Accessible Museum

The National Sports Museum in Melbourne has developed the first onsite access for deaf and hearing-impaired Australians through sign language and caption services.

The Smart Auslan technology has been developed by the not-for-profit Australian Communication Exchange in partnership with the museum.

The service allows deaf and hearing-impaired Australians to gain access to information provided by audio tours through an Android smartphone device.

Further information:


Sleep Centre

Travelodge Hotels has announced a new partnership with the Sleep Health Foundation to raise awareness amongst guests about the importance of a good night’s sleep.

The Good Sleep Guide provides informative information and tips via the Sleep Centre on the Travelodge website, e-newsletters, Twitter and Facebook.

The Sleep Health Foundation is a national, community based and charitable organisation raising awareness about the impacts of sleep disorders and poor sleep patterns.

Further information:


Australian vs ASEAN/OCEANIA: Stocktake at Global Eco 2011

Global Eco 2011 sees the introduction of the ASEAN and OCEANIA Tourism Forum on the opening day of the conference, Monday 7 November. This forum features ASEAN and Asia-Pacific ecotourism and will examine issues such as: achieving co-operation between ASEAN 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. Applied case studies will be used to exemplify ecotourism excellence with the ASEAN region.

Ecotourism in ASEAN countries is emerging at an immense rate. The importance of sustainability and the potential of ecotourism to contribute to a sustainable economy are gaining significant momentum. However there is a fine balance to be achieved between development and sustainability and authenticity.

There is a desire to link with all ASEAN countries in the betterment of ecotourism in this amazingly diverse and rich region. This forum will focus ways to achieve a competitive edge whilst preserving nature and people’s lifestyles and communities.

Global Eco 2011 will be held around Sydney Harbour at both the Australian National Maritime Museum and Sydney's famous Taronga Zoo.

For further information on the conference program please visit

Internationally Renowned Keynotes Define Excellence Within our Industry
Industry leaders gather at the National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference, 5 to 7 September 2011 in Melbourne, to examine excellence at all levels of the industry:

Australian Government Tourism Policy
Senator The Hon. Nick Sherry has been Minister Assisting Tourism, Minister for Small Business, Minister Assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation since September 2010.
The New Future of Excellence
Daniel Levine, Executive Director of New York based Avant-Guide Institute, is an international trend hunter and author of over 20 bestselling travel books.

Nick has an extensive record of participation in Senate Committees and as an economic Minister during the Global Financial Crisis he oversighted important elements of the financial system.

Daniel is the leader of an international team who endlessly scour the globe chronicling the latest ideas, trends, and experiences in tourism to assist organisation in understanding trends in contemporary culture that will effect their growth and prosperity.

Major Events Enhancing Destinations
With over 16 years experience in events, Shani Wood (Director, SW Events) has produced, directed and managed some of Australia's most spectacular events. Highlights include Red Bull Air Race, Rally Australia and Sydney's Australia Day Celebrations.
Acclaimed Producer for Andrew Lloyd Webber
Tim McFarlane, Managing Director of The Really Useful Company has produced productions of Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and many more throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
In 2009 Shani was awarded the Australian Event Manager of the Year.
Tim was appointed Director of Opera Australia in 2006 and was a trustee of the Sydney Opera House from 1997 to 2005.

For more information on the conference program please visit
Spotlight on Regional Australia

As a new initiative for 2011 seven “Spotlight” sessions have been added to each day of the SEGRA Program.  Between morning tea and lunch delegates will be able to choose from the four spotlight sessions with the opportunity to explore the themed issue in more depth.

Each Spotlight Sessions will feature a number of headline speakers in a discussion format. Spotlight sessions will have limited numbers of participants thereby providing delegates with a much greater opportunity to engage with experts on the latest thinking; to identify common ground and discuss areas of differentiation.  The insights from each Spotlight, including in particular ‘best ideas’, will be incorporated in the post conference communiqué.

    Spotlights include:
    • Decentralisation in Action
    • Lobbying for Regional, Rural and Remote Australia - getting organised
    • Economic Growth after Extreme Weather Events
    • Building Regional SME's - from the spare bedroom to the boardroom
    • Delivering Services in Regions – overcoming issues of scale and distance
    • A Matter of Difference - opportunities and challenges for large, small and remote regional economic development organisations
    • Access to Finance in Regional Areas - models for developing an investor network
    • Future Proofing Regions

For further information on the conference program please visit


Cruise Down Under Conference

The Cruise Down Under Conference will be held from 24 to 26 August 2011 in Newcastle and will provide an insight into current industry trends and discuss cruise issues on an international, domestic and regional level.

The conference program includes a range of plenary sessions, workshops and industry gatherings discussing the development of regional ports, shore excursion programs, pre and post cruise opportunities, infrastructure and economic benefits.

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 began its historic 14 month circumnavigation of Australia. Built as a gift to the Australian people, Endeavour follows 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:

Political Tourism

A UK firm is offering group tours and tailor-made itineraries to destinations around the globe which are well featured in the political environment including Ireland, Turkey, Georgia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo and Ethiopia.

Political Tours was created by former New York Times Balkans Correspondent, Nicholas Wood with the aim of giving people practical and first-hand insight into some of the most critical regions in the world.

Itineraries are created with the help of leading analysts and correspondents, with tours led by political experts.

Further information:



Snow Australia

Nine of Australia’s leading ski resort operators have joined forces in a national marketing campaign to promote the NSW and Victorian snowfields.

The Snow Australia campaign will target families and young people to persuade them to holiday in the snow rather than look to overseas.

The user friendly website provides expert guides on renting equipment, learning to ski or snowboard, accommodation options and the best après entertainment on offer at Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass, Selwyn Snowfields, Falls Creek, Mount Hotham, Mount Buller, Mount Baw Baw and Lake Mountain.

Further information:


Scan and Sniff Screening

The International Air Transport Association has displayed for the first time a mock-up of a three-channel passenger screening system that could take a fraction of the time of a usual security check.

The scan and sniff system could filter passengers using advanced X-ray, shoe scanning, full-body screening, liquid detection and electronic sniffing for traces of explosives. Customs and immigration could also be combined at the same screening station, curbing queues and increasing time for that all-important pre-flight browsing or duty-free shopping.

Further information:


Australian High-Speed Train

Australian firm Hassell has unveiled designs concepts for a bullet train it calls the Australian High Speed Vehicle or A-HSV. The high speed train is a low carbon, safe mode of travel between Australian capital and regional cities.

The design was partly inspired by the iconic Australian 1960s Holden Monaro. A trip from Melbourne to Sydney is proposed to take under three hours base on speeds of up to 400 kilometres per hour.

The double-decker train would also offer a sophisticated, spacious and modern open-plan look with dining facilities, convenience store and private booths for business meetings.

Further information:


Aboriginal Tourism Strategy

Tourism Western Australian and the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council have released an Aboriginal Tourism Strategy for Western Australia.

The strategy will play a key role in providing opportunities for the continued development of Aboriginal tourism and position it as an iconic experience in Western Australia. Consultation was undertaken with Aboriginal and mainstream tourism operators, industry groups, government and non-government organizations.

A steering committee will be responsible for developing an implementation plan and overseeing the achievement of the actions identified in the strategy.

Further information:
Plans%20and%20Strategies/Making%20a%20Difference%20final% 20web%20version.pdf

Indigenous Tourism Champions Program

The Indigenous Tourism Champions Program is a joint initiative between Tourism Australia and Indigenous Business Australia that provides select Indigenous tourism operators with the opportunity to be represented and profiled amongst global tourism networks.

Since its launch in 2010, the program has developed a further membership stream for Associate Members who provide authentic Indigenous experiences delivered by Indigenous people but are not necessarily wholly Indigenous owned.

The new membership level enables operators who qualify to attend national and international tourism trade shows, expand their networks and forge industry partnerships that can lead to further opportunities.

Further information:


AAA Rated Accreditation

STAR rated hotels, motels and caravan parks are amongst the seven thousand Australian accommodation businesses, which will now be able to carry the Australian national symbol of tourism quality. AAA Tourism’s STAR Ratings Scheme is the third program to be approved for TQUAL accreditation by the Tourism Quality Council of Australia.

The new national symbol of quality is backed by the marketing power of Tourism Australia to assist accredited tourism operators stand out in a crowded market-place and show consumers they are delivering on their promise of quality, reliability and professionalism.

Further information:


Responsible Camping

Planned new legislation covering freedom camping will help in providing responsible camping practices to both New Zealanders and international visitors.

The New Zealand Freedom Camping Forum has been working closely with local government to develop these laws, which will help councils to better manage freedom camping in their areas.

Since 2007, the Forum has worked to educate freedom campers about camping behaviour in New Zealand including campaigns which encourage campers to stay at holiday parks, Department of Conservation camp sites or other designated camping areas.

Further information:

Little Penguin Volunteer Program

Phillip Island Nature Parks, Australia’s leading not-for-profit ecotourism organization is offering individuals, families and groups the opportunity to work beside rangers and researchers as they undertake environmental work to protect and preserve the unique flora and fauna on Phillip Island.

The unique volunteer program provides an opportunity for those with a particular interest in ecotourism who want to do something that will have a lasting positive impact on the environment. The type of volunteer work varies depending on the time of year, but includes rehabilitation and revegetation work to preserve native plants and biodiversity, planting Indigenous species, seed collection and propagation, vermin control, bird protection and Koala conservation.

Further information:



Strategic Plan for China

A new 10-year strategic plan targeting China’s tourism potential was unveiled at the inaugural Australia-China Tourism Summit in Cairns.

The China 2020 Strategic Plan developed by Tourism Australia in consultation with industry and government stakeholders, aims to ensure Australian tourism remains competitive in the fast growing market for outbound travel from China.

Further information:

Flood Proofing

The State Emergency Service of Victoria has developed an online tool for businesses to develop flood emergency plans. Tourism Victoria has prepared the Open for Business crisis management resource to provide clear and decisive advice and information to help tourism businesses prepare, respond and recover from crisis events such as floods.

Further information:


Facebook Travel Tool

TravelPromoter is a new free Facebook application uniquely designed to allow travel companies to publish their brochures in a search and browse format within Facebook, the world’s most prolific social network. Users can browse details of each travel product, share comments and reviews with their friends, view pictures and videos, like, and even book holidays.

Many travel companies have established their presence on Facebook, but have so far lacked the tools to make the world’s largest social network an efficient and viral marketing channel.

Further information:

Travel Tweets

ZUJI Australia has announced a partnership with social media giant Twitter, making them the first Australian travel group to utilise Twitter's new sponsored tweet functionality.

The partnership will not only help the company build on their rapidly growing social media presence, but also allow them to interact more candidly with their existing and potential customers.

Utilising Twitter’s new functionality, tweets will provide travellers with insider trip information, hot tips and the latest flight, holiday and hotel deals. Further information:!/ZujiAustralia



Sustainable Sunshine

Business Events Sunshine Coast (within Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd) has secured funding from Tourism Queensland for the local business events sector.

The Sustainable Regions program aims to position the Sunshine Coast as a sustainable business events destination by providing an opportunity for businesses to assess their commitment to sustainable practices and implement initiatives that will help to reduce their environmental footprint. This program is available to fifteen local business events operators on the Sunshine Coast who are active in the business events sector.

Further information:


Global Tourism Business Award

Intrepid Travel has been awarded the Global Tourism Business Award at the annual Tourism for Tomorrow Awards run by the World Travel and Tourism Council. The awards recognise leading travel organisations that demonstrate best practice sustainable tourism in their philosophy, strategy and operations.

Intrepid Travel was recognised for the depth of its sustainability practices that span its entire operations, from fair trade sourcing of its supply chain to its environmentally friendly practices and the non-profit Intrepid Foundation. All winners undergo a rigorous four-step judging process by an international team of 22 independent judges which includes an on-site inspection and local meetings with project stakeholders.

Further information:


Drive Tourism Domestic Travel Brakes

A new report by Roy Morgan Research, Tourism Trends - A Decade in Review has found that driving holidays are a dying fad with Australia's youth choosing to save money for holidays overseas over domestic weekend getaways.

According to the survey of up to 50,000 Australians, domestic tourism is suffering as the number Aussies under 30 years old choosing to boycott the weekend road trip to destinations such as Hunter Valley and the Great Ocean Road for overseas destinations such as New Zealand, Bali and Thailand.

Further information: