Fernandina Eruption

Tony Charters undertook the verification report for Metropolitan Tours (based in Quito, Ecuador) as part of the judging process for the international Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. Metropolitan Tours operate a number of motor yachts in the Galapagos Islands and were pioneers in expedition touring having commenced operations in the 1950's.

Metropolitan Tours have leading environmental practices and are strongly commited to community based projects on the main island, Santa Cruz. Environmental Services Director Francisco Dousdebes accompanied Tony on the field trip. Francisco has accepted an invitation to present a keynote address at the Global Eco Asia Pacific Conference in November (see story below).

A matter of weeks after Tony's visit, on Monday morning, April 21 the westernmost island of Galapagos (Fernandina) erupted, providing guests with unique experiences and long-lasting memories.

These amazing photos depict better than any words can, the extraordinary experiences that the guests of the Yacht La Pinta had on that day and the extraordinary experiences available to ecotourists.


Geotourism Challenge

The global Geotourism Challenge is designed to showcase examples of where tourism sustains, enhances and preserves local culture and the environment.

The competition is run by the National Geographic Society and Ashoka’s Changemakers to identify individuals worldwide who have introduced the most innovative practices in tourism, destination stewardship and Geotourism.

Last year 320 nominations from 83 countries were received. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and online applications close 20 May 2009.

Further information: http://www.changemakers.net/geotourismchallenge

Hidden Peaks Walk

Hidden Peaks Walks has joined forces with luxury retreat Peppers Spicers Peak Lodge on Queensland's Scenic Rim to launch the Spicers Private Walk.

Developed by local walkers David Stent and Graham Hickson the company is setting a new standard for luxury outdoor adventure incorporating award-winning accommodation, food and wine.

Fashioned in the tradition of the great NZ and Tasmanian walks, the fully-hosted three or four-day experience traverses one of South East Queensland’s largest private nature refuges and the Main Range National Park World Heritage area.

Further information:  http://www.hiddenpeaks.com.au/


Australian Tourism and the Recession

The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) have released a report 'Australian Tourism and the Recession', a joint industry government tourism recovery strategy to protect jobs, support regional communities and drive a recovery.


Further information: http://www.ttf.org.au/Content/strategy0409.aspx

Review of Global Standards

The Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria is a coalition of more than 30 diverse organizations and businesses working together to foster increased understanding of sustainable tourism practices and the adoption of universal principles.

The partnership Technical Working Group has developed a draft set of indicators which are now available online.

Further information: http://www.sustainabletourismcriteria.org/

Responsible Tourism Awards

Nominations for the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards are now open until Monday 15 June.

The Responsible Tourism Awards are collaboration between online travel directory responsibletravel.com, the Telegraph Travel and Geographical Magazine, BBC World News and World Travel Market. In 2008, over 1900 nominations were received from travellers around the world.

Further information: http://www.responsibletourismawards.com/



100% Pure Assurance

Tourism New Zealand has launched a new $300,000 marketing campaign with the tagline "100% Pure Assurance" to raise awareness among travellers of Qualmark Green national quality accreditation system.

The campaign is targeting domestic travellers as well as international visitors and will be supported with advertising in a range of New Zealand lifestyle publications.

Further information: http://www.responsibletourism.co.nz/

Best in Travel 2009

Lonely Planet has captured 850 of the world's hottest travel trends, destinations, journeys and experiences.

Formerly known as Lonely Planet’s Bluelist, the publication is full of all new content featuring stand-out travel experiences and 165 stunning photos to inspire travellers for the year ahead by drawing on the knowledge, passion and miles travelled by Lonely Planet’s staff and authors.

Further information: www.lonelyplanet.com/press-


Irish Ecotourism Handbook

Fáilte Ireland and Greenbox have produced Ireland’s first Ecotourism Handbook.

The handbook is aimed at helping tourism businesses operate in a green environment and will be distributed to over 3,000 tourism businesses.

It provides a wealth of detail including information on the ecotourism market, how to certify a green business, how to find ‘green’ funding, and how to market your ecotourism business.

Further information: http://www.failteireland.ie/Research---Policy/Policy-Analysis/Environment


Refocusing Australian Tourism

Despite the Australian tourism industry being in crisis mode, academic and keynote speaker at this year’s Tourism Futures conference Dr Stefan Gossling is calling for an industry wide restructure of current business models.

“When the economy emerges from the current recession, Australia tourism should look to relaunch itself with a more environmentally compatible business model,” said Dr Gossling, Professor at Lund University, Sweden.

Dr Gossling is one of the world’s most highly regarded academics specialising in the impact of climate change on the tourism industry.

“Such a refocus would see Australia abandon targets for increasingly high volumes of tourists. The only strategy for success into the future is in an industry where visitors stay longer and spend more,” said Dr Gossling.

Delegates and industry leaders will be motivated and inspired by the creative solutions on offer at the conference, including the strategies outlined by Dr Gossling.

The issues currently facing the industry are not insurmountable – to redefine your future in tourism this is a conference you must attend!

Register online at www.tourismfutures.com.au or call 07 3210 0021 for further information.

Capture the Generation with Time and Money

Tourism industry members wanting to know how to escape the recession or grow business will be able to find answers at the Baby Boomer Tourism Summit in Sydney.


“They are active and immediate holiday takers, half of them intend to take their next holiday this year.  Australian tourism needs to understand who this market is and how to talk to them.” Ross Honeywill, Consumer Behaviourist

Ross Honeywill, well known for his engaging, factual presentations, will be one of the keynote speakers examining the future of this demographic on 25 May at the Baby Boomer Tourism Summit.

The Summit will examine this demographic which:
·    outperforms, outranks and outspends the younger generations by a ratio of two to one
·    are active, and immediate, holiday takers – half of them intend to take their next holiday before October;
·    double the proportion earn over $100,000 per year when compared with generation X and Y; and
·    yearn for a quality experience on the path less travelled rather than the tried and true.

This cutting edge Summit is the first of its kind and not to be missed. Registration is open now, for further information please visit www.boomersummit.com.au.


International Sustainability Heavy Weights Gather in Alice Springs

Alice Springs is set to become an international hub come November 9-11 this year, when a group of leading international ecotourism and sustainability experts gather at Ecotourism Australia’s Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference.  

The conference, themed Green Tourism – New Energy, New Business features national and international leaders from the industry who will provide hands on information to delegates across streams vital to business and government. The conference will feature highly interactive plenary sessions and panel sessions. You are able to get up close and personal with these leading identities, each of whom has committed to attend the entire conference.

US based, Hitesh Mehta is one of the world’s leading practitioners on sustainable tourism, ecotourism and architectural of ecolodges. Hitesh, Director of HM Design, conducts research on international trends in Ecolodges and will reveal findings of his yet to be published book Authentic Ecolodges.

Get together with these and more leading international players and learn critical new research, policy and best practices -  this is one conference not to miss.

Visit www.globaleco.com.au for more information. (Registrations open soon)

Carbon Market Expo

The Carbon Market Expo Australasia will be held at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre from 26 - 28 October 2009 hosted by the Asia-Pacific Emissions Trading Forum and Environment Business Australia.

In 2008 more than 1100 delegates and 81 trade exhibitors attended from 27 countries to attend the biggest carbon market party Australia has ever hosted.

Further information: www.carbonexpo.com.au


Hospitality Jobseekers Website

A new website which describes all the different and exciting places the Australian hospitality industry provides including job types, training and how to get started.

Further information: http://www.discoverhospitality.com/public_panel/index.php

EcoTraining Australia

EcoTraining has launched in Australia, providing a hands-on guide training program for aspiring wilderness guides, tourism operators or leisure travellers wanting a deeper understanding of the Australian bush.

The entry-level course equips aspiring guides with the basic skills to start a career in nature tourism and covers a broad array of subjects.The EcoTraining camp is located west of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.

Further information: http://www.ecotrainingaustralia.com.au/


Philanthropy Travel Initiative

Luxury adventure and travel company Abercrombie & Kent has launched a new initiative - Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy – as part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility worldwide.

Over the past two years, the company has identified projects on all seven continents designed to offer guests privileged access and insight into local customs, conservation and community projects.

Further information:

Tropical North Queensland Research

The Australian Government has provided $4 million in funding to assist Tropical North Queensland in marketing activities and to strengthen the supply side of the industry.

Two research projects were funded under this package of measures including a repositioning study that examined existing product and infrastructure in the region and a study that examined the vulnerability of regions with a high dependency on tourism.

Further information: http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/policy/qld-assistance-measures/Pages/default.aspx
Online Travel to Decline
For the first time since PhoCusWright began tracking the marketplace in 1998, the online leisure/unmanaged business travel market is predicted to fall by 3% to US$93 billion in 2009. In spite of this decline, it is still predicted to outperform the broader travel market by far and return to positive growth much more quickly.
Further information: http://www.phocuswright.com/research_publications_buy_a_report/609

Don’t get lost in translation…

Former German chancellor Willy Brandt once said: “If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying from you, dann müssen Sie schon deutsch sprechen”.

And all of us who are targeting overseas tourism markets, know how important a correct translation of our marketing collateral and company profile is. But then again… haven’t we all seen these before?

“Please leave your values at the front desk," - sign at a French hotel.
"Please drop your trousers here for best results." Bangkok dry cleaners.
"Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists." Hong Kong dentist:
"You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid." Japanese hotel.

These may make you giggle, but there is nothing funny about lost credibility with your
Clients and your target market, thousands spent on a failed advertising campaign or your complete corporate humiliation.

However, acquiring and using the services of a translator and/or interpreter can raise many questions. Before you plan or commit to using the services of a translator or an interpreter take a few moments to read the guide below. Informed choices yield the best results.

Guide: http://australien.ahk.de/index.php?id=50&L=0&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=274&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=46&cHash=5d1fcb9545

Going Green Report

A new report ‘Going Green: the Business Impact of Environmental Awareness on Travel’ examines the value of green thinking and decision making among consumers and travel companies.

The report provides valuable insight into consumer behaviours and attitudes, communication of green practices, green ratings systems and the effect of economic conditions on green travel.

Further information: http://www.phocuswright.com/research_publications_buy_a_

Top Australian Hotel Investors

The annual Jones Lang LaSalle Hotel Top Owner Survey found that only AU$764 million was made in hotel sales in 2008.

The survey looks at 180 hotels in Australia with a total room inventory of 36,000 rooms. Royal Pines Resort Gold Coast, Westin Melbourne, Holiday Inn Townsville, Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour, Crowne Plaza Newcastle, Gold Coast International Hotel and the Courtyard Marriott Surfers Paradise were the major property sales last year.

TAHL continues to dominate the ownership of Australia’s tourism accommodation market, owning 6,556 rooms across 43 hotels.

Further information: http://www.joneslanglasalle.com.au/Australia/en-AU/Pages/Hotels.aspx

Cabcharge Competition

A revolutionary taxi-payment system designed to compete with Cabcharge by offering cheaper fares and financial incentives to drivers has been launched by taxis.net.au.

Using internet-enabled mobile phones passengers will be able to book taxis connecting directly with their driver and being assured their vehicle will show up on time.

The new system carries only a 7.49 per cent surcharge compared with the 10 per cent attached to all Cabcharge payments.

Further information: http://www.taxis.net.au/
New Ecotourism Website

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) website has gone through a major makeover with a new look and improved features including the Ecotourism Explorer, Experts Bureau, Ecotourism Job Board and Ecotourism Events Calendar. The website also provides to online e-learning tools and resources including eLibrary and Multimedia Room.

Further information: http://www.ecotourism.org

Pathways to Sustainable Tourism Workshops

The Local Government Association of Queensland has signed up to deliver a new initiative to drive tourism growth in Queensland's towns and regions.

The Local Governments - Pathways to Sustainable Tourism Workshop Program was developed by Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre and provides a platform for councils to develop and implement comprehensive tourism strategies through close consultation with industry and local communities.

Further Information: http://www.crctourism.com.au/Page/Tools+and+


Open For Business Campaign

Tourism Victoria's new 'Open for Business' campaign is urging businesses and government agencies to hold conferences, seminars, business events and retreats in bushfire affected regions such as the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Gippsland, the High Country and Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.



The $70,000 business events market will be targeted through the print, online and radio campaign which will highlight the many convention and meeting facilities available in affected regions.

Further information: http://www.businesseventsvictoria.com/


Go for Green Conference Packages

The Adelaide Convention Centre has released three new sustainable meeting packages as part of a push to become the most environmentally responsible convention centre in Australia.

The packages are available to all meetings and events and include a large range of environmentally friendly features incorporating carbon offsetting, venue hire, recycled paper notepads, low food mile catering and Fair Trade tea and coffee.

Further information: http://www.adelaidecc.com.au/gogreen.cfm


Marketing Growth Fund

VisitScotland has launched a new grant scheme which is partly funded by the European Union and is designed to support tourism groups throughout Scotland in marketing their products and services.

The fund is open to national, regional and local groups to help them reach new target markets and increase visitor numbers.

Further information: http://www.visitscotland.org/growth-fund.htm

Image: api.ning.com/files/SxxQ-bTcXOnPFSIiTjABsfdwDip7