Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement

In mid October Tony Charters spoke at a pivotal meeting to discuss opportunities that could flow from the cessation of hardwood logging over up to 500,000ha of Tasmanian forests.

Speakers included Federal Minister Tony Burke, Deputy Premier Bryan Green and Greens Leader Nick McKim (download media release).

Tony Charters, with significant experience from the cessation of logging in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and Fraser Island World Heritage Area while upbeat about the opportunities, sounded a warning to the group.

"To meet achieve Tasmania's great potential for ecotourism (and jobs) in these forests significant and ongoing investment in infrastructure, industry development and local community involvement will be required over 15-20 years."

A copy of Tony's address is available for download here

SkyPoint Climb

Dreamworld theme park owner Ardent Leisure is constructing Australia's highest external building walk, reaching 270 metres into the sky on top of the Gold Coast's iconic Q1 skyscraper. The SkyPoint Climb will take thrill-seekers on a 90-minute journey from the 78th level along 240 stairs around the perimeter of the glass crown and crow's nest located at the base of the building's spire. Plans were approved by the Gold Coast City Council last year and the stairway is due to be completed in December.

Further information:http://www.skypoint.com.au/Visitor-Information/SkyPoint-Climb-Australia.aspx

Avatar Theme Park
Walt Disney has struck a deal with James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to develop a new theme park inspired by the blockbuster film Avatar. Construction of the new park is expected to cost up to US$400 million and will be located within the Animal Kingdom area of Walt Disney World in Florida. Fans will be able to explore Pandora with 3D and holographic projection technology incorporated into the park as well as meet characters from the original movie as well as characters from the second and third sequels

Fans of Irish Tourism

Discover Ireland has become the third biggest country on Facebook, with more than half a million fans behind Britain and Australia. Tourism Ireland’s Facebook fanbase had grown sixfold over the last year due to initiatives such as the launch of Ireland Town, a Farmville-style game which has attracted 213,000 players and generated more than half a million shared items including virtual postcards.

Further information:http://www.facebook.com/DiscoverIreland



Global Eco Conference - 1 week to go!

Ecotourism Australia’s 19th Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be held from 7 to 10 November in Sydney, NSW. Supported by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service the conference program will include the Indigenous Tourism Forum as well as new additions the ASEAN and OCEANIA Tourism Forum. There will also be a special feature on international case studies from Budongo Eco Lodge (Uganda), World Expeditions (Nepal), Metropolitan Touring (Equador), Thin Cats Thinking (UK), Asia Tourism Relations (China), Borneo Eco Tours (Malaysia) and WildChina (USA).

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

SEGRA 2011 wraps up in Geelong

The SEGRA National Steering Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in SEGRA 2011. Over 230 people attended the four day conference held in Geelong, Victoria last week. The program was strong and showcased critical issues and solutions for regions and its cities. Delegates will shortly receive the link to the Conference Proceedings and this includes the Communiqué which contains the key issues that were discussed and addressed at SEGRA 2011. If you would like to receive this link, please feel free to contact us at info@segra.com.au

Central Coast NSW has been announced as the host region for SEGRA 2012. Watch this space as more details will follow.

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

Cycle Tourism

Victoria has launched a new cycle tourism plan to help boost participation, interest and enthusiasm for cycling at every level across Victoria. The Cycle Tourism Action Plan 2011-2015 outlines a range of initiatives aimed at strengthening the supply of cycle tourism experiences, building consumer demand and attracting and leveraging events.

Further information: http://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/






Hosted Accommodation Australia

The peak industry group representing owner operated accommodation in Australia has changed its name from Bed & Breakfast, Farmstay and Accommodation Australia to Hosted Accommodation Australia Ltd. The new name reflects the organisation's widening membership base which includes guesthouses and boutique hotels as well as bed and breakfasts, farmstays and self-catering accommodation. Research conducted by Victoria University has found that the collective term Hosted Accommodation resonates most strongly with consumers and the Australian public.

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

Travel Entrepreneurs in Nepal

OneSeed Expeditions organize trekking holidays in South Asia with 10 percent of revenue going to a microfinance partner to invest in local female entrepreneurs with low interest capital to start or better their small business. OneSeed Expeditions commitment to sustainability includes policies on waste, eco-system preservation, culture and supply chain management. They also partner with local communities so that tourism revenue goes directly to guides, porters and local entrepreneurs.

Further information: http://oneseedexpeditions.com/

Protect our Coral Sea

In 2011 Australia has the opportunity to create the world's largest marine park, in the waters of the Coral Sea.

Protect Our Coral Sea is a joint campaign supported by regional, national and international conservation organisations. The campaign calls on the federal government to establish a highly protected, very large marine park in the Coral Sea in recognition of its enormous environmental value and historic significance. A marine park that protects both the incredible coral reefs and also the large pelagic species that make this ocean region increasingly unique would be a huge boost to Australia's profile as a leading nature destination.

Further information:www.protectourcoralsea.org.au

Spa and Wellbeing Action Plan

Tourism Victoria has launched Victoria's Spa and Wellbeing Action Plan 2011–2015 and Geothermal and Natural Mineral Water Tourism Investment Opportunities Guide. Both publications will leverage opportunities generated through campaigns including facilitating investment, strengthening skills in the industry and increasing consumer demand for spa and wellbeing experiences. .

Further information: http://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/marketing/marketing/market-segments/#SpaandWellbeing




Road Trips

Tourism New Zealand has partnered with Destination Queenstown, Tourism Dunedin, Lake Wanaka Tourism, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism and Christchurch International Airport to create a self-drive campaign encouraging Australians to tour New Zealand’s South Island during the summer months. The campaign is aimed at 18 to 29-year-olds, families, and over 55 market. It will be delivered across a variety of media channels including print, outdoor, online and PR over a three-month period.

Further information:


Roomorama is a leading online short-term rental platform offering a diverse selection of properties ranging from individually owned homes to managed properties. The website offers 24/7 customer service and listings are free of charge and commission-free. Since starting in New York City the company has expanded globally with a database of more than 16,000 properties in over 300 destinations.

Further information: https://roomorama.com/


Airlines Flying High but Travel Agent Websites Gaining Popularity

According to the latest Roy Morgan Travel Agents Monitor, the number of Australians visiting travel agent websites (e.g. Webjet & Flight Centre) has increased over the past year (3.3 million for the twelve months to June 2011 up from 3.0 million for the twelve months to June 2010). By contrast, airline website visitation has remained unchanged over the past year at 3.0 million.

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

Corporate Travel Policy Study

The Global Business Travel Association Foundation and Egencia the corporate travel arm of Expedia have released their first Corporate Travel Policy study based on best practices and insights from 421 travel buyers based in Asia Pacific. The study takes a comprehensive look at policy mandates versus guidelines, consolidation, booking procedures, class of service, advance purchases, pre-trip approval, groups/meetings and emergencies and ancillary fees.

Further information:http://www.gbta.org/Lists/Resource%20Library/Forms/Foundation_Research_and_Surveys.aspx


Indigenous Tourism Snapshot

New data released by Tourism Research Australia looks at the travel and spending habits of domestic and international visitors who took part in at least one Indigenous activity, such as a visit to an Aboriginal site or performance in 2010. The Snapshots 2011: Indigenous Tourism Visitors in Australia report is part of the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy and work being done by the Indigenous Tourism Working Group to improve the quality and quantity of Australia’s Indigenous tourism product and experiences by getting more Indigenous people into the tourism workforce.

Further information:


Adventure Tourism Review

New adventure activities regulations have been released in New Zealand to help address safety gaps identified in the Adventure Tourism Review. The Department of Labour is writing explanatory guidelines and the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand is developing an Adventure Operator Safety Guide to be trialed this summer. The guide and activity specific guidelines will be valuable to all operators in the adventure sector including advice on regulations and how to meet the legislative requirements, auditing operations and creating safety management plans.

Further information:www.tianz.org.nz/main/adventure-tourism-review

Green Key Meetings Program


In April 2011 the Hotel Association of Canada and MPI Foundation Canada launched the Green Key Meetings Program, an assessment tool for hotels and resort properties that provides a database for event professionals seeking to determine a hotel's commitment to sustainability efforts. The hotel's operations are ranked from one to five based on a thorough evaluation of efforts.

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

One Destination Carbon Fund

In September 2011 British Airways launched the new One Destination Carbon Fund to replace their carbon-offset scheme. The new scheme will support low carbon community projects across the UK including solar hot water schemes in public swimming pools, small scale wind turbines for schools, or energy efficiency measures in social housing. British Airways aims to set the standard in responsible aviation by assessing and minimising the impact of its business on climate change.

Further information:

Seasonal Tourism Workers

The Australian Government has announced an expansion of the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme to include Islands Samoa, Solomon, Tuvalu and Nauru. A trial will be implemented with workers from East Timor to assist tourism operators in Broome, Western Australia meet the challenge of finding enough workers in peak periods. The trail will be subject to an independent evaluation to determine the contribution to regional economic development objectives.

Further information: http://www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/Programs/PSWPS/Pages/default.aspx

New 7 Wonders of Nature

Established by Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation, 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. Both Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef have been shortlisted as two of the 28 finalists and now face stiff competition from other countries around the world including New Zealand's Milford Sound, South Africa's Table Mountain and the USA's Grand Canyon. Online voting closes on 11 November 2011.

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

Wet Tropics of Queensland Tour Guide Handbook

The Wet Tropics of Queensland Tour Guide Handbook has just been recently released and is publicaly available for download. The handbook was an initiative of the Wet Tropics Management Authority and funded by the Australian Government's Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility. It provides interpretative information on 27 visitor sites in North Queensland, hints for tour guides, information about the evolution of the Wet Tropics rainforests, safety in the rainforest, and references. Maps are supplied by Footloose Publications

Further information: http://www.rrrc.org.au/publications/downloads/Carmody-J-2011-Wet-Tropics-Tour-Guide-Handbook.pdf

Sustainable Criteria

In 2008, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council's (GSTC)Criteria were developed in consultation with the public, private, non-profit sectors, travellers and educational institutions. The criteria follow ISEAL guidance for the development of international standards by holding an open consultation every two years.

Tony Charters & Associates is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Further information: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/603807/GSTC-Criteria-Consultation-2011-English

Tour Operators Promoting Sustainability

The Rainforest Alliance has launched a new specialised global network of tour operators dedicated to promoting and supporting sustainable tourism in European and North American markets. The Tour Operators Promoting Sustainability will have access to updated and verified information on sustainable suppliers, discounts on services, training and business-generating opportunities, as well as the chance to establish relationships and engage in promotional activities such as fairs, press meetings and familiarisation trips.

Further information: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/newsroom/news/tops-release

Tourism Investment Program


The Queensland Government is seeking submissions to stimulate investment in new tourism products in Queensland. The Growing Tourism Investment Grant Program will assist successful proponents with the costs to engage an experienced investment attraction specialist to attract private investment for the development of new tourism product. A maximum of $75,000 (excluding GST) will be provided for up to 50 percent of the costs of eligible project activities. Applications close 5pm on Friday 2 December.

Further information: http://www.industry.qld.gov.au/key-industries/558.htm

Regional Events Conference

The Events Queensland Regional Events Conference will be held from 11 to 13 November in Townsville, Queensland. The conference provides advice from event organisers, web marketers and sponsorship experts on how to build strong events that engage with your audience.

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


World Green Tourism Conference

The second World Green Tourism Conference will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 5 to 7 December 2011. Hosted by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi the conference is specifically targeted at the sustainable tourism sector and includes keynote speeches and interactive panel debates that explore practical steps and policy on how the industry can green operations, address youth and national employment, as well as protect cultural heritage.

Further information: http://www.worldgreentourism.com/index.php