Seasons Greetings!
Hobbit Air

Air New Zealand has capitalised on the popularity of the upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel, with its Hobbit-themed safety video receiving worldwide recognition and publicity.

Over nine million people have watched the new instructional safety film since its launch. The airline has also introduced a Hobbit-themed aircraft into its fleet.

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STB Sharpens Focus on Indonesian Tourists

Following the series of differentiated marketing campaigns launched in China, Australia (TTG Asia e-Daily, March 9, 2012) and India (TTG Asia e-Daily, November 16, 2012), the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has unveiled its latest Only in Singapore, Right Now! campaign in Jakarta to target Indonesian tourists.

"Through years of engagement in the market and research into consumer needs and behaviour, we have learned much about the Indonesian tourist. The Only in Singapore, Right Now! campaign leverages such valuable insights to deepen our engagement with this important market, said Sophia Ng, assistant chief executive, marketing group, STB.

According to research, most Indonesian visitors to Singapore are FIT travellers; the majority of them have visited Singapore in the past three years; and social media is the biggest source of information sharing.

Ng added: "No longer will Indonesians have to browse through many different websites and platforms to get the necessary information. The YourSingapore Live website provides the Indonesian market a one-stop platform to the latest happenings in Singapore, as well as the ease of booking flights and event tickets."

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The Fever Tree of Lake Naivasha – Kenya

In her second article for Tourforce, well known Kenyan environmental journalist Mary Mwendwa writes of the integral role the legendary yellow barked acacia in the maintenance of biodiversity, ecotourism and community living. Tourforce will feature regular articles on Kenya from Mary in the lead up to the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference in Kenya – September 2013.

Known to many as the "yellow barked acacia" or the "fever tree," a name that dates back to colonial times when explorers associated it with Malaria, the acacia with its wide branches, yellow barks, tiny thorns and small green leaves are attractions that cannot pass the eye.

The tree naturally grows together with other trees in woodlands around Lake Naivasha. People here enjoy fish delicacies, most common being Tilapia, crayfish and an alien species - common carp. Hippos are another wildlife attraction at the lake, as one navigates through, their heads are seen peeping through the waters."Boating is a lucrative business here, many tourists are flocking in to enjoy the waters '', says Simon Mbugua, a boat operator at Kamere Beach.

Read full article

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Cairns ZOOm

The Cairns ZOOm situated in the Cairns Wildlife Dome on the roof of the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino is the newest attraction in Tropical North Queensland. The ropes adventure course consists of 65 elements of ziplines, crossings and walkways in a wildlife immersion exhibit, allowing visitors of all markets and ages to appreciate and be educated about our native fauna with varying levels of difficulty. The entire course utilises SafeRoller, a continuous belay system, with participants connected via a harness to a safety cable system that they are unable to disconnect themselves whilst traversing through the elements.

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Microfinance Tours

Investours is a start-up non-profit organization which combines the power of microfinance and tourism in the form of microfinance tours. This pioneering concept has run small group tours in Mexico and Tanzania where travellers visit and invest in the business ideas of entrepreneurs in poor communities who have applied for loans to grow their small business projects. The program allows microentrepreneurs to invest in their lives, families and communities.

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Project BLUEprint

SriLankan Airlines has launched Project BLUEprint in partnership with UK based Whale and Dolphin Conservation. The airline and wildlife charity will work together to jointly develop a community-based responsible whale and dolphin watching industry off the coast of Sri Lanka and encourage responsible behaviour amongst local boat tour operators. The project also aims to assist with the revitalisation of coastal communities through engagement in responsible whale watching activities and partnership with local development agencies, wildlife tourism operators and fishermen. Partners associated with the project include Jetwing Hotels and Keells Hotel Management.

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Interactive Zoo

I, Animal is a world-first interactive experience, part multi-media tour, theatrical experience and animal encounter designed for adults only at Melbourne Zoo.

Produced in collaboration with The Border Project  the experience uses an iPod touch application built specifically for the Zoo by Art Processors, the technical design team behind the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and the ‘O’ device.

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Trip Planning Website

A new user friendly online itinerary planning solution has been launched which combines traditional forms of product and destination information with the latest in Google dynamic map and search functionality. The site features festival and event information geo-located on the map and embraces social media interaction including Facebook and Google+. This national tourism platform also aims to provide revenue streams for regional and local tourism stakeholders including councils and tourism organisations.

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World Heritage Anniversary

The second week of December marks the 30th anniversary of the declaration of the South-West Wilderness World Heritage Area in Tasmania.

In 1982, the World Heritage Committee met at UNESCO headquarters in Paris to include the Western Tasmanian Wilderness in the World Heritage list for its significant heritage and cultural values. The protected area meets seven of the 10 criteria of World Heritage listing, the highest number in the world alongside Mt Taishan in China.

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National Landscape Guidebooks

A suite of guidebooks has been released to help National Landscapes stakeholders communicate their uniquely engaging experiences of nature and culture.

The positioning guidebooks have been created to provide ideas and inspiration for experience development along with information to assist stakeholders in developing a consistent message for all creative approaches, communications and marketing.

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Know Delays

The KnowDelay service notifies travellers of likely flight delays and recommends alternatives using weather forecasts to predict if
flights will be cancelled so that fliers have the chance to rearrange
travel plans. The US Department of Transportation figures show that around half of all flight delays are due to weather problems, which can leave passengers stranded or late for appointments. KnowDelay sends a notification three days in advance of departure if there is likely to be a disruption to their trip and customers can then either arrange with their airline to take one of the alternative routes recommended by the site or push back their planned activity. The company aims to be 90% accurate with its information and currently covers 35 airports across the US.

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Rental Partnership

Wego, the leading travel metasearch site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, has announced Stayz as its Australian launch partner. The partnership will give travellers the opportunity to browse properties in more than 1,200 locations and filter, share and book holiday rentals including private homes in city centres, beach houses, farm stays, villas and even some unusual properties like converted treehouses and lighthouses. Wego launch partners in other markets include HomeAway, FlipKey, Travelmob and Marketing Villas.

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Overstay Checkout

Art Series Hotels has launched its Overstay Checkout campaign which enables customers to keep the room for as long as they want if no-one is due to check in. Guests booking a room can request an Overstay Checkout on the morning they are due to leave and work out the latest time the stay can be extended based on when the next customer will be arriving, which could be a few extra hours or a day later. This service will be offered to the first guests each day who request the service and will come at no extra cost to customers.

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Adventure Travel Partnership

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) - a global organisation - have announced a new partnership agreement concerning global sustainable tourism development. The partnership will include collaboration in research, education and training to increase the knowledge and value of adventure travel, as well as contribute to the enhancement and sustainable development of adventure travel products amongst UNWTO member states.

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Refurbished Rock Resort

The Indigenous Land Corporation and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia have finished a $30 million refurbishment of Ayers Rock Resort to boost Australia's Indigenous tourism sector and lure more visitors to the Red Centre. The upgrades include a new conference rooms, accommodation and guest facilities which will allow the resort to cater to increased demand for quality tourism products from Chinese tourists and business travellers. The resort has set a target of 50% Indigenous employment by 2018 and houses a National Indigenous Training Academy established by the ILC with training delivered by the William Angliss Institute.


Would your business benefit from a greater understanding of your customers?

In today's competitive market place, it is critical for any business or organisation to stay in touch with customer needs and wants. However, it is often tricky and expensive to determine customers' preferences or evaluate their satisfaction with a product or service. But not with Get Smart. Get Smart is a survey tool that provides targeted cost-effective business intelligence for organisations who want to do business smarter. It's application is proven in New Zealand where more than 250 organisations rely on Get Smart.

However, Get Smart is now available in Australia.

TRC Tourism will be exclusively distributing Get Smart in Australia and are excited about its application for a wide range of industries including:

• Visitor Attractions and Activities
• Hotels and Motels
• Events
• Council Facilities (Libraries, Pools and Recreation Centres)
• Industry Associations
• Parks
• Visitor centres
• destinations

More information can be found at or please contact TRC Tourism directly on +61 2 6456 2722 with inquiries.

Adventure Tourism Development Index

According to the 2012 Adventure Tourism Development Index, Switzerland and New Zealand topped the rankings on sustainable adventure tourism for developed nations while Chile ranked first in the category among developing nations for the first time. Now in its 4th year, the index ranks countries around the world based on 10 key touristic value pillars including sustainable development policy and entrepreneurship. The index is published by The George Washington University, the Adventure Travel Trade Association and Vital Wave Consulting.

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Tourism Investment Facilitation Service

Significant tourism projects will benefit from a new streamlined process that will ensure tourism projects requiring approvals from both Commonwealth and state bodies can access an integrated investment facilitation service to minimise delays. The Tourism Major Project Facilitation Service will manage projects through the Australian Government approvals process saving investors time and money. The facilitation service will be available to projects that have a capital value in excess of AUD$50 million and make a significant contribution to economic growth, exports, employment and/or infrastructure developments.

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Tourism & Aviation Futures Strategic Priority Package

Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland and Torres Strait Incorporated have unveiled a Tourism and Aviation Futures Strategic Priority Package in Cairns. Tourism and aviation is a key pillar of the region's economy and one of 11 priority areas identified by the committee within its Regional Road Map. The Regional Road Map incorporates the aspirations, goals and strategies from community plans that is presented to both the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments to assist with their future planning and budget allocation.

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Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Destinations

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recently announed the second phase of its new Destination Criteria. Overseen by GSTC's Destination Working Group and managed by NGO partner Sustainable Travel International, the GSTC is once again soliciting input and comments from all travel and tourism stakeholders on this exciting project, ensuring diverse feedback is collected. The GSTC is also requesting support in reaching out to other parties that might be interested in participating.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council's Criteria for Destinations are designed to orient destination managers, communities, and businesses toward the steps that are needed to sustain their natural and cultural assets, while benefitting local communities. The Destination Criteria complement the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which have become a worlwide standard for tourism businesses.

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Tourism Careers

Opportunities to work in the tourism industry will be highlighted through a new television, mobile and tablet application. WORKS.TV presents work opportunities alongside the benefits of living in particular regions of Australia and working in the tourism industry. The 30 minute program will air on Channel 74 TV4ME nationally in metropolitan and regional markets. It is a joint project between hospitality, retail and tourism training organisation, AVANA and Brand New Media which produces innovative multi-channel content formats for broadcasters and brands.

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Service Quality Toolkit

A new online toolkit to help Queensland tourism operators improve service standards has been launched by Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council. The Service Quality Toolkit provides a range of practical resources and ideas to suit individual business needs including case studies of best practice, downloadable forms and templates and links to other websites. The toolkit was developed as a result of research conducted both in Australia and overseas including consultation with Emporium Hotels, Virgin Australia and Paronella Park.

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Australia India Travel and Tourism Council

India and Australia has teamed up to launch the Australia India Travel and Tourism Council, a group designed to enhance bilateral tourist traffic between the two destinations.

The organisation will be managed and represented by a council of individuals and organisations across the industry and will focus on working with industry partners to increase knowledge for travellers from India and Australia as well as research travel trends, sponsor round table discussions and host industry networking.

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ASEAN Ecotourism Conference - Manila

The Department of Tourism Philippines together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources hosted the ASEAN Ecotourism Conference last week in Manila. Speakers from across ASEAN nations and the Asia-Pacific addressed the theme of Greening the Economy through Ecotourism.

Neal Muller of the Queensland Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games provided a keynote on the topic of Pathways to Ecotourism Investment in Queensland – based on legislative and policy initiatives of the new State Government under Minister Jann Stuckey.

Tony Charters provided a keynote on the topic of Developing Successful Tourism Enterprises on Protected Areas. Tony drew on his experience as both a protected area manager and ecotourism developer to provide some practical inputs. His presentation can be viewed here.

The Philippines has an amazing diversity of ecosystems and cultures – vital assets for this industry. Tony focussed on the delivery of credible approaches that can combine these assets with sustainable management, poverty alleviation and quality experiences.

ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2013 - Lao PDR

ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as one tourist destination. ATF TRAVEX is the longest-running annual ASEAN leisure travel trade event, showcasing the largest contingent of ASEAN sellers. This annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 ASEAN member nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Each year the hosting of ATF is rotated among the member countries. Lao PDR will host ATF 2013 and is all geared up to welcome over 1,500 delegates which includes more than 400 international buyers and 100 international media. ATF 2013 marks the 32nd anniversary of this event since its inauguration in Malaysia in 1981.

2013 TRAVEX Dates: 22 to 24 January 2013
Venue: Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao ITECC)

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PHILTOA Plan Inaugural Tourism Convention

THE Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) will organise the first Philippine Tourism Convention in May next year as the country gears up for the expected influx of 10 million foreign tourists by 2016.

To be held in a yet-to-be specified venue in Manila, the convention will be open to all tourism stakeholders including local government officials, hoteliers, travel consultants, schools as well as professionals engaged in various travel segments such as adventure travel and agro-tourism.

Among the highlights of this upcoming annual event is the private sector's role in helping local government units improve their understanding of tourism, develop tourism criteria and put in place infrastructure to handle the forecasted growth in inbound traffic.

According to PHILTOA president Cesar Cruz, forum topics will include defining Filipino service and preparing for the 2015 implementation of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on tourism professionals, which paves the way for higher competency standards and greater mobility within the regional bloc.

World Responsible Tourism Day - Paris

The 7th World Responsible Tourism Day will be held on Monday, 3 June 2013 at the regional council of the city of Paris, France.

The theme is island destinations - sustainable tourism laboratories.

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IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2013 - Bangkok

Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia (IT&CMA) and Corporate Travel World (CTW) Asia-Pacific is The World's Only Doublebill Event in MICE and Corporate Travel. Both events have been co-locating since 2004, offering its delegates a valuable platform to do business, learn and network.

Since 2012, the event has incorporated Luxury Travel in its ambit. 2013, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 1-3 October 2013, will see the 21st and 16th instalment of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific respectively.

Established in 1993, IT&CMA is the leading international MICE show centered in Asia, offering the largest collection of Asia-Pacific MICE suppliers. IT&CMA brings together MICE suppliers as well as regional and international buyers in a 3-day exhibition showcase coupled with intensive business appointments. Exhibition features include destinations, products, services and solutions relating to meetings, incentives, conventions and events.

Launched in 1998, CTW Asia-Pacific is a conference and exhibition on Travel & Entertainment (T&E) management for the Asia-Pacific region. Influencers, planners and decision-makers of Corporate Travel functions in their organisation attend the annual conference to keep themselves abreast of the latest trends and knowledge that enable them to get the most out of their T&E decisions. IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific is organised by TTG Events, a business group of TTG Asia Media.

Adventure Travel World Summit - Namibia

Namibia will host the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit from 26 to 31 October 2013. The summit has become the industry's marquee event for networking, discussion and collaboration around industry best practices and global tourism issues affecting adventure travel. Delegates from around the world will gather for six days incorporating field days, adventure, marketplace, networking and learning.

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