A Guide to Cool Places

The founders of Rough Guides and Cool Camping have joined forces to create a new UK travel website which will look at the best places to sleep, eat, drink and shop in 35 areas across Britain. It will include reviews by professional travel writers based locally and with expert knowledge, with locals able to add comments. Users will also be privy to deals and special offers with handy links to book hotels, restaurants and transport.

Further information: http://www.coolplaces.co.uk/


The Accor Group has launched a new hotel sustainability program called PLANET 21. The program covers environmental, social and community investment actions and aims to place sustainability at the core of its business strategy worldwide. In developing the program Accor commissioned two surveys to obtain comprehensive and objective information about its footprint and guest expectations. The program is restricted to establishments that meet the required levels of performance, verified using a check-list of 65 points or by obtaining certification from an acknowledged external organisation.

Further information: http://www.accor.com/en/news/to-reinvent-hotels-sustainably-accor-is-launching-planet-21.html


Sky Lodges

Binna Burra Mountain Lodge has launched 18 eco-friendly luxury apartments as part of a $12 million multistage, 15-year redevelopment plan. The Sky Lodges are self-contained apartments that can sleep up to 10 people with a fireplace and spa bath. They are environmentally sensitive, solar-passive and energy efficient in design.

Binna Burra Mountain Lodge are Ecotourism Australia Advanced Eco Certified.

Further information: http://www.binnaburralodge.com.au/Binna-Burra/News-Events/News/Sky-Lodges-open-for-business

Hosted Accommodation

The national organisation representing owner operated hosted accommodation has launched two new websites. The corporate website is packed with useful information for operators who are developing a business, online marketing initiatives, advice on selling or purchasing a business, links to the latest tourism research data and current issues. The consumer website is the only national website specific to this industry that lists quality assured accommodation including bed and breakfasts, farmstays, guesthouses, self catering cottages, houses and apartments.

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


NYC Youth

New York City's tourism and marketing organisation is targeting youths in a new global marketing campaign aimed at reaching an annual visitors goal of 55 million by 2015. In partnership with MasterCard, the NYC<30 campaign aims to attract 18 to 29 year olds by providing exclusive experiences to card holders via a micro-site, social media and travel agents. Other offers to be promoted include subway and bus system seven-day unlimited passes, a bike-share program, free WiFi and discounts to many of the city's most popular cultural attractions and museums.

Further information: http://www.nycgo.com/under30

Bushfire Safety

Tourism Victoria has recently released a new suite of collateral for the tourism industry to inform travellers about bushfire safety. Developed in conjunction with the Country Fire Authority the information provides important bushfire safety tips for people staying in high bushfire risk areas. Kits include brochures, fridge magnets, key tags, Fire Danger Rating displays and local Township Protection Plans.

Further information: http://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/index.php?option

Experience Development Strategy

Comments are being sought on the Draft Experience Development Strategy for Australia's Green Cauldron, one of the National Landscapes. The Experience Development Strategy will provide a blue print for developing and improving experiences that meet the needs of Experience Seekers. Feedback is due by 30 April 2012.

Further information: http://australiasgreencauldron.wordpress.com/


Airport Upgrade

Perth Airport is spending $750 million over the next three years to transform the airport to meet the current and future demands of the Western Australian economy. Construction has begun on the new $120 million single level domestic terminal which will become home to Skywest, Alliance Airlines and Tiger Airways in early 2013. As part of the redevelopment the airport is also upgrading the taxiways, aprons and runways, as well as improving access to the terminals with new drop-off and pick-up lanes, bus and taxi areas and a multi-storey car park.

Further information: http://www.perthairport.com.au/AboutUs/

Urban Eco-Village

A new eco-friendly park has been opened in Tokyo, Japan to promote the balance between fun and ecology. The Yoyogi Village (translated as 'generations of trees') is a small commercial development designed as a natural escape from the neon bustle of Tokyo and features bars, restaurants, art galleries, spas and retail split between the village and a series of upcycled shipping containers.

Further information: http://www.yoyogi-village.jp/top/index.php


Kokoda Initiative

Since 2008 the Kokoda Initiative, a joint partnership between the Papua New Guinea and Australian governments has worked to improve the Kokoda track and create a sustainable tourism product that will continue to benefit local communities. An estimated 30,000 Australians have trekked Kokoda which has provided revenue for education, health services and other small businesses, as well as employment for porters, guides and guesthouse operators in surrounding communities of the region.

Further information: http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/international-projects/kokoda/kokoda-initiative.html


Corrupt Tours

In the Czech Republic a tour company is offering sightseeing trips and guided tours around sites of political corruption in Prague. The company caters for those wanting to know more about the Czech government's less noble alleged activities, with tours taking in the Ministry of the Interior, the residence of President Vaclav Klaus and the building where former presidential advisor Marek Dalik, who was involved in a bribery scandal, began his career. Tours last for an average of three hours and souvenirs are available.

Further information: http://corrupttour.com/en/

Asia-Pacific Embraces Sustainable Tourism

Tony Charters met recently with Dr. James Dawos Mamit, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, Mr. Rashidi Hasbullah, Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of Tourism Malaysia and Ms Hamdiah Ismail Senior Principal Assistant Secrectary Policy, Planning & International Affairs Division Ministery of Tourism Malaysia, along with senior tourism ministry officials in Malaysia and Vietnam to discuss their destination development and initiatives  in establishing ecotourism and responsible tourism. 

Updates on ecotourism achievements and future direction will be provided by nations from the Asia-Pacific region at The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference 15-17 October 2012 in Cairns, Queensland.

Further information: http://www.globaleco.com.au/
Download the Asia-Pacific Forum flyer


Flight Finder

An Australian company is enlisting crowds to help find the cheapest airfare by creating an online contest. Once the contest is posted competing "flight hackers" scour the web personally in search of the best and cheapest flights. With expertise in ways to cut fees, taxes and surcharges among other strategies participating hackers typically shave $369 off the price of an average trip. When the user books their trip, the winning flight hacker gets awarded the fee promised up front.

Further information: http://flightfox.com/

Creative Challenge

TripAdvisor the world’s largest travel site is challenging travel brands and advertising agencies to design a creative campaign that will reach millions of travellers with a total prize fund of US$1.5 million. The 2012 TripAdvisor Creative Ad Challenge gives the industry the unique opportunity to showcase their creativity and talent through the highly interactive medium of online ad display and the chance to impact a global audience of travellers. All entries must be submitted by May 31st 2012.

Further information: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/PressCenter-i5093-c1-Press_Releases.html


T-QUAL Tick Tour

Renowned chef Matt Moran will visit some of Australia's best tourism experiences as part of an Australian Government initiative for the new national symbol of tourism quality. The T-QUAL Tick Tour will help travellers and travel agents to make more informed choices based on the accreditation of Australia's best tourism products and services, giving them the confidence in booking with the knowledge that they will be taken care of. The tour will visit Hobart, Darwin, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Broome to sample some of the 3,000 operators and experiences in the industry that carry the tick of approval.

Further information: http://t-qual.tumblr.com/

Global Destination Criteria

The draft version of The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Destinations is available for public consultation. It aims to establish baseline sustainable tourism criteria and indicators to enable good destination stewardship by the travel and tourism industry. The criteria are a guide for specialists, managers, communities and businesses to sustain natural and cultural attractions, while economically benefitting the local community and businesses. Suggestions are due by 2 June 2012.

Tony Charters is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Destination Stewardship Committee.

Further information: http://new.gstcouncil.org/programs/destinations


New Careers Website

Accor Australia has launched a new localised website to promote career opportunities available within the 150 plus Accor Hotels and Resorts across Australia. Designed with a fresh and fun approach to career development, the website not only highlights Accor's current job opportunities but also features 'The Scoop' a live feed of news, events, employee stories and information to give job seekers a greater insight into working life at Accor.

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


Global Online Travel Report

A new study by market research firm yStats has found that online travel bookings will represent almost one third of worldwide volume by the end of 2012, especially in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil. The latest Global Online Travel Report gives a detailed overview of the international online travel market including detail on purchases through online travel agents, which amounted to almost 50%, followed by search engines and websites of tour operators. In the category mobile bookings, hotels were booked most frequently, followed by flights and travel packages.

Further information: http://www.ystats.com/en/home/index.php

Domesticate Study

Now in its fifth year, the TNS Domesticate Survey has revealed that Australians are now valuing experiences over material possessions, with travel proving to be a more rewarding and valuable experience. Findings suggest that investment in shorter breaks will be on the increase, with one in four Australians revealing they plan to increase short trips within Australia in the next 12 months. The study also shows that Australians are spending more cautiously, trimming down on large scale indulgences, in favour of smaller treats and are searching for deals and value for money.

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

Satisfied Hotel Guests Already Planning Next Trip

New Roy Morgan Research data shows that satisfied hotel guests are far more likely to be planning a trip in the near future than the Australian population. A total of 85% of satisfied hotel guests plan to take a trip in the next 12 months, compared with 69% of the general population.

Further information: http://www.roymorganonlinestore.com/News/Satisfied-hotel-guests-already-planning-next-trip.aspx


Speaking Opportunities for Ecotourism Conference

You are invited to offer a presentation for the 2012 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference - a fantastic opportunity to bring your knowledge to the industry and gain exposure.

The Global Eco Conference will be held in Cairns, Queensland from 15-17 October 2012. Presentation opportunities are available on marketing, destination management, protected area management, Indigenous tourism, strategic partnerships, tropical ecotourism and more.

The deadline for submissions is 28 May 2012 so don’t miss out!

Further information: www.globaleco.com.au   

Ataway Exchange

The Ataway Exchange will be held from 7 to 9 May 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Born in 2011 by a cross section of travel industry marketing executives and thought leaders in the technology sector thee goal of the conference is to create thought leadership through keynote sessions, learning labs, panel debates and one-on-one networking to stay ahead of the digital marketing curve.

Further information: http://atawayexchange.com/

International Parks Management and Leadership Conference

The International Parks Management and Leadership Conference will be held at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide from 22 to 24 May 2012. The conference provides an opportunity for leaders in the parks and allied sectors to share expertise and ideas, discuss the future of parks and the role they play in environmental, social and community health, as well as cultural and economic development.

Further information: http://www.parksforumconference2012.org/

National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference

Leading tourism and events professionals from across Australia are set to gather in Melbourne on 16 – 17 July 2012 for the second annual National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference.

Registration is now open for the conference and with a superb line-up of Australian and international keynote speakers already confirmed and fantastic professional development opportunities, this is a must-attend event for everyone in the Australian tourism and events industry.

View the full program or register now at www.teeconference.com