The International Village

Wrestling the World an American humanitarian not for profit organisation has collaborated with the Barut community in Kenya to develop the International Village.

This new concept serves as both a volunteer hub for travellers and a permanent educational and job-training centre for residents.

The International Village is a not-for-profit enterprise that will have a permanent and significant presence in the community to help Barut residents improve their life situations, as well as making an important contribution to Kenyan tourism.

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


Can we have tourism without water?

Does tourism send the wrong message about sustainable water use?

In 2003, the World Tourism Organisation recognised that fresh water is a critical element in tourism. However the way in which water is associated with tourism is not always clear cut. Water can be both a direct and indirect input in tourism-related activities.

Dryland tourism destinations, particularly those that focus on nature-based and ecotourism, rely on a healthy environment with unspoiled nature and landscapes, and consequently indirectly use water to create the original attraction for tourists.

La Vergne Lehmann, PhD Candidate
University of Ballarat
School of Business
Water in Drylands Collaborative Research Program

Does Green Travel Pay

According to travelhorizons quarterly consumer survey the percentage of American travellers who consider themselves "environmentally conscious" has not changed since 2007. However, there has been an increase in the percentage who report familiarity with the term "“carbon footprint" and awareness of the term "green travel". Travelhorizons is a quarterly survey of American's travel intentions that is co-authored by the U.S. Travel Association and Ypartnership.

Further information: http://www.ustravel.org/pressmedia/pressrec.asp?Item=991

Low Carbon Tourism and Travel

The World Economic Forum has presented a report 'Towards a Low Carbon Travel and Tourism Sector' to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as a contribution to the Copenhagen Climate process. A collaboration between the World Economic Forum, UNWTO, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme - the report puts forwards numerous proposals for mitigation of greenhouse gas emission, for transport, accommodation and other travel services.

The study also raises the possibility of a Green Fund for Travel and Tourism to help finance mitigation projects identified for air transport, cruise and hospitality.

Further information: http://www.unwto.org/media/news/en/pdf/LowCarbonTravelTourism.pdf
adventuretravelworldsummit.com/ gate-tourismus.de/album.html


All Eyes on Ecotourism

With climate change tightening its grip and a growing consumer appetite for all things 'green', new technologies, ground-breaking research, new product partnerships and controversial policy initiatives are high on the agenda for the much anticipated international ecotourism conference, Global Eco in Alice Springs. (9-11 November)

Identified by many as a key growth area of the future, ecotourism is not an over-night sensation. A stellar cast of keynote speakers, best practice workshops and field trips is set to invigorate the industry already renowned for innovation and forward thinking.

"“There is a really exciting buzz around ecotourism which is stronger than ever before,  with widespread interest in solar, water and energy technologies and tourism products with conservation integrity. It is a pleasure to be drawing together some of the most talented and creative practitioners in the tourism industry, both from Australia and internationally for this conference" says ecotourism pioneer, Mr Tony Charters who is convening the conference for Ecotourism Australia.

Critical research and out-of-the-box policy initiatives will be presented to delegates at the Global Eco conference, with an emphasis on a dynamic exchange of views and experiences.

"Australia led the way on ecotourism globally for many years, but our competitors are nipping at our heels -  innovation can't stop.  Australia cannot afford to take its eye off the ecotourism ball - we already face real challenges from competitors in south-east Asia, South America and Africa."”

Consumer hunger for meaningful, nature-based experiences is growing exponentially, and it is critical the industry continues to extend itself to help redefine 'best practice'.

For a conference program and registration please visit www.globaleco.com.au


The national SEGRA2009 conference is conducted annually to provide a forum that offers delegates from regional Australia the opportunity for professional development through hearing from experts on key issues impacting on regional Australia; networking with other practitioners; and developing  plans of action to enhance regions' capacities to respond to the uncertainties and variability of life in regional Australia and to contribute to the economic and social well being of Australia.

The conference will focus on:
* providing a forum for regions to step up to the challenge;                            
* looking at how to ensure serious consideration is given by government to the future for regional Australia;
* providing the individual regions with the opportunity to explore and share some "winning strategies" for dealing with economic and business cycles; and
* looking at how to increase productivity and investment in your region

Registrations for SEGRA2009 Conference are now open. If you want to gain the latest regional development intelligence and analysis; contribute to the development of innovative solutions to regional development issues;  connect with key decisions makers and like minded professionals;  network, make connections and build learning  communities within and across sectors then register now. SEGRA is the national forum where your ideas can be heard and can help make a real difference.

For more information or to register click here

Tourism Symposium

A Tourism Symposium for regional NSW and South East Queensland will be held from 19-20 October at the Byron at Byron Resort, Spa and Conference Centre.

Confirmed key note speakers include Dr. Tony Webber, the Chief Economist & General Manager, Economic Research for Qantas; Matthew Hingerty, Managing Director of the Australian Tourism Export Council; and Dick Porter, co-founder of STA Travel.

The symposium is being subsidised through state and federal government flood recovery funding with support from the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management at Southern Cross University.

Further information:  http://ts.e-register.com.au
Adventure Travel World Summit

The 2009 Adventure Travel World Summit will be held in Charlevoix, Canada from 19-22 October for authors, business leaders, innovative thinkers, new-media masters and other influential speakers representing the tourism industry and other business sectors.

The summit will also feature two sustainability forums aimed at addressing key challenges and opportunities concerning a variety of topics such as carbon offsets, voluntourism, education and training.

These forums will provide delegates the chance to share and explore their own real-world case studies to build understanding, to gain practical tools, insights and action plans for organisational implementation.

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

Sustainability in the Supply Chain

A two-day symposium is taking place from 20-21 November 2009 at the Euro Business College Hamburg to examine the sustainability and CSR in tourism supply chains from a number of different perspectives. Participants will investigate the fundamental questions of the importance and effect of the implementation of CSR criteria on the local population at tourism destinations.

Further information: http://www.gate-tourismus.de/home_english.html


Island Golf

The Hamilton Island Golf Club on Dent Island in the Whitsunday's is Australia's newest and most unique golf course.

The course was officially opened by Australia's most acclaimed golfer Peter Thomson AO CBE, who designed the distinctive par 71 layout with golf architect Ross Perrett. It is the only 18 hole championship golf course on its own island that makes the most of the natural landform with some holes being played across steep valleys and over lakes, trees and boulders.

Further information: http://www.hamiltonislandgolfclub.com.au/Pages/default.aspx
Luggage Limits

A new website has been launched that allows consumers to find detailed baggage allowance information on all routes and ticket classes for over 60 airlines and 3000 airports within the US, Canada and the UK.

It also provides the same flight specific information on carry-on baggage, airline club benefits, excess baggage sizes and costs.

Plans to expand the site's capabilities in the future include non-US carriers' policies and more extensive destination information.

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


Virgin Blue's Carbon Offset Program Milestone

Virgin Blue Airlines has honoured the one millionth seat to have its carbon emissions offset since the launch of Virgin Blue's Carbon Offset Program in 2007.

Virgin Blue was the first airline in the world to have a Government-certified Carbon Offset Program and since inception about 10% of all Guests have chosen to offset the carbon emissions relating to their flights.

The Virgin Blue Airlines Group is also actively encouraging the commercial development of sustainable aviation biofuels through its membership of the global Sustainable Aviation Fuel User Group.

Further information: http://www.virginblue.com.au/AboutUs/Media/


Geelong Otway Tourism has launched a new project 'Creating a Sustainable Tourism Environment along the Great Ocean Road' to provide tourism operators opportunities to enhance their green image.

The project received a $389,200 grant from the Australian Government which will also fund the publication of The Complete Guide to the Great Ocean Road.

Further information:
Regional Australia Summit 2009: the new agenda
Registrations are now open for the Regional Australian Summit 2009 which will provide an opportunity to affect the future direction of regional Australia.

The "Regional Australia Summit 2009 - the new agenda" will be a platform for the discussion of strategic trends and directions for regional Australia, in the context of sustainability. The outcome of the Summit will be to make a plan of action regarding the way for regional Australia to move forward over the next decade.

The program will be built around the results of a national survey, which has been undertaken as a preliminary step, to provide a foundation for the Summit - together with a consideration of some of the key themes documented in Responding to the Australia 2020 Summit, as they relate to regional Australia.  Some of the key issues that warrant consideration include (i) sustainability (ii) infrastructure (iii) community (iv) closing the gap for Indigenous Australians and (v) governance. The survey and background scoping paper are available at www.segra.com.au/segra

Delegates will work in focussed interest groups, with expert panellists and  have the opportunity to contribute ideas, exchange views, and assess the feasibility of proposals. Delegates will provide input on recommendations and, through a joint problem-solving approach, will have ownership in a Plan of Action addressing issues affecting sustainability and the community in regional Australia.

Conduct of the Summit will be based on established concepts and principles for conflict management and resolution using a framework of joint action and shared responsibility.  The Summit will draw on the Guiding Principles for sustainability development specified as policy guidelines in the “National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development” (Council of Australian Governments, December 1992).Participants will consider a range of topics including:

  • The Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change and Sustainable development: A Plan for Action for regional Australia;
  • The need to maintain and enhance international competitiveness in an environmentally sound manner;
  • Closing the Gap on Indigenous Disadvantage;
  • Actions to enable access to training and employment, economic development opportunities, heritage as well as the potential for “broader settlements” under the Native Title Act;
  • Governance and regional Australia – connectivity; and Regional industries and communities – a partnership.

To register for the Summit click here

Reef Tourism & Climate Change

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Tourism Queensland, Queensland Tourism Industry Council and Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators have released a strategy addressing the potential impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef and its $5.1 billion tourism industry.

The Great Barrier Reef Tourism Climate Change Action Strategy aims to stimulate a range of actions to reduce the industry's environmental footprint and encourage visitors to protect the natural environment.

Further information:


Rainforest Research

The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation (SRF) is pleased to announce a $30,000 commitment to support several PhD, masters and honours projects being undertaken by James Cook University students. The funding has been allocated to projects with a specific focus on research with outcomes that add to environmental management and consequent protection of rare, threatened and vulnerable species and bio diversity.

The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation was established in 2005 with the primary objective of raising and distributing funds to support tropical rainforest research and education projects.

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

Lady Elliot Island - Solar Diesel Hybrid Power Station

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, on the Great Barrier Reef's southern-most tip, has become one of the first island resorts in Australia to move almost entirely to renewable energy, dramatically reducing its carbon footprint and lowering dangerous risk to marine life.

Lady Elliot, which at 80km off the Queensland coast is one of the most isolated of the Great Barrier Reef island resorts, has reduced its annual power consumption by at least 75 per cent since the current owners took control of the lease in 2005. The dramatic change has been achieved through a combination of solar and gas technology, water desalination and various strategic behavioural adaptations.

Following extensive consultation in conjunction with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and following a Level 3 Energy Audit, the resort now has the largest privately owned, off-grid three-phase solar hybrid powered island system in Queensland, costing more than $600,000 and built with the support of a Federal Government grant. It consists of 130m² of solar panels, battery banks with 48 cells, inverters and a new generator a third of the size of the resort's previous units. The long term goal is to run the entire resort on solar power and to use the generator as back-up in case of emergency only.

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort Managing Director Peter Gash said the changes would go a long way to help maintain the island's pristine conditions. "Previously we had to barge in 45,000 litres of fuel from Gladstone every three months; that's been slashed to between 10,000 and 15,000 litres of fuel over the same period," Mr Gash said. "If you multiply that out by a year, that's a lot of fuel and a lot of carbon reduction." Mr Gash also said that the hybrid solar power station will pay for itself within two years.

Mr Gash said interest in the renewable energy system had been overwhelming, both from within the tourism industry and from visitors to the island. "People just love it, our guests are very keen to find out how it works while other resorts are looking at our project with great interest," he said.

From left Tony Charters, Peter Gash and Russell Reichelt at the official launch of the Lady Elliot Is hybrid power station.

To satisfy that strong interest, Lady Elliot has introduced interpretive tours of the island for guests and educational groups, outlining the effects of climate change on a coral cay and what the resort is doing to combat this.

Econo Lodge

Choice Hotels Australasia today announced the addition of seven Econo Lodge properties to its 280-strong Choice Hotels Comfort, Quality and Clarion portfolio in Australia.

Econo Lodge is one of the leading value brands in North America, with almost 1000 properties open or under development.

Econo Lodge hotels typically offered between 15 and 30 rooms at 3 to 3.5 star ratings, and did not directly compete with existing CHA brands for facilities, services and rates.

Further information: http://www.choicehotels.com.au/hotels/home

Travelocity Global Acquires TravelGuru

Travelocity Global one of the world's largest online travel companies with annual gross bookings of more than U.S. $10 billion has acquired India's leading online hotel distribution network Travelguru.

The Travelguru portfolio of more than 4,000 hotels in India will build upon existing online travel agency site, various supplier and redistribution relationships, as well as global support teams in the country.

Further information: http://www.travelguru.com/about/media/PressRelease.shtml


Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Coinciding with the launch of the Call for Entries for the 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has published a comprehensive list of mini case studies of previous winners and finalists - available for complimentary download at

Every year WTTC invites tourism businesses and organisations from across the world to participate in the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards - a competition for sustainable tourism management respected worldwide for its rigorous three-step judging process. This includes an on-site evaluation of all finalists, conducted by a panel of internationally renowned experts in sustainable tourism.

“"This is the only award in tourism that carries with it an on-site required verification audit that means credibility and integrity", said Alex Khajavi, President of NatureAir and winner of the 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Conservation Award.

“"In an age in which everyone claims to be sustainable, the WTTC award has given us instant credibility with our external partners as well as our inhouse team members" Khajavi added. “"This award inspired the entire company to pursue more sustainable programs - it was nice for everyone to share a little in the glory. We are honoured to be recognised."”

Both the industry and the travelling public can now read the detailed comments of the Panel of Judges regarding each of the Tourism for Tomorrow winners and finalists over the past few years, learning more about their achievements that highlight ways of achieving best practice in sustainable tourism development.

Thanks to WTTC's commitment to sharing examples of best practice in 'green business', the library of case studies will be expanded annually as the new Awards are announced. Applications are welcome at http://www.tourismfortomorrow.com/Apply/

The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are endorsed by WTTC Members, as well as other organisations and companies. They are organised in association with two Strategic Partners: Travelport and The Leading Travel Companies' Conservation Foundation. Other sponsors/supporters include: Adventures in Travel Expo, BEST Education Network, the Daily Telegraph, Friends of Nature, the Rainforest Alliance, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Sustainable Travel International, Travesias, USA Today and the World Heritage Alliance.

For more information, please visit www.tourismfortomorrow.com or send an email to info@tourismfortomorrow.com
Online Green Holiday Brochure

First Choice has unveiled a new online brochure that features hotels that have received a Travelife award for their commitment to the environment, employees and local communities.

The Greener Holidays brochure provides an easy way for holidaymakers to make a more sustainable choice when selecting a package holiday either in store or online.

The program also includes details on sustainable activities, including excursions available in certain destinations, and top tips on what holidaymakers can do to make a difference, both before and during their holiday.

Further information: http://www.firstchoice.co.uk/greener-holidays/