Brand USA

America has a new global face inviting visitors into the country after launching its first-ever consumer product, Brand USA. The new brand formerly known as Corporation for Travel Promotion has been unveiled to increase international visitor numbers into the US through marketing and worldwide promotional activities. Funded to the tune of US$200 million through private sector investment and funds from the Department of Homeland Security it is hoped the 21st-century global brand will help reposition the US in the market for travel and drive economic activity.

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New Operator for Kimberley Wilderness Lodge

A local touring company has been selected to develop and operate Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge, in the King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park. Kimberley Wilderness Adventures is a partnership between the Wunan Foundation and Australian Pacific Touring. This the second project under the Western Australian Government's Naturebank program, which aims to develop low impact, sustainable nature-based tourism operations in regional areas and parks.

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Low Carbon Fuel

Virgin Atlantic has announced the development of a world-first low carbon aviation fuel with just half the carbon footprint of the standard fossil fuel alternative. The partnership with LanzaTech represents a breakthrough in aviation fuel technology that will see waste gases from industrial steel production being captured, fermented and chemically converted for use as a jet fuel. The revolutionary fuel production process recycles waste gases that would otherwise be burnt into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. The technology is currently being piloted in New Zealand, with a larger demonstration facility to be commissioned in Shanghai and the first commercial operation in place in China by 2014.

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Nextpedition is a new service from American Express that provides a custom-made mystery trip specifically designed around a Travel Sign which is determined by tastes, likes and preferences of activities and settings via a simple 15-question survey. A mobile device then gradually releases the necessary travel information, without spoiling the surprise. It also connects to Facebook so adventurers have a chance to update their loved ones on their latest escapades. Trips vary depending on budget, travel time and destinations in Europe, Canada or anywhere around the US.

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Green Travel List

The Guardian in association with has published its 2011 Green Travel List on places to stay, transport initiatives, festivals and conservation holidays. The list is a guide to companies worldwide that have been the most innovative in order to make their business more sustainable including hotels that provide their own renewable energy, visitor centres and attractions that have cut carbon emissions, low emissions transport initiatives, community projects that contribute to the livelihoods of local people and biodiversity conservation.

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Hotel Development Incentives

The State Government of Western Australia is introducing incentives to encourage hotel investment and development in the state and Perth CBD. Since 2006, there has been minimal hotel investment in Western Australia which has impacted on the ability to successfully attract corporate and leisure visitors, major conferences and events, aviation capacity and regional disperse of travellers.

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Sydney Tower Eye

The Sydney Tower has unveiled $3.5 million worth of redevelopments as part of its 30-year anniversary. The redevelopments include a preshow of facts and history about the Sydney Tower Eye, a new 4D cinema, state-of-the-art binoculars for the Observation Deck, as well as multi-lingual touch screen panels that inform viewers of the city's history and iconic landmarks.

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Tourism and Events

The NSW Government has established an industry-led Visitor Economy Taskforce to develop a tourism and events strategy. The Visitor Economy Taskforce is currently calling for public comments and formal submissions due by the end of November 2011.

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South Pacific Tourism Partnership

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to working together for the benefit of the region's tourism sector. The two intergovernmental organisations will work closely to ensure enhanced delivery of services to the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. They will also develop greater synergies and cooperation in areas of mutual interest including infrastructure, private sector and human resources capacity development.

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Green Engage

Green Engage is the International Hotel Group's innovative online environmental tool designed to help hotels monitor, reduce and manage their energy consumption, as well as water and waste without compromising the guest experience.

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Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards

The winners of the 2011 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards have been announced at the World Travel Mart in London. The awards were founded in 2004 to celebrate and profile individuals, organisations and destinations working innovatively with local cultures, communities and biodiversity. They are organised by founder with support from media partners Metro Newspaper, Geographical Magazine, Virgin Holidays and the World Travel Market. The judging process is designed and organised in partnership with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University.

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Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Closing Soon

Submissions for the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are closing soon. Entries can be submitted online at until 1 December 2011.

Every year WTTC recognises the very best in sustainable tourism - its Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are one of the highest accolades in the global Travel & Tourism industry.

Applicants should illustrate how they are the very best in sustainable tourism planning and management in one of four categories: Global Tourism Business, Conservation, Community Benefit and Destination Stewardship.

Tony Charters is a finalist judge and an official contributor for the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

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Better Business Guide

Voluntourism, carbon offsetting and using social media to engage with tomorrow's travellers are among the topical subjects and sustainable business tips captured in a new Tourism Queensland guide. The new Better Business Guide provides Queensland tourism operators with business tips required to stay on top of current trends and build resilience.

Further information: Download report here



Social Media Tourism e-kit

Tourism operators can now learn how to develop and implement a social media strategy using 11 new tutorials in the Tourism e-kit. The free, easy-to-follow tutorials feature practical exercises and relevant examples across an array of topics including social media, online reputation management, blogging, online communities and mobile technology. There are also specific tutorials on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, TripAdvisor and Groupon. .

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Australian Tourism Labour Force Report

Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism on behalf of the Labour and Skills Working Group to develop a report on the Australian Tourism Labour Force as part of the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy. It is estimated there are 35,800 tourism vacancies across Australia and an additional 56,000 people will be needed to fill these by 2015 including 26,000 skilled positions. The report highlights ways in which the industry can overcome these issues including supporting structured career pathways, improved accessibility to training and better integration of Indigenous, mature age and foreign workers

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Domestic Holiday Intention declines, International Holiday Intention up

The percentage of Australians who intend to holiday domestically on in the next twelve months has declined 3% in a year to 55%, according to the Roy Morgan Research Holiday Tracking Survey conducted in the three months to August 2011.

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Women in Tourism

Developed by the World Tourism Organization and UN Women the Global Report on Women in Tourism 2010 maps the participation of women in the tourism industry worldwide by focusing on the five areas of Employment, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Education and Community. The study presents a detailed picture of women's involvement in tourism and provides recommendations for the industry and the international community on how to move forward with this pressing issue.

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Consumer Trends Survey

The annual ABTA Consumer Trends Survey has found that one in three holidaymakers believe that holidays should have an environmental rating much like a star rating. The research also suggests companies that invest in making their business better for the environment stand to gain a competitive edge, with consumers prepared to pay more for a holiday with a company that has a better environmental and social record.

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Global Eco Conference Wraps up in Sydney

Ecotourism Australia's Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference recently wrapped up in Sydney with four captivating days packed with tourism professionals from all over the globe sharing their knowledge and experience with the industry.

Held on Sydney Harbour at two stunning venues, Australian National Maritime Museum and Taronga Zoo, the conference provided delegates with an excellent opportunity to examine and debate critical new research and policy, issues and emerging trends influencing the industry and its further development and sustainability.

The 2012 Conference will be held in Tropical North Queensland so stay tuned for the dates and venue to be announced shortly!

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Excellence in Shorex Conference

In mid-October Guiding Organisations Australia (GOA), in conjunction with the Professional Tour Guide Association of Australia (PTGAA) held a one day conference – Excellence in Shorex Tours in Geelong, Victoria.

The conference discussed current and emerging issues in the cruise ship sector, insight into future developments and how to provide excellent standards of world class service.

The conference was an excellent opportunity for practitioners, operators, and representatives of peak tourism bodies and state government representatives to meet together for the first time.

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Mark your Diary!

Co-Convenors Victoria Tourism Industry and Tony Charters and Associates are pleased to announce the 2012 National Tourism & Events Excellence Conference will be held in Melbourne on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th July 2012.

The 2012 TEE Conference will be held in Melbourne and will again feature a compelling program of speakers covering relevant topics, offering business tools, trends and ideas, along with industry intelligence that operators, destination managers and policy makers can use to inform their business planning, decisions and overall performance.

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Accreditation Partnership

T-QUAL Accreditation has entered into a strategic partnership with TripAdvisor the largest universal travel site used by 32 million consumers globally and 1.8 million consumers domestically each month. The partnership will leverage the growing consumer use of online travel sites with a microsite on TripAdvisor's Australia website. The site will combine customer reviews with T-QUAL endorsement to promote quality tourism products.

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Travelife Sustainability System

The Travelife Sustainability System is a certification scheme for accommodation providers ranking environmental as well as social practices. Hotels receive bronze, silver and gold awards depending on their achievements after a full independently conducted audit. Travelife is supported by some of the largest tour operators in the world as well as smaller independents including TUI Travel Thomas Cook Group, Kuoni Travel, Virgin Holidays and Sunvil Holidays. To date of the 17,000 properties registered 1,500 have completed a full third party audit and over 500 properties have been granted a Travelife award of Bronze, Silver or Gold.

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2011 Christmas Holidays - What are Australians Planning?


Roy Morgan Research are holding a business address in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on What Australians are planning this Christmas 2011?

Christmas and New Year is a traditional time of the year for Australians to take a well earned holiday, and since 2003 an increasing percentage are heading overseas. This long-term trend looks set to continue for Christmas 2011 and the New Year headed into 2012.

The tourism industry is invited to attend this informative session held in the following locations:

Melbourne: Tuesday 6th December, 3pm - 4pm
Sydney: Friday 9th December, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Brisbane: Monday 12th December, 10:30am-11:30am

To RSVP please email

Australia New Zealand Agent Workshop

The Australia New Zealand Agent Workshop will be held in Queenstown from 29 February to 2 March 2012. This is the largest education and student travel trade show in Australia and New Zealand’s with around 500 participants from 50 different countries expected to attend the workshop. Attendees are offered professional development seminars, one-on-one appointments and opportunities to showcase their own programs, schools, countries and regions.

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Indigenous Tourism

The inaugural Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference will be held from 28 to 30 March 2012 in Darwin. The two day conference will include plenary sessions on all aspects of Indigenous tourism with global expert speakers, research presentations, working groups, networking opportunities, as well as pre and post conference touring opportunities.

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