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 17

Bushfire Support



As the Victorian bushfire season continues Tourism Victoria has activated the Victorian Tourism Crisis Plan and established Bushfire Response and Recovery Committees in directly affected regions (High Country, Gippsland, Yarra Valley). To date, over 100 tourism operators have suffered direct fire damage with this number expected to grow as the fire season is not over.

The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments have announced the first stage of a $51 million joint package to assist small businesses focusing on subsidised low-interest loans, business assistance grants and business re-start mentors.

Major attractions and tourism operators across Victoria also donated all takings on the Labour Day public holiday (Monday 9 March 2009) to the Victorian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. Twenty-three major attractions participated including Sovereign Hill, Healesville Sanctuary, Eureka Skydeck 88, Werribee Mansion, and Melbourne Museum. The Labour Day initiative was supported by Tourism Alliance, VECCI and Tourism Victoria.

Further information:

To donate to the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Fund call 1800 811 700 or visit:

Ski Scorecard


The Ski Area Citizens Coalition has created an annual Ski Area Environmental Scorecard that gives skiers and boarders a way to assess the environmental performance of their favourite resorts.

The scorecard is an independent mechanism that includes the latest information on resorts that are purchasing clean, renewable wind energy, using cleaner burning, biodegradable biodiesel and performing energy efficiency upgrades.

Further information:

Free Carbon Calculator


The Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre has launched an online carbon calculator for holiday makers in Australia.

The free resource uses information from the Department of Climate Change as well as international flight emissions data to allow Australian holidaymakers to calculate the carbon emissions of their holiday.

The online tool also provides a number of tips on how to further reduce a holiday's impact and links through to a list of carbon offset providers.

Further information:


Aldi Travel Website


Discount chain Aldi which has 7,000 stores globally, has launched a travel website offering holidays up to 50% cheaper than major tour operators.

Aldi which already sells holidays in Austria, Switzerland and Germany will offer a wide range of destinations to be promoted in leaflets distributed to 900,000 customers across the UK.

Further information:

Best Job in the World


A total of 50 applicants have been shortlisted from more than 34,000 that applied for the Tourism Queensland “Best Job in the World”. Applications were received from more than 200 counties including the US, Canada, Great Britain and Australia.

On 2 March, voting opened for the wildcard candidate. The wildcard candidate, together with the 10 finalists chosen from the shortlist, will be interviewed between 3-6 May. The winner will be advised on 6 May to commence work on 1 July 2009.

The winner will be based on Hamilton Island, live in a luxury oceanfront villa and be paid a salary of AUD$150,000 for the six month contract in return for undertaking activities including snorkelling, diving, sailing and island-hopping on the Great Barrier Reef.

The campaign is supported by the Queensland tourism industry, Hamilton Island and Qantas Holidays.

Further information:  

Green Directory


Travelocity has launched a green directory that highlights properties and destinations already offering meaningful sustainability initiatives and is a trusted resource for consumers looking for eco-friendly options.

The directory features more than 200 travel suppliers that are 100 percent carbon neutral, serve locally-grown organic food, partner with local conservation groups and encourage individual donations matched by the hotel.

Further information:,,TRAVELOCITY|5019|mkt_main,00.html


Business Events

Corporate Social Responsibility Audit


Highline results of the Tourism Australia national Corporate Social Responsibility Audit have confirmed there is a high level of accreditation among operators in the business events sector.

Organisations employing over 100 employees reported the highest levels of social and environmental credentials, particularly amongst international brand hotels and convention centres.

Around 280 organisations participated in the online survey.

Further information:



Spa Trends


SpaFinder has released its annual forecast of trends that will shape the world of health, wellness, fitness, beauty, design and cuisine in 2009.

New innovations include developments such as the ‘in-transit’ spa experience, new offerings for the exploding Gen X and Y demographic, bolder eco-friendly initiatives and global spa brands.

The annual report is compiled by experts who visit spas, interview analysts and conduct research in the consumer travel and spa sector.

Further information:

Global Market Monitor


Tourism Australia has developed a monthly Global Market Monitor to provide industry and stakeholders with a detailed, monthly report on the conditions and performance of each of its key markets.

The Monitor is based on visitor and visa data as well as reports from our international offices, trade partners and industry colleagues.

Further information:



Regional Airport Funding


The Regional Airports Development Scheme aims to improve regional aviation infrastructure and airport services in regional Western Australia.

The $7 million in State Government funding is available to local governments and other airport operators to facilitate air access and enhance economic growth.

The 2009-10 funding will close on Friday 20 March 2009.

Further information:


Industry Support

Department of Tourism, Regional Development and Industry on Board for Tourism Futures

The Department of Tourism, Regional Development and Industry has just become a Principal Sponsor of the Tourism Futures National Conference 2009, convened by Tony Charters.  Joining Tourism Australia, Tourism Queensland (as the Foundation Host and Sponsor) and Gold Coast Tourism in staging the conference, the Department is keen ot bring tourism jobs front and centre into the program, cutting across the five sub-themes.

For further information on the conference program go to


Conferences and Events

Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference 9-11 November 2009

Ecotourism Australia, with support of Tourism NT, is proud to bring the 2009 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference to Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Global Eco will be held from 9 to 11 November 2009 at Alice Springs Convention Centre.

Global Eco brings together leading players from across the globe to examine best practice across ecotourism, sustainability, tourism in protected areas and heritage sites. Climate Change has been a vital component of the conference agenda since 2005.

The Conference is themed Green Tourism – New Energy, New Business focusing on new enterprise and opportunities to climate change, strategic links with the Asia-Pacific and Indigenous Business Development amongst others.

This year’s program is developed around an Australian context with influences from the Asia-Pacific region. Delegates are provided with an excellent opportunity to examine and debate emerging issues and opportunities, and review current best practices.

The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference takes a whole of industry approach and seeks to take a forward perspective on the industry. Additionally, the Conference takes an important role on commenting on best practice trends and implementation.

Mark 9-11 November 2009 in your diary and visit for the latest information on the conference and networking program, speakers and field trips.



Baby Boomer Tourism Summit


The Baby Boomer Tourism Summit has been announced for 25 May 2009 and will be held at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney. The conference, themed ‘Boomers – the Recession Busters’, is a timely discussion of growth opportunities during unprecedented economic challenges facing the global tourism industry which has lead industry leaders to explore valuable niches to fill the gaps.

Baby boomers are the travelling phenomena of this era. They invented backpacking and, like backpackers, have more time to explore the road less travelled, but unlike backpackers have larger budgets.  This makes them the most desirable market niche today.

Destinations and tourism operators wishing to optimise their engagement with Baby Boomer need to start planning urgently to cater for their interests and requirements of the travelling baby boomer. provides further information and updates on the conference program and the keynote speakers.

International Responsible Tourism Conference

The Third International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations will be held in the Belmopan in Belize from 19 to 22 May 2009.

The conference is being organized by the ICRT-Belize in partnership with the Belize Tourism Board and other industry stakeholders.

Further information:

ATEC Symposium


The 2009 ATEC Symposium will be held in Darwin from 28 to 1 May.

The theme is "Trading through troubled times... the journey to recovery" and includes business-to-business workshops and social networking opportunities.

Further information:

Tania Major addresses Indigenous Involvement in Tourism

Tania Major, Young Indigenous Leader and 2007 Young Australian of the Year, will bring her vision for indigenous involvement in the tourism industry onto the future to the Tourism Futures National Conference 2009. 

Recently Tania approached the Nungas forum audience in an energetic and motivational appearance. Very direct and inspiring and told the appreciative forum audience “I am big, I am black and I am proud!” as she openly addressed problematic issues in Indigenous communities.  Tania will bring her same candid manner to the Tourism Futures delegation to examine ‘over the horizon’ strategies to build the sustainability of Australia’s tourism industry.

Tania will also feature in a 'Parkinson' style interview at the Industry Leaders Networking Dinner on Tuesday 18 August 2009 at the conference.

As with previous years, the 2009 conference will bring cutting edge case studies and projections from internationally and nationally recognised keynote speakers.  Each speaker will present global and domestic forecasts in their area of expertise under the broader theme ‘Redefining the Future’.

Tourism Futures greatly appreciates Tania Major's involvement with the conference as well as our other keynote speakers. Further information on the conference and the other keynote speakers can be found under

Earth Hour 2009


Earth Hour will be held on Saturday 28 March from 8.30 - 9.30pm.

WWF is encouraging businesses, households and governments around Australia to switch off their non-essential lights ad appliances for one hour.

Further information:

No Vacancy Conference


The leading accommodation industry conference “No Vacancy” is being held in Sydney on 19 March, 2009.

No Vacancy features a provocative, relevant program packed with industry leaders, panels, case studies, presentations and debate. The central themes include distribution, marketing, budget hotel sector market, new online entrants, pricing and revenue management.

Further information:

Product Development

Superyacht Market Set to Grow

Tony Charters and Associates has been contracted by the Department of Tourism, Regional Development and Industry to identify and report on opportunities for developing a viable and sustainable Superyacht niche market within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP).

Information presented in the report will feed into the development of a web based Superyacht portal to be used to inform the itinerary planning and operation of the Superyacht industry (captains, brokers, owners, agents) within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Key objectives are to identify access nodes, attractions, destinations and cruising routes that minimise impacts on the area’s World Heritage values and present best practice marine tourism; facilitate local economic benefits; and provide easily accessible, world class and unique tourism experiences.

The project will also identify linkages with existing high standard tourism operators that enhance the quality, diversity and uniqueness of the visitor experience and gather, summarize and synthesize relevant existing policy, planning, legislation, administrative and management arrangements .

For further information please visit



Sunshine Coast Water Park


Australia’s largest theme park owner-operator, Village Roadshow Limited has submitted plans to develop a Wet’n’Wild Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast on the site of the existing Ettamogah Pub and Aussie World.

The design of the water park will be unique to the Sunshine Coast and environmentally responsible with water self sufficiency, rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling for irrigation.

Native bushland will also be retained and regenerated throughout developed areas.

Further information:

New Noosa Resort


Construction of the five-star Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort & Spa has begun in Noosa.

The resort will feature 197 luxurious hotel rooms, suites, villas, penthouses, day spa, two pools, a gymnasium, restaurants, licensed bar, 24-hour room service, extensive conferencing facilities and break out areas. The resort is due for completion early next year.

Further information:

Hotel Property Conversion Study


A new study commissioned by Tourism Western Australia highlights hotel investment opportunities in Perth’s central business district.

The study was undertaken by the Property Council of Western Australia in a bid to help bring new hotel rooms into the market and has identified 24 buildings which could be converted into hotels.

Further information:




Australian Tourism Award Winners


Eco Operators scoop the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards pool Melbourne recently hosted, where 27 winners were awarded for their outstanding achievements in the tourism industry. 

Around one quarter of these winners are certified under either the ECO Certification Program or the Climate Action Certification Program Both schemes, developed by Ecotourism Australia, seek to ensure Australian tourism businesses are operating at the highest environmental standard and triple bottom line sustainability. 

Special congratulations is has been extended to the following certified winners:

Adelaide Convention Centre - Meetings & Business Tourism
Certified Climate Action Innovator

Naturewise Conservation Holiday Montague Island Tours - Ecotourism Category
Advanced Ecotourism Certified

Quicksilver Group - Major Tour &/or Transport PLUS Tourism Marketing
Advanced Ecotourism Certified & Certified Climate Action Innovator

Lane Cove River Tourist Park - Tourist & Caravan Parks
Advanced Ecotourism Certified & Certified Climate Action Leader

Crystal Creek Meadows Luxury Cottages & Spa Retreat - Hosted Accommodation
Nature Tourism Certified & Certified Climate Action Leader

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway - Qantas Award for Sustainable Tourism
Advanced Ecotourism Certified

It is also important to acknowledge the achievements of The Maria Island Walk and The APT Group – VIP Touring as both businesses have made a commitment to become ECO Certified which will support their achievements in this year’s awards.

Congratulations to all the winners – our tourism industry is richer for their efforts.


Responsible Tourism

Global Compact Pledge


Intrepid Travel has joined over 4,700 companies worldwide in signing the UN Global Compact - a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Further information:



Green Airports


The Green Airport Initiative is designed to help airports achieve quick and measurable benefits in environmental quality and energy savings and reduce conflicts with local communities.

In contrast to the traditional master planning process, its goal is to make airports greener while accommodating their growth in the principles of sustainable development and ensuring more liveable communities.

The process fosters the consideration of innovative but proven technologies and operational practices that are tailored to the needs of the local community.

Further information:

Europcar Expands Fleet


Europcar Australia which has been at the forefront of the rental car industry through its partnership with non-profit environmental conservation organisation Greenfleet is adding more diesel vehicles to its fleet.

Europcar is one of Australia's most popular providers of car rental services, operating a large fleet of quality vehicles across a nationwide network of over 110 locations.

Its carbon neutralisation program ensures 17 trees are planted for each new vehicle added to Europcar’s fleet and customers can elect to make a donation each time they hire a vehicle.

Further information:



Online Proceedings


Christopher Brown, Managing Director & CEO TTF, in 2008 called for an industry led sustainable tourism recovery saying that we are not going have a government led tourism recovery.  One of over 100 speakers at the Tourism Futures National Conference speaking on technology, climate change, skills and research, Christopher Brown’s presentation is available online, and on CD Rom from




i-Walk City Trails


The City of Perth has launched this innovative series of podcasting tours which allows Western Australians and visitors to discover the history of the city in a modern light.

The series consists of three self guided tours - Boom or Bust, Convicts & Colonials and Icons of Influence.

Further information: