Bee Hotel

New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is raising over a quarter of a million honey bees on its rooftop to be featured in its restaurant, as well as help provide pollination to support the city’s recent campaign to plant a million new trees over the next decade. Guests at the hotel can also tour the six rooftop hives.

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Airlines Watchdog
A national customer advocate scheme has been implemented as a consumer watchdog on airline travel in Australia. The advocate will act as a facilitator for major airlines to address unresolved customer complaints such as flight delays or cancellations, telephone or internet reservations, customer service at the airport or in-flight, baggage services, fees and charges, safety and security, airport lounge facilities, frequent flyer program terms and conditions, discrimination and services for customers with specific needs and requests for refunds.

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Aboriginal Tourism Masterplan

The Yolngu people of Arnhem Land are creating an Indigenous-owned tourism business in Australia's Top End using a Strategic Investments Grant from the Federal Government. The Yolngu Cultural Tourism Masterplan is the first of its kind in Australia and aims to develop new tourism opportunities for businesses owned and operated by Indigenous people. It is a new model for Indigenous economic development and sustainable employment based on the principles of Aboriginal leadership, empowerment, continuity, respect for culture and responsibility.

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Visitor Pack

The myki system has announced a visitor pack designed specifically for Melbourne to assist in navigating the city and suburbs, as well as drive visitation to tourist attractions and experiences. The pack includes a ready-to-use card, map and discounts to the city's major attractions. It will be sold at 300 locations including airports, hotels, tourist information centres and Southern Cross Station.

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Travel Companion

After conducting research through the Visa Australia and New Zealand Travel Survey, Lonely Planet and Visa have created ‘The Travel Companion’ an online travel-planning hub. The new website provides people with tools, tips, destination information and advice from the experts at Lonely Planet. Individual itineraries can also be created allowing users to pool together Lonely Planet’s information on some of the world’s best destinations.

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Whale Shark Campaign

Tourism Western Australia has launched a Facebook campaign to support research into one of the regions unique visitor experiences, swimming with whale sharks.

In partnership with whale shark research and conservation organisation ECOCEAN, Tourism WA will call on their Facebook community to support the adoption of a whale shark by ‘liking’ a series of posts. The community will then be able to follow the whale shark's movements, including its return to Western Australian waters in future seasons.

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Global Eco Conference welcomes founder of G Adventures

Bruce Poon Tip, Founder of world leading adventure travel company G Adventures is the latest leading tourism expert to confirm attendance as a keynote speaker at Ecotourism Australia's upcoming Global Eco Asia Pacific Tourism Conference 2012.

Global Eco 2012 will be held 15-17 October 2012 in Cairns, Queensland and will attract 350+ industry leaders from Australia and overseas.

The 2012 program features a cutting-edge lineup of international and Australian keynote speakers, in-depth forums addressing current issues, a host of educational field trips, valuable networking opportunities and so much more.

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Sustainable Access

The European Network on Accessible Tourism (ENAT) is a non-governmental association under Belgian law, created for an unlimited period with the aim of promoting accessible tourism around the world on a non-profit basis. The purpose of ENAT is to make European tourism destinations, products and services accessible to all visitors including elderly travellers, families with small children and people with disabilities. This improves the quality of the tourism offer and leads to greater social inclusion and socially sustainable tourism.

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The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) have released a selection of homesteads, cottages and huts dotted throughout natural areas that can be rented as holiday accommodation. The Naturescapes collection also includes a restored historic lighthouse, beach shack, colonial quarantine precinct and a luxury tent. The accommodation collection has been introduced for the first time as part of a broader program encompassing a new Naturescapes magazine and redevelopment of the NPWS website.

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Amadeus Corporate Responsibility Report


Amadeus a leading technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry has published it’s Corporate Responsibility Report highlighting the company’s performance on sustainability issues and initiatives undertaken by it’s 73 subsidiaries in 195 countries during 2011. The report highlights activities from 165 projects in 45 countries including education, language and tourism skills training. The report also follows the Global Reporting Initiatives Guidelines that provides a framework for organisations to disclose their economic, environmental and social performance in a transparent manner.

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Green Growth and Travelism

A collection of essays by thirty global tourism thought leaders has been compiled by the UNWTO as part of the recent Rio+20 World Earth Summit. The publication entitled Green Growth and Travelism: Letters from Leaders was launched at the three-day summit on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro. Contributors include Akbar al Baker, Richard Branson, Taleb Rifai, Maurice Strong, David Scowskill, Harold Goodwin, Thomas Enders, Tony Tyler and Valere Tjolle.

Tony Charters contributed a piece on global ecotourism to this publication.

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Sustainable Tourism Means Business

The Travel Foundation in partnership with Forum for the Future has released a new white paper ‘Survival of the Fittest: Sustainable Tourism Means Business’. The report is intended as a call to action for the travel retailers, tour operators, hoteliers, attractions and airlines to think about what they can do to become more sustainable. The report suggests that consumers have come to expect sustainable product offerings from travel companies and a commitment to corporate responsibility for companies wanting to recruit, retain and motivate quality employees.

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Friendly Social Media

According to new research conducted by independent agency Pure Profile and commissioned by Tourism Australia, social media is rapidly impacting the way Australians travel domestically. The survey of 1,006 Australians residents revealed a significant number of Facebook users are making travel decisions based on their friends' social media activity including visiting their friends' Facebook pages, checking news feeds, photos, reading status updates or directly conversing about the trip.

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Quality Hostels

YHA Australia the largest provider of budget accommodation in Australia has been granted T-QUAL Accreditation, Australia's first national symbol of tourism quality. The YHA accommodation network dedication to quality is demonstrated throughout their operational processes including rigorous hostel inspections, an online customer rating scheme, sustainability procedures as well as compliance with internal and external hostel grading systems. YHA Australia is the largest provider of budget accommodation in Australia with more than 100 hostels around the country.

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Research and Innovation discussed at Tourism and Events Conference



More than 350 attendees were inspired by leaders from across the industry at the 2012 National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference held 16-17 July 2012 in Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The event featured an impressive line-up of speakers who presented ways and means of overcoming challenges despite the tough times.

The conference theme was 'defining excellence' and from the quality of speakers to the calibre of delegates, it was clear that this event continues set a high benchmark each year.

A few key points included:

  • Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO: There are four major challenges for the global tourism industry currently; the global economy; the environment; barriers to international movements; and changes to technology. 20% of international travellers around the world are under 30 years old. These are the travellers of the future.
  • Lachlan Smirl, Deloitte Access Economics: Growth in outbound travel will moderate over the next six years (33 per cent growth anticipated). Tourism growth will be governed largely by how effectively it capitalises on great opportunities (especially from Asia).
  • Russel Howcroft, CEO, Y&R Brands Australia and New Zealand: The rest of world sees Australia as differentiated, but "without much to admire". Beyond tourism we need things of difference that others will admire; there are too many clichés.
  • Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director, Tourism Australia: The advocacy beyond the trip is becoming more important to our country as a travel destination. Facebook research reveals 25% of Facebook users booking holiday options from peer recommendations.

2013 conference dates will be announced soon!

The National TEE Conference is a joint venture partnership between Tony Charters and Associates and the Victoria Tourism Industry Council.

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Tourism and International Cooperation for Development

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Themis Foundation in collaboration with The George Washington University is offering an online course on tourism and international cooperation for development in August and September 2012, with on-site training in October 2012. The intensive course aims to train university graduates and professionals in subject areas related to development and international cooperation and gives them the opportunity to become part of the UNWTO Volunteer Corps.

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Seasonal Tourism Worker Program

Hotels, motels, serviced apartments and other tourism accommodation providers across the Northern Territory, Broome, Kangaroo Island, Tropical North Queensland and the Whitsundays will be able to employ seasonal labour from Pacific countries and East Timor from 1 July under the three year trial. Accommodation providers are eligible to apply to become an approved employer to employ seasonal workers for 14 weeks to six months. The Australian Government is also developing partnership agreements with relevant state and territory governments and industry organisations to assist in the roll out the trial with the tourism industry.

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Explorers Way

The Northern Territory Government and the South Australia Tourism Commission both invested $250,000 in a new self-drive campaign called ‘The Explorers Way' which showcases destinations from Darwin to Adelaide including Alice Springs, Katherine and Tennant Creek. Partnering with Britz, BIG 4, Tourism Top End and Tourism Central Australia the campaign is aimed at families, backpackers and grey nomads on the eastern seaboard. A main feature is the mobile app, Mates Rates which contains a total of 170 businesses providing information on accommodation, places to visit, things to do, route information, discounts and service providers such as mechanics.

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Sustainable Tourism Competition

The 18th "TO DO Competition for Socially Responsible Tourism" organised by the Study Group for Tourism and Development is now open to companies and public or private institutions whose tourism activities meet the interests and needs of the local population in an exemplary manner. The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and will be honored after an on-site inspection at ITB Berlin in March 2013. Deadline is 31 August 2012.

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World Conference of Ecotourism

The Gyeonggi Tourism Organization will host the 4th World Conference from 2 to 5 September 2012 at the Korea International Exhibition Centre, Goyang City in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. The World Ecotourism Conference is backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and will focus on ecotourism initiatives, success stories, trends and innovation as well as best practices and recommendations.

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Interpretation Australia National Conference 2012

Interpretation Australia has just announced that registration for the 2012 Conference Future Challenge is now open.

Future Challenge
promises to offer valuable insights for anyone working in tour guiding, visitor and education services, design, planning, curatorial and content development roles in the tourism sector, national and state parks, botanic gardens and reserves, zoos, aquariums, science centres, museums, heritage sites and government

Future Challenge will be held 13-15 November 2012 in Melbourne, Victoria.

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World Youth and Student Travel Conference

The WYSE Travel Confederation will hold the 21st World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) in San Diego, USA from 18 to 21 September 2012. Endorsed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), WYSTC is the essential global student and youth travel networking event.

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