Destination Q Sets Queensland's Tourism Directions 

The Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey and Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chair Shane O'Reilly signed another milestone partnership at the DestinationQ Forum this week.

After an intense 32 hours at the Gold Coast Convention Centre about 375 operators and key stakeholders of the Queensland industry formulated 18 strategic directions that will feed into the Government's 20 year Tourism Plan. 

Applying an innovative approach of having industry 'advocates' delivering a 90 second pitch on their group's strategic direction (place video link here) , followed by electronic voting. The process provided maximum engagement and involvement  of the industry leaders and showed quite clearly that there are not too many shrinking violets in the Queensland industry. 

The Forum commenced with a report back on the DestinationQ 2012 Action Plan by seven Cabinet Ministers and the Premier (see DestinationQ 12 month partnership report (PDF, 4.5MB)

Tony Charters was the DestinationQ Forum Director again in 2013. 

Click here to view video.

Queensland Ecotourism Plan released

Queensland’s future as Australia’s top nature-based tourism destination is all mapped out, with the release of the Ecotourism Plan 2013–2020, at the second annual DestinationQ forum on the Gold Coast today.

The plan, released today by National Parks Minister Steve Dickson and Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey, provides operators, government, community and other stakeholders with clear direction on how Queensland can leverage its competitive advantages, while conserving the natural environment.

Mr Dickson said the Ecotourism Plan showed the Newman Government’s commitment to increasing access to national parks for ecotourism.

“Amendments to the Nature Conservation Act allow the development of privately owned, permanent ecotourism facilities on national parks in Queensland for the first time.“

Ms Stuckey said that central to the Plan is a new vision for ecotourism in Queensland.  The vision will be achieved through five strategic priorities:

·         Delivering world-class experiences
·         Facilitating best practice and innovation
·         Raising the profile of Queensland’s ecotourism experiences
·         Fostering thriving operators, and
·         Embracing a partnership approach between the tourism industry, government, community and Traditional Owners.

“The Ecotourism Plan proposes 43 actions to be delivered over three years to ensure Queensland is a world leader in ecotourism,” Ms Stuckey said.
View the Plan and details on how to submit an EOI for ecotourism facilities on national parks at 


Vending Machine Restaurant

Haneda Airport in Tokyo has introduced a sit-down vending machine restaurant that offers gourmet food 24 hours a day. Located on the first floor lobby of Terminal 2, visitors can select a meal from the menu and have it delivered instantly. The menu doesn’t include any preservatives or processed goods and rather than eating the food on the go, customers are encouraged to relax in the restaurant surroundings.

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Travelling Art Gallery

Station-to-Station is a project that aims to create a dynamic, mobile gallery in the form of a cargo train that will house collaborative works from a curated list of artists. The train will travel from New York to San Francisco allowing visitors to see experimental and site-specific work by renowned artists. The project is teamed with seven museums around the country and while it’s travelling it will act as a kinetic light sculpture that will be visible to passersby.

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Green Leaders Program

TripAdvisor the world's largest travel site has worked with the United Nations Environment Programme and other green industry experts to create the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program. The program recognizes hotels and B&Bs for their environmentally friendly practices, from recycling and composting to green roofing and solar panels. More than 1,000 U.S. properties are already participating in the program including Best Western, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and Select Registry.

Further information:


Hotel Share System

Easynest enables solo tourists who have already booked a hotel room to fill any empty beds with others who share their travel plans. Users first log into the site using their Facebook details, after which they can search for matches and determine if they like the look of the hotel, as well as the potential partner. Those who have booked can set the rate the other party pays, which is typically 50 percent but can be lower. If a user is interested, they can simply initiate communication through the site.

Further information:


Community Project Travel

Leading Australian adventure travel company World Expeditions has launched a new website dedicated to its not-for-profit voluntourism division. The Community Project Travel website has been built as a satellite website to the company’s main website and provides users with easy access to the complete range of voluntourism itineraries which currently include community development and conservation projects in Tanzania, Kenya, Peru, Vietnam, Nepal and Australia.

Further information:

Tourism Booking Widget

The Australian Government has launched a new online booking tool to improve the capability of Australian tourism businesses to service customers online. The Australian Tourism Booking Widget will provide tourism operators with an easily accessible real time booking and payment solution through their own websites and Facebook pages, as well as helpdesk services.

Further information:


Global Guidelines for Animals in Tourism

ABTA has launched the industry's first Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism. The guidelines have been produced in partnership with the Born Free Foundation after consultation with industry experts, scientists, zoologist organisations, associations and non-governmental organisations from around the world. They aim to consolidate and set a benchmark for minimum requirements in animal welfare for the tourism and animal attractions industries globally.

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A River On The Edge, Isiolo, Kenya - Mary Mwendwa

One of the Kenya’s longest rivers, rated as the third longest, is a source of livelihood to many who depend on it. Isiolo county, located in the upper eastern region of Kenya, is known for its dryness and lack of sufficient rainfall throughout the year. Ewaso Nyiro River has changed lives in isiolo county. Isiolo is a large county mainly with communities who practice pastoralism and farming, which has been introduced due to the biting effects of climate read more, click here.

Equality in Tourism

Equality in Tourism is an independent non-profit network dedicated to ensuring that women have an equal voice in tourism and an equal share in its benefits has released a report that challenges the industry to start taking gender equality seriously. The report titled Sun, Sand and Ceilings: Women in the Boardroom in the Tourism Industry reveals that although women make up the majority of the tourism workforce in most countries, they are under-represented at executive levels of the world's top tourism companies.

Further information:


Eco and Sustainable Tourism Policy

The Queensland Government has launched a new Eco and Sustainable Tourism policy to open National Parks in Queensland to domestic and international visitors. The new policy will allow for development of new and existing ecotourism attractions in protected areas while promoting best practice operations requiring certain standards of ECO certification.

Further Information:

2020 Tourism Strategy

The Victorian Government has launched their 2020 Tourism Strategy at the 2013 National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference in Melbourne. The strategy outlines the Victorian Coalition Government’s plan to grow the industry so that it contributes a total of $34 billion to Victoria’s Gross State Product and generates an additional 109,000 jobs by 2020.

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Travel Effect Campaign

This year the U.S. Travel Association a national non-profit organisation representing all components of the travel industry launched the "Travel Effect" campaign to demonstrate the impact that travel has on relationships, business, health, education and communities. Research studies have shown the benefits travel brings to people's lives, businesses and the economy including generating $2 trillion in economic output and supporting 14.6 million jobs.

Further information:

Sustainable Travel Leadership Network

The Sustainable Travel Leadership Network is a group of leading companies from all sectors of the travel industry who have joined forces to share knowledge and experiences. Participating businesses include Abercrombie & Kent, Carnival, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Condé Nast Traveller magazine, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Finnair Group, Globus family of brands, Loews Hotels, Micato Safaris, Pacific Beachcomber Resorts & Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Sabre Holdings, United Airlines, and Virgin Holidays.

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Banana Ambassador

The Ecuador Ministry of Tourism is letting one of its largest exports advertise the country as a tourist destination. The Banana Ambassador campaign will see QR code stickers attached to 24 million tons of bananas to encourage consumers to learn more about where their food comes from and a promotional video for the country.

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World Cycling Website

Cycle Tours Global is a new website that offers the world's most comprehensive database and search engine for bicycle tours across the planet. It profiles more than 5500 bike tours in 104 countries on six continents. The website also allows users to search for tours by date, length, region, cost, difficulty level and also by themes, such as food and wine, music, family, charity, women-only or gay and lesbian.

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Happy Routes

Routehappy is a company that has created a database of information about flights around the world including attributes such as seat type, legroom, entertainment options, wifi access, dining and other amenities. Routehappy uses this research to assign a Happiness Score out of ten for each airline flight it has investigated, users can then check to see whether their planned route will provide the facilities they’re after and book an alternative airline or route.

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Eco-Friendly Airline

A new study has revealed the carbon emissions comparisons of Australia and New Zealand’s most eco-friendly airlines. According to JetRadar’s new ECO Rank, Virgin Australia has taken out top honours as Australia and NZ’s cleanest carbon emitting airline. The website compared individual aviation emissions, traffic forecasts and the range of aircraft types with the top five airlines also included Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas and Tiger Airways.

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Infrastructure and Development

New Island Resort for Samoa

Taumeasina Island Resort is a new $60 million resort being developed on a manmade island near Samoa’s capital. The new project will create a luxury resort that aims to minimise impact on the existing island’s topography and natural beauty. The development will feature a mix of hotel suites and private villa accommodation, as well as conference, retail and restaurant precincts, a water sports pavilion, wedding venue and bar. The expected opening date is early 2016. Further information:


Healthy Parks, Healthy People

.National parks in the United States of America are promoting more healthy foods in their various foodservice operations. The “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” initiative will see new health-focused food standards and sustainable food guidelines to increase the number of menu items available at more than 250 food and beverage operations in national parks.

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Protected Area Partnership

VisitEngland, the national tourist board of England and National Parks England have committed to a three-year partnership designed to boost rural tourism and stimulate sustainable economic growth in England's countryside. Reductions in public sector funding has seen the need to identify opportunities to source private sector support to help grow the visitor economy and manage the National Parks.

Further information:



Sustainable Tourism Guidebook

A new guidebook has been launched by the UNWTO with financing from the European Commission Directorate-General Development and Cooperation as a part of the project to enhance capacities for sustainable tourism in developing countries. The Sustainable Tourism for Development guidebook is a comprehensive approach to tourism covering a wide range of topics relating to its planning, development, management and impact.

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Carbon Measurement

The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative created by the World Tourism and Travel Council and International Tourism Partnership is the first consistent approach to reporting. The tool has been created by the hotel industry for the hotel industry in a hope that it is both relevant and simple to implement.

Further information:


Tourism Megatrends

The Queensland Government has commissioned CSIRO Futures to conduct a foresight study to identify the ‘megatrends’ that will shape the future of Queensland’s tourism industry over the next twenty years. CSIRO Futures leverages evidence-based processes and methodology in combination with world-class science expertise to identify long-term trends that can improve long term strategy planning. This report was used in a series of workshops to identify potential futures for Queensland Tourism. This inforamtion was then take to the Destination Q Forum this week, on the Gold Coast.

Further information:

Caravan and Camping Research

New research into the type of visitors that use caravan parks and camping grounds in Western Australia has been released by Tourism Research Australia. The report profiles caravan park users and self-contained travellers who spend over three nights in a self-contained vehicle while in Western Australia. It aims to assist the tourism industry better understand the behaviour and requirements of these visitors in order to determine product development priorities and improvements.

Further information:

Digital Uptake Benchmark Survey

A new report commissioned by Tourism Research Australia contains findings from the 2013 benchmark survey of tourism operators’ digital uptake in Australia. The project covered four main topics of investigation including the online presence of tourism operators, website adoption and management strategy, online distribution approach and social media and mobile presence.

Further information:

Travel & Accommodation - an industry guide to the Australian Consumer Law

A new ACCC consumer law for travel & accommodation industry guide is has just been released. This guide provides information on the ACL for travel and accommodation businesses. It covers key aspects of the law such as refunds and cancellations, focusing on issues where industry bodies have requested more detailed guidance for business and why consumers frequently report problems to national, state and territory consumer protection agencies. The laws apply to all states and business.To view the guide, click here.


Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference

The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be held on the 18-19 of November at the Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort, in Noosa, Queensland, with an additional day on Wednesday 20 November, featuring half-day applied Forums. The program will focus on the six global megatrends identified by the CSIRO. For more information on the megatrends, please click here. 

Ecotourism Australia is calling out to all industry professionals to join the conference program as a opinion leader, a wordsmith or a speaker.  On Day 1 and Day 2, they are seeking 6 opinion leaders to speak for no more than 90 seconds on a megatrend from the perspective of their particular interest. To apply as a opinion leader, click here.

On Day 1 and Day 2, they are also seeking 6 wordsmiths. EA is calling out to all the great writers, with a great 'hands on' approach, who can help craft a concise action agenda for a megatrend. To apply as a wordsmith, click here.

On Day 3, there is an optional third day of Global Eco (Wednesday, 20 November 2013) and they are seeking industry professionals to offer a paper in one of the following half-day forums:

Asia-Pacific Forum (1/2 day)
Indigenous and Cultural Tourism Forum (1/2 day)
Optimising Social Media Forum (1/2 Day)
Ecotourism Investment Forum (1/2 day)
Operator's Market (1/2 Day)
Geotourism Forum (1/2 Day)

To offer a paper, for one of the forums, please click here. The Call for Papers program closes on Monday 9 September, so join the conference program now!

Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference

The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will be held from 24 to 27 September 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference program covers a wide range of topics including community conservation enterprises, tourism and protected areas, financing sustainability initiatives, empowering women through tourism, emerging tourism market trends, best practices in product development and destination management strategies.

Further information:

RV Futures Forum SEGRA 2013

As part of SEGRA 2013 regional development conference, to be held in Coffs Harbour (16-18 October 2013), a specialised ½ day RV Futures Forum will be delivered on the morning of the 18th October, from 9.00am-12.00pm. It will be provided free-of-charge, including morning tea, and is also open to external regional stakeholders.

To be held in partnership with the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA), it will feature a range of presentations including a regional case study, RV travel market update and trends, strategic issues, opportunities and constraints and  CMCA’s strategic aspirations. It is a vital Forum to attend for local authorities wishing to tap into this booming market. to This is an opportunity for delegates attending SEGRA to contribute to the Forum and receive the latest industry information.

To register your interest in attending the Forum, please contact Lucas Walker at or telephone 07 3210 0021.