Eco-Accommodation in National Parks

The Northern Territory government recently contracted Tony Charters and Associates to draft a set of policies and processes for selecting sites in protected areas that may be suitable for accommodation opportunities. The project also involved developing policies and processes for attracting potential private investment and assessing accommodation proposals against a range of triple bottom line criteria.

This project aligns with Tourism Northern Territory's Signature Lodge initiative, recognising that visitors to the Northern Territory are increasingly looking for accommodation styles which differentiate the Northern Territory experience from the rest of Australia.

For further information on the Tony Charters and Associates consultancy projects, please visit:

Global Heritage Network

The Global Heritage Fund has recently launched the Global Heritage Network (GHN) an online platform utilising Google Earth and high-resolution satellite imagery that features 500 major archaeological and heritage sites from around the world.

It is intended that the GHN will be used as a tool in the preservation by showcasing the challenges, success stories and innovative solutions being used to save these heritage sites.

Further information:


Bid for Your Bed

The latest booking engine to hit the Australian market is providing consumers with direct access to hotels to secure accommodation at their chosen negotiated price.

The bid for your bed concept gives consumers an upper hand when it comes to what they are willing to pay for their chosen hotel after being shown the regular online rate, and accepts any bids, with no minimum offer level pre-set.

The product also allows bids for rooms up to 18 months in advance, and is used by retail and corporate agents as a way to buy in bulk.

Further information:


Ski Slope Hotel

The North Slope Ski Hotel is a conceptual design proposal for an eco-friendly luxury hotel powered primarily by the wind and by the sun.

In addition to the wind turbines and solar cells used to supply most of the electrical needs the hotel incorporates a four hundred foot ski slope designed to collect summer rain and winter snow in large storage containers buried at the base of the slope for use in and around the hotel.

The design concept came from a symbolic image of a large snow covered mountain with a small grove of trees at its peak.

Further information:


Bike-Friendly Airports

Portland International Airport has set up a bike assembly station for consumers and employees riding to and from the airport before and after flights.

Travel Oregon and the Port of Portland have also made basic bike tools available for cyclists to borrow including a pedal wrench, air pump and also literature about bicycling resources in the region.

Further information:
Experience Pays in Transport and Logistics

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads recently contracted Tony Charters and Associates to prepare the basis for an Infoguide for businesses in the transport and logistics sector aimed at increasing employer awareness of the benefits of attracting and retaining mature age workers.

A checklist template was provided as tool for assessing how age-friendly and attractive current workplace and employment policies and procedures were to older workers.

It also facilitated the identification of areas that could be improved and provided a range of practical actions that could be implemented.

For further information on the Tony Charters and Associates consultancy projects, please visit:


Travel Relief Charity Program

A division of Expedia has launched a new website where at least 8% of the hotel booking price will be donated to participating charitable organisations.

The Travel Relief program is designed to provide non-profits with a way to convert moral support into funds that can help make a real difference to their cause.

Charity supporters and frequent travellers can book over 50,000 hotels worldwide at highly competitive rates while supporting a charity at the same time.

Further information:


Green Kangaroo
The Kangaroo Valley Tourist Association is using a Green Kangaroo symbol to indicate the tourist operators who are participating in the 'Becoming Carbon Neutral' program. Members have audited their CO2 footprint to reduce energy use and offset greenhouse gases.

Kangaroo Valley was the first plastic bag free town in mainland Australia and have been introducing eco-responsible practices including projects to preserve the natural environment and historic structures.

Visitors can also make a donation at the Tourist Information Centre toward planting native trees in an audited conservation zone run by Conservation Volunteers Australia.

Further information:


Save the Beach Hotel

To draw more attention to efforts aimed at saving beaches in Europe, the Save the Beach challenge this year built a hotel from garbage collected off Europe's beaches.

Created by German artist HA Schult and installed next to Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, the Save the Beach Hotel was open from 3 to 6 June 2010.

Over 12 tons of garbage (more than a million pieces) was used to build the two-story structure, which could accommodate up to 10 people.

The Save the Beach effort aims to recover at least one European beach per year from destruction by pollution and other human-caused damage.

Further information:


Anti-Jet-Lag Diet

A new iPhone application developed under an exclusive license from the US Department of Energy to help travellers beat jet lag.

The application is based on the famous Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag Diet based on research conducted by Argonne biologists.

The diet maintains healthy cellular rhythms by using natural time cues to combat jet lag symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, indigestion and general disorientation.


Further information:


New Coral Reef Exhibit

The Aquarium of Western Australia newest exhibit is now open and contains 450,000 litres of seawater, 130 tonnes of rocks, sand and cement.

The Coral Reef exhibit is one of the largest in the world and represents the coastline near Perth including Marmion Marine Park past Rottnest and the 4000 metre-deep Perth Canyon.

Further information:


Indigenous Tourism in Australia

Tourism Research Australia has released a new report assessing domestic demand for indigenous tourism in Australia.

The research shows that over two million Australians participated in Indigenous tourism activities in 2009, staying 16 million nights and contributing $3 billion to the economy.

The report further reveals that Australians in particular feel Indigenous tourism product and activities are aimed at the international market and not a primary motive for domestic travel.

Further information:


Facebook Booking Application

The Great Hotels Organisation has launched a booking application allowing hotels to offer a direct booking functionality through social media platform Facebook.

The application creates a convergence of hotel loyalty and social media for the independent hotel industry.

It allows hoteliers to access booking engines via their Facebook fan page where customers can check rates, access promotions and book at discounted prices.

Further information:


Tourism Career and Training Resources
Western Australia's new training council for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry has a new website which provides a range of information, resources and links for industry on registered training organisations, schools and prospective career seekers.


Sustainable Tourism Website
The World Travel and Tourism Council have launched a new website which features more than 20 case studies from destinations, accommodation, tour operators and online travel intermediaries from around the world.

The best practice gateway allows users to search for information on the travel and tourism industry’s leading role in sustainability by company, sector or area of interest.

Further information:


Authentic Ecolodges

Authored by Hitesh Mehta one of the world’s leaders in sustainable landscapes and Associate of Tony Charters and Associates, the new publication “Authentic Ecolodges” has been a 7-year odyssey through 46 countries in six continents.

Printed on environmentally friendly FSC certified paper the book is a reference guide for anyone interested in the future of tourism facilities, sustainable architecture, adventure, health and wellbeing.

The book also introduces the first ever International Ecolodge Rating System and will officially be launched on 5 November 2010.

Purchase your copy of Authentic Ecolodges in advance.

Further information:
Marketing Guide

The Big Marketing Guide is an introductory guide to domestic and international tourism marketing. The guide will help tourism operators better promote their businesses and includes practical tips on topics such as domestic and international marketing, media, public relations and branding.

It is available as a series of downloadable PDFs.

Further information:


Business Events Venue Project

The Federal Tourism Minister has announced funding for the Tourism and Transport Forum to develop tailored software to track business events performance across the country.

The Business Events Venue Performance tracking system will collect and aggregate data on business events and delegates to enable participating venues to assess their performance against a competitive set or the entire industry.

The funding will also be used to roll out the system nationally to venues that host business events particularly hotels, attractions, cultural institutions and convention/conference facilities.

Further information:



PATA Award Winners

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced the winners of the 2010 Gold and Grand Awards sponsored by the Macau Government tourist office.

The awards recognise the achievements of organisations and individuals in the categories of Marketing, Education and Training, Environment, and Heritage.

The awards ceremony will take place on 17 September 2010 during PATA Travel Mart at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Macau.

Further information:



Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, now in their sixth year under the World Travel and Tourism Council's stewardship, are aimed at recognising best practice in sustainable tourism within the Travel & Tourism industry worldwide. Tony Charters and Associates is again joining with the Tourism For Tomorrow Awards as a Partner in 2011.

Tony Charters will be included on an independent panel of judges of some of the world’s most authoritative experts on sustainable development, and a stringent application process involving on-site verification visits by these experts has earned the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards enormous respect among key audiences – the industry, governments and the international media.

Further information:


Queensland Tourism Award Winner Feature
2009 saw a complete revitalisation of The Discovery Group business structure in order to ensure its on-going sustainability. New business systems and procedures were implemented , introducing two new twenty seater Mitsubishi 4WD vehicles affectionately known as “The Warrior” and “Xena”, three new touring packages and also a totally revamped website – all this through a global economic downturn, a cyclone, an oil spill and two 1-in-100 year floods.

Not even a bush-fire, cyclone or flood could dampen the excitement shared by Noosa based eco-tourism
operator The Discovery Group who took out “Tour Operator of the Year” at last year’s Queensland Tourism

The company’s passion for the Noosa Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Listed Fraser Island, coupled
with a strong desire to showcase the very best of the region’s natural and cultural assets to visitors from
around the world has paved the way to their resounding success.

Further information:



Regions Delivering a Big Australia

Regional Australia is front and centre of the national agenda.  Debates about population, migration, growth management sustainability and interregional capital transfers appear daily in the media. 

The nation is demanding a real analysis and debate about regional outcomes and the national outlook - how they interact, inform and shape each other.

At the fourteenth national SEGRA 2010 conference being conducted in Townsville from 19-21 October, this will take centre stage. Keynote presentations, discussion forums and Q and A across these and other issues pertinent to sustainable economic growth in regional Australia will be the focus of the event.

Opening Keynote Speakers

The Hon. Anna Bligh MP, Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Arts
Growth Management in Queensland

Mark Cully, Chief Economist, Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
 The Contribution Migration Makes to Regional Australia

Assoc Prof Paul McLeod, Business School, University of Western Australia 
Capital Flows In and Out of Regions

Dr Graham Turner, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO,
Global and National Sustainability Challenges: how bigh should Australia be?

Further information:


Global Eco Program Brochure Released

Ecotourism is no longer a niche market. Estimated to now represent 25% of the industry, ecotourism focuses on experiences and sustainability like no other industry sector.Ecotourism Australia's Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference is a vital meeting for operators policymakers and supplies to the industry.  

The conference has recently released an online brochure outlining the highlights of the conference program for 25-28 October 2010.

View the conference brochure

The Keynote Program, presented over three days, features a host of Australian and international ecotourism experts delivering a variety of valuable perspectives on the current state-of-play for the ecotourism sector.

A full day of Theme Stream Workshops allows for in-depth coverage of current issues and maximum opportunity for discussion and debate. Topics covered will include Sustainability and Climate Change; Interpretation; Tourism in Protected Areas; Strategic Partnerships and Marketing. 

Indigenous Tourism will be on the agenda, with a full-day Forum dedicated to successful case studies and discussions on future growth.

Also a highlight, Global Eco features a selection of outstanding pre-conference field trips and an exceptional networking program enabling maximum opportunity for building lasting relationships with industry colleagues.

For more information about Global Eco 2010 please visit

Health and Wellness Travel Conference

The 2nd Australian Health and Wellness Travel Conference to be held at the Sofitel Broadbeach on the Gold Coast on 23rd September 2010. Sponsored by Gold Coast City Council and Gold Coast Tourism the conference is designed to educate stakeholders, as well as connect and increase collaboration between the tourism, health and wellness sectors. The program will include case studies, global trends and advice on how to package, promote and distribute health and wellness experiences.

Further information:


Communiqué Release

In conclusion of the Tourism Futures 2010, this year attended by 350 tourism industry leaders from government and the private sector, the conference provided a platform to closely examine the latest industry trends, innovative industry learning’s, online developments and research within the Australian tourism industry.

The key future projections of the Eighth National Conference on Tourism Futures have been summarised and collated into two communiqué reports; 

The industry as a whole can benefit from a mutual understanding and holistic approach and we encourage you to view these documents and distribute them to your colleagues.

Tourism Futures Communiqués proudly sponsored by

Savannah Symposium

Northern Australian community leaders, service providers and visionaries will be exploring the theme of “Doing Sustainable Business in the Bush” at the Savannah Symposium in Townsville from 1-2 November 2010. Community, water, conservation and tourism will be the four themes discussed at the symposium.

Further information:

Australian Tourism Directions Conference

Tourism Australia and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism have announced the inaugural Australian Tourism Directions conference to be launched in Canberra on 16 November 2010. A product of the National Long Term Tourism Strategy the conference is designed to provide the latest insights on tourism development and megatrends, as well as report on the current state of the industry including future directions for growth and the latest research. Further information: