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 acknowlegement of the source.

  Welcome to Tourforce!    
  Tourism Responding to Climate Change  
  Climate change as a global issue is gathering significant momentum and requires national, sectoral, organisational and individual responses. New economic markets (e.g. emissions trading), businesses (e.g. offset providers) and regulations are rapidly emerging, and the objectives and structures of these can be confusing. A diverse range of carbon reduction initiatives at both government and industry level are also emerging. At the consumer level, there is an unprecedented desire to contribute to the amelioration of climate change impacts. The Australian tourism industry is assessing the best way forward and is extremely mindful of the impacts and perceptions resulting from being a longhaul destination. Additionally many of Australia’s key tourism destinations are within climate change ‘hotspots’ due to their susceptibility to climate change impacts – the Great Barrier Reef, Wet Tropics, south-east Queensland, Alpine regions, the Murray Darling Basin, south west Western Australia and Kakadu.

In response to Federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey’s call for input to the Tourism Action Plan on Climate Change, Tony Charters and Associates submitted recommendations for a practical and destination driven climate change response. This response is based on our extensive evaluation of international, national and state climate change tourism impact scenarios and initiatives. Importantly our recommended planning approach equips the industry to respond to climate change challenges and opportunities.

For Australian tourism destinations to remain competitive in the global carbon conscious community it will need to:
• continue to offer high quality consumer matched tourism experiences;
• demonstrate a clear and decisive response to climate change issues within the industry;
• provide experiences and opportunities that give consumers a sense of contributing to the amelioration of climate change impacts; and
• raise awareness and communicate this commitment clearly to market segments.

  The Australian tourism industry must adopt an “all hands on deck” and holistic approach from tourism planners, policy makers, tourism marketers and operators.

The Australian tourism industry response to climate change requires both an adaptation and mitigation component. Mitigation (i.e. action to reduce emissions) is proactive and can be considered more generic across various sectors of the tourism industry, regardless of geographical location. However adaptation (i.e. risk management and response) is reactive and will be specific to geographical (bioregion related) locations. This is because the environmental impacts of climate change will be particular to the bioregions involved. Secondly, the required tourism industry response will depend on the nature of the tourism industry in a specific location, existing infrastructure and the environmental assets and locations used.

Australia’s tourism industry needs a set of regional/destination level adaptation plans incorporating:
• information on the potential climate change impacts on its ecosystems, particularly in the identified climate change ‘hotspots’;
• a regional/destination level risk assessment and needs analysis undertaken by key stakeholders and operators; and
• the identification and development of local priority action areas and plans that are implemented by a regional tourism stakeholder network.
Importantly, funding sources will be required to implement adaptation plans across programs such as audits, potential tourism industry re-structuring, re-positioning and product development.

Tony Charters

Asia Pacific Cities Summit

Biennial Asia Pacific Cities Summit - Sustainable Tourism in the Spotlight
The Asia Pacific Cities Summit is a biennial event, established by Brisbane City Council. The Summit's primary goal is to foster partnerships between cities and to encourage sharing of information and ideas between local governments, technical experts and businesses within the region. The Summit focuses on cities as the catalysts to economic growth, attracting around 900 delegates including civic and business leaders and decision makers from Asia Pacific cities.

The 2007 summit will look at the issues of: sustainability, livability, economic development, leadership and governance. For more information or to register for the conference please visit:

In addition to a high calibre delegation of participants, the 2007 Summit program features an unparallelled opportunity to hear from high profile and provocative speakers.

Leading human rights lawyer and world renowned QC Geoffrey Robertson of Hypotheticals fame will set the scene for the Summit as he moderates a panel of city and industry leaders to debate topics such as: What issues will affect Asia Pacific Cities in 2026? How will our cities cope with rapid population growth, infrastructure challenges and advancing technology?

QC Geoffrey Robertson

International Speaker Line-up
The Summit has confirmed a number of high profile Australian and International-based speakers, in a program that will offer delegates a diverse range of topics and a rare opportunity to interact with internationally renowned leaders.


Charlie Hargroves is a co-founder and the Executive Director of The Natural Edge Project, a non-profit partnership on innovation for sustainable prosperity, awarded the Banksia Award for Environmental Leadership, Education and Training in 2005. Charlie has worked on projects with international partners such as the European Climate Exchange, Chicago Manufacturing Centre, World Technopolis Association, UNESCO and Rocky Mountain Institute, along with Australian partners including Santos, KBR, VicUrban, Griffith University, QUT, RMIT, CSR Limited, Hatch, and the Queensland EPA Sustainable Industries Division.

Charlie Hargroves... Molly Harriss Olson...., ....Bernard Salt

Adding to the depth of the Summit’s program is Molly Harriss Olson - Director of Eco Futures Pty Ltd, an Australian-based international policy firm working on building sustainable strategies with business, government and civic leaders. Ms Olson is the Convenor of the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development, and an internationally recognised leader on sustainability. Ms Olson has extensive experience in Australia, the US and Sweden in bringing together industry and business leaders to tackle issues of Sustainable Development. In 2003 Ms Olson brought Al Gore to Australia for his first visit as the keynote at the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development.

Also part of the Summit program is well known Business Analyst, Property Advisor, Media Commentator, Consumer and Cultural Trends Commentator and Author Bernard Salt. He has established a position within corporate Australia as an adviser and as a commentator on consumer, cultural and demographic trends. He is the author of a best-selling book The Big Shift launched in July 2001. Bernard will identify key consumer, cultural and demographic emerging trends within the Asia Pacific region, the trends that will shape Asia Pacific cities and future scenarios for cities, with a particular emphasis on the outlook and implications for business over the next two decades.




Great Places to Visit are Great Places to Live

This session places a clear focus on synergies between what makes a great tourism destination also a great place for residents / local communities. The program includes a practitioner perspective – Social Planner Dr Wendy Sarkissian will bring to the Summit firsthand knowledge of many contexts, from developers’ boardrooms to low-income housing estates. Her presentation will focus in particular on Nature in our cities. Wendy’s presentation will explore the value of natural places in cities for residents, workers, and visitors (especially East Asian tourists) to reveal that Nature is a powerful drawcard, with qualities that greatly enhance community safety, wellbeing and health as well as visitor satisfaction with time spent in cities.

  Creating Liveable Cities
Creating Liveable Cities will be a feature topic at the 2007 APCS. This focus arises as environmental awareness arising from climate change and associated threats is growing in conjunction with increasing numbers of people living in urban areas. Ecosystem services such provisioning of drinking water are raising opportunities for new kinds of markets that may allow many environmental public goods to become open to trade and exchange. Financial investments into developing such markets may create linkages between land parcels and habitat patches not only within urban areas and between cities regionally internationally; public goods generated in urban areas may include green spaces or combinations of green spaces and inhabited areas that are designated under a scheme such as biosphere reserves of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme.

A panel, organised by two Members of the International Secretariat of the MAB Programme of UNESCO, Paris (Mr. Natarajan Ishwaran, International Secretary of the MAB Programme and Mr. Peter Dogsé a Specialist in Ecological Economics working with the International MAB Secretariat) will explore these issues and opportunities with a view to identifying ideas for international co-operation under MAB’s urban ecology and climate change linked initiatives during UNESCO next medium term strategy (2008-2013). International and Australian experts from natural and social science disciplines and resource management practitioners will participate in discussions.

  Sustainable Tourism Future Directions for Cities
This forum is designed for cities wanting to develop a 21st century response to 21st century issues and opportunities in sustainable tourism. Sustainability has for some time been one of the hottest issues in tourism. The quest for sustainability (by industry, government / regulatory organizations, and increasingly consumers) continues to intensify as issues such as climate change gain increasing profile.

To date, much of the focus on increasing tourism sustainability has related to nature-based and smaller regional destinations. However we know that larger regional centres and cities play a vital role in the tourism industry as both gateways to regional destinations and destinations in their own right. The Asia Pacific region is home to some of the world’s iconic cities and major tourism destinations.

Tony Charters worked with the Asia Pacific Cities Summit secretariat to develop this program and will contunue the Sustainable Toursim stream of the Summit.

This Plenary session is specifically designed to inform and challenge delegates on topics relating to Sustainable Tourism Future Directions for Cities through keynote presentations and opportunities for interactive discussions with speakers.

  Speakers in the session include:

Richard Register - one of the world's great theorists and authors in ecological city design and planning. Richard believes cities can contribute to humanity's creative and compassionate evolution on a healthy Earth, in an exciting and rewarding built community from village to town and city scale. We can build it, and he will share with delegates how.

Richard Register
  Ken Chapman - Chief Executive Officer of Skyrail-ITM a specialist operator of cableways and tourist attractions with a vision to provide great tourism experiences worldwide. Ken sees tourism as a major growth industry throughout the Asia Pacific Region, bringing far ranging benefits to those cities that have positioned themselves to harness its power. Ken will share his views on how a destination can encourage tourism without losing its character, environment and soul drawing on his experience with Skyrail in Tropical North Queensland and Hong Kong.
Ken Chapman
  Tim Shadbolt - Mayor of Invercargill, New Zealand is a well known character throughout New Zealand. Never far from the spotlight, he has worked in motion pictures, television, print media and politics. Since the late 1960s when he was arrested 33 times for radical student activities, Tim has been a household name in New Zealand sometimes as a hero, sometimes an anti-hero. Tim will share with delegates his experiences of the last 12 years in Invercargill, including highlights from some of his promotional campaigns in which he has capitalised on opportunities for positive spin offs from events that could have been perceived very differently.
Tim Shadbolt
  Local Government and Climate Change
Climate Change and its associated impacts and challenges are taking shape as one biggest issues facing the international community with action required at all levels. Local governments around the world have an important role to play in responding to the greenhouse challenge, and will by their very nature, be at the forefront of taking action to respond to issues associated with Climate Change. This workshop will examine best practice examples of what can be done, the important role of local governments and partnerships with business and other regions to maximise the benefits.

Discounted Registration for Tourforce Subscribers
Of particular interest is the introduction of a Sustainable Tourism stream in the 2007 program, bringing into focus issues of sustainability of the tourism industry and destinations as they relate specifically to city destinations rather than the traditional focus on natural and remote areas.

Tony Charters and Associates is very pleased to announce that we have secured a special offer for all Tourforce Subscribers interested in attending the Asia Pacific Cities Summit’s Plenary Session “Sustainable Tourism Future Directions for Cities” on Monday 3rd September, 9.00am - 1.45pm, including morning tea and lunch.

The full registration cost for attendance at this session is $500, however subscribers of Tourforce have access to a heavily discounted price of $295 (and full time students $145).

To register for this session please visit:

For more information on the Session, please contact Jessica Shelton of Management Solutions:
Ph: (07) 3210 0021

  Best Practice    
  National Tourism Partnerships – Action Plan Launch

The National Tourism Partnerships Action Plan was officially launched on Monday 9 July, in Sydney. The plan is an initiative to conserve our National Parks and Protected Areas through promotion of investment in sustainable natural tourism.

The plan is a product of the Natural Tourism Partnerships Initiative, and was developed by TTF Australia with principal financial support from the Australian Government. The project also included and a wide group State and Industry project partners.

Hon Fran Bailey, Minister for Small Business and Tourism, said the Action Plan outlines practical steps to conserving our environment while growing ecotourism in our national parks and wilderness areas, with the key being strengthening the relationship between park managers and tourism operators.

Tony Charters, who attended the launch, said it was encouraging that all states and territories had supported the initiative and that the focus was on actions.


“With co-operation tourism and conservation can collectively achieve more than they can achieve individually. The reality is the conservation battles of the past have created many of our tourism icons. Tourism has provided the economic driver to replace the traditional resource based industries – a classic win win”, Tony said.

Following the event, Adam Spencer of ABC Sydney’s Radio Breakfast program ran an extended interview with Tony on his perspective on public and private sector partnerships in National Parks.

Tony Charters edited a book on this topic some years ago and convened the Parks and Protected Areas Management Congress last year of the topic of governance supporting partnerships. The book, National Parks – Private sector’s role, focuses on the role these public-private sector relationships play in conserving our National Parks and Protected Areas. Limited copies are available for purchase ($45.00 + postage/handling) by contacting Jessica Shelton on or calling +61 (7) 3210 0021.

  Environmental Savings Program    
  Savings in the City is the City of Melbourne's innovative environmental program to help city hotels cut their energy and water use, as well as reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Participating hotels have reduced their waste to landfill by the equivalent of 658 large skips of rubbish, decreased total annual energy consumption by approximately 26,000,000 MJ, reduced annual water consumption by a total of 20 Olympic swimming pools and saved the equivalent to 11,200 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Toolkits have also been developed as part of the program for use by hotels, motels and hostels nationally.
  For further information please visit:
  Fuel Efficient Europcar
  Europcar Australia is adding Toyota's fuel efficient Prius to its fleet of rental motor vehicles in order to keep up with today's growing concerns of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. The Prius is respected around the world for its fuel efficient technology (averages about 4.7 litres per 100km) and ultra low carbon emissions. Europcar Australia is also partnering with Greenfleet in a $250,000 commitment to plant over 100,000 trees covering 100 hectares of degraded land. Since 1997 Greenfleet has planted over 3 million trees on behalf of Australian motorists. For further information please visit:
  New Eco Resort for Phillip Island
  A new environmentally sensitive resort has opened 90 minutes from Melbourne at Phillip Island. The All Seasons Eco Resort Phillip Island is the first hotel of its kind on the island and where possible used recycled materials, eco friendly building products and environmentally sustainable design principles during construction. The 26 ha site offers a mix of accommodation including self-contained studio spas as well as two and three bedroom villas. Accor pioneered the concept of urban 'green hotels' with the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park and operates properties in other fragile environments such as Victoria's Alpine region, Snowy Mountains and Ningaloo Reef. For further information please visit:
  Climate Change    
  Carbon-neutral Conferences    
  A carbon-neutral conference package option is being offered by The Byron at Byron Resort in New South Wales with the support of Rainforest Rescue, which will calculate the amount of carbon dioxide created from each conference and plant rainforest trees to effectively offset the CO2 output. Each delegate will receive a "Plant a Tree" gift card noting the neutralising of their personal carbon footprint. Further information:
  Daintree Carbon Offset Plan

The multi-award winning Daintree Discovery Centre has announced it will invest more than $25,000 in carbon offsetting via bio-sequestration to measure the Centre’s carbon footprint and allow it to develop strategies to minimize Greenhouse Gas emissions. The Daintree Discovery Centre is a world-class interpretive facility nestled in the heart of the rainforest. It boasts a spectacular Aerial Walkway and a 23m high Canopy Tower; the only one of its kind in Australia. Part of every entry fee is being used to fund the project.

For further information please visit:

  Policy and Planning    
  National Inquiry Recognises Value of Grey Nomad Skills and Labour

Tony Charters was recently invited to provide evidence on behalf of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) into the recent House of Representatives Inquiry into Workforce challenges facing the Australian tourism sector. The original submission outlined the untapped potential of Grey Nomads in addressing regional skills and labour shortages as well as research results indicating a high level of interest within this group for short term voluntary and paid work while travelling. The final House of Representatives Report (released June 2007) recognised several of the key issues raised and Recommendation 13 to the Australian Government states the need to support ongoing research into the employment barriers faced by this group.

The final Report of the House of Representatives Inquiry into Workforce Challenges in the Tourism Sector recognises several of the key issues put forward by Tony Charters on behalf of the CMCA in both the submission and evidence hearing.

  In particular, the committee recognised that:
There is a pool of potential employees that are not being exploited by the industry, as they are beyond its traditional workforce. The report recommends support to identify the barriers to the employment of older workers, particularly those already travelling Australia as ‘grey nomads’. (Section 6.16)
They also recommended that:
… the Australian Government conduct research into barriers to the workforce participation of older workers, particularly in seasonal short-term work and implement the necessary changes to ensure the greater capacity of workforce participation by retired and semi-retired workers. (Recommendation 13 p. xviii)
  Inquiry into the Services Sector    
  The Federal Government has released a report which investigates impediments and opportunities into the services export sector, with particular reference to tourism. The report identifies threats sector such as a lack of workers in lower skilled jobs, the risk of rogue operators, the growing international anti-travel response to climate change and limitations on employees in regional areas. Recommendations include allowing backpackers to extend their working visas to two years, a more standardised way of accrediting tourism and hospitality related qualifications/training, as well as establishing an inquiry to the potential growth of Indigenous tourism business opportunities. For further information please visit:

  Appointment to Tourism and Recreation Reef Advisory Committee

Tony Charters has recently been appointed as a member for the Tourism and Recreation Reef Advisory Committee (TRRAC) for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

TRRAC is one of four critical issue groups, each with their own Reef Advisory Committee (RAC), established in 1998 by GBRMPA. These four groups are:
• RAC Tourism and Recreation
• RAC Conservation, Heritage and Indigenous Partnerships
• RAC Fisheries
• RAC Water Quality and Coastal Development


TRRAC advises GBRMPA – particularly the Tourism and Recreation Group – on research, monitoring and policy development. Members of the committee provide a cross section of stakeholder expertise and interest relevant to the tourism and recreation of the Great Barrier Reef.

Each Committee member is chosen with a view to provide a cross-section of stakeholder expertise relevant to tourism and recreational use of the Great Barrier Reef and is appointed for a three year period.

Tony was appointed for his specialist and practical experience in eco and sustainable tourism and World Heritage Area tourism.

  $4.6m for Regional Tourism    

The Australian Government is funding 27 innovative regional tourism projects under the latest round of the Australian Tourism Development Program (ATDP). Since 2004 over 129 projects worth more than $21.6 million have been funded under the ATDP. Additional funding is now available to assist drought affected communities.

For further information please visit:

  Ministerial Address    
  Hon Fran Bailey Tackles Climate Change
  In a powerful address at the Climate Change Forum on 10 July 2007 the Hon Fran Bailey, Minister for Small Business and Tourism, tackled the issue of climate change, challenging the industry to lead the climate change response maintaining Australia’s position as a world leader in sustainable tourism.

Minister Bailey emphasised the importance of nature based tourism, with around $23 billion being spent by these tourists – over a quarter of the tourism industry earnings. But indicated climate change may impact negatively on this vital sector.

  ‘We need to acknowledge that, yes, climate change will have impacts on some of our iconic biodiversity and that tourism is an energy-reliant industry, at least on the supply side,’ Hon Fran Bailey said.

‘We need to be able to market Australia as a long haul destination that is already out in front addressing climate change…We are the world leaders on sustainable tourism.’

The Australian Government is supporting the response to climate change with:
• $126 million committed to supporting the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework
• Establishment of a National Centre for Climate Change Adaptation
• $44 million allocated to the CSIRO Adaptation Flagship
• Development of a Tourism Action Plan on Climate Change

According to Minister Bailey, these research centres will develop climate change science capabilities and provide the science for adaptation research. The tools developed will also assist the industry in undertaking risk management, cost benefit analysis, education and training.

The Tourism Action Plan on Climate Change aims to assess climate change impacts and outline specific adaptation strategies, as well as examining consumer attitudes towards climate change and its effects on their purchasing decisions.
‘A number of industry sectors are already learning to adapt,’ Minister Bailey shows giving the examples of:
• ski resorts responding with year-round activities;
• the industry’s Keep Winter Cool Campaign raising tourist awareness of energy efficiency and environmental awareness;
• resort level responses of reduce, reuse and recycle;
• Bleachwatch – a GBRMPA developed initiative monitoring coral bleaching;
• Eye on the Reef, where dive operators assist in monitoring indicators of climate change on the reef; and
• Greenhouse Friendly providing carbon neutral certification and logo branding.

‘Australia is a recognised world leader in…sustainable benchmarking and certification systems for the tourism industry,’ the Minister states, proposing that to stay on the front foot of the climate change response we need on a macro level to tackle consumer perceptions about climate change, and on a local level to utilise water and energy saving devices, reduce the consumption of resources and manage our environmental impacts.

  TTF Climate Change Summit

Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF) initiated and hosted the National Tourism and Transport Climate Change Summit held on 10 July 2007 in Sydney.

Tony Charters attended the Summit on behalf of Ecotourism Australia.

The Summit brought together high profile speakers in the tourism, transport, aviation and infrastructure sectors to examine and respond to issues such as emissions trading, carbon offsetting and changing consumer behaviour.

Practical solutions were identified to respond to climate change, assisting the industry with its adaptation policies. TTF will submit a submission on the Tourism Action Plan for Climate Change to the Commonwealth Government based on the key outcomes of the Summit.

  Keynote speakers included:
Hon Fran Bailey MP
Minister for Small Business & Tourism
Peter Garrett AM MP
Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Heritage, Arts
Sir Rod Eddington
Executive Chairman, Australia & New Zealand, JPMorgan
Brett Godfrey
Chief Executive, Virgin Blue
Geoffrey Lipman
Special Advisor to the Secretary General,
United Nations World Tourism Organisation

Nick Rowley
Director, Kinesis

“Climate Change, unlike any other issue, has been able to grab the industry’s attention. Climate Change recognises no geographic or destination boundary, market sector or consumer preference. However its impact on individual destinations, sectors and consumer markets will be quite specific. Communities, governments and industry working in co-operation will need to develop responses from the local area level up,” Tony Charters said.





  Prof Ross Dowling takes 2007 Conference Development Award
  Professor Ross Dowling, an Associate of Tony Charters and Associates, won one of the Perth Convention Bureau’s 2007 Conference Development awards on 13 June 2007.

The Perth Airport Tourism and Aviation Scholarship of $10,000 was awarded to develop and promote the Inaugural Global Geotourism Conference, which Prof Dowling is convening in Fremantle in August next year. He plans to use the scholarship for travel both overseas and within Australia to promote the conference.

For further information please visit:




Luxe-Enviro Awards

  The inaugural Luxe-Enviro Awards are aimed at rewarding and promoting companies and products in the luxury market striving towards and achieving environmentally sustainable practices. The awards are an important step in reflecting the keen environmental knowledge and motivation of luxury travellers and consumers. Nominations are encouraged from luxury hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise ships, lifestyle companies and products. Winners will be chosen in September, with winners announced in the spring edition of Luxury Travel Magazine. Nominations close 20 August 2007. Further information:

Tourism Development Opportunity for Karijini National Park


Expressions of Interest are being sought to develop high-quality accommodation facilities on the three-and-a-half hectare site in Karijini National Park under the Western Australian Government's Landbank initiative. This initiative aims to release up to 20 tourism sites by 2010 for developments ranging from luxury resorts to caravan parks and wilderness lodges. Submissions close 8 August 2007. For further information please visit: