Tony Charters and Associates Tourforce

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

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

Welcome to Tourforce Edition 15

Hon Jane Lomax-Smith MP, Jenny and Ciaran Bellevue Bed & Breakfast, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Nature’s Playground Campaign

The Mid North Coast Regional Tourism Organisation has launched the Nature’s Playground campaign to promote nature-based tourism experiences and encourage conservation in the region’s National and Marine Parks. The campaign was developed in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and targets families and touring couples through print, online and outdoor promotions. It also includes an education component for school excursions offering tours in National Parks and Reserves from Port Stephens to the Coffs Coast.

Further information:

Global City Brand

A Branding Global Cities seminar was held in Sydney recently as part of the 9th World Congress of Metropolis. Newly appointed Global CEO of The Ogilvy Group, Miles Young provided the keynote address to 600 representatives from the largest cities in the world. The seminar highlighted the importance of building city brands with events, creative promotional strategies or innovative policymaking.

Further information:

Protected Areas

Australia's Green Cauldron

Australia’s Green Cauldron stretching from Byron Bay to the Gold Coast and west towards the Great Dividing Range has been included in the Tourism Australia and Parks Australia National Landscapes program. The program promotes distinctive natural and cultural environments to travellers who wish to experience new adventures and destinations which enable them to engage with a local culture. Landscapes already included in this program include Australia’s Red Centre, Kakadu, the Flinders Ranges, the Australian Alps, the Great Ocean Road, and Australia’s Coastal Wilderness.

Tony Charters represents Ecotourism Australia as a member of the National Landscapes Reference Committee.

Further information:


SuperRatings’ Fund of the Year

HOSTPLUS, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds with over 900,000 members, has been named as SuperRatings’ Fund of the Year for the third successive year.

At a gala dinner attended by over 300 of the industry’s leading figures in Melbourne on 22 October, HOSTPLUS became the first fund to ever be named for the third time with Fund of the Year honours in 2007, 2008 and now 2009.

For further information please visit



National Geographic Geotourism Charter

The National Geographic Channel is committed to exploration, education and conservation. It has been addressing the issues of climate change and poverty for over 120 years. The organisation recently established the $25 million National Geographic Geotourism Charter designed to support tourism that sustains or enhances the environmental, cultural, aesthetic or geographical character of a place.

Further information:

North Queensland Turtle Hospital Project

Reef HQ Aquarium, Townsville North Queensland is looking to develop a new Turtle Hospital to provide short, medium and in some cases, long term care for sick and injured turtles. The centre will act as the Turtle Hospital for the North Queensland region.

Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven species of Marine Turtles? Because turtles are long-lived, slow growing, late maturing animals, once depleted, their populations may take decades to recover. Despite their protection, they face a number of threats, the number one impact to turtle populations in the marine park is injury caused by human activities (fishing nets, boat strikes, fishing hooks, litter, etc.).

Reef HQ Aquarium is now looking for consideration of turtle rehabilitation sponsorship, which will enable them to build a dedicated facility, and ensure the survival of these amazing creatures for many years to come. In addition to saving turtles, your valuable funds will build the dedicated hospital and provide interpretation to enhance visitor awareness and understanding.

For further information visit

Product Development

Ladies First

Scandinavian hotel chain FIRST Hotels has launched the concept ‘First Lady’ to target the increasing number of women travelling on their own. With the philosophy of not giving women anything extra, but just simply offering them what they want, the rooms include comfortable bathrobes, scented candles, vanity kit and high quality tea and coffee. All beauty products found in the hotel rooms are developed by the Italian fragrance expert who has previously worked for Giorgio Armani and the Saudi Arabian Royal Family. First Lady also collaborates with the aid organization CARE which provides information on women suffering from poverty or abuse.

Further information:

Best Practice

Sustainability and Climate Change

Tourism Queensland has launched a new Sustainability and Climate Change section on their corporate website. The section provides handy tips on how tourism businesses can remain globally competitive with other destinations by adapting to change for longevity and survival.

Further information:


Global Trends Report

The World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2008 has been released by global intelligence firm Euromonitor International and highlights key trends in the travel and tourism industry worldwide. The report focuses on seven regions highlighting key trends which provide insight into how the industry can entice the next generation of travellers.

Further information:'s contribution/Tourism's Contribution 2008 Final (small).pdf

Tourism's Economic Contribution

A new report released by Tourism Research Australia examines tourism's contribution to the Australian economy from 1997-98 to 2006-07. The report reveals that tourism's economic worth is much greater than direct figures alone and has significant indirect economic effects on businesses not directly involved in tourism.

Further information:



Country Brand Index

Australia has been awarded with the coveted title of the world’s top country brand for the third consecutive year by the 2008 Country Brand Index. The other countries which made the top ten in 2008 were Canada, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, France, United Kingdom, Japan and Sweden. The Country Brand Index is a comprehensive study of approximately 2,700 international business and leisure travellers from nine countries which examines how countries are branded and identifies emerging global travel and tourism trends.

Further information:


50+ Year Olds on the Move

The most recent results of the Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey show that 50+ year olds are an increasing proportion of adult Australians who have taken a holiday in the last 12 months - up from 36% in the year ended March 2001 to 41% in the year ended September 2008. This shift has been caused by both an aging population and an increased propensity for 50+ year olds to take a holiday.

The 50+ year old market differs from younger tourists in many ways - their length of holiday, expenditure, travel party, booking behaviour, and activities when at the destination.

For further information:

Certification & Standards

Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria

The first-ever set of globally relevant sustainable tourism criteria has been developed by the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The new criteria provides a common framework to assist businesses, consumers, governments, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions ensure tourism helps, rather than harms, local communities and the environment. The criteria were developed following an extensive review of more than 60 certification standards and voluntary sets of criteria already in place across the globe. Educational materials and technical tools are currently being developed to guide hotels and tour operators in implementing the criteria.

Further information:


Australian Tourism Accreditation Program

A national accreditation program for tourism operations has been launched to ensure a standard of quality in tourism products. The voluntary program pieces together the individual state programs that various governments have implemented, and offers domestic and international travellers peace of mind when booking operators. Both Western Australia and the Northern Territory have committed to mandating the program by 2010, while other governments have put in incentives for businesses to take up accreditation. The symbol of a yellow tick in a star and green circle has already been given out to some 3,000 tourism operators around the country online. Accreditation will be renewed annually and will work in with the proposed National Tourism Accreditation Framework.

Further information:


Climate Action Certification Program Launched

The Climate Action Certification Program was recently launched at the Inaugural Conference on Green Travel, Climate Change and Ecotourism.

Minister Jane Lomax-Smith officially launched the release of the program and was proud to award a number of South Australian tourism businesses with their Climate Action Certification. Jill Brown, Manager of Adaptation for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority was present on behalf of the Queensland businesses who have also achieved certification through this new program.

The launch was followed by a number of in depth discussions about climate change issues and what solutions and opportunities the tourism industry will need to be aware of in the future.

For more information on the Climate Action Certification Program, please contact or phone 07 3252 1530 or visit


Mobile Guide to Melbourne

Tourism Victoria has launched a new Australian-first mobile application - the Insiders’ Guide to Melbourne. The free guide features information about some of Melbourne’s coolest bars, restaurants, shops, cafes and events and includes a short description, contact details and a map showing how to get there. The Insider’s Guide to Melbourne is free and can be downloaded to compatible mobile phones by SMSing the word ‘guide’ to 0448 848 433 (04488 GUIDE). Tourism Victoria will launch four editions of the guide with each season with the spring edition available now.

Further information:

Tourism e-kit

The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) has released an online education kit that will help tourism operators navigate their way in the world of online marketing and booking systems. The kit comprises a complete suite of online tutorials providing easy to consume information on basic online marketing concepts such as website design to more complex issues including an introduction to online booking. The Tourism e-kit is an initiative of the National Online Strategy Committee and is funded by all Australian State and Territory tourism offices.

Further information:

Policy & Planning

Sustainable Aviation

Sustainable Aviation is a comprehensive strategy for the long term sustainability of the UK aviation industry. Launched in 2005, this pioneering initiative brings together the UK’s leading airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air navigation service providers. Signatories to the strategy are committed to delivering significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, nitrogen oxide emissions and aircraft noise over the next 15 years. Sustainable Aviation establishes mechanisms for monitoring and regular reporting of progress toward a range of specific objectives.

Further information:


Business Events Strategy

The Business Events Council of Australia recently launched a comprehensive study into how Australia’s booming business events industry can grow in the lead up to 2020. The National Business Events Strategy for Australia 2020 - includes 52 recommendations for both the Government and industry including the need for a national collaborative effort to grow the sector, more funding for Tourism Australia’s international efforts, less constraint on infrastructure developments, more training and education, as well as a focus on sustainability.

Further information:


Green Marketing

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released the Green Marketing and the Trade Practices Act booklet. The ACCC wants to ensure that consumers are informed about environmental claims and warns that organisations making environmental or ‘green’ claims should ensure that they are scientifically based and appropriately substantiated.

Further information:


Roadside Signage Manual

The Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre has released a roadside signage manual for use by regional and state tourism organisations to inform the development, signing and promotion of themed driving routes in Australia. The report incorporates Australian and international research in the areas of self-drive planning, navigation, decision-making practices, signage and route promotion. It also includes a case study on the travel experiences of 272 visitors using the Great Southern Touring Route in Victoria.

Further information:


New Heineken Experience

The Heineken Experience located in the former Heineken brewery in the centre of Amsterdam has re-opened for visitors following extensive renovation and expansion. The Heineken Experience was first opened in 2001 and has become one of Amsterdam's most popular tourist attractions with over 400,000 visitors a year. In the Heineken Experience visitors are introduced to the World of Heineken during a self-guided interactive tour including the mini brewery, tasting bar, bottle your own Heineken and other multi-media experiences.

Further information:


Coastal Sanctuary

The Federal Group have unveiled plans to develop a $32 million world-class coastal sanctuary located at Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula. Award-winning architects, Robert Morris-Nunn and Associates, have created a unique coastal sanctuary that will include a world-class day spa and gym, guest lounge, premium meeting facilities and will showcase Tasmanian fresh produce and wines. It will also offer three levels of suites with ocean views, designer bathrooms, private decks, king size beds, separate lounge areas and state-of-the-art audio, visual and communications technology. Construction is expected to be completed by December 2009.

Further information:

Tourism Futures National Conference 2009

The seventh National Conference on Tourism Futures has been confirmed for 17-19 August 2009 at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, the Gold Coast. Themed ‘Redefining the Future’ the conference takes a forward perspective on the industry, looking out over a ten year timeframe and examining opportunities and issues for the future.

Expressions of interest are now open for potential speakers for Day 1 of the conference program - Monday 17 August 2009. Day 1 will feature 5 concurrent specialised forums, on the topics:
Destination Australia – International and Domestic Tourism
Engaging with Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific Regions
Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE)
Sustainability and Climate Change
Tourism Online – Marketing and Distribution

Papers for the 2008 conference are available for delegates with password access and a CD Rom of the 2008 proceedings is available for purchase.

For further information on the conference please visit


Carbon Neutral Golf
The 2008 Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship to be held at the Hyatt Regency Coolum on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast from 4 to 7 December will be the first major golf event to go carbon neutral. The PGA has formed a licensing arrangement with e-par and Shift2Neutral to provide independently verifiable analysis of the championship’s carbon footprint. The move underlines a commitment by the PGA to pursue sustainable methods of operation over the next three years including recycling, minimising carbon emissions, as well as encouraging other events, golf facilities and the entire Australian golf industry to adopt best practice.

Further information:

Tony Charters and Associates