Barbie Cafe

The first Barbie-themed restaurant has opened in Taiwan catering to fans of the iconic doll. US toymaker Mattel has licensed Taiwan's restaurant group Sinlaku to operate the Barbie Cafe and hopes that the new establishment in a bustling shopping district in the capital Taipei will help promote Barbie as a fashion brand to fans from China, Hong Kong and Japan. Taiwan has a long history with Barbie as it used to be a manufacturing centre for the dolls until Mattel relocated its production lines to China in the late 1980s.

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Kakadu Cab

Inspiring Journeys, Australia's leading small group experiential operator with the support of Tourism NT recently ran a competition rewarding time-poor individuals with a spontaneous three day journey around Kakadu. The campaign named Kakadu Cab, saw the lucky yet unsuspecting recipients hail down an unmarked black cab as it roamed the streets of Sydney late last year, where they were then offered an opportunity to either be taken to their chosen destination or experience the outback at its best in the Top End. Each winner's entire Kakadu Cab experience was documented with a series of webisodes.

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Social Business Travellers

A recent survey by Four Points by Sheraton monitored the needs and habits of business travellers of 6,000 business travellers from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Germany and Brazil. Aside from sleeping, survey respondents indicated that enjoying the hotel bar or restaurant with colleagues or business partners was their number one activity during free time, outpacing time spent in the gym, spa, shopping or catching up with local acquaintances.

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Natural Volunteers

Conservation Volunteers Australia and Parks Victoria have joined forces in promoting a new Naturewise voluntourism program for regional Victoria. The program aims to offer opportunities for involvement with environmental and conservation projects and will work closely with regional and state tourism bodies, natural resource management organisations and local communities. Founded in 1982, Conservation Volunteers is a leader in delivery of conservation projects, community involvement and a range of training programs with over 10,000 volunteers every year.

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Flight Dashboard

Pintrips offers a travel booking service that allows users to 'pin' flight deals from different sites onto a real-time online dashboard. The system allows users to keep flight details all in one place and updates the fare prices as they change. The service ensures users they have the most up-to-date details when making a booking.

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Plastic Bottle Free Island

Lady Elliot Island is the first island on the Great Barrier Reef to eliminate selling bottled water to help reduce their environmental footprint. Reusable bottles will be available to guests that can be filled from drinking fountains located around the resort or from in room taps as the water produced on the island is pure desalinated seawater with no additives. Other environmental initiatives implemented on the island include doubling the amount of solar power that has increased the production of renewable energy to 170kW per day.

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Orangutan Caring Week

The Orangutan Project has launched 'Orango Tango' as part of the worldwide Orangutan Caring Week. The national fundraising campaign is designed to build awareness and focus attention on the species through the efforts of public supporters. The campaign has been launched to address the worldwide reduction in orangutan habitat across Borneo and Sumatra and will run until 30 June 2013.

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Luxury Tree Houses
A five-star eco-friendly resort in Canada has unveiled their latest high-scale retreat that's suspended entirely in trees. The 12 tree house villas hanging in the tranquil Bruce Peninsula forest, just northwest of Toronto are the E'terra Samara resort's latest villas matching luxurious comfort and futuristic style with the great outdoors. The villas design is inspired by the samara seed or maple key and features a front furnished living space, composting toilet and an eco-friendly shower. The structure is suspended from the tree's trunk and the sheltering fabric bonnets are not only self-cleaning but actively neutralize airborne pollutants and odours.

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Toddler Free Zone

Low cost airline AirAsia X has reserved seven rows of seats in economy for guests above the age of 12, looking for a quiet and more peaceful journey to their destination. The new 'Quiet Zone' is available on the airline's long-haul flights across China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia and Nepal. It is located immediately after the Premium cabin and even includes soft lighting to create a relaxing environment. Guests interested in travelling in the 'Quiet Zone' simply need to choose the area in their pick-a-seat option during the booking process, with passengers only charged a standard pick-a-seat fee.

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World's Safest Airlines

Europe's Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre has released its annual safety index that ranks airlines against international safety benchmarks in the aviation industry. First was Finnair followed by Air New Zealand, with other carriers to make the top ten including Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific and Etihad Airways. The ratings are calculated by comparing hull loss accidents and serious incidents suffered by airlines over the past 30 years to the revenue passenger kilometres they have performed over the same period.

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German Wings

Lufthansa's low cost subsidiary, Germanwings will launch a completely new brand and product concept including three new fare types set to revolutionise Europe's low-cost sector. The new product will also be able to book flights "a la carte" style, with the ability to create their own package and adapt it in detail to their individual flying needs. The airline's logo and aircraft livery will also change, with the core element to be a stylised 'W' in blackberry and yellow colours.

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Pack for a Purpose

Pack for a Purpose is an all-volunteer organization which operates a free informational website for travellers. The site enables individual travellers to connect to lodgings, tour companies, and small cruises, with the intention of supporting community-based projects at destinations around the world.

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The Liquid Gold of Bogoria  - Kenya

Article courtesy of Mary Mwendwa, Journalist

Apart from the natural beauty of landscape, wildlife and hot springs, natural liquid gold flows in Bogoria.Known to many for the glory of its large flamingo population, Lake Bogoria visitors also experience the famous local honey. The scorching sun, acacia trees, greater kudus and ostriches are just some of the attractions around the Lake. Located in the Rift Valley of Kenya, Lake Bogoria National Reserve is ranked among one of protected areas which receive a larger number of tourists. Lesser Flamingoes dot the saline Lake Bogoria and hot springs being some of the attractions.

The Tugen community who live around the Lake have a lot to smile about the benefits of honey. According to Simon Chesang, chairman of Kapkuikui Livestock Improvement Self Help Group, "Honey harvesting is a lucrative business here, as a group we process and sell honey to local and foreign tourists who visit Bogoria." He adds that honey has several medicinal uses for example treating respiratory tract infections and wounds. Grace Langat, a honey vendor says she uses honey to preserve meat. According to health experts, honey sugar is more soluble in the body than other forms of sugar.

Other benefits that come as a result of honey making by bees is pollination of food crops. No wonder the region boasts of the sweetest water melons.
Kenya's economic recovery strategy for wealth and employment creation
sets down tourism as a key sector for poverty  reduction and employment creation. Communities living around Bogoria stand a chance of benefiting more economically if empowered through the sale of their local honey to visiting tourists.  

Tjapukai to begin $12m Redevelopment

The $12 million transformation of Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is scheduled to begin in March. Upon completion the Cultural Village will offer a full range of new day and night product with new performances currently being developed by Ozworks Entertainment which has created live shows for theme parks around the world. The main building including the kitchen and restaurant will be remodelled to incorporate theatres and new displays.

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Darling Harbour Redevelopment

Plans for the $1 billion redevelopment of Sydney's Darling Harbour have been unveiled with the Destination Sydney consortium being chosen to build and operate the 20-hectare site. The Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct will include Australia's largest convention and exhibition facilities capable of accommodating 12,000 people, a 35-storey hotel with up to 900 rooms and a new entertainment venue. Scheduled to open in late 2016, the new facilities will feature state-of-the-art technology, renewed outdoor event space, and new shopping and dining outlets.

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Partnership Opportunity with Chinese National Park

Kong Tong Mountain in Gan Su province, north west China is interested in building up sister park relationship with any similar Australian national parks.

Attached is a brief introduction to Kong Tong Mountain and any enquiries can be directed to Yang Zhou, China Association of National Parks and Scenic Sites -

Sarawak Set to Shine at ATF 2014

Sarawak will host the 2014 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 16-23 January. Ecotourism will feature prominently throughout the event.
ATF will be hosted at the Borneo Convention Centre in the city of Kuching. Kuching is a gateway for many ecotourism attractions and has a growing reputation as a business event destination.

The TRAVEX trade fair is a key feature of the event – it attracts around 1,000 sellers, 400 buyers and a significant international media contingent.

Malaysia's Minister of Tourism, Ng Yen Yen said hosting ATF 2014 was timely, as it will help usher in Visit Malaysia Year.

Sarawak, Malaysia, is on the northern coast of Borneo in the East China Sea. It has developed a strong reputation for ecotourism and adventure tourism. Sarawak and neighbouring Sabah feature indigenous tribes, iconic wildlife and dramatic landscapes within a tropical environment – with tourism infrastructure that facilitates extraordinary tourism experiences.

To view what Malaysia has in store for ATF 2014 view the interview with Dato' Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of the Malaysia Tourism Board at

More details on ATF 2014 will be presented in Tourforce in coming months.

Tourism in Western Australia 2020

The State Government Strategy for Tourism in Western Australia 2020 outlines how that goal can be achieved and sets the direction for tourism over the next decade. It identifies seven key areas that will help grow the tourism industry over the next decade including developing the State's events calendar and expanding tourism infrastructure. The whole-of-government strategy will be driven by Tourism Western Australia in partnership with key government and industry stakeholders.

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China Tourism Strategy

NSW has unveiled a China Tourism Strategy 2012-2020 which aligns to Tourism Australia's 2020 strategy that aims to greatly increase tourism numbers from China in order to double visitor expenditure to NSW by 2020. Developed by Destination NSW, the plan will receive A$15 million in funding over the next four years from the NSW Government.

Further information: Download Plan

Greensky London

GreenSky London is a flagship project that will see the construction of a state of the art facility that will annually convert approximately 500,000 tonnes of waste normally destined for landfill into 50,000 tonnes of sustainable low carbon jet fuel, 50,000 tonnes of biodiesel, bionaphtha and renewable power. The GreenSky London project will provide clean, sustainable fuels at market competitive prices for airlines such as British Airways to help in achieving its sustainability goals and carbon emission reduction targets.

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Hotels & Resort Sustainability Report

Swissôtel Hotels and Resorts has released its first public sustainability report to inform the global hotel group's guests and stakeholders about the long-term strategy, goals, initiatives and performance relating to sustainability activities across the group. Reporting and analytical tools have been developed and implemented in collaboration with external partners, which help to measure and assess the effectiveness of social and environmental initiatives.

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Workforce Futures

A new workforce development initiative worth A$11.8 million has been established by both industry and government through the National Workforce Development Fund. The Workforce Futures Program aims to assist the tourism, travel and hospitality industry with their workforce development requirements. A key component of this program is the establishment of a Skills Advisor Network, which will work with individual businesses to define specific workforce planning and development issues in order to tailor an appropriate skills development response.

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Waterway Champions Wanted

Have you or someone you know been involved in a South East Queensland waterway health initiative? Enter the 2013 Healthy Waterways Awards for the chance to win a share in $25,000 prize money and be recognised for your hard work!

There are 14 Award categories open to individuals, schools, community groups and organisations who are helping to protect and improve South East Queensland's waterways. Healthy Waterways encourages entries from anyone involved in protecting our waterways, no matter what size the project.

Entries Close: 5pm Wednesday 13 March

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Call for Speakers - Tourism and Events

Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to present at the 3rd annual National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference in Melbourne on Monday 22 or Tuesday 23 July 2013. Being a presenter is a great way to maximise your conference experience and actively contribute to discussions and conversations on key issues affecting Australia's tourism and events sector. It is also an effective method for increasing your profile and generating new business leads.

Speakers also receive 25% off conference registration.

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Sustainable Tourism Conference

The 14th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development will be held from 15 to 18 April 2013 in Trinidad and Tobago. The conference program will feature focused panel discussions, special presentations and interactive workshops to create opportunities for delegates to interact with leading local, regional and international experts and tourism practitioners.

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World Tourism Forum

The World Tourism Forum will be held in Lucerne, Switzerland on 17 April 2013. The forum is a new platform aimed at current leaders and the next generation in tourism, travel and hospitality. Participation is limited by personal invitation to 500 representatives of businesses, executives, academics, government and the financial sector. The main topics will be global shift, green growth, talents, new marketing, innovative models and tools for sustainable tourism development.

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World Indigenous Network Conference

The inaugural World Indigenous Network Conference will be held in Darwin, Northern Territory from 26 to 31 May 2013. The conference is being organised by the Australian Government with partner countries and the Larrakia Nation. The program is aimed at Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities land and sea managers who have an active role in managing natural environments to come together, connect and share stories and experiences.

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Singapore Yacht Show 18 – 21 April 2013

Exciting line up ensures South East Asia's premier yachting and luxury event is almost sold out with just a few weeks to go. At already twice the size of the 2012 show, more and more market leading companies are signing up to participate in the event, making a truly fantastic luxury event held at ONEo15 Marina Club, Sentosa Cove.

A exciting to offer to all Tourforce members Singapore Yacht Show are offering a Free of Charge entry with all advance registrations. Entry for the show this year is priced at $50.00. It promises to be a great day out with lost for visitors to see.

To register for your free ticket click through to