Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 102 - July 2016

Circulated to 10,000 Professionals Worldwide


2017 World Legacy Awards – Call for Entries

The call-for-entries for the 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards is now open. Now in its third year, the World Legacy Awards honor the sustainability leaders and visionaries at the forefront of travel today that are driving the positive transformation of tourism for people and the planet. 

Award Categories include:

  • Earth Changers
  • Sense of Place
  • Conserving the Natural World 
  • Destination Leadership
  • Engaging Communities 

Entries will be accepted through until August 20, 2016 and the winners will be announced in March 2017 at ITB Berlin.

Further information:


Passengers of UK budget airline EasyJet will soon be able to navigate around a city wearing a pair of smart shoes. The prototype 'Sneakairs' which were tested during the Barcelona Street Project are controlled by a smartphone’s GPS which triggers small vibrations in either shoe according to the direction you need to go. A wrong turn detector and route recalculation function have been incorporated to guide users back onto the right course.

Further information:


Taronga Wildlife Retreat

Taronga Conservation Society Australia has unveiled designs for a new Australian native
wildlife exhibit and overnight accommodation facilities for Taronga Zoo. The proposed Taronga Wildlife Retreat will include five new accommodation pods, a guest lodge and restaurant surrounding
a new exhibit. Construction is expected to commence mid-2017.

Further information:

The Best Virtual Reality Hotel Experience

The Best Western hotel chain has introduced a virtual reality experience which will enable guests to experience each of the company’s 2200 hotels online before booking. The Best Western Virtual Reality Experience was produced in collaboration with Google Street View by gathering 1.7 million photos of the hotels across North America which were in 360 videos before being enhanced with narration and music.

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Seat Swapping

A new app enables customers to post seat change requests or sell seats on commercial airlines. The Seatswappr app is a peer-to-peer platform, enabling passengers of commercial airline flights to post requests for a seat exchange prior to boarding. Seats can either be swapped between passengers via direct communication within the app, or more desirable seats such as those positioned near exits can be sold.

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Foreigner-Friendly Taxis

Kyoto City in Japan has started a new taxi service for visitors in an effort to make foreigners feel even more welcome. The one year trial will see a total of 69 taxis and 87 drivers from 23 cab operators operate the service after undergoing language and customer service training. The drivers are able to communicate in a variety of languages including English and Chinese.

Further information:

Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth has released the 2016 edition of its Cruise Ship Report Card documenting the environmental footprint of the cruise industry and grading 17 cruise lines and their 171 ships. The report card grades cruise lines on four criteria including sewage treatment technology, air pollution reduction, compliance with water quality regulations and transparency.

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Giant Campaign

VisitBritain has launched an international tourism campaign in partnership with Disney to leverage Roald Dahl’s The BFG movie which was filmed
at various locations across Britain including Blenheim Palace, London, The Isle of Skye and Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland. The campaign will also include user-generated content and details of visitor experiences linked to Roald Dahl’s
100th anniversary.

Further information:

Miss World Tourism

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is for the first time launching a campaign to attract local and international female travellers whether travelling alone or with groups of friends to enjoy some of the country's many attractions through a range of activities, special offers, discounts and privileges. The latest Miss World Australia is also a Brand Ambassador in Australia to broaden the recognition of how Thailand can cater for a great experience to female travellers.

Further information:

CEO Challenge

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in partnership with TripAdvisor is looking for new and emerging destinations to take part in the PATA CEO Challenge 2016. TripAdvisor will work with the two winning entries in developing and creating a digital marketing campaign to showcase their destination to a global audience. The deadline to submit an entry is 23 September 2016.

Further information:


Sandstone Wilderness

The Sandstone Wilderness area in Central Queensland is home to some of the state’s most significant stories and places for aboriginal people. The region encompasses over 100 State Forests and National Parks and 25 separate mountain ranges featuring unique sandstone gorges and water sculptured formations.

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Novotel Brisbane South Bank

AccorHotels, in partnership with Queensland Real Estate Developer Kinstone Developments Group, has announced a new-build 238-room Novotel hotel will be built on Brisbane’s South Bank. The Novotel Brisbane South Bank will be located directly across the road from the Brisbane Convention Centre on Cordelia Street, with direct pedestrian access connecting the hotel with the Centre. Construction will commence in late 2016 with an expected completed date in late 2018.

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Impact Experience Program

The Ritz-Carlton hotel group has launched a range of 'impact experiences' that enable its guests to engage with communities where hotels are based through positive social and environmental activities. Operated as part of its Community Footprints program, the activities range from a heritage farming project in Arizona to planting endangered native trees in Dubai and building bird nests for migrating rare bird species at the Futian Mangrove Natural Reserve Area in Shenzhen, China.

Further information:

Social Enterprise Tours

Intrepid Urban Adventures has introduced a range of social enterprise tours giving travellers the chance to come face-to-face with local issues, employment and entrepreneurship. The tour operator is working with local non-government and non-profit organisations to develop its ‘In Focus’ series of tours with destinations including Nepal, India and Romania. The tours also give visitors the option to remain in contact with the project by becoming a supporter, advocate or donor.

Further information:


Carbon Footprint Calculator

The Carmacal calculator, developed by the Dutch travel trade association, allows tour operators and travel agents to calculate the total carbon footprint of holidays including flights, accommodation and excursions.

Further information:


Flip Flop Report

The annual Flip Flop Report examines the activities and preferences among beachgoers and Australia is one of the most relaxed, low maintenance nationalities in the world when it comes to beach holiday habits. The global report commissioned by Expedia surveyed more than 11,000 travellers aged 18 years of age and older across 24 countries.

Further information:

Global Peace Index

The 10th edition of the Global Peace Index was released in June by the international think-tank Institute for Economics & Peace. The index is the world's leading measure of global peacefulness and gauges ongoing international and domestic conflict, safety and security in society, and the degree of militarisation in 163 countries and territories by taking into account 23 indicators.

Camilla Schippa, who leads the daily operations of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), is responsible for setting the strategy for the global think tank and aligning it with opportunities to advance IEP's global reach and impact. Camilla will deliver a keynote address at the 2016 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference in Hobart in November.

Further information:

In-Flight Connectivity Survey

A comprehensive survey of airline passengers worldwide has highlighted the soaring demand for in-flight broadband in Asia Pacific. Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, and market research company GfK conducted the In-Flight Connectivity Survey between August 2015 and March 2016. Responses were gathered from more than 9,000 passengers in Asia, Australasia, Europe, Central and South America who had flown with at least one personal device.

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Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism Report

A new report published by Sustainable Travel International, in partnership with Mandala Research, has shown that travellers who have taken a ‘sustainable trip’ in the last three years spend more, stay longer and bring higher benefits to local communities including job creation, giving-back and volunteering. The 2016 Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism report aims to help the industry better understand how travellers define sustainable tourism and how they incorporate it into their travel decisions and behaviors.

Further information:


Polar Code

A new International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) has been developed by the International Maritime Organisation to protect ships, seafarers and passengers operating in the unique polar region environments and eco-systems from January 2017. ​The Polar Code is intended to cover ship design, construction and equipment, operations and training, search and rescue.

Further information:


Adventure Film Contest

Tourism organisations and businesses are encouraged to enter the Adventure in Motion short film competition. The contest is presented by the Adventure Travel Trade Association in partnership with AFAR and ExOfficio with the top three finalists chosen by Facebook likes. The winning film will be showcased on Adventure Travel website, newsletters and shared by partners. Submissions close 29 August 2016.

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 Economic Development for Regional Australia

The Sustainable Economic Development for Regional Australia (SEGRA) Conference will be held at the Albany Entertainment Centre from 26-28 October.

The conference is celebrating its 20th year with a progressive, future driven agenda. It will be focusing on the natural strength of regions and how they can be increased or concentrated to ensure future prosperity and good growth.The theme for 2016 is Naturally Stronger Regions: realising the potential.

The SEGRA conference provides a single forum in which people with a deep commitment to regional Australia can discuss issues and advance options and solutions for the future. Drawing over 200 delegates from across Australia, it is now recognised as the nation’s most credible and independent voice on issues affecting regional Australia.

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Cruise Conference

The 20th Australian Cruise Association Conference will be in Sydney from 7-9 September 2016. The conference will explore a range of topics critical to the growth of the cruise industry including homeporting, infrastructure development, benchmarking and the regulatory landscape.

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Global Sustainable Tourism Conference

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

Further information:

Southern Queensland Tourism Industry Conference

The RACQ Southern Queensland Tourism Industry Conference will be held in Kingaroy, Queensland from 18-19 October 2016. The conference will provide opportunities for learning, information sharing and networking.

Further information:

Geotour Conference

The international conference on Geotourism, Mining Tourism, Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection will be held in Florence, Italy 18-20 October 2016. Stakeholders in the sector of tourism, sustainability and education are invited to participate in the conference to share best practices and build new partnerships.

Further information: