Charters and Associates Tourforce
is Your Business
|Tony Charters and Associates releases a
regular newsletter Tourforce keeping stakeholders
of the tourism industry connected with current issues,
research, events and funding opportunities.
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Reproduction of any items from Tourforce is welcome,
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Welcome to Tourforce Sustainability Edition! (Edition 6)
Change: Tourism and Travel Sector Needs
Climate Change has reached new heights of awareness
through Australia’s recent ratification of the
Kyoto protocol and the United Nations Climate Change
Conference in Bali. Across the globe and within Australia
there are numerous proactive initiatives occurring within
the tourism industry to respond to Climate Change.
This edition of Tourforce has a special theme around
sustainability and climate. Operators and institutions
large and small have an important role to play and we
feature the work of some of these enterprises in the
New economic markets (e.g. emissions trading), businesses
(e.g. offset providers) and regulations are rapidly
emerging and the objectives and structures of these
can be confusing. At the consumer level, there is an
unprecedented awareness and desire to contribute to
the amelioration of climate change impact.
For tourism and travel organisations to remain competitive
in this environment, they will need to:
|demonstrate a clear and decisive
response to climate change issues within their industry;
|provide experiences and opportunities that
give consumers a sense of contributing to the amelioration
of climate change impacts; and
|raise awareness and communicate this commitment
clearly to market segments.
There is currently an opportunity for the tourism and
travel industry in Australia to take a lead role in each
of these three key areas. However, time is of the essence,
|There is a window of opportunity where being
seen as a climate friendly tourism and travel destination,
and one of the first, is likely to provide some degree
of competitive advantage – however many other destinations
are already currently chasing this mantle.
|The potential loss of market share and tourism revenue
associated with falling behind as a destination responding
to climate change.
As I travel around the region I am acutely aware that
industry is looking for positive responses to Climate
Change. This edition of Tourforce sets out some practical
and forward thinking approaches.
From all the team at Tony Charters and Associates I
would like to wish you all the best for Christmas and
the New Year break. We look forward to working with
you in 2008.
1st Fully Solar Powered Resort
Hidden Valley, one and
a half hours northwest of Townsville, runs on totally
self-generated power. Hidden Valley owners, the McLennan’s
have, over the years tried to develop ideas to decrease
their generator use therefore saving on greenhouse gasses
but still giving their guests an optimum experience.
Hidden Valley Cabins has successfully applied through
the federally funded. Renewable Remote Power Generation
Scheme and has installed a stand alone solar system
to run the entire resort 24 hours per day. The system
consists of 12 KVA inverter, 90 x 130 watt solar panels
delivering 120 volts DC into 60 x 2 volt 1660 amph batteries.
There will also be an interpretive
centre for customers to explore the operational aspect
of the renewable energy system, timelines on the development
of the project and suggested ideas on how the consumer
can help with the fight against climate change.
Interpretive signage will be placed throughout the
entire resort so guests can walk through at their leisure
learning about the system and piecing together the story
and learning key aspects of the system.
Hidden Valley Cabins and Tours are Australia’s
1st carbon neutral accommodation and tour company operative
on renewable energy. Hidden Valley Cabins and Tours
has completed in-house audits following the guidelines
set down by Climate Friendly to reduce all carbon emissions.
After reducing all carbon based emissions Hidden Valley
Cabins & Tours purchased carbon credits to offset
the rest of the operational activities to make Hidden
Valley Cabins and Tours the first accommodation and
tour business in Australia to be Carbon Neutral.
For further information visit: http://www.hiddenvalleycabins.com.au/solar_power.htm
|The Wild Scotland Best Practice Guidelines
for Wildlife Watching represent the first industry-approved
standards to ensure wildlife tourism in Scotland is sustainable
in the long-term for both rural communities and the environment.
The guidelines were produced by tourism businesses keen
to provide clear guidance to other commercial companies
on how to provide an enjoyable wildlife watching experience.
Tourism Best Practice Guides
Conservation International and the Adventure
Travel Trade Association have partnered to develop and
distribute best practices for adventure tour providers
operating in sensitive environmental destinations. This
partnership aims to assist global travel companies in
accessing a series of web-based seminars and training
guides on mountain tours, tropical forests, hotel accommodation
and marine recreation.
For further information visit:http://www.adventuretravel.biz/newsevents.asp
Australia Responds to Climate Change
|As the industry leader for
sustainable tourism, Ecotourism Australia is developing
a Climate Change Certification module to facilitate best
practice within the tourism industry.
The Climate Change Certification module will be suitable
for all tourism sectors. Tours, attractions and accommodation
providers will be able to apply for certification. Additionally,
oganisations that service the tourism industry including
regional tourism organisations, travel agencies, consultancies
and tourism retail outlets will be eligible to use the
Using its 12 years of expertise in operating the globally
acclaimed Eco-certification scheme, Ecotourism Australia
plans to deliver a product for the entire tourism industry
|improve awareness and understanding of climate
change impacts on environment, culture and community;
|improve awareness and understanding of the implications
of these impacts on the tourism industry;
|improve understanding of climate change concepts and
initiatives (e.g. carbon trading, offset programs);
|increase awareness of “greenhouse friendly”
programs and other industry resources;
|identify areas of business operations that contribute
to greenhouse emissions;
|identify areas where operators can take action to directly
and indirectly reduce their emissions;
|promote best practices in their marketing and visitor
communications related to climate change;
|identify actions that assist in encouraging and facilitating
visitors to directly and indirectly reduce their tourism
related contribution to greenhouse emissions;
|benchmark participating operators current greenhouse
performance and assess and monitor improvements; and
|provide practical examples of emissions reduction approaches
and tools which have application to operator’s businesses.
for Climate Change
Action for Climate Change is a new flagship
program managed by Conservation Volunteers, with a range
of initiatives to assist business and individuals to
reduce their impact on the environment.
Action for Climate Change builds upon the 25 years
of experience based upon practical, simple actions in
which all of us can participate.
For further information visit: http://www.actionforclimatechange.org.au/
At the United Nations World Tourism
Organization Conference on Climate Change and Tourism
in Davos a comprehensive report was commissioned. The
report provides a synthesis of the state of knowledge
about current and future likely impacts of climate change
on tourism destinations around the world, possible implications
for tourist demand, current levels and trends in greenhouse
gas emissions from the tourism sector, and mitigation
measures that can be taken by the tourism industry.
The conference was attended by several hundred delegates
from over 100 different countries, representing all
sectors of the tourism industry (public and private
sector, NGOs and governments).
For further information visit: http://www.unwto.org/climate/index.php
The Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission (ACCC) will check the authenticity of several
green marketing products after receiving a growing number
of complaints on schemes that claim "green"
benefits including those associated with carbon credits,
carbon neutral, carbon offset and carbon footprint.
A largely unregulated carbon-cutting business had sprung
up selling "offsets" for projects that claimed
to compensate for carbon emissions, such as planting
trees or fertilising oceans. The ACCC intends to increase
compliance activities with a combination of business
and consumer educative initiatives and targeted enforcement
For further information visit:
Eurostar is planning to make all journeys
carbon neutral through a combination of activities aimed
at offsetting and reducing emissions. Earlier in the
year Eurostar announced plans to cut CO2 emissions by
25% per traveller journey by 2012. This target is being
achieved through systems advising drivers of their energy
consumption, sourcing cleaner sources of electricity
and better load factors.
For further information visit: http://www.eurostar.com/UK/uk/leisure/travel_information/
Assurance and Certification in Ecotourism
State of Play Climate Change and Tourism
A joint report produced
by Sustainable Tourism CRC through two of its leading
research centres, investigates the current state of
play between climate change and the Australian tourism
industry. The study provides a succinct overview of
current data related to Greenhouse Gas Emissions produced
by the industry as well as forecasts for air travel,
shipping, road and rail transport.
For further information visit: http://www.crctourism.com.au/story/article-43.aspx
Business of Ecotourism
This publication discusses the key elements
of sustainable tourism and provides ideas and examples
on how to succeed in the industry without compromising
It covers topics such as building partnerships, developing
cultural tourism strategies, building tour packages,
organising festivals and understanding business risk.
For further information visit: http://www.trafford.com/07-0096
International Ecotourism Awards
|The 6th Annual Skål International
Ecotourism Awards were presented during the Opening Ceremony
of the 68th Skål World Congress held recently in
Turkey. Among the winners where Aqua Trek's Fiji Conservation
and Sustainable Tourism Program (Fiji Islands), Coral
Reef Walk & Restauration Program and Coral Farm (Fiji
Islands) and Ecovita Organic Camping and Farm (Ecuador).
The awards aim to encourage conservation of the environment,
sustainable development and responsible tourism.
The awards received worldwide support with 46 entries
from across 24 countries. Winners were evaluated by
three independent judges based on contribution to the
conservation of nature and cultural heritage, community
involvement, business viability and innovation.
For further information visit: http://www.skal.org/html/ecotourism/eco.asp?idioma=I
Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards
The New Forest was the overall
winner of the 2007 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism
Award. The awards recognise individuals, companies and
organisations in the travel industry that are making
a significant commitment to the culture and economies
of local communities and are providing a positive contribution
to biodiversity conservation.
The awards were founded in 2004 by responsibletravel.com
in partnership with The Times, World Travel Market and
Geographical Magazine. The Awards differ from other
tourism awards in that winners are nominated by tourists.
In 2007 over 1700 nominations were received and put
forward to a panel of 13 expert judges.
For further information visit: http://www.responsibletourismawards.com/
Tony Charters and Associates have developed
a suite of systematic and practical solutions in response
to the climate change challenge. The Business ClimeMate™
Assessment is one of these programs, tailored to the
needs of tourism and travel organisations seeking to
‘get their own house in order’.
The Business ClimeMate™ Assessment process has
been specifically developed to meet the growing demands
of tourism organisations under increasing pressure to
take rapid and immediate action on climate change. The
objective is to empower organisations:
|to maintain the economic viability of their
business operations under likely climate change scenarios;
| to demonstrate industry leadership in reducing contributions
to future greenhouse emissions.
The process incorporates a cost effective
series of actions to assess priority risk and impact
areas and develop strategic and practical responses.
Largely unavoidable impacts of climate change on internal
and external business operations are identified and
assessed and a strategic Adaptation Response developed.
The organisation’s emissions footprint and the
degree to which it is contributing to future climate
change is also assessed and the need to reduce emissions
met through the development of a strategic Mitigation
As with all planning processes, a high level of stakeholder
involvement and buy in is considered an important contributor
to effective outcomes. A bottom up approach is utilised
throughout the process as outcomes are always more successful
when all tiers of management and staff are committed
to their role in the action plans.
The Business ClimeMate™ Assessment process is
straightforward and cost effective, leaving organisations
with practical actions and responses. If your organisation
is currently grappling with questions of what the complex
issues of Climate Change will mean for your business
and how to handle them – we can help.
Please feel free to contact us for further information:
07 3012 9575 or by email.
Lonely Planet Guidebook
Lonely Planet's new Australia
guidebook will feature GreenDex - an index of
sustainable accommodation, tours and experiences.
Listings have been selected by Lonely Planet
authors as they demonstrate an active sustainable-tourism
policy, are involved in conservation or environmental
education, are certified by Ecotourism Australia,
are owned and operated by local and/or indigenous
For further information visit: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/pressroom/news/
Portfolio represents Emirates Hotels and Resorts
has been selected to represent Emirates Hotels
and Resorts in Australia.
The role is dedicated to representing Wolgan
Valley Resort and Spa in the Blue Mountains (opening
in late 2009) and Emirates properties in Dubai,
including Al Maha.
For further information visit:
Futures National Conference 2008
|Global Market, Competitive
Tourism Futures brings together the key players who drive
Australia’s tourism industry – the operators,
infrastructure builders, investors, policy makers, researchers
and marketers. Delegates receive an holistic perspective
on the industry- with leading international and national
commentators briefed to provide an over the horizon view
on the future of tourism.
The tourism industry operates
within an ever dynamic environment. Global influences
are more apparent than ever. Climate Change for example
represents both a direct and indirect threat to many
of Australia’s destinations. Getting the response
right on climate change over the next ten years will
Significant opportunities exist for the industry too.
The amazing growth in available domestic and overseas
airline seats though new carriers, additions to existing
fleets and new larger aircraft creates great opportunity.
The strength of the Australian dollar creates a new
dynamic for the industry – with winners and losers.
Travelling to exotic overseas destinations where costs
are very low creates a whole new set of competitors
for Australian tourism operators. In 2008 Tourism Futures
will focus on our leading international competitors
– to gain an understanding of their product base
and marketing strategies and to develop strategic responses.
Australians are now faced with higher debt servicing
costs through rising interest rates. Discretionary income
will be on the decline. Competition from other consumer
goods will reach new highs. Baby boomers remain cashed
up and may benefit from increased inflationary conditions.
Tourism Futures will lead an expert discussion on our
economic future and its impacts on tourism.
Building Australia’s competitive edge in the global
tourism market must be a priority. Importantly, Australia
must keep pace with advances in technology, respond
to climate change, respond to consumer trends and supply
a workforce that delivers service excellence. It means
building on Australia’s strengths – its
nature and environment, its open and friendly people,
indigenous culture, sporting prowess, excellence in
event and convention management, climate, health and
security. This can only be achieved by industry, government
and the community working in partnership.
If you play a role in delivering Australia’s tourism
competitive advantage then you must attend Tourism Futures.
Tony Charters, Convenor for Tourism Futures is meeting
with CEOs around Australia and Asian Pacific to reinforce
the strong commitment to Tourism Futures to a reground
|What’s new for Tourism Futures in 2008?
|More internationally recognised
speakers – with the support of key sponsors
we are tapping into the global talent pool of experts.
|More networking opportunities – nightly happy
hour 5pm till 6pm, nightly networking
events - less formality, more interaction - in
the sub-tropical winter nights of the Gold Coast
|Flexible program – Day 1 and
Day 3 provides a wide range of choices - construct a program
that suits your interests.
|Tourism Futures Topline – Day
two provides an objective assessment of current performance,
examines future trends and develops response strategies.
|Extended speaking time – providing
speakers with the time to develop their topic and take
questions – no lengthy introductions – straight
to the point.
|Interactive discussion and debate –
each session will end with expert panel sessions and you
get to have your say.
|Breakfast briefings – each morning
receive high level briefings from industry leaders on
cutting edge programs
|Day 1 – Tourism Futures Forums
– a series of highly targeted workshops designed
to examine future trends, opportunities, case studies
and innovations from across the Asia Pacific region. Significant
interactive discussion time maximises learnings.
|Day 2 – Tourism Futures Topline
– full plenary day with leading global experts and
commentators. The Day has three priority functions: an
objective analysis of current performance; outlook of
key trends across society, demographics, consumer trends,
climate change, destination development and marketing;
formulating an action agenda to take forward into our
Day 3 – Tourism Futures
Best Practice Workshops – specialised
full day workshops to provide applied and practical
updates on best practice. Interaction will be a key
element and expert speakers shall equip you to quickly
gain a global perspective, recognise opportunities for
your business and establish networks with other key
For further information visit: http://www.tourismfutures.com.au
The SEGRA 2007 Conference Proceedings
and Communiqué are now available for purchase
online featuring over 60 key papers from leading commentators
such as Dr Keith Suter (Social and Economic Commentator),
Oliver Freeman (Managing Director, The Neville Freeman
Agency), Bob McNulty (President, Partners for Livable
Communities, USA) and The Hon Simon Crean MP (now Minister
The Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia
(SEGRA) 2008 will be held in Albury, New South Wales
from 18-20 August.
For further information visit: http://www.segra.com.au/segra/segra_comique.html
Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference
|Tony Charters spoke at the recent Asia Pacific
Ecotourism Conference (APECO) organised by the Malaysian
Association of Tour & Travel Agents. The Conference
hold in Terengganu Malaysia recently, was the 5th Asia
Pacific Ecotourism Conference
|Themed 'Marine Ecotourism: Emerging Best
Sustainable Practices and Success Stories', the Conference
addressed these challenging issues and offered guidance
on how to manage marine ecotourism through sustainable
practices particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
Tony Charters was invited to speak on the topic of ‘Climate
Change and the role of Certification’ which outlined
for delegates a range of scenarios that the tourism industry
may encounter under IPCC predictious. We then outlined
how certification programs such as Eco Certification can
assist operators and destinations to mititate against
climate damaging practices.
For further information visit: http://www.apeco2007.com/
Future for NZ Tourism Industry
is a key principle of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy
2015 which sets out a goal for the tourism sector to
take a leading role in protecting and enhancing the
The strategy was developed out of a process of extensive
discussion and consultation and presents a vision that
in 2015, tourism will be valued as the leading contributor
to a sustainable New Zealand economy.
For further information visit: http://www.nztourismstrategy.com/
and Conservation Partnerships on Agenda at EA Conference
|Themed, “Leading Global Challenges”
Ecotourism Australia’s 2007 National Conference
provided a forum for the discussion of critical issues
facing the ecotourism and nature tourism industries.
Mariglo Laririt, Manager for Environment Ten Knots Group,
was one of the Conference’s International Keynote
speakers and tackled the issue of ‘Partnerships
for Tourism and Conservation in a Philippine Protected
|Using El Nido in Northern Palawan as a
case study, Mariglo demonstrated how the resort works
together to integrate resource management with development.
All tourism establishments and activities of El Nido fall
within a government-declared Managed Resource Protected
Area. This was a critical process to satisfy the demands
of the independent trends of conservation and tourism
|El Nido is one of few examples
where the early presence and activities of a tourism developer
and operator, Ten Knots Development Corporation, fundamentally
assisted various groups in the policing of conservation
goals and setting these into legislation and action. At
the same time, Ten Knots has steadily promoted high quality
tourism in the area. Ten Knots was a finalist in the prestigeous
Tourism for Tomorrow Awards organised by the World Tourism
and Travel Council.
Tony Charters and Associates