National Geographic Adventures
The National Geographic Society has announced the launch of a new adventure program combining natural wonders with challenge and education.

The carefully designed itineraries will take travel enthusiasts to some of the most remote corners of the globe by incorporating levels from easy, moderate to ultimate challenge. The maximum number of adventurers in one group is 16 to allow more efficient travel, flexibility and comfortable accommodation options.

All tours will be conducted by well-trained experienced guides to make sure travellers get a chance to admire the setting as well as learn about the place of visit.

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Queenstown Mountain Bike Gondolas

An iconic New Zealand tourism operator who has been operating gondolas for more than 40 years has added another attraction to its portfolio in the world-class adventure tourism destination of Queenstown.

The Skyline Queenstown has increased mountain bike access to a range of trails through the Ben Lomond forest via a gondola-assisted bike.

Skyline Enterprises has invested around NZ$450,000 into on-site facilities and a easy-grade 6km trail to enable bikers of all abilities to enjoy the great terrain and stunning views on offer.

In addition, all gondolas have been fitted with specially designed bike racks and have been refurbished.

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The modern era of camping has begun with Parks Victoria Wilderness Retreats offering a new style of outdoor accommodation - glamorous camping in comfort and style.

The Wilderness Retreats are located at some of Victoria’s premier nature based holiday destinations including Wilsons Promontory National Park, Cape Conran Coastal Park and Buchan Caves Reserve. The safari style tents can sleep up to four people and feature everything from polished floorboards to a queen sized bed and high quality white goods and electrical facilities.

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Sydney Entertainment Centre

A proposed new conference and entertainment space in Sydney’s Darling Harbour is being designed as an iconic building with a six-star green rating that will overlook a public recreation area as part of the South Darling Harbour project.

The multi-use hall will have from 6000 to 12,000 seats in conference or concert mode and 9000 seats with 17 corporate boxes in sports mode. There will also be banqueting for up to 4500 guests.

Further information:


Passion to Protect
Passions of Paradise has been training two jobseekers to become dive supervisors while they participate in a project to help eradicate Crown of Thorns Starfish on the Great Barrier Reef.

The jobseekers are part of the Cairns-based Green Army project created by the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators with funding from the State Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative. The project is designed to control infestations of Crown of Thorns Starfish on the Reef as well as provide specialised skills training and work for Cairns jobseekers.

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Walks in Nature

Released last year by Explore Australia and compiled by environmentally friendly design company Viola, Walks in Nature: Melbourne showcases 32 scenic walking tracks located within two hours of Melbourne.

The featured walks vary between 9 and 19 kilometres in length with each card colour-coded according to the season that best suits the environment. Each card also includes a place to eat as part of the trail, as well as other useful notes such as street directory references, track conditions, maps and the level of difficulty.

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Environmental Cruise Initiatives

Holland America Line has a comprehensive approach to managing impacts and reducing its overall carbon footprint in the cruise industry.

The company’s Environmental Management System was certified in 2006 and re-certified in 2009.

It aims to conserve fuel and water, employs the latest technologies for wastewater and oily bilge water treatment, and uses innovative strategies to reduce and manage its solid waste stream. Holland America Line are also an industry leader in exploring new environmental initiatives such as a whale conservation program and using shore power in a growing number of ports.

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Social Air Travel

Danish company Planely is giving air travellers a way to hook up with others who have similar itineraries.

Users need only log into the free service's website or connect via Facebook, and give their flight details.

Planely will then return with information about who else is travelling on the same plane or arriving and departing in the same time frame at the same airports.

From there, users can connect with those who look interesting and make arrangements to meet up.

Further information:


Australian Tourism Accreditation Program
APT wilderness camps and lodges in The Kimberley are now accredited with the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program.

The Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge in Purnululu National Park, Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge on the Mitchell Plateau, and Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge on the Gibb River Rd now carry the program’s distinctive “tick” logo which indicates they meet specific criteria for customer service and business practice.

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Grow a Greener Future

Stamford Hotels and Resorts have raised over $10,000 for Earthwatch as part of their ‘Grow a Greener Future’ program. Launched in 2005, the program is offered to all guests and encourages them to reuse their towels and reduce the linen change if they are staying for two nights or more. Guests who take up this offer receive a $10 credit on their bill and Stamford donates $2 to Earthwatch for each day the option is adopted.

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Hotel Energy Solutions E-Toolkit

The World Tourism Organization and its partners have unveiled an innovative software application for improving energy management.

The Hotel Energy Solutions e-toolkit will provide an interactive forum for hoteliers, energy technology suppliers and destinations to decisively save energy and reduce carbon emissions while increasing competitiveness.

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Hotel Researchers

New research from has found that women are better researchers than men when it comes to booking accommodation. The survey showed one in ten women spend over five hours researching a hotel before going ahead and booking, double the number of men spending the same amount of time researching options.

Conducted among 1,000 Australians, the survey also found that cost, star rating and location were top priorities for Australians when booking a hotel.

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World Travel Trends Report

The 2010-11 ITB World Travel Trends Report is an analysis of trends carried out on the main markets from which tourists originate and the World Travel Monitor regarded as the largest ongoing study of global travel behaviour in some 60 countries.

It is prepared using estimates from travel trade professionals from 30 countries and key findings predict that social networks will have a massive influence on travel and booking behaviour.

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Green Traveller Study

The Green Traveller Study is an in-depth investigation of the expectations, behaviour and views of eco-friendly travellers.

It identified 10 key findings that can help innovative companies implement practices that go beyond green washing. The research conducted by Community Marketing Incorporated found green travellers come in many 'shades' based on motivations and varying degrees of commitment.

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Tourism Quality Projects Grants
The Australian Government is accepting applications for funding for tourism projects that will nurture quality tourism experiences and support Australia’s marketing campaigns.

The TQUAL Grants - Tourism Quality Projects provide funding of between $15,000 and $100,000 to support collaborative community tourism industry development projects that stimulate private sector investment. The grants are open to organisations and consortiums across Australia and are independently assessed on merit. Applications close on 15 April 2011.

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Eco Honours

Congratulations to Prof. Ross Dowling, an Associate of Tony Charters and Associates, who has been recognised in the Australia Day 2011 Honours List by being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the hospitality and tourism industry, education and development of ecotourism.

Ross is a Director of Ecotourism Australia, Chair of the Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco Tourism and Professor at Edith Cowan University.

The Australia Day 2011 Honours List provides national and formal recognition for many Australians across the nation who has made a significant difference to their communities.

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"Ross' award is fantastic news, he has contributed to the development of the global ecotourism industry for over 20 years - he has been there for the long haul and has contributed to policy development and teaching in a very significant way" Tony Charters commented.
WTTC Announces Finalists for 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced the 12 finalists for the 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. Under WTTC’s stewardship since 2003, the prestigious Awards recognise best practice in sustainable tourism in four different categories – Destination Stewardship, Conservation, Community Benefit and Global Tourism Business. Over 160 entries were received this year from over 45 countries.

Tony Charters is a Contributer to the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and was one of an international team of independent judges selecting the 12 finalists in the four award categories for having successfully demonstrated sustainable tourism practices, including the protection of natural and cultural heritage, social and economic benefits to local people, and environmentally friendly operations.

The 2011 Finalists are:
Destination Stewardship Award
Alpine Pearls, Austria -
iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, South Africa -
Nurture Lakeland, UK -

Conservation Award
Frégate Island Private, Seychelles -
Singita Pamushana, Zimbabwe -
The Jane Goodall Institute/Budongo Ecotourism Development Project, Uganda -

Community Benefit Award
Agri Tourism Development Corporation, India -
Guludo Beach Lodge, Mozambique -
Pride 'n Purpose - Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, South Africa -

Global Tourism Business Award
Intrepid Travel, Australia -
Sabre Holdings/Travelocity Global, USA -
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Hong Kong & Global -

Eco Warrior Awards

Launched by Ecotourism Kenya in 2005, the awards honour innovation within the Kenyan tourism industry with the aim of encouraging sustainable tourism that respects the environment, empowers local communities and promotes good business practice. The six winners of the 2010 Eco Warrior Awards were announced during a ceremony held at the Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi on 25th November 2010.

Further information:


Industry Leaders Convene to Keep Regions on the National Agenda
Industry heavy-weights, government policy-makers, academics and regional professionals will convene for a crucial round of talks at the annual Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) conference in Geelong from 25-27 October 2011.

Hosted this year by the City of Greater Geelong, the SEGRA conference is the most highly regarded regional industry forum in Australia and will focus on decentralisation and maximising the strengths of the regions to build a nation of integrated high performing regions.

Delegates will examine a range of new frontiers that will impact future regional development, such as: building regional identity; attracting and retaining investment and capacity; lobbying for regions; ensuring sustainable regions; skills and workforce; and disaster recovery.

For further information please contact the SEGRA secretariat on +61 7 3210 0021 or


Call for Bids Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference 2012-2013

The call for bids to host the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference 2012 and 2013 is closing COB Friday 25th of February. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to submit an expression of interest for Ecotourism Australia’s premier annual conference. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Ecotourism Australia and throughout the years the organisation has gone through some tremendous growth with now close to one thousand members throughout Australia.

2012 represents an exceptional year to host Global Eco as it marks the twentieth conference of Ecotourism Australia – the world’s second oldest ecotourism society (The International Ecotourism Society was established in 1990). Ecotourism Australia’s annual conference has proven to be an invaluable event for stakeholders in sustainability, ecotourism and tourism in protected areas. The Conference has contributed significantly to the further development and sustainability of the industry and is set to continue to do so in future years.

Global Eco takes a whole of industry approach on the industry with protected area managers, the conservation sector, Indigenous management bodies and research organisations all taking an active part alongside tourism organisations. The Conference takes a very strong national and global agenda and seeks out issues emerging for the industry. Additionally the Conference takes an important role in commenting on best practice trends and implementation.

Click here for the Expression of Interest document and lodge your bid to the Global Eco Secretariat by COB Friday 25th of February for your opportunity to host Global Eco 2012 or 2013.  

For more information email

Global Tourism Forum
The Global Tourism Forum 2011 is being organised by the World Tourism Organisation in the Principality of Andorra from 6 to 7 March 2011.

The forum aims to bring together key stakeholders from the travel and tourism sector, opinion leaders, economists and policy makers to share strategic insights and demonstrate the role travel and tourism can play in addressing major global challenges.

Further information:

Local Tourism Conference

The annual LGSA Tourism Conference is being held in Sutherland Shire at the Engadine Community Centre from 9 to 11 March 2011.

The conference will deliver an informative program dealing with many aspects of Local Governments' engagement with tourism including the NSW Ministerial Taskforces on National Parks, planning, investment and education.

The Chairs of these Taskforces will discuss the key findings and recommendations of each area as part of a panel.

Further information:

Global Industry Leaders at No Vacancy

No Vacancy, Australia’s leading accommodation industry conference will be held on 23 March 2011 in Sydney. The conference will have international speakers joining Australian industry leaders to equip delegates with fresh ideas, new strategies and the ability to benchmark against industry leaders.

Further information:

All Eyes on ATF 2012 at Manado, Indonesia

Indonesia will host ATF 2012 in Manado, North Sulawesi from 13 – 15 January 2012, themed ‘ASEAN Tourism for a Global Community of Nations.’

This theme reflects that ASEAN is a single multifaceted destination for the global community of travellers.

Indonesia has been celebrated for its beautiful beaches in Bali, exciting nightlife in Jakarta and the cultural heritage sites of Sumatra.  Now at ATF 2012 Indonesia is keen to introduce to the world the many delights of Manado.

ASEAN Tourism Forum is a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as one tourist destination.  ATF TRAVEX is the longest-running annual ASEAN leisure travel trade event, showcasing the largest contingent of ASEAN sellers.  This annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 ASEAN member nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Further information: