Are we blindly blaming the AUD $ for our troubles?

Is this the easy excuse which saves us all from looking at the fundamentals?

Outbound travel from Australia has been on a constant and rapid growth curve since 2003. We continue to lose Australian holiday makers to the appeals of overseas destinations - but are we blindly blaming the Aussie dollar?

The Australian tourism industry currently captures only sixty one per cent of holiday expenditure by Australians, which is down eight per cent from 2001. Recent studies by Roy Morgan Research show that half of the Australians choosing to holiday overseas are seeking an exotic holiday destination with a bigger variety of things to see and do.

Do we seek to re-capture our appeal to Aussies – or do we just seek to become more appealing to internationals? Does the Australian tourism industry simply need a re-boot or is a serious hardware and software upgrade required?

Be part of this debate at the up and coming Tourism and Events Excellence Conference where leading economist Chris Richardson (Partner, Deloitte Access Economics), consumer researcher expert Michele Levine (CEO, Roy Morgan Research) and retail guru Bernie Brookes (CEO, Myer) will tackle this challenging topic with delegates and propose a way out for the industry.

The TEE Conference will be held on 5-7 September at the MCG, Melbourne.

Click here for full details of the outstanding keynote program.

- Tony Charters


Ancestral Tourism

Tourism authorities in Scotland are hoping to eventually attract up to 800,000 ancestral tourists a year. Fuelling the boom in ancestral tourism are programs like the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? which is inspiring journeys to the old country from as faraway places as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Working together with the country’s hotels and B&Bs are Scotland’s museums, libraries, archivists and tour guides who hope to attract more than 50 million people from around the world claim Scottish heritage.

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


Hotel Recruitment Game

Marriott International is using a Facebook game called My Marriott Hotel to fill 50,000 jobs by the end of this year by attracting people aged between 18 and 27.

Gamers manage a virtual kitchen in a hotel restaurant including buying equipment and ingredients on a budget, hiring and training employees and serving guests.

The game can be played in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Mandarin. Marriott is using the game to showcase career opportunities in hospitality, especially in cultures where the service industry might be less established or prestigious.

Further information: http://www.facebook.com/marriottjobsandcareers?sk=app_214926398541801

Virtual Tourism

Virtual reality may become the norm in tourism, allowing people to escape from the stresses and strains of real-life without having to jump on a plane. A recently launched virtual floating archipelago received more visitors in its first six weeks than the Taj Mahal and London Eye combined. Developed within the fast-growing PlayStation Home virtual world by UK publisher nDreams, ‘Aurora’ gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy digital views, games and even the chance to buy their own floating island.

Further information: http://www.ndreams.co.uk/auroralaunch


Featuring World Tourism Award Winners
Global Eco is proud to announce the participation of two highly acclaimed World Tourism and Travel Council, 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Award winners in the keynote program in November.

Intrepid Travel - business leaders in global tourism

Darrell Wade, is the Co-founder and CEO of Intrepid Travel, recent winners of the 'Global Business Tourism Award' at the World Tourism and Travel Council Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

Intrepid takes over 70,000 travellers to roughly 100 countries worldwide each year, employing close to 1000 staff throughout the world, with offices in 16 countries.

As the company has grown, Darrell and Intrepid's philosophy have stayed the same - to provide fun and affordable travel adventures that are sustainable and beneficial to both travellers and local communities.

In 2006 Darrell completed Climate Project training with the Hon Mr Al Gore. Darrell also heads Intrepid's philanthropic initiative, The Intrepid Foundation, which currently supports over 40 projects for conservation and communities around the globe.

New Generation of Sustainable Tourism Leaders

Amy Carter-James has recently been touted as one of London’s top elite under 30 to watch after receiving a string of awards, including Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Women in Ethical Business, Responsible Tourism Awards, ToDo! Awards and Conde Nast Traveler World Saver Awards.

Amy is fast becoming recognised as an international leader in the field of “responsible tourism”, successfully combining commercial tourism businesses with philanthropy. She has owned, developed and operated a multi-award-winning resort, Guludo Beach Lodge (www.guludo.com) in Mozambique, winner of the Community Benefit Award at the 2011 World Tourism and Travel Council Tourism For Tomorrow Awards. Guludo Beach Lodge has helped to lift tens of thousands of people out of poverty.

Further information: http://www.globaleco.com.au/index.php

Fair Share: Country and City in Australia
SEGRA is proud to announce leading political commentator, Professor Judith Brett will be a headline speaker at this year’s conference in Geelong.

Published this month in the prestigious political journal Quarterly Essay, Professor Brett’s article Fair Share probes the complicated relationship between the country and the city. Despite the three independents wrestling the spotlight back for the regions at the last election, a twenty-first century compact between country and city Australia is yet to be defined.

Professor Brett is professor of politics at La Trobe University and author of two previous Quarterly Essays, along with award winning book Robert Menzies’ Forgotten People. She has also authored Ordinary People’s Politics (with Anthony Moran) and Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: From Alfred Deakin to John Howard.

For more information about the program for this year’s SEGRA visit www.segra.com.au

Oceania Dive and Ecotourism Expo

The Oceania Dive and Ecotourism Expo will be held from 7 to 9 October 2011 at the Brisbane RNA Showgrounds. The consumer and trade show will feature product showcases, media launches and seminars relating to scuba diving, water sports, sustainable and adventure travel, underwater imaging, freediving, spearfishing, and marine conservation.

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

Web Travel Conference 2011

The Web In Travel conference will be held form 18 to 19 October 2011 at the Suntec Convention Centre in Singapore.

The conference will focus on Asia’s booming online travel market and what it means for tourism marketing.

The conference will gather some of Asia’s leading travel experts to shed light on the online behaviour and expectations of travellers.

Further information: http://www.webintravel.com/content.php?c=195&desc=WIT+Conference+2011



Global Yogi

The Global Yogi is a website created in response to the growing trend of yoga teachers travelling the world to providing retreats, workshops and training.

It aims to become the leading business portal and directory for yoga information, events and news.

It is also a virtual home where yoga students, teachers and practitioners share travel related information worldwide.

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

Swiss Spa & Sport

A new brand of spa and sport centres will be rolled out around the world within the Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts international hotel chain. The Pürovel Spa & Sport idea is based on an Alpine-inspired solution for vital treatments and exercise within a modern, contemporary setting.

The centres will reflect Swissôtel’s commitment to natural materials and resources such as stone, wood, water and flowers and are a reminder of the pure nature and invigorating mountain air of the Swiss Alps. The new brand also includes a range of body care products that contain only ingredients from Switzerland.

Further information: http://www.purovel.com/en/index.asp



Virgin Australia is partnering with energy efficient corporations to cultivate an eco-friendly biofuel that is made using eucalyptus trees to gradually replace traditional aviation fuels.

In a world first, the group plans to use innovative fast pyrolysis technology to process the mallee eucalypt tree grown in many parts of Australia.

The partnership brings together companies with special expertise in growing, harvesting and processing feedstock into aviation fuel to support the development of a full-scale commercial plant in Western Australia.

Further information: http://www.virginaustralia.com/AboutUs/Media/NewsandPressReleases/U_029498.html

Mobile Cabs

Vodafone UK is sponsoring a fleet of taxis in London to allowing passengers to pay by SMS when they arrive at their destination.

The cabs are also equipped with dedicated chargers supporting all makes of mobile phones.

Further information: http://mediacentre.vodafone.co.uk


Green Credentials Report

According to the latest Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau Green Credentials Report, Victoria’s leading Business Events suppliers are making improvements in promoting and implementing green policies.

The online audit collated information pertaining to water, waste and energy management, sustainability programs and projects.

The Green Credentials Report was launched in 2008, making it the first ‘green’ audit undertaken by an Australian Convention Bureau.

Further information: http://www.mcvb.com.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=8iRgyJQDsX0%3d



Maori Tourism Online

Maori tourism in New Zealand looks set to benefit from a new initiative designed to support and promote indigenous tourism. Developed by the Poutama Trust, the website will allow Maori tourism operators across the country to register and take bookings from one central website.

The Poutama Trust is a non-profit organisation that has been providing a range of business development services and solutions to Maori businesses for more than two decades.

Further information: http://www.poutama.co.nz/

Indigenous Tourism Champions Program

The Indigenous Tourism Champions Program has received an additional $355,000 to engage international tourism operator Diverse Travel to develop and implement a tailored business skills and mentoring program for Indigenous tourism businesses across Australia.

The initiative provides expert assistance and access to the international tourism market for 10 successful tourism enterprises. Research undertaken by Tourism Australia with the support of the Indigenous Tourism Working Group has shown a significant demand for Indigenous Australian tourism product in the international market.

Further information: http://minister.ret.gov.au/MediaCentre/MediaReleases/Pages/


Sustainable Building Tour

Scandinavian travel operator and Nordic specialist 50 Degrees North has released a new study tour of some of the sustainable dwelling projects in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, as well as experiencing close up the building process of the Ice Hotel. The tour is designed for builders, architects and developers to get a greater understanding of some of the sustainable building techniques used in the Scandinavian countries.

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

Modular Hotels

A new CityHub hotel in Amsterdam will offer self-contained sleep cabins and an active online community aimed at shoppers, culture geeks and socializers.

Instead of standard hotel rooms, the hotel will be filled with two-person modular cabins, a shelf for a suitcase, lighting, windows and a locking door.

Bathrooms will be shared and most services including catering, cleaning and maintenance will be outsourced to minimise costs.

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



Stopover Bangkok Project

The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Mastercard have launched a new campaign in an effort to encourage transit passengers to enjoy a stopover break in Bangkok.

The Stopover Bangkok Project has received support from 122 Bangkok-based service providers including the themes of adventure and excursion, art and culture, beauty and spa, ethics and local tours, fine dining, golf day and night, health and medical, shopping, shows and entertainment, Thai cooking class and transportation.

The campaign is supported by airlines and travel agents, and runs until 31 October 2011.

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

100% New Zealand

Tourism New Zealand has launched a new user-friendly website that divides the country’s activities and experiences based on leisure and business travel.

Using Google Maps, the website allows visitors to virtually explore sections of the country before using the side booking bar to search flight times and accommodation availability.

The new website will also offer first hand information from travel operators including links to relevant sites and sales offers.

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


Green and Clean Hainan

Hainan Island has become one of China’s most important sites of solar energy technology and a low-carbon lifestyle. The island has been actively developing a green economy since the Chinese government put a plan into action to make it an international resort destination. Located on the same latitude as Hawaii, experts have discussed how to promote energy-saving building materials in architecture and the reduction of energy consumption in transportation including the construction of green roads and bicycle lanes.

Further information: www.visithainan.com.au



7 Wonders of Nature Campaign

Tourism Australia has launched a Facebook application in a bid to rally support for the country’s two finalists in global New7Wonder of Nature campaign.

The newly launched Australia’s New7Wonders application invites fans of Tourism Australia’s Facebook page to upload images and stories about Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef and share these with friends and fellow Facebook fans, encouraging them to cast their votes.

Public voting will continue until midnight, 10 November 2011 and the final seven New7Wonders of Nature will be announced on 11 November 2011.

Further information: http://www.new7wonders.com/en

Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge

The Department of Environment and Conservation and Tourism Western Australia are seeking expressions of interest to operate Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge as part of the Naturebank program.

Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge is located within the King Leopold Range in Western Australia's Kimberley region and operates from mid-April to November, catering for up to 27 guests in the homestead plus an additional 20 campsites.

Submissions close 16 August 2011.

Further information: http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/content/view/2274/1669/


Indigenous Recruitment Program

An innovative new recruitment and training program developed by the Mantra Group for indigenous jobseekers will now be implemented across the broader Tropical North Queensland region including Port Douglas, Palm Cove and Cairns. Each jobseeker participating in the program receives a Certificate II in Hospitality and work readiness training, followed by work experience and further coaching. To date, 8 indigenous team members have been retained across a variety of Mantra Group properties.

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



Ulysses Awards for Tourism

Winners of the annual World Tourism Organization Ulysses Awards were recently announced at the Algarve Forum in Portugal.

The awards aim to reward initiatives and projects undertaken by tourism enterprises, and public and non-profit institutions that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of tourism in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Further information: http://unwto.org/en/event/unwto-ulysses-prize-and-awards-2011


Music Tourism

A world first report released by UK Music has scoped the economic contribution of music festivals and major concerts to tourism through access to more than 2.5 million ticketing transactions.

The Destination Music report has found music tourism is attracting up to 7.7 million visitors and injected £1.4 billion into the UK economy last year.

The research undertaken by Bournemouth University’s International Centre for Hospitality and Tourism Research also found that the music sector made up 5 percent of overall inbound travellers and was responsible for contributing up to 18 percent in spending.

Further information: http://www.ukmusic.org/news/post/147-music-tourists-contribute-at-least-864m-a-year-to-the-uk-economy

Are You Being Served Survey

The Tourism and Transport Forum recently partnered with American Express to examine the satisfaction of domestic travellers with the service quality received from Australian travel and hospitality businesses. The online survey of 1,018 respondents aged 18 years or was conducted in February 2011.

The survey entitled ‘Are You Being Served?’ revealed that customer service ranked third overall among factors which influence the choice of travel or hospitality companies, behind value for money and product/service availability.

Further information: http://www.ttf.org.au/Content/servicesurvey0511.aspx