Night Vision Bushwalk

Australian tour company Vision Walks has begun offering after-dark tours using specially designed military-style night vision goggles to view nocturnal wildlife such as possums, pademelons, bandicoots, frogs and glow worms.

The Byron Bay-based company’s Night Vision Bushwalk allows visitors to see in the near-infrared spectrum that's normally invisible to humans during tours of Nightcap National Park.

Further information:



Indigenous Experiences

A new guide on how to sell Indigenous experiences to the domestic market has been produced as a result of research commissioned by Tourism Australia and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

It provides insight into what the domestic market is looking for and guidance on how best to sell Indigenous tourism experiences to Australians. 

Further information:


Green Mountains Ecotourism Opportunity

The Queensland Government is seeking expressions of interest to develop an innovative, semi-permanent and low impact, sustainable nature-based tourism accommodation facility at Green Mountains, Lamington National Park, South East Queensland.

Guidelines and eligibility requirements are available online and must be obtained before making a submission: Applications close 3 December 2010.

For enquiries visit phone Divu Halanaik (07) 3239 3049 or email

Strengthening Ties with Cambodia

Ecotourism Australia has further cemented its relationship with the Cambodian Government, through sourcing funding from AusAID to allow a delegation from the Ministry of Tourism from the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia to attend the Global ECO 2010 conference.  The delegation was led by the Tourism Minister His Excellency Dr Thong Khon, who was a Keynote Speaker on Day 1.

Image from left: Mr Thok Sokhom (Director, Department of International Cooperation and ASEAN); Kym Cheatham (CEO Ecotourism Australia; His Excellency Dr Thong Khon (Cambodian Tourism Minister); His Excellency Mr Tith Chantha (Director-General of Tourism); and Mr Duncan MacKenzie (Chairman Ecotourism Australia & SA Tourism Industry Council) during the signing of the MOU

The visit to Australia, also provided the opportunity for Ecotourism Australia to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia Ministry of Tourism, to formalise the ongoing relationship and further facilitate the development of ecotourism and sustainable tourism certification in Cambodia through support, mentoring and training.  


“Ecotourism Australia, as a leader in ecotourism in the Asia Pacific region, believes the development of such relationships with governments within the region incredibly important” said Kym Cheatham, CEO of Ecotourism Australia.  “It assists us to continue to develop the profile of and champion the best practice ecotourism operators in Australia, as a benchmark for others to aspire to.”


Kimberley Conservation Strategy

The Western Australian Government has announced the formation of the Kimberley Wilderness Parks an interconnected system of marine and terrestrial parks covering an area more than half the size of the state of Tasmania.

Created under the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy it includes $2.7 million to improve nature-based tourism visitor facilities in Kimberley parks and $10 million over four years in partnerships with traditional owners, pastoralists, conservation groups and other land managers.

Further information:




New York-based is a new tool which promises a quick, easy and flexible solution to research travel beyond the boundaries of one website based on three simple variables - budget, timeframe and interests. It searches 22 trusted sites including Expedia, Foursquare, Yelp and Lonely Planet to recommend a trip complete with destination, flight, hotel and activities.

The company is also working on an iPad application as well as concierge packages, restaurant reservations, travel products and event tickets.

Further information:


Globetrooper is a website for adventurous travellers to create trips and invite people from all over the world to join them. Users of the free site can begin by browsing through the user-created trips already listed there, or they can create their own and invite friends, family and even strangers.

Trips listed on the site include ratings for difficulty, culture shock, remoteness and risk. Numerous how-to tips are available on Globetrooper, as is a travel forum for users to exchange thoughts and share details.

Further information:


Pet Hotels

The Sniff Dog Hotel offers high-end accommodation, grooming, training and daycare for canine companions. Features include elevated beds with fleece bedding, multi-hour play sessions and complimentary baths after a four-night stay.

All hotel guests are monitored 24/7, and an indoor play park features dirt-free K9 grass and custom playmate matching based on temperament.

Further information:


Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Virgin Galactic has celebrated the completion of Spaceport America, the first commercial purpose-built space port in Upham, New Mexico.

The spaceport includes a two-mile (3.2-kilometre) long runway capable of supporting every existing type of spacecraft currently in existence.

The USD$200,000-dollar per flight has been popular, with Virgin Galactic taking deposits totalling more than USD$50 million based on plans to be taking passengers into space in nine to 18 months.

Further information:

Ticket Window

Delta Air Lines has become the first airline to allow Facebook users in the U.S. to buy flight tickets. Dubbed ‘Ticket Window’ users can select different search criteria and then view results from within the application including route options, aircraft type, times and inclusive prices. Once a fare is selected the user can enter the usual passenger and payment details to complete the booking.

Delta is also planning on making its airport kiosks more user-friendly and launching a new iPhone app.

Further information:

Green Hire Cars

GreenCar Hawaii aims to give hotel guests of all kinds an alternative to traditional rental cars by reserving one of the company's hybrid electric cars online, by phone or at the hotel kiosk.

The customers get a voucher that in turn is shown to the hotel valet, who brings a car right to the consumer complete with a complimentary fuel card.

Further information:


Booderee National Park wins 'Responsible Tourism' Award

Booderee National Park (on the South Coast of NSW) has won an Internationally acclaimed 'Responsible Tourism' Award.

Announced last week, the win was picked up by BBC world news with significant interest in the success of the Booderee (Wreck Bay community) 'partnership with Government', the growth in Indigenous employment and Indigenous businesses in the Park over the past 15 years and the benefits and respect Wreck Bay community has been able to build up over that time through their involvement in tourism. 

This appears to be the first time an Australian entrant has ever won a Responsible Tourism award in their 7 year history.


Further information on award winners:

Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Entries are now open for the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards that showcase best practice in sustainable tourism across the world in global tourism business, destination stewardship, conservation and community benefit.

Finalists and winners will be featured on an online library of case studies for sustainable tourism as well as receive international media exposure and publicly at the 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit to be held from 17-19 May 2011 in Las Vegas, US. Entries close 10 December 2010.

Tony Charters continues as a Finalist Selection Judge in the 2011 Awards. "I urge operators to consider noinating for this prestigeous international award. There are very real benefits associated with achieving a finalist position in these higlhy credible awards".

Click here to view the judges:

Don’t miss your chance to apply for the Awards!

The deadline for applications is 10 December 2010. For information on how to apply, visit or contact


Sustainable Tourism Program

The first Canadian sustainable tourism program is now being offered online by the University of British Columbia.

Developed by Dr. Rachel Dodds the course is designed to provide anyone working in the tourism industry a deeper understanding of the principles, current issues and specific methodologies for managing tourism sustainably.

Online lectures, videos, case studies, and discussions provide an interactive platform for entry-level personnel as well as seasoned professionals and business owners.

Further information:

Tourism e-kit

Designed to assist tourism operators make the most of online opportunities the Tourism e-kit has exceeded 200,000 downloads.

Operators go through simple tutorials offering the skills and knowledge to build any tourism business.

The e-kit 5.0 is now available with new content and tutorials including writing for the web and inbound links and online advertising opportunities.

Further information:



Sustainable Backpackers

The Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand is the first backpacker hostel network in the world to achieve the Carbon Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) certification.

The association has undergone an independent verification audit that recognises measures to assess their greenhouse gas emissions and introduced policy and practice to significantly reduce these.

The hostel network is now permitted to display the certification mark, recognised in over 50 world economies.

Further information:


Climate Communities Web Portal

Victoria’s Climate Communities web portal provides a one-stop shop for information on how to tackle climate change. The web portal provides large and small businesses with access to a full range of programs and information about energy, carbon and water.
Further information:


Indian Ocean Drive Opens

The Indian Ocean Drive is a scenic drive route between Perth and Cliff Head, just south of Dongara. The new route reduces driving times between tourism icons such as The Pinnacles whilst taking in the beauty of small coastal towns such as Lancelin.

Further information:



Green Credentials Report

Published annually by the Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau the latest Green Credentials Report provides Meeting and Event organisers with a concise collation of environmentally responsible initiatives and policies being undertaken by Melbourne’s leading Business Events suppliers.

Further information:


Beer Lovers Guide to Australia

The Beer Lovers Guide to Australia profiles Australia’s vibrant beer culture and is the perfect way for visitors to learn about and experience the Australian beer industry. Topics covered in the guide include the Australian craft beer revolution, food, the history of beer, tasting beer and an overview of different beer styles.

There is also a location guide that lists Australia's most passionate beer venues state by state. The guide is available at select breweries, bars and bookstores with a companion iPhone app to be released shortly.

Further information:


Volcano and Geothermal Tourism

The first global review on volcano tourism has been released by Earthscan.

Edited by Patricia Erfurt-Cooper & Malcolm Cooper the publication is a collective work by 21 contributors, specializing in specific volcanic destinations and ranging from volcanologists, geologists, environmental scientists, photographers, tour operators, academics and consultants.

Further information:


Global Eco in Review

Ecotourism Australia's premier annual conference, Global Eco, recently took place in the stunning setting of Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, adjoining the lush canopies of Noosa National Park.

Global Eco brought together around 300 leading players from across the globe to examine best practice across sustainability, ecotourism, tourism in protected areas and climate change response.

The conference provided delegates with an excellent opportunity to examine and debate critical new research and policy, issues and emerging opportunities influencing the industry and its further development and sustainability.

The four day program was packed with leading tourism professionals from all over the globe sharing their knowledge and experience with the industry. Most of the keynote speakers attend the full conference giving delegates the maximum benefit of their world leading experience. The final day of the conference concluded with the Indigenous Tourism Forum which in true style featured music and plenty of interactive discussions.

Global Eco offered memorable networking functions in a beautiful natural environments a highlight being the Gala Dinner Awards Night under the stars and tree canopies of the Eumundi Markets. View the delegate list and find Global Eco on facebook for pictures and continue the networking.

Until the Sydney conference next year,
Tony Charters - Convenor

Visit global eco on facebook
Delegate list now available


Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference

The Pacific Asia Travel Association's Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference will be held in Pokhara, Nepal from 7-11 February 2011.

The four-day event will bring together people involved in adventure travel and responsible tourism to discuss creating new opportunities for promoting environmental protection and social sustainability within the industry.

Further information:



Ecotourism Development in Bhutan

The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water is in search of a volunteer to undertake a project in Bhutan. 

Images Courtesy Dan Nicholls

The project involves developing framework/guidelines for ecotourism development in the protected areas in Bhutan. The closing date for applicants is 20 November 2010.

For further information please download the Terms of Reference or contact Mr. Karma Tshering