Tony Charters and Associates Tourforce

Tourism is Your Business

Tony Charters and Associates releases a regular newsletter Tourforce keeping stakeholders of the tourism industry connected with current issues, research, events and funding opportunities.

Reproduction of any items from Tourforce is welcome, with acknowledgement of the source.

Welcome to Tourforce Edition 12


All Black, Green and Gold

The recent Roy Morgan Research Tourism Futures National Survey revealed that 36% of tourism industry stakeholders believe that Australia should form closer links and market co-operatively with New Zealand.

In the competitive world of tourism marketing it is understandable that neither Australia nor New Zealand wants to yield an inch to their competition. But in reality are NZ and Australia true competitors?

Isolated as we both are as island nations in the South Pacific aren’t there more benefits to be gained by working collectively. Perhaps we should be working more in co-opertition – co-operative competition.

When it comes to tourism performance, both nations are tracking with uncanny similarity. Inbound growth to Australia in round terms is just one percent; NZ is the same – one percent. Outbound travel from Australia is growing at around 7 percent a year – pretty well the same as NZ (6.2%). When you look at the transfer of Aussies to NZ and Kiwis to Australia the results are virtually identical – just under a million a year each. For each nation, the other is the largest inbound market. (For NZ the upside is that Australia has 20 million potential visitors. Australia is currently relying on NZ, a country of just 4 million people as its major inbound source market). This alignment of industry performance when combined with our social, cultural and geographical alignment provides strong justification for working more closely in presenting our region to the world. We know that approximately 30% of visitors to NZ are visiting both New Zealand and Australia. One of the oldest and most successful marketing approaches has been to cluster like products – we see this every day in the retail industry – antique shops, jewellers, restaurants, car yards. The same holds true for Australia and NZ.

As the world deals with the impacts of rising oil prices and climate change there will be significant strategic advantages in working together across the Tasman. Australia and New Zealand need to be on the same team to optimise their share of international tourists .

Tony Charters
Tony Charters and Associates Creates Consulting Division

Dr Elizabeth Saxon

Over the past 4 years Tony Charters and Associates has seen a significant increase in consultancy projects undertaken and as such has been increasingly growing the consultancy arm of the practice. This development has resulted in the creation of a Consulting Division within the practice. Dr Elizabeth Saxon, Principal Tourism Analyst (Projects) who has been with the practice for 3 years, has been appointed Director of the newly created division.

Elizabeth holds a doctorate in sustainability assessment in tourism and has 8 years experience in sustainable tourism projects. In her new position Dr Saxon will play a key role in proposal development, project management, team coordination and budgeting. As Principal Tourism Analyst (Projects) she also provides specific expertise and input where required into areas such as sustainable tourism and environmental planning and policy; stakeholder engagement, advocacy and partnership development; social research and impact assessment.

Recent consultancies awarded to Tony Charters and Associates include:
* National Climate Change Certification Program for Tourism (Ecotourism Australia)
* Torres Shire Tourism Development Plan (Torres Shire Council)
* Sustainable Development of the Motorhome and Self Contained Vehicle Market – Issues Paper 2 (CMCA)
* Moreton Bay Discovery Centre Study
* The Green Book – Best Practice Guide (CMCA)
* Grey Nomad Employment and Connections Program (Townsville Pilot) (Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations)
* Tourism Engagement Strategy (GBRMPA)

Further information:

Spotlight on Regional Australia
Oliver Freeman, MD Neville Freeman Agency

Political Heavyweights Listen to Regional Australia

Senior representatives of Federal Parliament, both Labor and Coalition will be in Albury to attend the Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia Conference (SEGRA) 18-20 August.

“The sustainable development of Australia’s regions is everyone’s business. No one organisation, business or government can make it happen in isolation” said The Hon Gary Gray Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Northern Australia when speaking about his attendance at SEGRA. “I am really looking forward to taking part at the SEGRA conference this August in Albury, a proud regional city.”

Hon Gary Gray AO MP


“The Rudd Government’s vision for regional development is about working together strategically, cutting through the old barriers and integrating planning across all levels of government and the community. Organisations like SEGRA also play a key role in bringing us all together.”

“The discussion is sure to be stimulating – the conference theme of Creative Solutions: expect them to be different will challenge us to look at the issues facing regional Australia in a new light, and to work innovatively to meet these challenges.”

In addition to the keynote opening addresses from The Hon Gary Gray, The Hon John Cobb, Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Water Security will be delivering a SEGRA business breakfast and The Hon Warren Truss leader of the National Party will be attending the opening Sunday evening function.

SEGRA 2008 will be an excellent opportunity for delegates to advocate on behalf of their regions directly to the policymakers’, said Kate Charters, Convenor of SEGRA.

SEGRA this year has 90 speakers representing all regional interests. Through keynote addresses, open forums and panels and workshop settings delegates learn a lot and share a lot. A comprehensive networking program ensures that discussion and debate continues well after the formal sessions have closed.

To find out more or to register for SEGRA, please visit


Australia 2020 Summit - Scenario Planning for Regional Australia

In the welcoming address from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the Australia 2020 initiative the Prime Minister also identifies 10 categories which are useful umbrellas under which to capture approaches to the future.

Leading futurist Oliver Freeman, Managing Director of the Neville Freeman Agency, has collected these categories under the data clustering protocol used at the Neville Freeman Agency.

- population, sustainability, climate change and water
- future directions for rural industries and rural communities

- a long-term national health strategy – including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population
- strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion
- options for the future of Indigenous Australia

- the future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens
- Australia’s future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world

- future directions for the Australian economy – including education, skills, training, science and innovation as part of the nation’s productivity agenda

- towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design

- economic infrastructure, the digital economy and the future of our cities

The significance of the 2020 initiative and its relevance Regional Australia cannot be under-stated – futures-thinking is now a mainstream political activity.

Oliver Freeman will deliver a keynote address and conduct a workshop at the SEGRA Conference 18-20 August 2008. The address and futures workshop is designed to enhance our capacity to think creatively about future challenges and opportunities.

For further information about regional scenario planning please visit the SEGRA website.

Climate Change Workshop - Practical Responses for Adaptation in Regional Australia
The Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) Conference, Australia’s foremost platform for discussing the latest regional issues will offer a big picture perspective on climate change through a full day workshop ‘Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation’ held 20 August 2008 in Albury.

The workshop facilitated by Assoc Prof Peter Waterman, Coordinator Climate Change Coasts and Catchments, University of the Sunshine Coast, Prof Bob Miles, Institute for Sustainable Regional Development, University of Central Queensland.

Climatic variability and extreme weather conditions have become a topical issue reaching the agenda of both private and public sector organisations and in particular those in regional Australia who rely heavily on primary industry and natural resources for their economy.


The workshop focuses on understanding the environmental, social and economic dimensions and responses for adapting to climatic variability. Adaptation needs to be mainstreamed into local and regional development policy, plans, programs and projects of governments and business. The Regional Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Workshop aims to show how this can be done. There will be case studies from local government and the Murray Darling Basin Commission showing successful applications and a hands on climate simulation model, Climsystems, suitable for application in your own region.


“This workshop in particular aims to equip those working within urban and rural land use planning, the primary industry and natural resources management sectors to understand how to implement these tools and techniques within their own region,” he said.

Associate Professor Waterman said:'’One of the tools that integrates data and models for examining impacts and adaptation to climate variability and change is the SimCLIM software modelling system. The workshop will give participants the opportunity for ‘hands on’ application of this system.’

“Approaching the workshop from a scientific, environmental, social and policy perspectives will ensure delegates are equipped to deal with and implement adaptation strategies.”

For a full copy of the SEGRA 2008 conference and workshop program and registration details please visit the SEGRA website: or download a workshop registration here.

Conferences & Events
World Tourism Day Campaign

The main purpose of World Tourism Day is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values. The 2008 World Tourism Day will be hosted in Peru on 27 September and will focus on the global tourism industry’s response to the challenges of climate change including the Davos Declaration and encouraging its implementation by all stakeholders at a global level.

Further information:


IUCN World Conservation Congress


The IUCN World Conservation Congress is the world's largest conservation eventheld every four years, that aims to improve the management of the natural environment for human, social and economic development. The next event will take place from 5 to 14 October, 2008 in Barcelona, Spain. More than 8,000 leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and social organizations will discuss and debate the world's most pressing environment and development issues.

Further information:

Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference

The third Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will be held at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver, Canada from 27 to 29 October, 2008. The conference will provide an opportunity for business leaders, travel and tourism professionals and community members to gain knowledge of the latest trends and key challenges facing ecotourism and sustainable tourism. The program will also incorporate innovative case studies and strategies for sustainable tourism development in the US and Canada.

Further information:

National Guiding Conference

Guiding Organisations Australia, the national peak body for tour guides, will be holding their Inaugural Conference from 24 to 27 August 2008 on the Gold Coast. The program is aimed at raising the industry standard of tour guide practices through professional development activities and familiarisation visits.

Further information:

Planning & Policy
Regional Tourism Action Plan


Tourism Victoria has released the draft Regional Tourism Action Plan 2008-11 for industry comment. This plan will outline the direction for regional tourism for the next three years. The plan addresses issues affecting tourism in regional Victoria and will provide an implementation schedule to translate directions from the State Government 10 Year Tourism and Events Industry Strategy into action. Businesses, industry groups and local communities have been asked to provide feedback to the Action Plan, with feedback due by 31 August 2008.

Further information:

Product Development
World Heritage Expeditions

AMNH Expeditions the educational travel program of the American Museum of Natural History and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre have launched a partnership aimed at increasing awareness of the need to protect and preserve the values of World Heritage sites. Travellers have the opportunity to meet with selected site managers, learn about UNESCO's World Heritage mission and take part in special UNESCO-themed programs which feature privileged access to certain key sites.

Further information:

Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve Bathhouse


The Belgravia Health and Leisure Group which manages 50 sports, leisure and aquatic centres Australia-wide has been selected as the new operator of the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve Bathhouse. The iconic bathhouse has undergone a $10.6 million redevelopment including construction of a new building to house three public pools, and refurbishment of the massage, relaxation and private bathing rooms of the existing heritage-listed Edwardian building.

Further information:

Infrastructure & Investment
Alpine Resorts Upgrade



Australia’s alpine resorts have finished a $25 million plus capital works program including fully automated snowmaking systems, the installation of 99 snowmaking guns, new grooming equipment, the first six seater chairlift in Australia and improvements in snow fencing and drainage. Significant investment has also been made in upgrading ski rental and children’s facilities, new lodge accommodation, shops and restaurants. Winter alpine tourism contributes $1.3 billion net to the national economy via 2.3 million skier day visitors.

Further information:



Airport for the South West

Tourism Western Australia has announced the appointment of consultants CAPA Consulting and Tourism Futures International to investigate the need for an airport in the South West region. A feasibility study will establish current and future demands for regular passenger air services and determine what this means for infrastructure and route development in the region. The study is being jointly funded by the Busselton Shire Council, the Augusta Margaret River Shire Council and the State Government.

Further information:

Logan City Council's SouthWest 1 Wins Earth Award

Leading the way in innovate construction and environmental design, Logan City Council's SouthWest 1 development has been awarded the Earth Award by the Civil Contractors Federation (Queensland) for Category 4 – construction projects in Queensland with a value between $30 - $70 million.

Council won the award, in conjunction with site contractors Neumans and GHD. GHD and Tony Charters and Associates jointly developed the concept plan and pre-feasibility for the Loganholme Wetlands Complex providing key recommendations for the development of the site.

SouthWest 1, one of the biggest developments in Logan’s history is already winning awards before it has even officially opened – it will be officially opened by Premier, Anna Bligh later this month.

The Complex, which has attracted high quality green commercial tenants, is a master-planned 40ha mixed industry and business precinct. It is expected to create up to 2,000 new jobs in the city once fully tenanted.

The 80ha Berrinba Wetlands Park is placed beside it and is a combination of natural beauty, environmental features and recreational facilities.

The Civil Contractors Federation Earth Awards are designed to highlight distinction in construction technique, as well as environmental and project management.

Logan City Council will now be eligible for a national award, to be announced later this year.

PATA Gold Awards

Winners of the 2008 Pacific Asia Travel Association Gold Awards include Singapore Airlines, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, Nihiwatu Resort in Indonesia and Cinnamon Island Alidhoo in the Maldives. This year the PATA Gold Awards attracted 258 entries from 108 travel and tourism organisations. Winners will receive their awards at the PATA Travel Mart in Hyderabad, India on 19 September 2008.

Further information:

Sustainable Tourism Film Awards

The Institute for Tourism and Development is now accepting applications for the Film Contest for Sustainable Tourism. The award is given to professional productions which are committed to making tourism socially responsible, environmentally compatible and sustainable. Winners will take part in an awards ceremony during ITB Berlin in March 2009, where an estimated 11,000 exhibitors from across the globe will be present. Deadline for entries is 30 September 2008.

Further information:


Emirates Em-vironmental Initiatives


Emirates are looking to improve the eco-efficiency of their operations, coinciding with the impending delivery of their first eco-efficient Airbus A380. The ‘Em-vironment’ program will incorporate a global staff awareness campaign, internal goals for energy consumption and waste, increased recycling and training, an international environment policy and conservation-based resort projects such as the over 1600ha Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in the Blue Mountains which is scheduled for completion in 2009.

Further information:

Mobile Workforce Employment Connections

Tony Charters and Associates released key learnings of the third stage of the Grey Nomad Mobile Workforce Project, funded under the Federal Government’s Mature Age Industry Strategy with support from Queensland Department of Employment and Training.

Stage 3 of the Grey Nomad Mobile Workforce Project involved a pilot employment connections program in the Townsville region. The pilot was carried out by Tony Charters and Associates, funded under the Federal Government’s Mature Age Industry Strategy with support from Queensland Department of Employment and Training.

The objective was to test the viability, benefits, costs and practicalities of engaging Grey Nomads in voluntary and paid employment opportunities. This was based on prior research undertaken with both Grey Nomads and employers that indicated both an interest and a range of potential benefits that could be involved in these kinds of employment arrangements.


Twenty short term positions across 10 employers, incorporating a mix of paid and voluntary positions were identified and placements coordinated over a period of 3 months.
Feedback from pilot participants provided the following key learnings:
1. Key employment sectors include tourism, events, community services, transport and agrifood and businesses in the region are both willing and able to provide a range of opportunities and incentives that suit Grey Nomad work profiles.
2. Both Grey Nomads and employers considered the trial to be valuable, successful and viable and would continue to support and be involved in taking advantage/developing similar future opportunities – both paid and voluntary.
3. Further development of the Grey Nomad volunteer labour market in the region is achievable in the short to medium term via partnership development between Volunteers North QLD and the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia.
This is considered viable in that a management and delivery system is already largely in place across Volunteering QLD offices.
4. Further development of the Grey Nomad paid labour market in the region lacks an immediate champion/organisational driver. Existing delivery systems tend to be outside the communication touch points of Grey Nomads and they are not in the main motivated enough to seek employment outside these established communication channels.
Contiki Travel Trends Research

New research has revealed that experiences outweigh material possessions for Australia’s young people, with international travel topping the list for the next three to four years. The Shades of Green Report released by Contiki Holidays is a comprehensive overview of the views and opinions of the Australian youth travel market (18 to 34’s), providing the latest trends and insights with a focus on green and social issues.

Further information:

Green Business Travellers

A new survey by Deloitte shows business travellers have begun to perform some green practices routinely. The survey sampled 1,155 business travellers - defined as having taken at least one business trip in the past year that involved staying overnight at a lodging facility. The top five environmental actions business travellers expect lodging facilities to be taking are recycling, energy-efficient lighting, energy-efficient windows, placing cards in rooms to let guests request that sheets/towels not be changed and environmentally safe cleaning products.

Further information:,1014,sid%253D

Best Practice Guide for Tropical Forest-Based Tours

Conservation International has released a Practical Guide to Good Practice for Tropical Forest-Based Tours. The guide was developed by Tony Charters and Associates in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program, Rainforest Alliance, the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and other partners. It provides practical recommendations for tour operators to assess and improve their sustainability performance including visitor education, outreach to local communities, interacting with wildlife and good practices for specific tourism activities such as hiking, caving or boating.

Further information:


Protected Areas
More Great Walks for Queensland


The Queensland Government is investing a further $6.5 million in Great Walks throughout Queensland an initiative to create a series of extended walks that provide visitors with access to the unique and breathtaking natural wonders and heritage of our parks and forests. After successfully building and opening six Great Walks the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is now preparing four more walks in Carnarvon, Conondale Range, Cooloola and Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail. Community consultation for these walks is well advanced with construction due to be completed by 2010.

Further information:

Sustainable Tourism Criteria Initiative

The Sustainable Tourism Criteria Initiative will bring together for the first time a globally relevant set of sustainability criteria for the hotel and tour operator sectors. It aims to develop a common understanding of what sustainable tourism means for the travel industry, media and governments. Consultation has involved more than 1000 stakeholders and a review of 50 certification and voluntary sets of criteria already being implemented around the globe. The criteria will be launched at the World Conservation Congress in October 2008.

Further information:


Australian STAR Rating Website
AAA Tourism the national tourism body of Australia’s Auto Clubs has launched a new website to better educate the travelling public about the Australian STAR Rating Scheme and supporting programs – Green STAR Accreditation and Access Information Program. The website aims to increase consumer awareness of STARS and provide consumer confidence when choosing a place to stay from over 10,000 STAR Rated properties.

Further information:
Regional Events Scheme

Eventscorp is calling for applications from event organisers in Western Australia for round two of the Regional Events Scheme for events held in the first half of 2009. The State Government has committed $1 million over four years for regional events in Western Australia in recognition of their significance to local communities. Each regional event application will be assessed on its ability to attract visitors, generate media attention and raise the profile of an area. Applications close 15 August 2008.

Further information:

Q150 Funding

In 2009, Queensland will commemorate it’s independence from New South Wales with special celebrations across the length and breadth of the state funded by the Q150 Community Funding Program. Grants of between $2000 and $10,000 are available to assist not-for-profit incorporated community organisations, local councils and tertiary institutions in staging activities and projects that reflect the unique culture, heritage and aspirations of diverse communities. Applications close 5 September 2008.

Further information:

Tony Charters and Associates