Tony Charters received the Ecotourism Australia Honorary Life Membership award at the recent Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference held in Tasmania. In addition, in recognition of Tony's sustained and significant contribution to ecotourism in Australia, he was also awarded the inaugural ‘Tony Charters AM’ medal for his dedication over the last 25 years as well as his outstanding contribution to supporting the ecotourism industry in Australia. Tony has been an integral and founding member and Board Director of Ecotourism Australia continuously since its inception in 1991.
U.S. based company nuTonomy has launched the first fleet of driverless taxis in Singapore to curb congestion by reducing the number of cars on the road by one third. The robo-taxi service still includes an engineer who observes how the technology performs and will take control if needed. The company is also working with Jaguar and Land Rover to run trials in Michigan and London.
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium has welcomed its first ever colony of sub-Antarctic penguins. The new Penguin Expedition is inspired by Macquarie Island and takes guests on an immersive journey through the sub-Antarctic environment surrounded by a colony of King and Gentoo Penguins. This new exhibit aims to educate guests by highlighting the impacts of plastic pollution and habitat destruction affecting these majestic birds.
Further information: https://www.sydneyaquarium.com.au/
Locals on Tap
Urban Adventures has launched a new range of meet-ups in cities around the world to cater for the sharing economy generation. The 'Locals on Tap' tours give travellers a taste of everything from riding public transport, finding the best places to eat and getting tickets for sporting events. Meet-ups will be offered in 50 cities, 365 days a year with over 150 local guides and city experts in Florence, Lisbon, Berlin, Shanghai, Honolulu and Singapore.
Further information: http://www.urbanadventures.com/localsontap/
I Know Just the Place
A new multi-million dollar Queensland tourism campaign is designed to showcase a range of unique and authentic local experiences to consumers. Phase one of the campaign will include domestic television, video, digital, social media content, print, and high impact outdoor. It will then be rolled out in the key international markets of Asia, Europe, U.K. and the U.S. early next year.
Further information: http://teq.queensland.com/industry-resources/marketing/brand-queensland
AccorHotels has joined forces with LinkedIn to provide a new service to facilitate business opportunities and connections for travellers on the move. Business Check powered by LinkedIn is available in 18 languages (English, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Indonesian, Korean, Arabic, Turkish, Thai, and Swedish).
Further information: http://www.accorhotels-group.com/fileadmin/user_upload/Contenus_Accor/
A group of leading hotel owners, management companies and industry from across Asia have launched a coalition to commit the sector to five actions for building a sustainable future. The Hotel Owners for Tomorrow coalition includes AKARYN Hotel Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, ITC Hotels, Marriott International, Nikoi Island, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, TAJ Hotels Resorts and Palaces and Wyndham Worldwide, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the International Tourism Partnership and PATA.
Accomable is a new online service that lists accessible accommodation for travellers needing additional mobility requirements. With more than 500 properties in 50 countries visitors to the website can filter their accommodation search by specific requirements including grab rails, step-free access and roll-in shower.
Aviation Carbon Scheme
The Global Travel Association Coalition has welcomed the adoption of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation that creates a global market-based mechanism for carbon emissions from aviation. This scheme highlights the importance of public and private sector cooperation in achieving the goal of safe and environmentally sustainable air travel.
National Parks Adventure
The Giant Screen Cinema Association has awarded the U.S. National Parks Adventure film with the Best Film of 2016 in the Short Subject category. The 45-minute 3D film is narrated by Robert Redford and features footage from more than 30 of the parks including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Arches and Glacier national parks. Brand USA collaborated with MacGillivray Freeman Films to create the documentary as a cinematic tribute to this year's centennial anniversary of the National Park Service.
Further information: http://nationalparksadventure.com/
Kids on Conservation Trail
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast has launched a new interactive experience designed to educate kids about some of Australia’s endangered wildlife. The Kids on Conservation Trail aims to enhance young visitors’ knowledge of bilbies, brush-tailed rock wallabies, the Kroombit tinker frog and other species while exposing them to the Sanctuary’s conservation programs. Boasting over 27 hectares, the sanctuary has one of the largest collections of animals native to Australia.
Further information: http://www.cws.org.au/kids-on-conservation/
Found in Translation
Seoul City recently launched a month long campaign asking people to help correct poorly translated street signs. Those who find mistakes can submit them via email, including a picture of the sign and location details. The initiative is targeting signs in English, Chinese and Japanese in public places such as subway stations, bus stops and tourist information sites.
Further information: http://english.seoul.go.kr/please-report-errors-foreign-language-signs/
Abu Dhabi Tourism has launched a new global campaign aimed at encouraging travellers to experience Abu Dhabi’s cultural authenticity and diverse natural assets. The videos will be broadcast across TV networks, digital channels, in-flight, exhibitions and events.
Further information: http://visitabudhabi.ae/en/default.aspx
Wildlife Standards in Tourism
TripAdvisor and Viator have announced a set of changes to their policy on selling tickets to specific tourism experiences where travellers come into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species. TripAdvisor is also committing to the development and launch of an education portal that will help inform travellers about the standards of care for wild, captive, and endangered species and their interactions with tourists, and impact on wildlife conservation.
Further information: http://ir.tripadvisor.com/releasedetail.cfm?Release
Women Only Adventures
An Australian leading adventure travel company, World Expeditions, has launched a new range of active travel adventures for women only. The trips have been developed in response to the growing number of women seeking active adventure experiences in a safe, supportive and encouraging environment.
Further information: http://www.worldexpeditions.com/au/
Animal Welfare Policy
The G Adventures Animal Welfare Policy ensures the protection of all animals when travelling with the leading small group adventure tour operator.
G Adventures has adopted guidelines developed by the Association of British Travel Agents in conjunction with the Born Free Foundation, a third-party organisation whose mission it is to protect vulnerable animals from abuse.
Further information: https://www.gadventures.com/about-us/sustainable-tourism/animal-welfare-policy/
POLICY & PLANNING
Redefine Tourism Campaign
The WTTC has launched a video campaign aiming to stimulate discussion about sustainable tourism among those who engage in or provide tourism. It highlights that as social and environmental pressures increase there is an urgent need for sustainable practices to become mainstream within the tourism sector.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects 7.2 billion passengers to travel in 2035, a near doubling of the 3.8 billion air travellers in 2016. The forecast for passenger growth confirms that the biggest driver of demand will be the Asia-Pacific region that is expected to be the source of more than half the new passengers over the next 20 years.
Valuing National Parks
According to the National Park Service (NPS) over 300 million visitors collectively spent over a trillion hours at U.S. national parks in 2015. This is the first comprehensive estimate of the total economic value of the NPS lands, waters and historic sites. It also covers programs for the protection of natural landmarks, partnerships with local communities, recreational activities and educational programs.
GRANTS & FUNDING
Northern Australia Tourism Initiative
The AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Program is now available to tourism businesses operating in Northern Australia as part of the Australian Government’s Northern Australia Tourism Initiative. The program gives tourism businesses access to free business advice, business improvement and growth grants of up to $20,000 in matched funding.
New Regional Events Fund
Regional event organisers are invited to apply for new one-off annual grants of up to $20,000 to support the creation of regional events and foster existing community events. The Incubator Event Fund is managed by Destination NSW and aims to assist with elements such as event staging, marketing, publicity and research.
Further information: http://www.destinationnsw.com.au/rfep
World Responsible Tourism Awards
The winners of the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards were announced in a special ceremony during the World Travel Market in London on 8 November 2016. The awards promote the principle that all types of tourism can be organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations, as well as local people.
Further information: http://www.responsibletravel.com/awards/winners/
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
Southern Queensland Tourism Industry Conference
The 12th RACQ Southern Queensland Tourism Industry Conference will be held in Kingaroy from 21-22 February 2017. The conference program features guest speakers, practical training and networking opportunities.
Further information: http://www.southernqueenslandcountry.com.au/sqtic
International Surfing Symposium
The inaugural International Surfing Symposium will be held on the Gold Coast from 1-3 March 2017. The symposium is being organised by Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve in the wake of the ocean conservation theme.
Further information: http://www.goldcoastworldsurfingreserve.com/