Hangover Bus

Las Vegas-based Hangover Heaven bus is offering a mobile therapy service for those who have partied too hard. The bus tours the Strip and stops at many of the major casinos throughout the morning. Patrons are also able to make an appointment and be picked up at a particular location. Onboard is medical doctor who provides treatment packages that include an IV injection, intravenous hydration, anti-inflammatory medication and multivitamin supplements.

Further information: http://hangoverheaven.com/

Cardboard Cathedral

A NZ$5M cardboard cathedral will be built in earthquake-devastated Christchurch to temporarily replace the one damaged by the 2011 earthquake in the New Zealand city. Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the 25 metre high Transitional Cathedral will have a seating capacity of 700 people and is made mostly out of cardboard tubes. The structure which will also incorporate timber beams, structural steel and a concrete pad will be used as a place of worship until a permanent replacement for Christchurch Cathedral can be built. The temporary weather and fireproof structure is projected to last for at least 20 years.

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


Green Parks Plan

The US National Park Service has released a Green Parks Plan that focuses on the sustainable management of key environmental issues. It is a comprehensive approach to sustainability that will reduce the National Park Service's carbon footprint through actions taken in every park and office by more than 20,000 employees and 220,000 volunteers. It aims to integrate sustainable practices into every aspect of its operations including energy and water consumption, waste generation, effects of climate change, buying behaviour and facilities management.

Further information: http://www.nps.gov/greenparksplan


Naturebank Program

Western Australia has just announced the fourth ecotourism site to be delivered as part of the Western Australian Government’s Naturebank program. This ecotourism development site is located in Francois Peron National Park, 10 km north of Monkey Mia in World Heritage-listed Shark Bay.  The Shark Bay region lies along the central western coastal corridor of Western Australia. The region has been recognised by the World Heritage for its natural beauty, biological diversity, ecological processes and evidence of earth’s history.

The Naturebank program is a partnership between Department of Environment and Conservation and Tourism WA with funding assistance from the State Royalties for Regions initiative.  The aim of Naturebank is to release sites for the delivery of responsible and sustainable ecotourism accommodation and experiences in unique natural areas across the State.

Further information: www.tourism.wa.gov.au/francoisperon


Land of Dreams

The new tourism marketing entity responsible for promoting the United States to world has unveiled the first-ever global marketing campaign at the International POW WOW trade show in Los Angeles. The fully integrated campaign created by Brand USA in partnership with JWT includes television, outdoor, digital, mobile, print and social media.

The first wave of the campaign will target Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil and South Korea. The Brand USA program is funded through a combination of private sector investment and funds collected by the Department of Homeland Security from international visitors under the Visa Waiver Program.

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


Tourism Champions Website

Tourism Australia has launched a new Indigenous tourism trade website aimed at promoting the quality and diversity of the Indigenous Tourism Champions to wholesalers, inbound tour operators and travel agents. The website showcases a selection of the country's best Indigenous tourism experiences including accommodation, attractions, tours, festivals and art centres. It also provides information to assist with planning itineraries, pricing, product developments, product features, news and reviews.

Further information: http://www.aboriginaltourism.australia.com/


Augmented Reality Theme Park

Opened in December by new media entertainment company d'strict at the KINTEX exhibition center in Ilsan, South Korea, Live Park gives visitors the opportunity to experience and interact with a virtual world. Using mixed reality architecture the park allows visitors to create an avatar and become the main character in a unique, augmented reality adventure. Sixty-five attractions over seven thematic stages contribute to the experience, which uses 3D video, holograms and augmented reality to immerse guests. Live Park's 10,000-square metre space is the result of a USD$13 million investment over two years and can accommodate up to 10,000 visitors a day.

Further information: http://www.thelivepark.com/blog/en/


Popular Hotel Brand

The InterContinental Hotel Group has proven to be most popular hotel brand in Australia according to a global study conducted by Clear Australia which surveyed over 20,000 consumers in six countries. The study measured the 555 brands listed across 18 categories including leisure, luxury, airlines, retail, beauty and apparel. InterContinental was the highest ranking brand in the leisure category and also recognised at number 35 in the top 100 brands internationally, amongst a string of other luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Prada and Mercedes.

Further information: http://www.ihgplc.com/index.asp?pageid=5

Shortage of Accommodation in Perth

Hosted Accommodation Australia is calling for Perth residents with the space and facilities to set up bed and breakfasts and guesthouses to help meet a desperate need for short term accommodation.

Mining personnel use up much of the available accommodation leaving tourists with the prospect of paying premium tariffs for standard hotel rooms, if they can get them at all. Thus, many potential tourists are turned away. Without a city base to start from these tourists are lost to regional destinations such as the South West.

The shortage is so critical that some visitors who need to stay in the city are reported as being forced to sleep in their cars.

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

Travel Oregon Philanthropy Fund

Travel Oregon in partnership with Sustainable Travel International have developed the Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund, a statewide program to support sustainable tourism development in Oregon by connecting businesses and travellers to projects that improve the environment, support local culture and enhance the destination for future visitors. The fund will support one project from each of Oregon's seven tourism regions which protect natural assets and / or support communities in a way that improves their appeal as a destination.

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


Call for Best Practice Case Studies

Due to popular demand, the deadline to offer a paper for the 2012 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference has been extended by one extra week.

If you would like to be considered for a speaking opportunity in the Global Eco Conference program, then please submit your presentation outline online by 5pm, MONDAY 4th JUNE

You are invited to offer a presentation on Sustainable Destination Management; Marketing Eco Wonders; Tourism in Terrestrial and Marine Protected Areas; Indigenous and Cultural Tourism; Communities Benefiting from Strategic Partnerships or Optimising Tropical Ecotourism.

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

Stranded Traveller Website

A new global website uses social media to link people and businesses with people who need help or are stranded from an everyday need or an emergency. RU Stranded combines the power of Twitter and Google Maps to give people an easy way to ask for help on the Twitterverse. Using RU Stranded people can instantly send a Twitter message showing their location and what help they need. On the RU Stranded map their message will be visible to the entire global RU Stranded community.

Further information: http://rustranded.com/

Mobile Technology

Google has reported more searches on mobiles than desktops and laptops combined on Valentines Day this year. The trend is set to continue with market penetration of Smartphones nearing 50%.

It is important to understand the different needs of mobile phone user. Smartphone users are looking for information on the move, restaurant numbers, their resort's address and activities in the local area.

Smartourist can provide advice and solutions ranging from inexpensive mobile webpages to elaborate sites for RTO's using geo-location technology to guide consumers to local businesses.

For further details please contact visit http://www.smartourist.com.au



The Australian Government has funding for a study into the sustainable production and commercialisation of aviation biofuels in Australia. The $500,000 Emerging Renewables Program grant will see Qantas partner with Shell Australia to undertake a feasibility study into the long-term viability of biofuel feedstock and the production of low carbon alternative aviation fuels in Australia. The study will also investigate the opportunity to use existing refining plant and fuel distribution infrastructure for aviation biofuel production.

Further information: http://www.ret.gov.au/energy/clean/acre/Pages/default.aspx

Tourism Investment Partnership

Tourism Australia, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and the Australian Trade Commission have joined forces in a new strategic partnership to promote investment opportunities across the tourism industry to foreign and local investors. Activation of the partnership includes the Australian Tourism Investment Guide, marketing video and a micros website which provides a one-stop-shop to assist tourism investment decision-making.

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

Strategic Tourism Investment Grants

Applications are now open for Strategic Tourism Investment Grants for the development of significant nature-based tourism initiatives in and around Australia's National Landscapes or to grow Indigenous tourism. Funding of up to $1 million is available to eligible nationally significant and innovative tourism projects as part of the T-QUAL Grants program administered by the Australian Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. Applications close 30 May 2012.

Further information: http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/business/tq/tgrants/stig

Dark Tourism

The University of Central Lancashire in Britain is examining the relationship between sites of death and brutality such as Auschwitz and Ground Zero and the tourists who visit these sites. Research by the Institute of Dark Tourism will also focus on tourists who travelled to Italy to see the damage caused by earthquakes in 2009 and the tourist industry associated with the Pendle Witches in Lancashire.

Further information: http://www.dark-tourism.org.uk/

Frequent Rewards

A new study by airline consulting firm IdeaWorks has found that as air travel has escalated and consumers expecting more from their frequent flier programs, airlines are now offering rewards well beyond traditional free or reduced hotels stays. The report reviewed the frequent flier programs associated with more than 150 of the world's airlines to seek examples of unusual and unique rewards.

Further information: http://www.ideaworkscompany.com/press/2012/2012-Wild-Weird-and-Wonderful-Rewards.pdf

Global Tourism Value

According to new research from the World Travel and Tourism Council, the global travel and tourism industry is double the size of automotive manufacturing and one-third larger than chemical manufacturing. A study by Oxford Economics shows that the travel and tourism sector generates the same amount of GDP (US$2 trillion) as education and communication sectors and about half that of the banking and financial services industry. Travel and tourism is also the second largest job creator after education with an average of 50 jobs generated by US$1 million in spending.

Further information: http://unwto.org/

Shark-Diving Tourism

A new study has found that in 2010, shark-related diving contributed US$42.2 million to the economy of Fiji. The study also found that the shark-diving industry generated at least an additional US$4 million annually for Fijian communities through salaries and local levies, with one in 10 tourists engaged in diving activities. Diving with sharks is a growing business worldwide, with established operations found in at least 83 locations in 29 countries such as South Africa, the United States and Australia.

Further information: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/press-releases/shark-dive-tourism-in-fiji-worth-us422-million-a-year-85899379487


The Role of Events in the Future

You are invited to participate in this research project undertaken by the University of Ballarat’s Dr Elisa Backer - a senior lecturer in tourism. The study will investigate the perceptions of event managers and residents about the role of events in the future.  Specifically, the study will seek to examine the relationship between events and visiting friends and relatives from the resident and industry perspective. 

The study will also seek to examine what issues are impacting positively and negatively on events and pose issues in the future. Participation in the study will involve completing an online survey that will take around 10-20 minutes to complete. 

The questions will ask about your experiences and perceptions regarding events. Results of this research will be made available to all participants through a brief summary document. There is a section at the end of the survey to enable you to request this.  

The URL for the resident survey is:-https://www.research.net/s/eventscommunity

The URL for the industry survey is:-https://www.research.net/s/eventsindustry\

Annual Tourism and Events Industry Survey

 Roy Morgan Research are currently conducting their annual Tourism and Events Industry Survey and your opinion in is valuable.

What are the top five challenges facing Australian tourism and events? What are the most important ways the government can assist your sector? Which destination has most successfully promoted itself in the last year?

Participate in this short 10 minute survey to have your say on the short and long-term issues facing the Australian tourism and events industry. Participants will go in the draw to WIN a 3 day rest and relaxation experience of a lifetime for two people at a luxury self-contained spa villa in the Upper Yarra Valley.

Take the survey here

Survey results will be incorporated into the agenda of the upcoming National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference (16-17 July 2012, Melbourne, Victoria)

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


Tourism for Tomorrow Winners

The World Travel and Tourism Council have announced the four winners of the 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, Destination Røros - Norway; Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts - Singapore; Inkaterra - Peru and Saunders Hotel Group - USA.

The awards recognise companies, organisations and destinations around the world which showcase outstanding sustainable tourism achievements. Over 150 entries from more than 60 countries were received, with the winners undergoing a four-step judging process conducted by a team of more than 20 independent judges and experts from around the world. The awards are organised in association with Travelport and the Travel Corporation's Conservation Foundation.

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

Image: travelfoodguru.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/tourism-for-tomorrow-awards-2012

DestinationQ Forum

The Queensland Government has announced the DestinationQ Forum to be held at the Pullman Reef Hotel in Cairns from 25 and 26 June 2012. The Forum aims to assist Queensland in regaining it's position as Australia's number one tourism destination and double visitor expenditure by 2020. More than 300 participants from industry and government are expected to attend.

While the expression of interest process has now closed, the industry is welcome to review background papers and make comments through the website.

Tony Charters & Associates is assisting with the co-ordination and development of the Forum.

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

Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference

The annual Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will be held in Monterey, California from 17 to 19 September 2012. The conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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

World Youth & Student Travel Conference

The World Youth & Student Travel Conference will be held in San Diego, USA from 8 to 18 to 21 September 2012. It is the only international event that focuses on the youth, student and educational travel industry. Attendees include global decision makers from various sectors in the youth travel industry including education, study abroad, language, work abroad, volunteering, internships, cultural exchange and accommodation.

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