From Olkiombo airstrip, my journey to Basecamp Maasai Mara has just begun, I am not on holiday, but the wild and spectacular environment sets in the feeling. In a green Land Cruiser, open tented windows , together with other guests who have just landed from the US, we drive through the a conservancy bordering the famous Maasai Mara National reserve. Beautiful landscapes of the savanna, River Talek and the tented atmosphere gives us a nice relaxing feeling with a close view of different species of wildlife. Here I get to feel a different adventure of the wild, birds of different colours, gazelles, impalas, elephants, giraffes and lions give me a warm welcome. I am on a mission to meet these women who are changing the Maasai community in a very special way, through their dedication by working as artisans.

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World's Most Expensive Tour

The most expensive tour in the world is now available for travellers with US$1.5 million in their bank account. The tour is organised by English company Hurlingham Travel and participation includes a donation of over $14,000 to UNESCO. The trip lasting for two years covers all of the 962 sites that are on the World Heritage List including the Aachen Cathedral (Germany), the historical centre of Krakow (Poland), the city of Quito, the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) and Yellowstone National Park (USA).

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Maasai Women Reap from Beadwork in Kenya

By Mary Mwendwa



Australia's Best Jobs in the World

An American finance graduate, a Brazilian travel photographer, an Irish internet entrepreneur, a French tourism graduate, an English film costume designer and a Canadian adventure tour guide have beaten more than 330,000 competitors from 196 countries to be awarded one of six Best Jobs in the World. The competition is part of a major international marketing push to promote tourism opportunities provided by Australia's Working Holiday Maker program. The campaign is being supported by State and Territory tourism bodies, as well as Virgin Australia, STA Travel, Citibank, DELL, IKEA, Sony Music and Monster / CareerOne.

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Youth Career Initiative

The Youth Career Initiative, run by the International Tourism Partnership, works with local charities to identify disadvantaged young people who have completed high school education but have limited or no opportunities of finding employment and then places them in a six-month education program. The program is designed to provide students with transferable skills, work experience and job opportunities whilst allowing hotel companies involved to grow and nurture a pool of committed and loyal staff.

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Purnululu Upgrade

The Purnululu National Park in the East Kimberley has received a $1.9 million upgrade to attract more tourists to the World Heritage listed site which is also home to the Bungle Bungle Range. The national park has received upgrades to roads, car parks, shade shelters, power supply as well as improved walking trails inside the park. The majority of the funding is from the State Government's Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy.

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Digital Postcards

According to a travel search site Skyscanner, only 27% of Australians and 29% of Kiwis send postcards compared to over a third of Australians and Kiwis using Facebook to correspond with others about their trip. Once the most popular form of communication whilst on foreign shores, the postcard has been replaced by social networks, text messages and phone calls.

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Digital Uptake Survey

The Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism have commissioned a national survey to benchmark tourism operators' digital uptake. The objective of this study is to understand the current level of online capability in the Australian tourism industry and identify how businesses use online booking technologies, social media and mobile applications. The findings will be compared and benchmarked against the results from the 2010 Operators Online Capabilities Survey.

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International Travel Bloggers

The Canadian Tourism Commission and VIA Rail have invited 28 of the world's best travel bloggers, writers and photographers from 12 countries to discover Canada on an epic journey to the Travel Blog Exchange Conference in Toronto. The bloggers will travel by train from one side of the country to the other to sample the sights, sounds, flavours and outdoor adventures in each region. They will then share their Canadian tales via their social networks and a dedicated Tumblr blog.

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Korea has a new ecotourism body that will complement the work of Ecotourism Korea. The Ecotourism Forum of Korea held an inaugural workshop in Namhae City, Republic of Korea in July. Tony Charters, convenor of the Global Eco Asia Pacific Tourism Conference  and Dr Mihee Kang a Director of Ecotourism Korea both provided keynote addresses at the event. The Forum elected its inaugural President, Prof. Jong-Myung Ha of International University of Korea. The Forum aims to inspire and promote the sustainability and responsible community use of Korea's cultural and natural heritage through ecotourism. It aims to assist in the development of professional information sharing and networking between interested parties within the ecotourism industry.

Photo Caption: From left Prof. Ha, Janice Ban of Tony Charters and Associates and Dr Mihee Kang experience a local ecotour first hand at Namhae, Bomul Island, Korea after the inauguration of the Ecotourism Forum of Korea.






Game of Thrones Tours

Fans of the 'Game of Thrones' can now visit filming locations including castles, fortifications, caves and sections of countryside made famous by the fantasy television series. San Francisco-based travel company Viator, who already offers Sex and the City tours in New York, Dr. Who tours in Cardiff, and Sopranos tours in New Jersey has launched two tours in around Dubrovnik and Northern Ireland. The three-hour Dubrovnik tour visits the city's UNESCO-listed Old Town, while the tour around Belfast incorporates the Causeway Coastal Route near the Giant's Causeway is a UNESCO-heritage site.

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Howe’s Life Campaign

The Lord Howe Island Tourism Association has launched an integrated marketing campaign designed to attract visitors to the UNESCO World-Heritage listed Lord Howe Island to showcase the island's diverse wildlife, nature-based and adventure activities. The $200,000 campaign is being rolled out nationally and targets soft adventure and experience seekers via social media. The campaign has been co-funded by Destination NSW in partnership with QantasLink, Pinetrees Lodge, Oxley Travel and Spacifica Travel.

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Military Hotels

The Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is embarking on the final phase of a privatisation program that will bring its IHG Army Hotels portfolio to 76 properties on 39 Army bases. The program gives IHG 50-year leases to manage, maintain and renovate the properties including amenities such as fitness centres, high-speed Internet, weekly social hours and free shuttle services.


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Pay What You Weigh

Samoa Air has become the world's first airline to charge travellers by their weight, as well as their luggage. The system will require passengers to type their weight and the weight of their baggage into the online booking section of the airline's website, rates will then vary depending on the length of the trip and will see travellers paying $1 per kilogram on short haul flights to about $4.16 per kilogram on flights between Samoa and American Samoa.

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Refund Website

A new website set up to help passengers claim refunds for delayed, diverted and cancelled flights has been launched in the UK. The service already available in other European countries will make it easier for passengers to secure compensation per person, per flight. Backed by a pan-European network of legal experts and in partnership with various consumer organisations across Europe, passengers are offered free consultations and can check their eligibility for compensation through its website.

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Go Greener Holidays

The Travel Foundation is encouraging travel businesses to go that extra mile to inspire staff and customers with greener holidays to enable local people to benefit from tourism, and in turn help holidaymakers have unique and memorable experiences. This year's awareness raising campaign will run throughout the month of July and the Travel Foundation has launched a new section on the website this week with ideas about how firms can get involved.

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Voluntourism Portal

Volunteering Queensland has launched a new portal designed to allow tourism organisations and events to put out the call for volunteers for projects in Queensland regions. Opportunities may range from working as a guide on Australia's largest surviving World War II ship, the HMAS Diamantina, to helping out at the iconic Gold Coast Airport Marathon or one of many other quirky Queensland regional events.

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Workforce Development Strategy

Service Skills Australia has established a new Workforce Development initiative worth $11.8 million. Workforce Futures is an initiative built around a national network of 100 industry Skills Advisors whose engagement facilitates an informed approach to target skills development within businesses. The program will be targeting tourism and hospitality businesses in remote, regional, rural and major population centres, as well as businesses within the eight Tourism 2020 hotspots.

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Motorcycle Tourism Strategy

The Victorian Government has launched a tourism strategy to target the intrastate motorcycle weekender market and interstate visitors attracted by major events such as the MotoGP and World Superbikes on Phillip Island. The Victorian Motorcycle Tourism Strategy 2013-16 aims to increase marketing activities by providing safety information for riders relating to motorcycle touring routes and leveraging major events.

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Cultural and Heritage Traveller Report

The 2013 Cultural and Heritage Traveller Report profiles the various segments of cultural travellers and provides insight into their economic value to travel companies and destinations. It includes insights into the devices used by travellers for research, booking and locating information while traveling. The report also uses benchmark data from the 2009 Cultural and Heritage Study to highlight trends in travel behaviour and preferences.

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Hotel Loyalty

According to a survey by Deloitte and Touche about how travellers book hotels and what guides their decisions, only one in four travellers spent more than 75 percent of their nights at their preferred hotel brand. Of the 4,000 travellers surveyed, only 65 percent of frequent travellers reported staying in two or more hotel brands in the past six months. The report also suggests that hotels include free Wi-Fi, parking, breakfast or lower rates into their offerings for loyalty programs to succeed.

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National Tourism & Events Excellence Conference


The National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference was held in Melbourne earlier this week. The Conference was a great success with a record number of attendees and a diverse mix of industry coming together to discuss an array of topics from marketing innovation through to sustainability. The Conference promoted the continuous development of a profitable, sustainable, innovative and professional tourism and events.

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SEGRA 2013 - Unleashing Your Regional Mojo

SEGRA 2013 in Coffs Harbour features internationally recognised speakers on strengthening local regions, building resilience, encouraging local investment and knitting together community and economic development.  It is about developing regional passion and drive to encourage local investment and enterprise facilitation. 

Peter Kageyama (author of internationally acclaimed Love your City) , Enterprise Facilitation guru Ernesto Sirrolli (Sirrolli Institute ), Michael Shuman (Cutting Edge Capital) and Neil McInroy ( Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) UK) are already confirmed speakers.  Additional features are a Lightening Panel/ Hypothetical  focused on the  opportunities for regions into the future – the green economy,  creative industries and design technologies, environment and ethics,  markets in Asia and Grey Nomads. There will also be a Challenge where groups of delegates can address a specific issue and develop creative solutions to be showcased at SEGRA 2014.

This year we had a record number of offered papers and have selected 15 outstanding innovative case studies to show case; as well as a new blue sky networking opportunity.  The theme for SEGRA 2013 is Unleashing your regional mojo – register now and get involved.

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RV Futures Forum - SEGRA 2013, Coffs Harbour

As part of SEGRA 2013 to be held in Coffs Harbour in October 2013, a specialised ½ day RV Futures Forum will be delivered on the morning of the third day (Friday 18 October) from 9.00am-12.00pm. This is an opportunity for delegates attending SEGRA to contribute to the Forum and receive the latest industry information. The Forum will be provided free-of-charge, including morning tea, and is also open to external regional stakeholders.

The Forum will be held in partnership with the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd (CMCA) and feature a range of presentations including: the CMCA - its strategies and aspirations; the latest statistics on the RV travel sector; economic and other benefits of the RV travel sector; and future market development - constraints and opportunities. To register your interest in attending the Forum, please contact Lucas Walker at or telephone (07) 3210 0044.

Australia's Largest RV Club



Global Eco 2013

Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference - Call for Papers and Presenters.  

Ecotourism Australia’s premier annual conference, Global Eco Asia-Pacific will be held in Noosa, 18-19 November and is set to attract hundreds of delegates from around the world. Global Eco, with the support of Australia's foremost research organisation, CSIRO, will develop an action plan to respond to the megatrends that will impact  Asia-Pacific tourism. Under the theme: Tourism Megatrends – Global Eco Action Agenda the conference will examine how experiential, responsible and ecotourism will be affected by megatrends and how tourism businesses should respond. Six key megatrends will be examined. A world leading expert in each megatrend will set the scene for delegates. Globally leading operators will present case studies on the innovations that have placed them in front of the pack when its comes to responding to the megatrends.

“Delegates at this conference will help create the future, they will drive the agenda. The two-day program will have everybody working, it will be very focused and very fast moving.” Rod Hillman CEO of Ecotourism Australia said. Mr Hillman also officially launched a call for papers and other key roles at the event. “ We are taking a whole new approach to Global Eco.  Rather than traditional papers and long presentations, we are seeking highly focused and thoughtfully developed 2 minute statements. Speakers will still have the opportunity to present full papers or powerpoints to delegates on-line, but their actual presentation will be a highly focused and a heavily edited 2 minute statement”.

“As every second of the event will be counted, every word will also need to count”, Mr Hillman said.

‘Global Eco will bring together applied research, world leading case studies and the vital inputs of delegates from across the industry to make this conference an outstanding business and policy improvement tool.” Go to to register an expression of interest in taking a role at this innovative conference event.

The conference has been generously supported by the Queensland Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, and the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. Tourism Noosa is the host destination sponsor.

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Cruise Down Under Conference

The key cruise industry event in Australia, the Cruise Down Under Conference, will be held from 11 to 13 September 2013 in Cairns, Queensland. Keynote speakers will provide insights and guidance to operators on cruise shore excursion programs.

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Future of Tourism

The Future of Tourism event will be held on 24 September 2013 in Toronto, Canada. G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip will headline this special event about the future of travel, tourism and our planet. It will explore the roles travel and sustainable tourism play in the modern world and set the agenda for the future of the travel industry.

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Geotourism Conference

The International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators Annual Conference will be held from 17 to 19 October 2013 in Detroit, USA. The conference will provide a forum for international educators, scholars, researchers, industry executives, corporate trainers, consultants, vendors, administrators and government officials to focus on Geotourism.

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Janice Ban has joined the team at Tony Charters and Associates (TCA) as Director Business of Development-Asia Pacific. Janice will work on a range of projects being developed by TCA, initially within Korea and China. 

With a strong background in aviation , and a masters degree in marketing, Janice will take an  important place in the TCA team as we become more engaged in the Asia-Pacific region. 


Janice Ban- Director Business Development-Asia Pacific