Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 101 - June 2016

Circulated to 10,000 Professionals Worldwide


K-Style Hub

The national Korean Tourism Organisation has opened a new and improved Tourist Information Centre in Seoul for visitors to the country. The
K-Style Hub provides various experiences from medical tourism to hallyu (Korean wave), art market, food exhibitions and classes.

Further information:


Penguin Upgrade

The Victorian Government has committed $48.2 million in 2016-17 to the redevelopment of the Phillip Island Nature Park Visitor Centre through the new Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Phillip Island Nature Park will contribute a further $10 million to the project allowing the iconic Penguin Parade, one of Victoria’s most popular tourism attractions to meet the needs of visitors while reducing the attraction’s environmental footprint.

Further information:

Gold Star

The Star Entertainment Group has commenced the planning process for a potential new hotel tower at its Jupiters Integrated Resort on the Gold Coast. Pending various approvals and the execution of final joint venture agreements, The Star Entertainment Group, in partnership with Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium, aims to invest around $850 million into a proposed apartment tower, sports theatre and six-star hotel.

Further information:http://www.starentertain


I Love NY

A new advertising campaign to promote travel throughout New York State's 11 vacation regions has been launched. The I Love NY campaign is part of a $50 million state wide marketing initiative that aims to encourage New Yorkers and visitors to take advantage of the state's diverse tourism destinations which will feature in a number of promotions including I Love New York Bus Getaways, the I Love New York Mobile Pod, Path Through History Weekend and Pride Events throughout the state.

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Reef Sleep

Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, is running a contest to win a night on the Great Barrier Reef. The winner and three friends will receive one night’s accommodation on a floating apartment, a diving session and meals prepared by Australian chef Neil Perry from sustainably-sourced local seafood and produce. The contest coincides with the release of Disney/Pixar's Finding Dory, the sequel to the 2003 Finding Nemo.

Further information:

Tru by Hilton

Hilton Worldwide has unveiled Tru by Hilton to fill a void in the midscale category in the U.S. and Canada by appealing to the youthful demographic. The new brand was designed to be easily scalable to fit urban, suburban, highway and airport adjacent locations. The first Tru by Hilton hotel is expected to open by the end of 2016.

Further information:

Indigenous Hotel

AccorHotels, in partnership with Balarinji, an Indigenous-owned creative agency, has unveiled its first Indigenous-inspired Ibis hotel in Australia at Sydney Olympic Park. This project forms part of the group’s wider commitment to reconciliation, creating more Indigenous employment opportunities and supporting local community and business groups by 2018.

Further information:


Flight Bot

Global travel search engine Skyscanner has launched a Facebook Messenger bot allowing users to search for flights conversationally in English. Travellers will be able to interact with the bot to ask for live flight prices, as well as inspirational destination suggestions based on user search trends and cheapest pricing.

Further information:


Theme Park & Hotel

Warner Bros Entertainment, in partnership with Miral, is developing an immersive theme park and hotel on Yas Island, one of the world's leading business, leisure and entertainment destinations. Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi will be located next to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and iconic mega waterpark Yas Waterworld. The first stage of the one billion dollar development is due to open in 2018.

Further information:


A farmcation is a staycation which supports small communities by connecting consumers with small-scale farmers who seek to supplement their livelihood through market stalls and pick-your-own produce. Activities include farm tours, fruit picking, cooking workshops, cheesemaking classes and farm-to-table meals.

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Saunagondel is a mobile, electric sauna housed inside old Swiss ski gondolas which can accommodate up to four adults in below-zero landscapes. The mobile saunas are fitted with silver fir wood interiors and a 4.5 kW electric heater, enabling it to heat up to 100 degrees Celsius. It is also only 2 metres x 2 metres, as well as easy to transport and set up by the user.

Further information:


Bridging the Gap

A new lookout and see-through platform has opened at The Gap and Natural Bridge near Albany in Western Australia as part of a $6.1 million upgrade. The site in Torndirrup National Park now has two accessible lookouts and new paths, picnic areas, signage and car parking. Funded by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, the project aims to improve visitors’ experiences and safety at the iconic Southern Ocean lookout.

Further information:

Free Parks Pass

The Government of Canada has announced free admission for all Canadian and international visitors to national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada in 2017 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

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Regional Advocates

The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia and the Australian Regional Tourism Network have signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding to provide a stronger voice for the tourism industry in regional and remote destinations. It aims to bring big and small businesses in the tourism sector closer together to advocate and achieve positive reforms that will support growth into the future.

Further information:


State of Travel

Skift has released its 2016 State of Travel report highlighting the current global travel landscape and significant metrics from the industry during the past year. The report incorporates expert research throughout the travel industry in addition to Skift coverage over the past year.

Further information:

Tourism and Peace Report

According to a new study issued by the World Travel & Tourism Council, in collaboration with the Institute of Economics and Peace, an open and sustainable tourism sector can boost the level of peace in a country. The report entitled ‘Tourism as a Driver for Peace’ reveals a correlation between tourism sectors that show sustainability in social, cultural, economic, political and environmental areas with a positive peace measure.

Further information:

China Unbounded

TripAdvisor has released findings from a Phocuswright study providing insights into the behaviour, spending patterns, and preferences of more than 3,000 outbound Chinese travellers. The study entitled ‘China Unbounded: The Rapid Rise of China’s Outbound Millions’ looked at all facets of outbound travel from mainland China and examined the changing profile of the free independent traveller.

Further information:

Global Muslim Travel Index

The Global Muslim Travel Index is the most comprehensive research done on the Halal/Muslim travel, tourism and hospitality market. It is a collaboration between MasterCard and CrescentRating which analyses 130 destinations across the globe to create an Index to benchmark destinations in the Muslim Travel Market.

Further information:https://www.crescentrating.
com/ reports/mastercard-crescentrating-global-muslim-travel-index-gmti-2016.html

Valuing National Parks

The U.S. National Park Service has released a report on the economic output generated by the 410 parks and monuments it administers and the spending generated by visitors in the gateway communities surrounding these sites. The report claims that spending associated with national park visits generates $32 billion in total economic output, and supports 295,000 jobs.

Further information:


Tour Guide Resource

Jeremy Perks and Jan Barrie of Global Gypsies Tours & Training have published a new book providing invaluable advice to aspiring and working tour guides. The book is designed for novice or aspiring guides, working guides keen to brush up their skills, educators, students, or entrepreneurs considering starting their own tourism business in cities, regional areas, the outback or living
on stations.

Further information:


One Good Thing After Another

Canberra is launching a new global marketing platform focusing on the capital region's diversity of experiences and their close proximity to each other through the tagline – ‘One Good Thing After Another.’ The first creative application is a series of cinematic-style short films which showcase Canberra experiences and attractions in the key target markets of Sydney, regional NSW, Singapore and New Zealand.

Further information:

Virtual Australia

Tourism Australia has published 17 Virtual Reality scenes as 360 degree videos which has so far recorded 6.5 million views across YouTube, Facebook and The new ‘immersive assets’ provide a powerful selling tool for frontline travel agents and trade partners to better understand experiences that are available to holiday makers keen to book a trip to Australia. A free app for Google Cardboard headsets is available in simplified Chinese for both Android and Apple smart phones.

Further information:


Rewilding the Desert

A new tourism and conservation partnership between Conservation Volunteers Australia, FAUNA Research Alliance and the Little Desert Nature Lodge will see parts of the Little Desert, in Western Victoria rewilded. Species like the Greater Bilby, Western Quoll and Burrowing Bettong will be returned to Victoria, where they haven't been for
200 years.

Further information:

Sustainable Diving Guide

The United Nations Environment Program and partners have developed a range of sustainable tools on how recreational diving can protect fragile marine biodiversity threatened by growing coastal tourism. The Green Fins Toolbox was developed through a public-private partnership initiative working with diving and snorkeling businesses, communities and governments in Southeast and South Asia.

Further information:

Greening the Great Barrier Reef

AccorHotels, the world's leading hotel operator, is expanding its partnership with Greening Australia by committing further funds into preserving local ecosystems by adding the Great Barrier Reef catchments project into its 'Plant for the Planet' tree planting program. The Great Barrier Reef catchments project aims to restore critical wetland habitat and repair eroded gullies and river banks to reduce sediment and agricultural pollutants entering the reef.

Further information:


Global Destination Sustainability Index

The first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide has been launched - the Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index. The GDS index focuses on the ability of the destination and supplier base to support and organise sustainable events. So far 25 cities based in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, Germany and Sweden have signed up.

Further information:


Airport Service Quality Awards

Airports Council International has announced the winners of the 2015 Airport Service Quality Awards. The awards are based on feedback from over 550,000 passenger surveys at over 300 airports in 80 countries around the world. It covers 34 key service areas and eight major categories including: access, check-in, security, airport facilities, food and beverage, retail and others.

Further information:


Tourism, People and Protected Areas in
Polar Wilderness

The Tourism, People and Protected Areas in Polar Wilderness Conference will be held in Raufarhöfn, Iceland from 29 August - 2 September 2016. It will be organised by the International Polar Tourism Research Network.

Further information:

Wine Tourism Conference

The 1st International Wine Tourism Congress will be held in Santorini, Greece from 14 - 16 October 2016. The conference aims to discuss a number of issues related to wine tourism development and promote the exchange of good practices between scientists, practitioners and policy makers.

Further information:

Halal in Travel

The Halal In Travel Asia Summit 2016 will be held at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on the 19 October 2016. This inaugural event will bring together travel industry experts and stakeholders to share insights and ideas on the Muslim consumer.

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:


Africa’s Vultures

By Mary Mwendwa - African Correspondent

Africa’s largest and most recognisable species of Vultures are said to be facing a high risk of extinction, conservationists have warned.

Poisoning and use of vulture body parts in black magic are believed to be some of the main causes of the decrease in vulture populations in Africa. Another worrying threat is the deliberate elimination of vultures as they can alert authorities to illegally killed game carcasses.

Six out of the 11 species, most of which are birds of prey, are feared to be decreasing in numbers according to the latest reports of birds done by BirdLife International for the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ (or the IUCN Red List) is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of plant and animal species. It is based on an objective system for assessing the risk of extinction of a species should no conservation action be taken.

Indeed, the Red List Index for vultures in Africa shows that there has been a steady and continuing deterioration in the status of the world’s vultures between 1988 and 2012. In West Africa, vulture numbers have fallen by 95% over the past 30 years. In South Africa, the Bearded vulture’s population has halved to c.100 pairs and Cape vultures have declined by 60-70% in the last 20-30 years. There has been a 52% decline over a 30 year period in Gypsvulture numbers in the Maasai Mara ecosystem, the most important area for vultures in East Africa. The Hooded vulture, a widespread human commensal, has declined by an average of 62% across Africa over the past four decades, and much more rapidly in some areas. Studies have also shown that White Backed vultures have declined in Sudan and South Sudan and Somalia but is apparently more stable in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and across southern Africa where an estimated 40,000 individuals remain.

In Kenya, species of vultures are known for concentration are mainly the Maasai Mara, Laikipia area, Tsavo National Park, Amboseli National Park ,Nairobi National Park Hells Gate National Park, and Kwenia (west of Magadi).

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