, in partnership with Advanced Aquarium Technologies and Crossley Architects, would also be linked to the planned Queen’s Wharf entertainment precinct by the existing Goodwill Bridge.

Further information:


Convention Centre Virtual Tour

Adelaide has become the first Australian convention centre to adopt Google Virtual Tour technology across the entire building to assist clients in planning their event. The virtual tour incorporates 316 panoramic photos built from 3792 separate images and showcases all 15,000 square metres of the interior over three levels including external views of North Terrace and the Riverbank precinct. It forms part of the Centre’s Digital Strategy which includes social media, digital newsletters, video, interactive website and iMap event planning application.

Further information:


European Heritage Routes

The UNESCO and the European Commission have launched a project to develop cultural routes through Europe starting late 2017. The European Heritage Routes project will use UNESCO World Heritage Sites to connect travellers to other cultural attractions such as festivals, museums and other events. The project will involve local authorities, heritage site managers, cultural institutions and the travel industry.

Further information:


Fans of London, in partnership with the GREAT Britain Campaign, British Airways and Hilton, has launched ‘Fans of London’ a new initiative to celebrate events, exhibitions and anniversaries in 2016. According to new research, London is the most talked about travel destination on Twitter with many of London’s top visitor attractions also generating Twitter traffic including the Coca-Cola London Eye, the British Museum and the Natural History Museum

Further information:


Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

Jetwing Hotels has signed the United Nations World Tourism Organisation's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. This is the first company in Sri Lanka to sign the code which was adopted in 1999 by the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organisation as a fundamental frame of reference for responsible and sustainable tourism. It aims to help maximise the sector's benefits while minimising potentially negative impacts on the environment, cultural heritage and societies across the globe.

Further information:


Economic Impact Report

A new report highlights that swelling cruise passenger numbers and an increase in homeported ships helped to drive the industry’s economic contribution to a record $3.6 billion in 2014-15. Commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association Australasia, the independent report reveals that the economic value of cruising has risen an impressive 11.6 percent since 2013, which saw the industry contribution as $3.2 billion. The report notes that capacity constraints remain a barrier to future growth particularly in Sydney.

Further information:

Mobile Index

Expedia have released the Mobile Index, a global study of mobile-device-related behaviour and preferences among travellers conducted online. The study received input from 9,642 travellers across 19 countries in North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific. Results show that a smartphone ranks as the single most indispensable item travellers carry with them when they travel, ahead of their toothbrush, deodorant and driver's licence.

Further information:

Connecting the Dots

According to a new report from SITA, the leading global IT provider to the air transport industry, passengers will be enjoying seamless self-service with airlines and at airports as the ‘Internet of Things’ comes to travel over the next three years. The Future is Connected report shows that smartphones are reshaping travel behaviour as passengers are keen to use their own technology. The report combines global research with cases studies from airports and airlines that are moving to fully-connected travel.

Further information:


Update from Global Ecotourism Network

In February 2015, the entire Advisory Board of The International Ecotourism Society resigned. The ex-Advisory Board members formed a new group - The Global Ecotourism Network (GEN). The founding members of GEN consist of a talented group of ecotourism professionals, who collectively hold over 300 combined years of experience in the practice of ecotourism, from all over the world. GEN's mission is to bring together the world’s national and regional ecotourism associations and networks, destinations, indigenous peoples, global operators, professionals and academicians to grow the industry, provide advocacy and thought leadership, and to encourage innovation and authenticity in ecotourism. The Chair of GEN is Glenn Jampol, owner of the Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort in Costa Rica. GEN has posted an update on their website to inform people have about the break from TIES.

Further information:!about-gen/cjg9


Inbound Tourism Program

The Australian Tourism Export Council has launched the Know-How for Inbound Tourism Excellence (KITE) program to provide international tourism businesses at all levels with the overall export know-how, market specific insights and webinars. The program covers all the basics from the different types of travellers, cultural influences, tourism research, distribution, pricing, sales and marketing.

Further information:


Star Tripping

Star Ratings Australia has launched a new integrated marketing campaign encouraging Australian travellers to go star tripping via a series of star rated itineraries. There are a variety of
three, four and five star itineraries that have been developed for a range of different types of getaways, from outdoors and adventure through to luxury and indulgence. Star Ratings are an internationally recognised symbol for quality accommodation standards used in more than 70 countries around the world.

Further information:


Adventure Travel World Summit

The Adventure Travel World Summit will be held in Anchorage, Alaska from 19 - 22 September 2016. The summit is the Adventure Travel Trade Association's annual event which will see over 700 tour operators, gear companies, media outlets, travel agencies, advisors and destination marketers from the global adventure travel industry.

Further information:

Global Sustainable Tourism Conference

The Global Sustainable Tourism Conference will be held in Suwon City, South Korea from 5 - 8 October 2016.  The conference themes will be marketing sustainable tourism, urban tourism, cultural heritage destinations and sustainable MICE.

Further information:

Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference

Ecotourism Australia is staging the 24th Global Eco Asia-Pacific conference at the award winning MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart. The world’s leading ecotourism conference is being held 21-23 November 2016. The conference will celebrate 25 years of Ecotourism Australia and 20 years of Eco Certification.

Registration fees have been held at the same price as 2015. It’s no coincidence that Global Eco attracts the world's leading ecotourism operators, protected area managers and tourism professionals.

This year the theme is Ecotourism: Fostering Innovation – Sustaining Excellence - pushing the boundaries to provide travellers with outstanding tourism experiences in a way that respects the environment, the local community and the culture of the destination.

Further information:

Sustainable Summits Conference

The Sustainable Summits Conference will be held at the Hermitage Hotel in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand from 7 – 11 August 2016. The conference will focus on practical solutions to issues in mountain environments with themes on natural hazards, environmental impacts and social and cultural adaptations.

Further information:


Summer of 2016

By Anjana Lamichhane - Nepal Correspondent

Life is strange. It drags people to a different state - maybe in search of education, a job or maybe for happiness. So after all, you need a break from whatever you been doing in your daily routine. Of course I am talking about the summer holidays. If you are in doubt about the best place to travel this summer, somewhere better than the usual beach, then the best suggestion would be Nepal. If you are a water, mountain or green lover, then you must move towards Nepal. There are plenty of long and short trekking routes that lead you to mesmerising views of Himalaya, Green hills, beautiful lakes and the Himalayan Yaks. The most beautiful thing you might notice is the smiling greeting of the Cultural tribes in every belt of the Nepali land.

One of the best examples is the largest lake of Nepal, Rara Lake, which is located in Rara National Park, at the height 3050 metres above sea level. The trekking route is still considered as off the beaten route, so it is yet to be explored by many. You can trek for up to 15 days, which would lead to a natural heaven. So, I request you to spend your summer of 2016 in Nepal. Help it to recover from last year’s disaster.