The World's First QR Coded City

Rio de Janeiro plans to be the world's first QR coded city, with the launch of its first bar coded attraction this month. Planning to install up to 30 QR codes across the city, the blend of modern technology and tradition allows travellers to explore the destination by simply scanning the code. Once the code has been scanned, travellers are then taken to a website that provides them with information on the attraction in one of three languages; English, Portuguese and Spanish.

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Sleep Art

The Ibis hotel company has teamed up with Swedish robotics expert firm Acne and the creative teams at BETC Digital to develop the latest innovation in sleep technology. The new Sleep Art app captures movement and sounds from your night's sleep and converts this data into virtual brush strokes so that when you wake your sleep is a work of art. The art is then stored in a virtual gallery so that users can compare each night's sleep and share with the friends and family via email or Facebook.

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Faktum Hotels

Swedish charity magazine Faktum has created Faktum Hotels that enables customers to experience homelessness, while donating to charity. The magazine which is created and sold by those with no fixed abode has created a microsite for the campaign, which lets visitors 'book' one of ten places where homeless people might spend the night including an abandoned factory or a ledge under a bridge. Users can also book a space for their friends, which can be gifted via Facebook.

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The Best Job 2

Tourism Australia has teamed up with State and Territory tourism organistaions in a new A$4 million campaign targeting international youth visiting Australia under the working holiday maker program. At the heart of the campaign is a global competition involving six 'Best Jobs in the World'. Tourism Australia secured a number of key partners to support the campaign including Virgin Australia, STA Travel, Citibank, DELL, IKEA, Sony Music and

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Youth Unemployment

The Hilton Worldwide hotel group has commissioned a white paper to investigate opportunities for unemployed and underemployed youth worldwide. The International Youth Foundation (IYF) will carry out the study, Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality, highlighting solutions to challenge youth joblessness across the globe. The IYF said the hospitality industry is well placed, with ample resources, career development opportunities and a business platform that relies heavily upon a trained workforce across many regions.

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Tropical Aquarium
The Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre will receive Commonwealth Government Assistance under the Department of Resource, Energy and Tourism's Tourism Major Projects Fund program. The program provides practical support for infrastructure projects navigating their way through the complex process of development approvals.
The Cairns Aquarium is a major new tourism infrastructure project being developed to increase the range and quality of tourist attractions in North Queensland.

Accessible Accommodation Survey

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been commissioned by the Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism to undertake an independent assessment of the supply and demand for accessible accommodation in Australia. Over six weeks, PwC will conduct two online surveys, one for accommodation providers and the other for travellers with disabilities. The surveys are designed to gain a clearer understanding of the actual experiences industry and consumers have with accessible accommodation. The survey can be accessed online until 12 April 2013.

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Vacation Contest

Best Western has launched its Vacation Citation contest on Facebook to empower travellers to take a vacation. Participants can join Best Western's "Vacation Citation Nation" by issuing themselves or their family and friends an official Vacation Citation and in turn they will automatically be entered in weekly drawings for prizes. The campaign is based on results from the Best Western Vacation Survey which found that more than half of U.S. travellers struggle to take time off and leave the stress of work at the office

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Tourist Smartphones

Hong Kong-based Handy is leasing out smartphones to visitors, pre-loaded with free calls, 3G internet access and apps to help them navigate their destination. The service provides an Android smartphone – either a Samsung Galaxy Note or Google Nexus – that can be picked up from Hong Kong International Airport and used in place of their usual device for the duration of the trip. The handset comes with unlimited local and international calls as well as internet access and pre-loaded apps such as Skype, Facebook, Kayak, BBC News and public transport planners.

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Planterra Foundation

The Planeterra Foundation together with G Adventures and the Multilateral Investment Fund of the InterAmerican Development Bank has launched a 3-year initiative in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Peru to link community based tourism projects to tour operators both locally and nationally. The aim is to develop more viable tourism markets in rural and indigenous areas that are not benefitting from the tourism economy by financing the training and development support required to link local community projects directly to the supply chain.

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A Safe Haven For Turtles

Fishermen are benefiting economically from a Turtle conservation project on the Kenyan coast. Known for its spectacular beaches, Mombasa is promoting ecotourism along the Shanzu Beach where turtles are breeding. The scheme is aimed at fighting Sea Turtle poaching by creating awareness, education and monetary incentives for the reporting and protection of sea turtles and their nests.  The project was started in 1993 by the Serena Hotels, whose main objective was to provide a safe haven for Turtle eggs. Local fishermen are paid by the hotel for the safe transfer of Turtle eggs. A local fisherman, Charo Katana has benefited since the onset of the Turtle Conservation project, by getting additional money to feed his family. According to Bob Oguya, Chief Naturalist /Environment Officer, Turtles are an attraction to the tourists and are among some of the most ancient marine creatures, hence why it is crucial for humans to we need to conserve them is crucial. By Mary Mwandwa.

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Sydney Harbour National Landscape

Sydney Harbour has become Australia's 16th National Landscape with a 1,000 square kilometres of beaches and rivers, islands and bushland, from Royal National Park in the south to Barrenjoey Headland in the north and west to Parramatta Park, taking in the Georges, Hawkesbury, Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers. The National Landscapes program is a partnership between Tourism Australia and Parks Australia that showcases 16 of Australia's inspirational environments to visitors wanting to connect with nature and cultural experiences.

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Roy Morgan Research Tourism and Events Survey

Your Opinion Counts!

Participate in this short 10 minute survey to have your say on short and long-term issues facing the Australian tourism and events industry.

Participants will go in the draw to WIN one of two Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats or  WIN one of two x National Sports Museum and MCG Guided Tours family passes.

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Accessible Events Guide

Meetings and Events Australia have released an updated edition of their Accessible events guide for organizers of conferences, festivals, annual meetings, award ceremonies, fundraisers and seminars. The guide aims to help organisers think about access and participation when planning an event and understand what can be done to ensure the best possible access for people with disability - whether they are presenters, sponsors or participants.

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Indigenous Tourism Champions

Tourism Australia and Indigenous Business Australia together with the state and territory tourism organisations have selected finalists in the 2013 Indigenous Tourism Champions Program. The program looks to build a reputation of reliability and consistent quality in service delivery with members eligible to participate in tourism marketing initiatives including trade events, road shows and training. Mentoring is also provided to eligible businesses to further develop commercial skills and business acumen.

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Spa & Wellness Trends

SpaFinder Wellness has released its 10th annual Spa & Wellness Trends Report. The report is an in-depth forecast developed from ongoing surveys with over 20,000 spa, wellness, fitness and beauty providers, travel agents and consumers. It also includes an analysis of factors influencing trends and examples of early adopters based on interviews with industry stakeholders, current research and case studies.

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Travel Experiences and Relationships

A new report by IHG and The Futures Company identifies the trends set to shape the next 10 years of travel and the new categories of traveller that are emerging. The report analyses consumer trends to understand their impact on the changing face of hospitality and identifies four emerging types of traveller including the new global explorers, family groups, laptop and latte workers and expansive mid-lifers.

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Youth Consumer Study

Drawing on data from more than 34,000 survey responses, the New Horizons III Study provides unique insight into motivations, behaviours and characteristics of international youth and student travellers. Through this research the WYSE Travel Confederation endeavours to further advance our understanding of the unique travel motivations, activities, booking and spending habits of young travellers.

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Marine Tourism Coordination Framework

The Marine Tourism Coordination Framework for Environmental Incidents has been developed in close consultation with the marine tourism industry to help make sure responses to environmental incidents on the Great Barrier Reef are coordinated and effective. The Marine Tourism Incident Response Group will be convened to assess the incident and develop a joint response plan to share between members of the response group, the tourism industry and media.

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GGGI Youth Green Summit

On February 16th, the capital city of Republic of Korea, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and Ecomom Korea held the first ‘GGGI Youth Green Summit’. The summit was significant and symbolic, a sophisticated conference for teenages focusing on gloval environment al issues. Around 150 students joined the summit tackling big topics like global warning, environmental refugees, natural resources and nuclear energy.  Ecomom Korea, an  environmental NGO was involved in the event and aims to build a healthy Earth by fostering healthy families on a step by step basis.

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eTravel Summit

The eTravel Summit part of the eCommerce Conference and Exhibition is held in Melbourne on 17 April 2013. The summit will reveal how investment in social media is enabling companies to engage with a wide range of audiences, respond faster to trending conversations and build loyal communities. Speakers will be from leading travel companies discussing the latest practices and tools being used to engage with travellers and drive sales.

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SEGRA Conference

Segra, The Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia is regarded as Australia's most credible independent voice on issues affecting regional Australia. Regional issues will be foremost in the coming Federal election. How are you linked in the networks that drive regional development?
The SEGRA network focuses on all aspects of regional development: sustainability, community, governance, economics and more. SEGRA is responsive. Through the annual conference, like minded individuals can collaborate on the different challenges and practices in remote regions. The conference puts together a communiqué, with policy proposals; at SEGRA participants both talk and act.
If you are looking for a place to voice your interests and passions for Regional Australia, then the Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia Conference is the place to do it! To keep regional Australia on the agenda be part of this year’s conference at Coffs Harbour on October 16-18, 2013.
The conferences brings together government, local business, regional development practitioners and researchers from across Australia. With the combination of national and regional experts on topics such as the economic  future for regional Australia, Indigenious business strategies, the place of regional Australia on the political agenda, and the largest national gathering of regional economic development practitioners, SEGRA is a major annual forum for advancing real and practical strategies.

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National Tourism & Events Excellence Conference

The National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference is currently accepting proposals for concurrent breakout session presentations (20 minute oral presentations) on Monday 22 July and Tuesday 23 July 2013.

Please review the following instructions on how to apply, and fill out the proposal submission form by Friday 12th April 2013.

All selected presenters will receive a reduced conference registration rate (25% off regular registration fee), and have the opportunity to showcase their initiatives in front of industry stakeholders and business leaders.

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Backpacker and Youth Industry Conference

The 2013 Backpacker and Youth Industry Conference will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Tuesday 4 June 2013. The conference brings together industry professionals from all over Australia involved in backpacker and youth tourism, with expert speakers examining the latest trends, policy issues and industry opportunities.

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