Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 105 - October 2016

Circulated to 10,000 Professionals Worldwide


Penguin Prize

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is searching for ‘Sydney’s Biggest Penguin Fan’ with an online competition that will see young penguin and conservation enthusiasts demonstrate their reporting skills through a short 30-second video. The winner will then report from the opening of the new multi-million dollar Penguin Expedition and film a short web series including exclusive interviews with expert Penguin Trainers.

Further information:

Global Eco Headline Speakers - a quarter century of overnight successes

The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference program is now available on the conference website. Global Eco will be held on 21-23 November 2016 in Hobart, Tasmania.

The 25th anniversary year of Ecotourism Australia, the 2016 conference will gather key tourism operators, protected area managers, tourism organisations, indigenous bodies and researchers from 10 nations.

Half of the keynote speakers are award-winning ecotourism operators, recognised globally for their excellence and innovation and contributions to ecotourism and sustainability. Discussions will focus on ecotourism best practice; community and social license; tourism in protected areas; private conservation; ASEAN ecotourism; and innovation and ecotourism futures. Keynote speakers open up discussions across key thematic areas and concurrent theme streams develop these discussions.

Day 1 & 2 of the conference will be located in the iconic MONA, with the final day consisting of specialised masterclasses and workshops located in the Hobart CBD.

Below are some of the many operators and industry professional who will headline the program.

View the full program at:


100% Pure New Zealand Success Story

Partners in business and in life, Ceillhe and Neill Sperath are the Founders and Directors of TIME Unlimited Tours, New Zealand (TUT). The power couple are keynotes at this year’s Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference 21-23 November, Hobart, TAS.

Driven by their passion for the natural beauty of New Zealand and the Maori culture, Ceillhe and Neill have built TUT into one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourism businesses. TUT is one of the most awarded tourism businesses in New Zealand with three global tourism awards for indigenous and ecotourism, and 18 awards for their exceptional tours around Auckland and New Zealand. TUT’s combination of unique tours, access to cultural experiences, and knowledge of international and Maori culture differentiates them from other tourism operators in the country.

Ceillhe is a New Zealander of Maori descent from the Ngapuhi tribe in Northland, and is a direct descendant of two prominent Maori chiefs that helped shape New Zealand. Ceillhe is also a member of other national boards in New Zealand such as the New Zealand Organisation for Quality. Neill is of Irish and German descent and is responsible for all marketing and general business for TUT.  

Discover more about Ceillhe and Neill Sperath and our other Keynote Speakers at:

Social Licence – a fundamental starting point for ecotourism

Katherine Teh-White is the founder of Futureye, which provides market research, sustainable innovations, public policy, public affairs, risk communication, foresight and strategy and change management. Futureye operates in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Katherine is a keynote speaker at Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference, Hobart, Tasmania, 21-23 November.

Katherine’s social licence to operate methodology and problem-solving approach has made organisations more successful in an era of quickly shifting community expectations and instantaneous communication. Her approach integrates public policy, strategy, risk communication, and foresight and change management.

Discover more about Katherine Teh-White and our other Keynote Speakers at:

Providing the Perfect Balance of Hospitality and Nature

Craig Wickham is the owner of Exceptional Kangaroo Island. A chance opportunity to escape suburban Adelaide in the mid-60s saw Craig raised in the solitude of Kangaroo Islands’ north coast. Subsequent foresight saw a family tourism business established in the mid-70s. The 80s saw Craig live in South Africa, pursue wildlife management qualifications and then employed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The 90s saw a return to private enterprise with a fledgling nature-based tourism business. Fast forward to 2016 – partner in a business with a staff of 18 and a well-established international tourism business showcasing the best of Kangaroo Island – after 26 years an “overnight success”!

Discover more about Craig Wickham and our other Keynote Speakers at:

Managing Parks in a Connected and
Competitive World

Steve Wroe is a keynote speaker at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference, Hobart, Tasmania, 21-23 November. Steve is the Director of Customer Experience and Destination Planning at Parks Australia. He has been in the role for a year, having moved across from his role as GM of Marketing at the Intrepid Group, managing brands such as Intrepid Travel and Peregrine. Steve has a degree in Tourism Management and Marketing and began his career as a Tour Leader for Peregrine Adventures before moving into the office and spending his time in Product/Operations and Marketing.

Discover more about Steve Wroe and our other Keynote Speakers at:


Million Dollar Fish

The second season of the Northern Territory’s Million Dollar Fish competition has kicked off with 101 prize tagged barramundi in Top End waters. This year there is a million dollar fish up for grabs plus 100 barramundi worth $10,000, as well as sponsor prizes worth $96,000. More than 22,000 local, interstate and overseas anglers have registered for the competition online with a Free Fishing app (NT Fishing Mate) also available to help recreational fishers know the rules and which areas are open to fish.

Further information:


World's Largest Indoor Water Park

A new indoor waterpark, the largest amusement and health complex of its kind, will open next year in Russia and aims to accommodate as many as a million residents a year from Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg and Northern Okurgov. The developer, Polin Waterparks, was founded in Istanbul in 1976 and is a world leader in the design, production and installation of waterparks, waterslides and water-play attractions. It has completed 2,500 waterpark projects in 100 countries around the world and is the biggest waterslide supplier in Eurasia.

Further information:

Virtual Reality Rollercoaster

Warner Bros Movie World has launched the Southern Hemisphere’s first Virtual Reality rollercoaster experience. The park’s iconic Arkham Asylum coaster is now powered by VR technology transforming the ride into a 360-degree experience that takes guests on a multi-dimensional journey while reaching speeds of up to 85km/h and
pulling 4.2Gs.

Further information:


Snow Addicts

A collective of ski areas in New Zealand’s South Island launched an innovative content-led campaign to drive awareness of the region’s world-class snow experience. The ‘Snow Addicts’ campaign was promoted via PR and social amplification and filmed on location in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

Further information:


Smartest Tourism Destination

The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) has launched a new corporate website to give tourism operators greater online presence through marketing exposure across 150 web channels. The site is mobile responsive and primarily targets Tourism Operators and Distributors sharing their success stories and case study examples of how they have successfully partnered with ATDW.

Further information:

Off the Beaten Track

Israel-based app Kompl encourages tourists to explore urban spaces by navigating them via landmarks and popular attractions, rather than direct routes or maps. The navigation app is aimed at travellers looking for unique experiences and works both online and offline to access multiple sources including Foursquare and Wikipedia. The app now spans 22 cities and is looking to expand to New York and Tokyo.

Further information:


Talking Accommodation

TalkTalkbnb is a free peer-to-peer language and accommodation exchange which enables hosts to trade food and lodging for conversation in their guest’s mother tongue. Hosts and travellers create a profile detailing their first language and where they would like to travel to and what language they want to practice. Once a match has been made, the host offers free lodging and food in exchange for their guest spending time with them during their stay, speaking in their native language.

Further information:


Smart Gates

The $50 million roll out of SmartGates has been completed with all 83 gates now in operation across Australia's eight international airports. The departure SmartGate uses state-of-the-art biometric facial recognition technology to confirm the identity of the traveller, with one SmartGate having the ability to process as many as 150 people per hour during busy periods. Gates are operational in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Darwin and Cairns.

Further information:

Fuel Up with Velocity Frequent Flyer

Velocity Frequent Flyer and BP Australia have announced Pay with Points, an Australian-first initiative that will revolutionise the way members use the program by enabling BP customers to pay with Velocity Points at the point of sale for fuel and in-store purchases at participating BP service stations. It is the first time an Australian airline loyalty program has allowed its members to use their frequent flyer points as currency in a retail store.

Further information:

World's Biggest Stationary Wave

The world’s biggest stationary wave will be at Munich Airport giving passengers a chance to surf between the terminals. The surfing installation will provide the perfect surf conditions with a wave measuring 10 metres wide and 1.5 metres high. It will be open to visitors whether beginner, advanced or pros aged eight years and over.

Further information:


Accessible Tourism for All

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) focused on Accessible Tourism for All on World Tourism Day. It has produced a set of best practice reports on improving accessible tourism experiences for people with mobility, vision, hearing and learning disabilities.

Further information:

Sustainable Pacific

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation to promote tourism and private sector development in the South Pacific in a manner that is sustainable while bringing economic growth and social benefits to the region. The organisations will combine resources, networks and experiences to develop a joint strategic way forward for the region..

Further information:

Northern Australia Tourism Initiative

The Australian Government has established special funding from the Northern Australia Development Fund for tourism operators situated north of the Tropic of Capricorn in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. The Entrepreneur’s Program is designed to support tourism businesses by offering a free business evaluation service to identify opportunities for growth and improvement.

Further information:


New Guidebook for Elephant Tourism

Horizon Travel Press has released a new travel guide, supported by Intrepid Travel on World Elephant Day, calling tourists to think before they ride. A range of conservation experts, non-profit advocates and industry professionals have contributed essays to the guidebook with the aim of highlighting the issues in elephant tourism particularly in Thailand.

Further information:


Global Travel and Tourism Insights

According to a new study published by Visa, in conjunction with Oxford Economics, more than 280 million households globally will make at least one international trip per year by 2025. Factors driving the increase include technology advances and heightened competition in the global tourism marketplace including the construction of 340 new airports over the next decade making it easier, faster and affordable for people to access
more destinations.

Further information:

Purchase Behaviour

Tourism Australia has conducted new international research that examines the ‘path to purchase’ behaviour of potential international association conference delegates and reveals the best channels and messages to use in order to convince them to travel to Australia for their event. A key insight showed that the conference website is the most important channel for delegates and plays an integral role throughout the decision
making process.

Further information:

Tourism Investment Pipeline

According to The Tourism Investment Monitor 2016 released by Tourism Research Australia, continued investor appetite for Australian tourism infrastructure investment projects is supporting the current strength of the pipeline. Demand for tourism services is also going from strength to strength, further increasing the importance of the industry to Australia’s economy.

Further information:

Millennial Travel Report

Expedia has launched a new report that provides insights for marketers on the travel trends of the millennial generation. The Millennial Traveller Report compared millennials (defined as people born between 1982 and 1999) to Generation X (1961-1981) and Baby-Boomers (1945-1960). The report compiled by the Future Foundation used a sample size of 1,000 consumers aged 18–64 across a number of markets.

Further information:


Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Applications are open for the 2017 World Travel and Tourism Council Tourism for Tomorrow Awards that are open to anyone working towards a more responsible, sustainable tourism industry across five categories - Environment, Community, People, Innovation and Destination. Applications close 14th November 2016.

Further information:

PATA Gold Awards

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced the winners of the 2016 Grand and Gold Awards. Supported by the Macao Government Tourism Office the awards recognise the achievements of 26 separate organisations and individuals in four principal categories.

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.

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.

Further information:

Meeting Place

The Australian Tourism Export Council’s Meeting Place will take place in Canberra from 29-30 November 2016. This annual conference is an important platform for travel buyers and sellers, as well as discussions around issues and opportunities impacting the growth of the tourism export industry.

Further information: