Trackable Suitcase
A new suitcase from Ideactionary is Bluetooth-enabled and can follow its owner around as well as being traceable when lost. The work of designer Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez 'the hop' suitcase also contains a caterpillar system at its base which enables it to drives itself forwards as well as turn. Three Bluetooth receivers can connect to the owner's smartphone, allowing it to triangulate the signal and determine where the user is in relation to the suitcase. When the phone moves, the suitcase follows and if the handset goes out of range, it is automatically locked and a vibrating alert lets the owner know.

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Hamilton Island has launched an Instagram campaign to increase the Island's online presence and showcase the destination by utilising the power and influence of sharing experiences through social media. The Ultimate InstaMeet will involve a group of Pilgramers (Instagrammers on a Pilgrimage) capturing their experiences on Hamilton Island from 23-25 November 2012 and posting them on Instagram, You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. The group will be made up of passionate Instagrammers from Australia, well-known personalities, competition winners and the original Pilgramers from America.
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Contiki’s Shout
Contiki Holidays the leading youth travel company for 18-35 year olds has launched a new iPhone app called 'Shout' as an on-the-go companion for any traveller. Free to download, it is the best way for Contiki travellers to connect with each other prior to, during and after their trip. Pre-departure, travellers can download the app and set up a profile to connect with tour mates via an extension of Contiki's MeetUps tool, which provides city maps, converts currencies, translates languages and checks the weather.
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The rent-a-garden concept is the first and only website advertising private gardens as micro-campsites which provide accessible, affordable and fun alternatives to traditional accommodation around the world. It provided a significant source of accommodation for holidaymakers looking to enjoy the London 2012 Olympic Games. With high household debt, this website provides homeowners with the opportunity to rent out their garden as a campsite to visitors seeking to save money and also experience the local community.

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Hotel Holiday Experience
Hotel Droog in the Netherlands now aims to provide the entire holiday experience in one building. Situated in a 700 square metre 17th century building in Amsterdam, the hotel was conceived by design firm Droog as a hub of activity that caters for all aspects of a stay in the city. Visitors booking a room at the hotel are offered top range cafés and restaurants, a row of shops including a beauty store and fashion outlet, a Fairy Tale Garden and an art gallery, while the hotel is regularly host to events and exhibitions to keep guests entertained.

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Concept Plan for Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking in Thredbo is set to reach new heights in 2013 with plans to create a world-class trail network. Renowned leaders in trail design and construction have commenced work on a new mountain bike concept plan that will see Thredbo become one of Australia's most iconic mountain bike destinations. World Trail are one of the most respected authorities in sustainable trail technology and will create a network of downhill, cross country and skill based trails utilising a series of natural and man-made features across the village and mountain areas.

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Australia’s National Landscapes
The latest outcome report is available and provides an update on Australia's National Landscape Program and individual Landscapes between March 2011 and June 2012. The report highlights achievements and explains key challenges in implementation. It also outlines future challenges and actions as a baseline for future performance monitoring and long-term strategic framework to align with the goals of Tourism 2020.

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National Parks Volunteer Program
The Tauck National Parks guest-volunteer program has celebrated hosting its 15,000th participant and over 30,000 hours of volunteer labour. The unique volunteer program was first offered to guests visiting Yellowstone in 2003, before being later relocated to Grand Teton where projects have included preservation work on many of the parks' hundreds of historic structures, removal of non-native plant species, rainwater runoff control, and light landscaping work.

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Regional Tourism Destination Management Planning

An integral part of the Visitor Economy Taskforce Report currently under the consideration by the NSW State Government is the creation and implementation of Destination Management Planning (DMP).

A Workshop - the New World of Tourism – Destination Management Planning and Implications for Regional Tourism, will be held in conjunction with the SEGRA Conference in Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast on 22 November 2012.

Central Coast Tourism was one of the first Regional Tourism Organisations in NSW to create and implement a DMP for the Central Coast Region.

This workshop will discuss and explore the implications of the DMP in business, planning and marketing strategies. The workshop will also discuss the importance of DMP in building a cohesive regional tourism strategy and look also at the role of Tourism Infrastructure Plans in prioritising tourism infrastructure development opportunities.

The workshop will also follow the course of a regional events strategy identified in the DMP, and its journey from creation to implementation, as well as the resulting significant economic impact for the Central Coast Region.

To register or for more information visit or download the workshop flyer

Global Youth Tourism Declaration
The San Diego Declaration was launched at the recent World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) in the USA. The landmark announcement was the result of wide-ranging consultation with members of the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation, a global not-for-profit membership organisation dedicated to promoting and developing opportunities for the youth, student and educational travel industry. The Declaration underlines the positive contribution youth travel can make towards the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, as they frequently seek to discover new cultures, spend money directly with local businesses or participate in volunteer programs.

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Voluntourism Guidelines

The International Voluntourism Guidelines for commercial tour operators were launched at the recent International Ecotourism Society's 2012 conference in California. The International Ecotourism Society along with support from the Planeterra Foundation and an international advisory committee developed the guidelines as a practical tool to be used by global voluntourism providers to plan and manage their programs in a responsible manner.
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Ecotourism Conference Wraps up in Cairns

Ecotourism Australia's 20th Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference wrapped up in Cairns, Queensland on Wednesday 17 October. The program featured an impressive line-up of speakers who presented the key challenges and opportunities for eco and responsible tourism now and beyond to 2020.

Tourism professionals from over twenty nations were present in the gathering and brought a truly global perspective to the event.


Presentations from the conference can now be viewed online here and the 2013 conference dates will be announced, so stay tuned for more details!

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Jet Powered Great Barrier Reef
Lady Elliot Island has imported an additional two sets of Mercury jet pumps from the US to be installed on the island's dive and snorkel vessels following the recent success of launching the first jet powered outboard motor on the Great Barrier Reef. The jet motors are propeller free and have no projection below the hull, allowing the vessel to manoeuvre around coral, marine life and people without causing any damage or danger compared to a conventional propeller motor.

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The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation an independent charitable foundation which assists passengers and staff support vital community projects around the world, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has donated more than AUD$3 million in funds to over 40 good causes in more than 20 countries, ranging from education of children in Tanzania to nutritional programmes in Peru and promotion of women's rights in Timor-Leste. The Intrepid Foundation also makes donations to international non-government organisations and emergency appeals following floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

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Graduate Tourism Futures

The University of Ballarat in Victoria is now offering a Graduate Certificate in Tourism Futures for professionals seeking to progress their career in the tourism industry.

This program offers students the chance to undertake practical learning opportunities that will help them meet the challenges and opportunities tourism industries are facing. Tourism is in transition and operators have witnessed some dramatic changes in the way visitors behave locally and globally.

This program has been designed for working professionals and all courses are delivered online.

Further information: download brochure

World's Fastest Growing Travel Region
According to the recent PhoCusWright-ITB Asia study, the Asia Pacific is set to continue to lead as the world's fastest-growing travel region next year, reaching US$357 billion. Offline distribution still accounts for a majority of regional travel sales, with wholesalers and traditional travel retailers continuing to serve travellers who prefer buying tour packages, especially for more complex international travel. The study also states demand for independent travel is also on the rise with travellers shifting to the Internet in search of price transparency, variety, information and convenience.

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Small-Scale Accommodation Survey

Smaller hotels, motels, serviced apartments, visitor hostels, and caravan parks are invited to get involved with the new Small-Scale Accommodation Survey. From January 2013 the innovative, web-based platform will track the performance of hotels, motels, serviced apartments, visitor hostels, and caravan parks. The survey will provide operators, investors, and government with timely information on supply, demand, and revenue.

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Naturally Phillip Island
A new survey from Tourism Research Australia has found that the nature and wildlife experiences of Phillip Island exceed the expectations of visitors and would help inform further development on the island. Visitor satisfaction with attractions, information services and tours were all high and over half of the visitors to Phillip Island were repeat visitors and would recommend visiting to others. The survey was conducted during March and April 2012 by Tourism Research Australia in partnership with Destination Phillip Island and Tourism Victoria.

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Funding for Australia's Great Indoors
The Australian Government has announced a new $48.5 million Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund which aims to assist businesses to upgrade their accommodation and build new tourism attractions. Competitive, merits based grants are open for applications for funding between $50,000 and $250,000 matched dollar for dollar. Tourism operators outside Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne metropolitan areas are eligible to apply for the industry-matching grants up to 14 December 2012.

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Interpretation Australia Conference
Interpretation Australia's National Conference will be held in Melbourne from 12 to 15 November 2012. The program features a range of thought-provoking presentations and practical workshops by leading curators, academics and interpreters from Australia, the UK and USA on the latest findings about blending new technologies and traditional media, sustainable tourism and design.

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Conference on Tourism, Transport, and Logistics
The International Conference on Tourism, Transport, and Logistics will be held in Paris, France from 14 to 16 February 2013. The conference aims to provide a forum for exchange of ideas and discussion among leading academics, researchers and practitioners on latest developments and opportunities for collaboration.

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