Boffins Outstrip Business

Though often scorned for having limited practical experience and business savvy, it seems to be the academics that are excelling in today’s extremely challenging business environment and are continuing to attract strong visitation to Australia. 

Tourism Futures, initiated by Tourism Queensland,  is renowned for taking a forward looking agenda - casting an eye into the next decade - and while the industry and policy makers at all levels of government have some critical tactics to decide upon, it is refreshing to see one sector getting very impressive results.

Academics are easily stereotyped as being cosseted away from the cut and thrust of the business world, but when many segments are reeling; it is the education sector providing a guiding light for the tourism industry.
The ironic success of universities and the education sector could provide a footprint for marketing to key markets such as India and China. It is clear that these institutions have very effective marketing strategies with solid networks and communications channels. These strategies and potential strategic alliances should be closely examined.

While education tourism represents just 6% of the incoming international tourism numbers it delivers 22% of the total revenue from inbound tourism. Since 2000, 46% of the total growth of Australia’s inbound tourism market has been derived from international education visitors. Over the same period international holiday makers have delivered just 14% of the total growth. India and China are they key countries responsible for this growth. These nations together with many south-east Asian countries highly value and invest heavily in western education for future generations.

Not only do academic sectors attract the students for their studies, but the students will almost always do some form of travel while they are here as well as often attracting their families for visits and holidays.
Once links are established with our country, there will be a natural affinity between the students and Australia that will stimulate  future visitation.

Tourism Futures will be held from 17 – 19 August at the Surfers Paradise Marriot Resort & Spa.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Tony Charters

Mobile Boarding Passes

Technology which allows travellers to download boarding passes to their mobile phones is currently being used by 17 airlines worldwide including American, Alaska, Continental, Delta and Northwest.

The Bar Coded Boarding Pass technology has been spearheaded by the International Air Transportation Association and is still in the testing phase with the potential to eventually become standard practice.

Further information: http://www.iata.org/stb/bcbp/



Pushing the Boundaries of Creative Tourism Innovation

The latest in cutting-edge tourism concepts will be on the agenda at Tourism Futures this year, with Tourism Queensland Strategic Marketing Manager Craig Shim pushing the boundaries of tourism product innovation by showcasing progressive creative tourism products from around the globe.

We are already starting to see the likes of barbecue restaurants where patrons set sail on personal floating tables and a new generation of hotels where guests can design their room to suit their mood before arriving.  Tourism Queensland uses these concepts for inspiration, to keep informed and to encourage our own tourism industry to be innovative.  Flaunting an impression of a new-fangled world of tourism, you’ll see a fresh level of creative tourism product ideas unlike anything you’ve seen before.

View Craig Shim's biography and abstract among the full program listings here.


Tourism Reform In Australia

The Federal Government has released a review of the Australian tourism industry focusing on the challenges the industry faces to meet the future demands of travellers and prevent a long-term decline in the industry.

The report was compiled by former Qantas chairman Margaret Jackson and recommends new structures to improve the links between government and industry groups involved in tourism.

It also contributes to the ongoing development of the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy to be finalised later this year.


Further information: http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/policy/national_long_term_


Destination Development Strategies

Tourism Western Australia is updating its Destination Development Strategies to help identify gaps in infrastructure, attractions, accommodation and other tourism facilities across five tourism regions.

The updates will include consultation with key industry stakeholders and input from stakeholders which will assist in identifying key development priorities around the State. Further information:


National Indigenous Tourism Product Manual

A new quick reference guide for over 200 unique Aboriginal experiences has been launched by Tourism Australia and incorporates art, culture, festivals, events and performing arts. It also includes information on how to book experiences, where to buy Aboriginal art, significant festivals and events and details of Indigenous performing arts. Further information: http://www.indigenoustourism.australia.com/



Kangaroo Island in South Australia has joined the National Landscapes program. It is Australia’s third largest island and features one national park, 21 conservation parks, one conservation reserve and five wilderness protection areas. It has joined eight other landscapes from around Australia including the Australian Alps, Australia’s Green Cauldron, Kakadu, Australia’s Red Centre, Great Ocean Road, Australia’s Coastal Wilderness, Greater Blue Mountains and Flinders Ranges. Further information: http://www.australia.com/campaigns/nationallandscapes/index.htm?ta_cid=redirect:au:nl

Australia's National Landscapes


Eco-Conscious Meetings

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts have launched a new series of Green Sheets as a valuable resource for planners looking to hold a meeting that is both environmentally responsible and informative for delegates across the brand's 56 properties. The Green Sheets also outline how each individual hotel or resort is working within the company's Green Partnership Program, aimed at minimising the brand's impact on the planet.

Further information: http://www.fairmont.com/EN_FA/AboutFairmont/environment/



Tourism Tutor

Tourism Tutor
Tourism Queensland has launched a free online “Tourism Tutor’ resource for high school teachers and students.

The program also includes information on sustainability and tourism trends that will be useful to regional event organisers. Further information:



Aviation Global Deal Group


The Virgin Blue Group of Airlines is the first Australian airline operator to join the Aviation Global Deal Group. This group is working to develop a way of tackling aviation emissions as part of a global deal on climate change, including the development of a standardised, industry-based, recommendation on a mechanism for tackling CO2 emissions from international aviation. Existing members include Air France - KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

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


Bedbug Barrier

An Australian who used run private backpacker hostels and apartments around Melbourne has invented a bed bug barrier which clips onto the legs of the bed and traps bugs in a sticky resin before they crawl up into the bed. Further information: http://www.bedbugbarrier.com.au/


Low Carcon Travel Report

A report entitled ‘Towards a Low Carbon Travel and Tourism Sector’ was presented at the recent World Business Summit on Climate Change as part of an ongoing initiative to encourage the global tourism and travel sector to respond to climate change.

The collaborative study between the World Economic Forum, UNWTO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, UNEP, and Tourism and Travel business leaders puts forward proposals for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emission in various sectors such as transport and accommodation. Further information: http://www.unwto.org/index.php



Golf Research

The Australian Golf Industry Council is requesting the help of golf clubs nationally for an innovative research project that aims to activate the collection and reporting of data so that trends can be tracked and reported regularly for the benefit of the entire industry.

The project is reliant on the collection of both competition and non-competition monthly round data from clubs across Australia. Further information: http://www.agic.org.au/


Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability

A study conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute shows that more than 40% of Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability consumers state that they want proof that a company is doing what they claim to be more sustainable. One third also want to see third-party verification and the endorser to be a non-profit organisation. Further information




Luxury Eco-Certification Standard


Sustainable Travel International has launched the Luxury Eco-Certification Standard, the world’s only voluntary global sustainable tourism certification program designed specifically for the luxury accommodation sector.

It is a comprehensive standard that considers the needs and challenges of operating a new or existing luxury hotel while addressing environmental and social concerns of a destination. Further information: http://www.sustainabletravelinternational.

Tourism E-Kit

The Tourism E-kit is a free online e-marketing course designed to help small to medium Australian tourism operators with the knowledge and guidance to make informed decisions about what online tools and activities they can invest in.

The e-kit comprises 40 tutorials with basic online marketing concepts to more complex issues like online distribution. Further information: http://www.tq.com.au/marketing/online-marketing/tourism-e-kit/tourism-e-kit_home.cfm


The New South Wales Minister for Tourism has launched the 2010 Regional Flagship Events Program aimed at promoting events to attract visitors. Event organisers can apply for one-off grants of $10,000 or grants of $60,000 over three years. A new $120,000 Regional Events Development Workshop Program will also be run in conjunction to assist the development of sustainable events that provide communities with economic benefit. Further information: http://corporate.tourism.nsw.gov.au/RegionalFlagshipEvents_p703.aspx

Image courtesy of Tourism Australia
Event Funding
Support for Indigenous Operators to attend Global Industry Conference

Indigenous Business Australia is providing support for Indigenous operators to attend the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference which will be held 9-11 November this year at the Alice Springs Convention Centre in the Northern Territory.

Green tourism, experiential tourism and ecotourism are capturing enormous interest from travellers and the industry itself. Global Eco takes a highly applied and practical focus to examine best practice from all over the globe across sustainability, ecotourism, tourism in protected areas and climate change response.

Registration for all 3 conference days includes participating in the plenary sessions, theme stream workshops and welcome cocktails. Further networking events provide you with the opportunity to meet informally with national and international leaders and experts in the fields of sustainability, ecotourism and climate change response.

To take advantage of this support, please contact you local IBA office on 1800 107 107 and request a conference info kit to be send out. IBA staff are available to assist with the completion of the paperwork. This is a great opportunity to gain a competitive edge and grow your business.

Further information and conference registration is available online at www.globaleco.com.au


Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism

Entries are now open for the annual Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism which recognises tourism businesses who set out to minimise their impact on the local environment, conserve natural resources, respect local culture and benefit local communities.

Each State winner wins $2,000, with the national winner receiving $25,000 and coverage through Qantas' extensive communication channels including the Qantas inflight magazine and entertainment channels. Entries close on 24 July 2009.

Further information: http://www.qantas.com.au/info/about/community/environment

Cassowary Awards

The Cassowary Awards recognise individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions towards the conservation and preservation of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area. They were established by the Wet Tropics Management Authority in 1999 and past winners have included farmers, scientists, conservationists, artists and tour operators. Nominations close 25 September 2009.

Further information: http://www.tropicalaustralia.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/782372/1_


Images courtesy Tourism Queensland
Interactive Forums and Workshops

Upcoming interactive forums and workshops in August will focus on future trends and provide cutting edge best practice updates for the tourism industry.  

These dynamic forum discussions are assisted by expert panels across a two day period developing outcome focussed resolutions for action by business and government.
Key speakers will direct and stimulate the themed workshops. Workshop topics include:

- Consumer Research and Market Winning Insights
- Tourism Online - Marketing and Distribution
- Destination Management - Policy and Development
- Business Events Tourism
- Sustainability and Climate Change

Find out more about the forums and workshops by visiting the program or visit the website.


Central Australian Case Studies in a Global Context
Image courtesy Tourism Northern Territory

From left, diving guides Csilla (Stella) Pa'll and Sharon El Shoura with bleach watch trainer Tony Rouphael off the coast of Hurghada on the Red Sea coast, Egypt.

Central Australia will become the heart of ecotourism and sustainable tourism globally when an international delegation will take part in multiple day, case study field trips as part of the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference.

The field trips are designed around the conference theme, Green Tourism – New Energy, New Business, and provide a unique opportunity to view first hand the creative partnerships, enterprising businesses and innovative tourism infrastructure – not to mention the stunning natural beauty and cultural heritage of the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Focus will be on:

  • Uluru Kata-Tjuta
  • Park Management and Conservation
  • Joint Management
  • Indigenous Tourism Development
  • Nature-based Tourism Development
  • National Landscapes
  • Larapinta Trail
  • Desert Guides
  • Aboriginal Art

The field trips provide excellent context for the more formal conference discussions and of course, provide excellent networking opportunities.

The case study field trips take place 6, 7, and 8 November in the Alice Springs area. The Global Eco Conference then follows from 9 to 11 November at the Alice Springs Convention Centre.

The conference provides an exceptional opportunity to tap into global knowledge and case studies. Operators, industry associations, policy makers and researchers should view Global Eco as an essential part of their professional and business development.

For more program information and registration, please visit the conference website www.globaleco.com.au or download the Conference Brochure.

Climate Change and the Red Sea

Last month, Tony Charters joined a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) project to work with reef operators on the Red Sea on issues related to climate change and sustainability. The project,was jointly funded by UNEP and Kuoni (under its corporate social responsibility program). Dr Paul Marshall (Climate Change Group Director, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) and Amr Ali (Managing Director, Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association) took key roles in the workshop and training field trips.

The workshop sessions focussed on key operational matters associated with the marine tourism industry on the Red Sea and practical approaches to responding to climate change and broader sustainability issues.

Post workshop training sessions in GBRMPA’s highly regarded ‘Bleach Watch’ program were conducted with local operators.
Interpretation Conference

Interpretation Network New Zealand and Interpretation Association Australia are hosting a joint conference from 15 to18 September 2009 in Rotorua, New Zealand. Conference streams will focus on ways to engage visitors by improving professional practice in cultural tourism, environmental interpretation, technology trends and storytelling.

The conference is aimed at interpreters, consultants, designers, researchers, students, academics and protected area managers. Further information: http://www.innz.net.nz/Conference09/Conference09.html

World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day 2009 will be held in Ghana, on 27 September 2009. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the UN Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contributions the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.

Further information: http://www.unwto.org/wtd/index.php

FACET Regional Tourism Conference

The Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco Tourism (FACET) will hold its 5th Regional Tourism Conference in Mt Magnet from 18 to 21 October, 2009.

The conference will demonstrate the benefits of engaging in local communities to maximise tourism potential and provide attendees with the opportunity to be part of a strategic planning session for the region. Delegates will explore innovative ways to build business, whilst being treated to a true Outback Experience. Further information: http://www.facet.asn.au