Team Australasia

It is understandable that within the competitive marketing world of tourism neither Australia nor New Zealand wants to yield an inch, however with the two countries offering such unique experiences, are they in fact competitors at all?

The notion of Australia forming closer links and marketing co-operatively with New Zealand was first raised in 2008 through the Tourism Futures National Industry Survey with 36 per cent of tourism industry stakeholders supporting the concept.

The following year, the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his New Zealand counterpart John Key entered discussions to undergo joint tourism marketing.


Again in August 2010, the Tourism Futures National Industry Survey found the move was still supported by 34 per cent of industry executives from the Australian side.
There was significant national and trans Tasman media interest in my call for greater Australia/New Zealand co-operation in 2010.

Now in April 2011, Tourism Australia extended an olive branch of its own by offering to share its stand at the ATE in Sydney and meet with officials from Tourism New Zealand seeking potential opportunities to jointly market themselves. This is an excellent move and hopefully the beginning of many more co-operative ventures.

Australia and New Zealand are complementary destinations rather than competitive destinations - Australia can’t do glaciers and Fjord-lands, New Zealand can’t do deserts and outback experiences.  Maori culture is unique, as is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

While we appear to share many common elements – language, lifestyle, food and wine – even those apparent similarities are quite distinctive once you take a closer look.

There are benefits to be gained by working collectively on marketing, quality standards, training standards and relaxation of border controls, as exemplified by the ASEAN co-operation. There they have recognised the global community sees them as Southeast Asia and not ten separate tourism destination nations. They recognise that travellers will naturally seek to move between ASEAN countries to achieve a diverse range of travel experiences. Australia and New Zealand could do much more jointly, targeting high yield travellers from long haul markets to achieve a greater slice of global markets.

Perhaps it is time to confine the traditional rivalries to the sporting arena, as Australia and New Zealand need to be on the same team to optimise their share of international tourists.

The new Tourism and Events Excellence Conference in September will continue to take the pulse of industry sentiment on issues such as this in partnership with Roy Morgan Research. Following on from the Tourism Futures National Industry Survey, the new survey will seek to identify more areas where new approaches to Australia/New Zealand co-operation can be pursued. 

Tony Charters


Virgin Oceanic

Sir Richard Branson has unveiled a new single-person submarine that will be used to set new world records by exploring the five deepest parts of the world's oceans including the Mariana Trench, Puerto Rico Trench, South Sandwich Trench, Diamantina Trench and the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean.

The 14.7 metre long carbon fibre and titanium submarine will be capable of cruising for about 10 kilometres and stay down unaided for 24 hours.

Branson also plans to create a larger submarine that can hold more people and offer trips to tourists for a sizable fee.

Further information: http://www.virginoceanic.com/


Biosphere Connections

In a bid to raise awareness of their latest green initiative the Star Alliance has launched a viral brand campaign called “Biosphere Connections”.

Teaming up with the National Geographic channel the video highlights five environmental projects the Group has supported.

The campaign will utilise print, film, television and social media until June 2011.

Further information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1Du9XaMN5hM#at=50
Pet Yoga and Gym

Pet Flights is expanding its service to offer travellers and the family pets first class treatment with animal friendly flights, passports, meals designed and prepared by specialty chefs, seats next to owners, as well as in-flight entertainment or a play area.

Other forms of entertainment include pet yoga, pet gym and pet cocktails for the more sociable animal.

Further information: http://www.petflights.com/

Airports of Tomorrow

A new report commissioned by Amadeus has revealed changing attitudes and ways to make the modern airport experience less stressful for passengers by 2020.

The Navigating the Airport of Tomorrow report which polled 2,978 travellers reveals that passengers across the world still have significant problems at airports especially when checking-in, collecting and dropping off baggage and passing through security checks.

It also suggests systems and technologies that could improve the overall airport experience for travellers including one-touch check-in, progress tracking, permanent baggage tags and roaming agents with tablet computers.

Further information: http://www.amadeus.com/airlineIT/navigating-the-airport-of-tomorrow/index.html?OADS=29



Holiday Budget Calculator

The Travelex application features a unique holiday budget calculator offering daily exchange rates for 143 foreign currencies as well as suggesting the cost for bare travel essentials including a bed, beer and a burger in all major currencies.

Travelex created the application, the first of its kind by combining the key features of the budget calculator and currency converter allowing customers to the ability to top up a cash passport from anywhere in the world.

Further information: http://www.travelex.com/

Travel Miles

Samsonite has launched the travel miles application - a one-stop location for travellers helping them to track their location, update friends and family and avoid excess baggage charges.

Unique to the market the Travel Miles app is free to download, user friendly and practical.

It also syncs with social media sites enabling users to instantly share travel experiences and photos on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

Further information: http://www.samsonite.com/home/index.html


Call for Leadership and Innovation

Due to popular demand the call for papers for the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference has been extended until COB Monday 16th of May.

Global Eco will be held 7-10 November around Sydney Harbour. The Indigenous Tourism Forum and ASEAN and OCEANIA Forum take place on Monday 7 November at the Australian National Maritime Museum after which the conference will move to Taronga Zoo 8-10 November for the plenary program and Theme Stream Workshops.

Papers are being sought on the following topics:

Visit the conference website for further information and to submit a paper.


International Voluntourism Guidelines

The International Ecotourism Society and Planeterra are collaborating to develop a set of criteria that will help international voluntourism providers plan and manage their programs in a responsible and sustainable manner.

The goal is to outline parameters that will guide both project leaders and travellers alike in managing issues and challenges including project development concerns, impacts on host communities, travellers' skills and experiences and the potentials for positive change.

The project will incorporate a global survey program to be undertaken in May 2011 and stakeholder meeting during the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference in September 2011.

Further information: http://www.ecotourism.org/voluntourism

New7Wonders of Nature

The New7Wonders of Nature campaign is a global search to recognise the seven most wondrous natural sites in the world as voted by the general public.

The Great Barrier Reef and Uluru are on a shortlist of 28 natural sites from around the globe all vying to be named a New7Wonders of Nature.

Public voting will continue until 10 November 2011 with winners announced on 11 November 2011.

Further information:


National Symbol of Tourism Quality

Australia's high quality tourism businesses will now be recognisable by a single national trademark and associated accreditation framework known as the TQUAL (Tourism Quality) mark.

The initiative is part of the National Long Term Tourism Strategy and the Australian Government has committed $5.5 million over four years.

Tourism businesses will have the opportunity to apply for the TQUAL mark through a number of sector accreditation programs such as the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program as a means to show consumers that they are committed to offering quality, reliability, professionalism and good customer service. The Tourism Quality Council of Australia will ensure accredited programs uphold the principles of quality and accountability.

Further information: http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/policy/national_tourism_accreditation_framework/Pages/

National Survey of Tourism & Hospitality Employers

Tourism and hospitality businesses are being invited to participate in a national survey about regional employment and jobs. The survey will map geographical and occupational hot spots to identify the skills needs of tourism and hospitality employers. Deloitte Access Economics has been contracted by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism to undertake the survey that is supported by the Australian Hotels Association, Restaurant and Catering Australia and the Queensland Tourism Industry Council. 

Further information: http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/tmc/workinggrps/labour/haveyoursay/Pages/default.aspx


Airline Customer Satisfaction Report

The latest Roy Morgan Airline Satisfaction Report provides information on satisfaction for domestic and international airlines including a comparison on their overall performance to competitors.

This report includes airline brands such as Air Canada, Air New Zealand, AirAsia X, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar, Malaysia Airlines, Pacific Blue, Qantas, Qantaslink, REX, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Tiger Airways, United, V Australia and Virgin Blue.

Further information: http://www.roymorganonlinestore.com/Browse/Australia/Tourism/Transport/Air-


Drive Market Report

A new report by Solutionz and Mandala Research on the drive market provides travel and tourism organisations with the data they need to better understand the travel behaviour of this increasingly important segment of the US industry.

The study incorporates a consumer report of 1,000 leisure travellers and industry report of nearly 500 travel industry representatives which provides comprehensive information on the planning and booking behaviours for the US drive market including the use of mobile devices and hotel brand preferences.

Further information: http://mandalaresearch.com/index.php/purchase-

Regional Business Events

Tourism Victoria is set to commence a comprehensive review of regional Victoria’s business events industry to help establish benchmarks for the $1 million Regional Victoria Business Events Program.

The study will identify the size and scope of the regional business events sector to provide an overall performance benchmark and assist in attracting new investments and further funding opportunities to bolster the business event market in regional Victoria.

The review will gather business event data from venues and hotel operators. BB Yonder is conducting the review on behalf of Tourism Victoria.

Further information: http://www.bbyonder.com.au/index.html


Rainforest Protection

The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation is offering funding to support student research that enhances the protection of tropical rainforests through better understanding and sustainable practices. Students will be able to access up to $5,000 for PhD and masters projects and up to $2,000 for honours projects.

The funding is aimed at projects with a specific focus on the impacts on flora and fauna, ecosystem recovery, revegetation, protection of rare, threatened and vulnerable species and biodiversity. Since inception the foundation has provided $211,000 to research projects and applications close Monday 9 May 2011.

Further information: http://www.skyrailfoundation.org/

Strategic Tourism Investment

The Federal Government has announced a new feature of the TQUAL Grants program, giving tourism operators the opportunity to revolutionise their products with funding of up to $1 million to be matched dollar for dollar with private sector investment. The Strategic Tourism Investment Grants will provide targeted seed funding for a small number of nationally significant innovative projects aimed at supporting Indigenous tourism, economic development and/or tourism employment.

Further information: http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/tourism_programs/tq/tgrants/stig/Pages/default.aspx


Awards Showcase Travel and Tourism Initiatives

A small beach lodge helping to lift a community out of poverty, a project to regenerate an island’s fragile eco-system, an international hotel company supporting the protection of  orang-utans, turtles and coral reefs, and a national park collaborating with local villagers for wildlife conservation and preservation of  2000 year-old rock art sites, are among the twelve finalists in the 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

The awards, under the Stewardship of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), recognise achievements among businesses and destinations across the full spectrum of the travel and tourism industry.

Highly competitive and a standard bearer in the industry, the Awards are given out in four different categories:

Global Tourism Business


Community Benefit

Destination Stewardship

Once again, winners and finalists will be recognised at WTTC’s annual Global Travel & Tourism Summit, held this year at the sustainably-designed and certified Aria Resort in Las Vegas from 17 – 19 May. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organised in association with Travelport and the Travel Corporation's Conservation Foundation.


The Search for the Authentic Ecolodge

Hitesh Mehta, a Kenyan-born architect and landscape architect, has travelled the world seeking to answer the questions: How do you know if a tourism business is truly sustainable? How can you be certain that an ecolodge is really "eco"? What kinds of criteria should you be looking at?

The result of his search can be found in ‘Authentic Ecolodges’, which presents 36 lodges which Mehta personally visited and evaluated and are among the best according to his criteria.

Order your copy
now or for further information please email us.
Trailer available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRVs7q5hK3c


Tourism Careers Portal

The Federal Government has launched a careers portal for people working in Australia’s tourism industry.

The Discover Tourism project was organised by the National Tourism Alliance to tackle the shortage of skilled workers in Australian tourism and hospitality businesses.

It is a one-stop-shop for career pathways, training opportunities, qualifications required, lifestyle elements with real-life insights and job profiles as well as state and regional content covering the many sectors of the industry. The website is supported by an interactive CD-ROM resource for schools, employment agencies and tourism bodies.

Further information: http://www.discovertourism.com.au/


Promoting Regional Australia: regions and their cities

How do cities and towns of all sizes, network and engage with the regions they serve and give them their identity, are there advantages in growing some of these cities or indeed other towns and regions in a planned way – what will be the impacts, which do we want to encourage, which do we want to mitigate against?

What sorts of regional communities does Australia want, what are their vulnerabilities and how will it assist in their advancement?

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.

All delegates will have the opportunity to hear first hand new ideas - what worked, what didn’t, what next and as always, to discuss their own issues and concerns and share their own successes.

Register your interest to speak or attend at http://www.segra.com.au/

Inaugural ASEAN and OCEANIA Tourism Forum

The inaugural ASEAN and OCEANIA Tourism Forum will take place Monday 7 November at the Australian National Maritime Museum as part of this year’s Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference.

The aim of the forum is to close the bridge between ASEAN and OCEANIAN countries and together develop tourism in this beautiful part of the globe.  Focus will be on achieving co-operation between ASEAN and OCEANIAN destinations without diluting diversity and richness of natural and cultural experiences; community involvement in ecotourism; achieving higher yield through ecotourism; conservation through ecotourism; and quality and certification.

The forum will feature keynote speakers and case study examples including plenty of discussion time for delegates to interact with speakers and take home tangible resources. The call for papers is now open and you are invited to submit an expression of interest to present a case study example during the ASEAN and OCEANIA Tourism Forum. Click here to submit a paper.

The one day forum will conclude with a valuable networking function on board HMAS Vampire, a decommissioned naval destroyer (optional at additional cost). Registration for the day is $660. Contact the Global Eco Secretariat to register your interest or visit the website for more information.

Tourism and Events Excellence Conference

After eight years the Tourism Futures National Conference is taking a break.  The Tourism and Events Excellence Conference offers best case examples and future trends on innovation, leading practices and successful growth strategies within the tourism and events industry.
The conference is targeted at heads of industry and leading operators, event suppliers, marketers, developers, investors, infrastructure providers, policy makers, educators and researchers.

400 delegates are anticipated to meet in for the conference in Melbourne from 5-7 September as part of Victoria’s Tourism Week for a full program of debates, keynote presentations, theme streams and evening networking functions.

A call for papers will be released soon.

To receive further information as it becomes available please contact info@tonycharters.com

Registrations Up for ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012
Following a very successful ATF 2011 which scored highly among the over 2000 attending delegates, ATF 2012 TRAVEX boasts 20 per cent more registrations from exhibitors, buyers and media as compared to the same time last year.

This year 90% of Buyers rated the quality of exhibitors and their business appointments as Excellent or Good, reflecting the effectiveness of ATF TRAVEX as a choice business platform.

The 2012 leisure travel trade event, showcasing the largest contingent of ASEAN destination products and services, have reported sales of more than 100 booths till date. Some 200 buyers and close to 85 media have also submitted their registrations early in order to maximise their chances of getting one of the limited hosted places available.

Further information: http://www.atfindonesia.com/

International Tourism Sustainability Conference

The International Tourism Sustainability Conference will be held in Mauritius from 21 to 24 September 2011. Jointly organized by The University of Technology Mauritius and the University of Bedfordshire’s Institute for Tourism Research the conference will focus on tourism’s influence and role in shaping environmental and social change.

Further information: http://www.utm.ac.mu/sustainabilityconference/