National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference

The Victoria Tourism Industry Council and Tony Charters and Associates have signed a Joint Venture Agreement that will bring the  Tourism and Events Excellence national conference to Melbourne from 5 to 7 September 2011. The annual conference, which will be based in Melbourne, will focus on innovation, leading practices and successful growth strategies within the $15.8 billion tourism and events industry. It is anticipated that the Conference will attract around 400-500 delegates from Australia and New Zealand including operators, marketers, developers, investors, infrastructure providers, policy makers, regulators, educators and researchers.

This is an encouraging announcement for the industry as Tourism Queensland will be discontinuing the popular National Tourism Futures Conference to turn its focus to marketing and industry support in this challenging time for tourism.

Further information: or call Tony Charters and Associates on
+61 7 3012 9575


Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award

The Namibia Communal Conservancy sector website, a joint initiative of Sustainable Travel International and World Wildlife Fund Namibia has received the first ever Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award presented by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International in conjunction with National Geographic Traveller. The website provides travellers with all of the information they need to plan a trip to Namibia’s network of Communal Conservancies including an interactive online map and guide.

Further information:


Facebook Travel Ambassadors

Travelscene American Express is looking to reward their Facebook Fans by making them travel ambassadors to a range of destinations throughout the year. The Travelscene American Express Facebook Fan Trips will see active fans share their travel experience with friends and family about the airlines they fly, the hotels they visit and the experience they have whilst on the Fan Trip.

Future Fan Trips include USA, Fiji, Vietnam, and China. Travelscene and its members currently have over 110 individual Facebook pages with close to 21,000 followers.

Further information:



Green Travel List

Nominations are invited for the 2011 Guardian Green Travel List - a guide to companies worldwide that have shown evidence of commitment to community, place and the environment. The List is organised by in association with The Guardian and Forum for the Future.

The nominations will be shortlisted and sent a questionnaire asking for more details about their green initiative. An expert panel of judges will then select the entries to feature in the Saturday edition of the Guardian newspaper in May 2011.

Nominations close Friday, 25 March 2011.

Further information:


Green Hotels

GreenHotels is a portal and booking engine promoting eco-hotels in Greece. To be included in the GreenHotels network, hotels must have applied and implemented principles of environmental management including reductions in water, waste, energy, and sourcing locally products. Each hotel is given an overall score and classified based on their performance relating to each of these criteria.

Further information:

Accommodation Association of Australia

The Accommodation Association of Australia, a representative body that unites Australia’s accommodation sector has been launched in Sydney.

Membership of the new industry group includes hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, serviced apartments, timeshare, backpacker establishments, apartments and tourist/caravan parks.

The group is also developing a range of policy papers that will give the industry a single vision, voice and focus across all levels of government.

Further information:


PEAK Adventures

Intrepid Travel and TUI Travel have announced the formation of an alliance of independently managed adventure travel specialists.

The PEAK Adventure Travel Group will consist of over 20 businesses with combined revenue of AUD $400 million taking 340,000 passengers to seven continents. Brands included in the venture are Adventure Centre, The Adventure Company, Adventure Tours Australia, Country Walkers, Exodus, Gecko's, Guerba, Headwater, Imaginative Traveller, Intrepid Suntrek, Intrepid Travel, Oz Experience, Peregrine, Pinnacle Tours, Sawadee, TrekAmerica and WesternXposure.

Further information:




Call for Ecotourism Leadership and Innovation

An expression of interest is now open offering the industry an opportunity to present a paper at Ecotourism Australia's 2011 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference.

The Conference will be held from 7-10 November 2011 in Sydney, NSW, Australia and features a variety of Theme Stream Workshops designed around issues such as marketing, strategic partnerships, managing risk, disaster recovery, urban ecotourism and accommodation in national parks.

The Conference will also feature two Specialised Forums on the topics of Indigenous Tourism and ASEAN Ecotourism.

Click here for more information about Theme Stream Workshops or Specialised Forum topics or to submit a paper

Deadline for the call for papers is COB Monday 18 April 2011.



Tourism Growth Fund

The national tourism organisation of Scotland has announced £1 million in funding over the next three years to support businesses find new, innovative and collaborative approaches to improve their tourism product or offering.

The VisitScotland Growth Fund is designed to support Destination Organisations and tourism industry groups develop and deliver new marketing activity that reach target markets and increase visitor numbers.

Further information:


Tour Guiding Training

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta Knowledge for Tour Guides program was developed to ensure that visitors travelling to the World Heritage listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park receive outstanding and authentic interpretation of the parks natural and cultural values.

From 1 April 2011, the training will become a compulsory requirement for all commercial tour operators and guides that work in the park and interpret its values.

The entry-level training and assessment will cover the key areas of visitor safety, understanding the park's natural and cultural values and history, and minimising environmental impact and legal compliance.

Park staff, Anangu traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the tourism industry have been involved in developing the course, which has been endorsed by the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board of Management.

Further information:


HMB Endeavour Circumnavigates Australia

Sail into history with the Australian National Maritime Museum as HMB Endeavour embarks on its circumnavigation of Australia!

On 15 April 2011, the magnificent replica of James Cook's HM Bark Endeavour will undertake an historic 14 month  circumnavigation of Australia. Built as a gift to the Australian people, Endeavour will follow in the wake of early European explorers, visiting major and regional ports right across Australia.

Information about booking a leg of the journey, or about dates she is open to the public in each port, is available at:


Value Accommodation Online in the Scenic Rim Region

Ecotourism product developer, Leisure Solutions® and last minute accommodation website provider,, are pleased to announce a trial of a new service to assist travellers wishing to access great value accommodation in the beautiful Scenic Rim in South East Queensland, located on the doorstep of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Further information:

Whale World

Opened in 1980, Albany's Whale World recently celebrated its 30th anniversary as a unique tourist attraction. There are more than 25 exhibits on offer at Whale World, including Australia's last whale chaser (the Cheynes IV), three whale oil storage tanks which have been transformed into movie theatres and multimedia exhibits, and a very popular theatre tank which shows the world's first 3D whale movie.

Further information:



Love is in the Air

A recent Skyscanner survey has shown 45 per cent of participants have admitted to flirting whilst on board a flight, with 8 per cent of those ending up in a relationship. As more people are travelling by air, it's no surprise that flights have become a place to flirt.

The effects of the consumption of alcohol at high altitude, also gave people the courage to flirt with fellow passengers, especially when travelling on long haul flights together.

Further information:

Apollo Alliance with Hertz
Hertz has announced its expansion into the motorhome holiday market in mainland Australia and New Zealand due to a new partnership with recreational vehicle giant Apollo Motorhome Holidays. Under the alliance, Apollo Motorhome Holidays will provide car rental from select downtown and airport branches ensuring customers have access to Hertz rental cars alongside Apollo's extensive range of campervans and motorhomes.

Apollo is the world's largest privately owned recreational vehicle operator, with a fleet of 3000 plus vehicles across 23 rental branches in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand. Further information:



Green Economy Report

The tourism chapter of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Green Economy Report demonstrates how investing in environmentally-friendly tourism can drive economic growth, lead to poverty reduction and job creation, while improving resource efficiency and minimising environmental degradation.

Produced in partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) the report calls for better access to tools and financing for small and medium-sized tourism enterprises, in particular from governments and international organisations through public-private partnerships.

Further information:

Tourism Industry Potential

Launched in November 2010, the 2020 Tourism Industry Potential sets a strategic approach aimed at doubling overnight expenditure for the Australian tourism industry to as much as $140 billion by 2020.

The 2020 Tourism Industry Potential work is an initiative of Tourism Australia, with assistance from the Department of Resources Energy and Tourism, working across all levels of government and industry.

It aims to improve tourism’s competitiveness and performance by giving a big picture focus for the industry, and in turn grow tourism’s share of global travel market and contribution to the Australian economy.


Further information:

Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism

The Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism is an initiative to connect all public and private tourism stakeholders worldwide interested in working to develop sustainable tourism.

It aims to share knowledge by collecting existing sustainable tourism initiatives so that they can transfer experience and best practices and put them into action.

To date the partnership comprises 18 national governments, five UN organizations, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 17 international and business organizations as well as 16 non- governmental organizations.

Further information:


Australia Associations Project

Research has shown that Australia’s proactive service style is one of the key assets in attracting international association events to Australia.

The study was commissioned in late 2010 by Tourism Australia and Australia’s leading convention bureaux and centres as part of the Australia Associations Project to guide marketing and communications activities to attract more international events and delegates to Australia.

Undertaken by customer research agency TNS, the research targeted a range of domestic and international association, academic and industry leaders who influence decisions about where association congresses are held.

Further information:

Shop Till You Drop

Mandala Research has released an international visitors study conducted in partnership with Macy’s, Shop America Alliance and the US Department of Commerce.

The study of 2,500 respondents was conducted from August to October 2010 found that travellers from Australia, Brazil, China, India, and Korea spend on average USD$3,517 on their trip, with one-third of that spent on shopping.

Further information:


Global Eco Conference Heads to Sydney
The 2011 Global ECO Conference will be held from 7-10 November 2011 in Sydney as a major boost for New South Wales' nature-based and sustainable tourism industry.

Supported by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, Ecotourism Australia expects about 400 conference delegates will have the chance to enjoy Sydney’s Urban ECO tourism experiences.

Through the Global ECO Asia Pacific conference, Ecotourism Australia aims to bring together sectors that have a direct and indirect role in delivering sustainable tourism and ecotourism and therefore provide delegates with an excellent opportunity to examine and debate emerging issues and opportunities, review current best practices and collectively take a forward perspective on the industry.

Further information:

Promoting Regional Australia: regions and their cities

Australia has a highly urbanized population and it is often seen as city centric in its decision making. Regional Australia is relegated to nostalgia and our sense of a bush heritage. It is sobering to note that in 2007 the ABS identified only 18 non capital cities in Australia with populations exceeding 70,000 people; this number reaches 36 if cities over 30,000 are included. The last few years however have seen the bush thrown into a new spotlight. In considering a big Australia and more recently a sustainable Australia, stronger relationships are now being drawn between resource growth and development and the impacts for regional communities; population growth and regionalism; northern Australia and global shipping; food security and land use.

SEGRA has been at the forefront of these issues for well over a decade. Pioneering the links between policy, research, and practice SEGRA offers a unique opportunity to consider these critical issues at macro and micro levels. In plenary sessions, speakers of national standing will be contributing their ideas and expertise around a range of cutting edge national issues: growth management, limits to growth, population dispersal, maritime policy and remote Australia. In the concurrent sessions delegates will be able to choose from over 40 practitioners’ presentations demonstrating locality based responses to the range of challenges regions confront.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of Australia’s premier regional conference. Visit for more information.

ATEC Symposium

The 34th Symposium conference will be held on Hamilton Island in Queensland from 17 to 20 May 2011. The symposium aims to educate and equip industry with the strategies to take advantage of future inbound market growth.

Further information:

Global Travel & Tourism Summit
The 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit will be held in Las Vegas, USA from 17-19 May 2011. The summit will cover government, investment, infrastructure, digital media, business travel, technology and innovation.

Discussions will focus on the potential of travel and tourism to drive economic prosperity, increase employment and help lead nations into recovery around the world.

Further information: