Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 77 - June 2014

Circulated to 18,000 Professionals Worldwide

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Member of the Order of Australia

Congratulations to Tony Charters, Principal of Tony Charters and Associates who has been awarded an Order of Australia in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours list. The Award is Member of the Order of Australia General Division – AM and is for his significant service to the ecotourism industry, particularly to nature-based recreation and to environmental education and visitor programs.

Tony said, "It is always said that you should seek to have your career follow your passion, I have been very lucky to be able to do that. Its also been a great privilege to contribute to the growth of ecotourism and environmental education."

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Huangshan Declaration

From 26 - 30 May 2014, 170 experts and practitioners in space technologies, world heritage, biosphere reserve and global geoparks from 23 countries gathered in Huangshan City, China. They examined initiatives to apply space technologies for planning conservation and management and explored ways and means to build the capacities of Member States to make better use of space technologies for conservation and sustainable development.

There are now more than 1,700 UNESCO designated World Heritage sites, international biosphere reserves and UNESCO-assisted global geoparks world wide. They attract millions of visitors annually, and the wider landscapes in which they are situated are homes to millions of people. The meeting developed the Huangshan Declaration to guide future efforts.

Tony Charters provided an address to the conference and met up with key UNESCO identities to plan future collaborations with the Global Eco Asia Pacific Conference. Huangshan is home to the Huangshan World Cultural and Natural Heritage site and Global Geopark. A group of delegates undertook a technical tour of Mt Huangshan – an extremely well managed site that attracts millions of visitors each year.

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Neighbourhood Campaign

Red Hook in Brooklyn is the next destination to be featured in Neighbourhood x Neighbourhood campaign created by NYC & Co in order to encourage exploration in areas outside traditional tourist locations and generate economic activity in the featured neighbourhoods of New York City. The campaign targets repeat visitors, intrepid first-time visitors and New Yorkers seeking new adventure in their home city. It is designed to highlight the diversity of offerings in New York City's five distinct boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

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Welcome the World Program

The Brisbane Welcomes the World program is one of six major G20 initiatives being delivered by Brisbane Marketing and supported by venue partner, Queensland University of Technology. About 2000 Brisbane hospitality workers including concierges, taxi drivers, retailers and volunteers will participate in a program to ensure Brisbane is remembered as the 'friendly G20 host city'. The initiative has two components including face-to-face training and online modules.

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Tripadvisor has purchased, London-based start-up, Tripbod that has in excess of 260 million unique users a month. Founded in 2009, Tripbod connects travellers to locals in the destinations they are visiting, either to provide them with authentic insider information before they go or to meet up and show them around once they arrive. Tripbod has also been working and building partnerships with high profile brands in recent years including Skyscanner, Citizen M hotels, and Monarch airlines.

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Blank Canvas

Qantas has launched a new social media campaign designed to encourage Qantas passengers to turn their in-flight sick bag, napkin or boarding pass into works of art and express creativity while they travel. The collaboration with Australian freelance typographer, Gemma O'Brien encourages customers to get creative at 30,000 feet and will showcase their inspiring works through social media to a global audience. The most creative entries will be selected and shared via Qantas' Instagram channel every Friday in May and winners will receive a double Qantas Club pass.

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Hotel Investment Guide

Brisbane Marketing and the Queensland Government have launched a Guide to Hotel Investment in Brisbane. The guide provides the latest information on economic conditions, hotel demand drivers, trading conditions and future hotel supply requirements for Brisbane. It is available online, as well as being distributed to national and international hotel investors including a simplified Chinese version to allow the state and local governments to engage with investors, operators, developers and financiers from mainland China.

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Restaurant Australia Campaign

Tourism Australia has unveiled a new $10 million campaign based on the idea of Australia being the world's greatest restaurant. The integrated campaign includes TV, cinema, print, online, social media and PR. Restaurant Australia is about the stories of unique and exceptional food and wine experiences served-up in remarkable locations. Activity will be rolled out in 12 key international markets with high profile events, consumer promotions and international media familiarisation program.

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Pet-Sitter Hotels

Metro Hotels is offering a new service where dog owners can book accommodation for their pet at the same time as booking accommodation for themselves in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Metro Hotels has teamed with Find A Dog Minder, a leading dog minding network, to offer guests the opportunity to connect with a pet-sitter who can mind their dog in a caring home environment. Metro Hotels has a national accommodation network of properties with over 1000 rooms in key locations and major cities across Australia.

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Food Theme Park

The Eataly chain of food emporiums has announced a new plan to develop a theme park devoted entirely to food and wine. The Fico Eataly World project is a $55 million joint venture between Eataly and the municipality of Bologna, which is providing 86,000 square feet of land with warehouses to be transformed into food labs, grocery stores and restaurants. The region is home to Parmesan cheese, prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar, tortellini, lasagne and the world's only University of Gelato. It is scheduled to open 1 November 2015.

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Shopping Tourism

A new UNWTO report analyses the latest trends in shopping tourism, providing insight into key success factors for destinations aiming to develop this segment. The Global Report on Shopping Tourism explores the importance of shopping tourism as a driver of economic development, its emergence as a main motivation for travel and the increasing significance as part of the overall tourism offer. It also offers a series of practical guidelines and principles for destinations interested in developing shopping tourism based on case studies from around the world.

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TNS Australia has released its annual syndicated study into the mindset, attitudes to travel and outlook for the Australian travel industry. Now in its seventh year 'Domesticate 2013' aims to understand the behaviour of travellers both domestically and overseas to provide strategic insights into what motivates and drives different travellers. The research reveals that domestic travel plays an important role for Australians eager to escape the frenetic nature of everyday life, disconnect from technology and seek out authentic experiences such as festivals, food and wine across the country.

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Tourism Research Institute

Griffith University will take a part in shaping the Australian tourism landscape into the future through research conducted under the banner of its all-new Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT) at the Gold Coast campus of Griffith University. Established to undertake and disseminate world-leading research in tourism, GIFT is forging strategic alignments with United Nations World Tourism Organisations, Gold Coast City Council, Gold Coast Tourism and EC3 Global.

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Can Go Everywhere

The North Coast of NSW is set to become one of the most accessible tourism regions for people with disabilities and special requirements. Byron Shire has launched a website dedicated to people with disabilities and special requirements. The new portal provides information on places to stay, eat and be entertained, as well as service providers who cater to people with disabilities, the elderly, parents with prams, people recovering from surgery and anyone with special requirements.

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Smart Luggage Tags

Air France-KLM is teaming up with FastTrack and suitcase manufacturer Samsonite to offer its eTag and eTrack system to passengers. The smart tag can be attached to travellers' suitcases and uses Bluetooth to connect to the passenger's smartphone. The tag acts as a theft-prevention device letting both the customer and the airline monitor the location of the suitcase, as well as check-in details. The system is being trialled among a select group of frequent flyers in December 2014.

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World Airport Awards

For the second year in a row, Singapore's Changi Airport has been voted the World's Best Airport by travellers at the prestigious World Airport Awards. The awards are voted by over 12 million customers in an annual global satisfaction survey at 410 airports worldwide. The survey evaluates customer satisfaction across 39 key performance indicators for airport service and product from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration, through to departure at the gate.

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Destination Flyways

Destination Flyways is the name of the UNWTO-led project that aims to develop sustainable tourism at destinations along the world's major migratory bird routes. Focusing on a selection of eight key sites for migratory birds in Africa, Asia and Europe, the project is a vehicle for both environmental and socio-economic sustainability benefiting wildlife, local communities and tourists. It provides a framework for sustainable tourism management, as well as channelling revenue back into the conservation of the project sites and surrounding communities.

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Turtle Protection Tool

The Travel Foundation has launched a new training tool to help hotels, tour operators and other tourism businesses become more turtle friendly by applying best practice standards. The free online tool provides information and resources about beach management, excursion planning, staff training and customer communications. The project was developed in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society and TUI Travel.

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Elephant Welfare Guidelines

Melbourne-based company, Intrepid Travel is encouraging travellers to seek animal-friendly travel options in order to drive industry change following three years of research into assessing the welfare of captive elephants at entertainment venues in Asia. The research was conducted by the World Society for the Protection of Animals with the support of Intrepid Travel and found that the tourism industry had added to the number of elephants being poached from the wild.

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World Legacy Awards

The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic Travel and ITB Berlin, showcases leading travel companies, organisations and destinations that are driving sustainable tourism principles and practices in five categories: Earth Changers, Sense of Place, Conserving the Natural World, Engaging Communities and Destination Leadership. Winners and finalists will be selected by an international panel of judges, led by Costas Christ, one of the world's leading sustainable tourism experts and World Legacy Awards Chairman. In addition to being recognised at ITB Berlin in March 2015, winners will be featured in the National Geographic Traveller magazine and other global media. Applications close 20 August 2014.

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National Geographic Traveller

The iconic National Geographic Traveller magazine will debut in the Australasian market in July 2014 in partnership with specialist travel provider, Adventure World. The publication aims to educate and inspire with a diverse array of destinations, personal journeys and travel lifestyle experiences. It is the world's most widely read travel magazine and has 15 international editions including China, Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Latin America, Netherlands, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain and United Kingdom.

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Social Media Tourism Symposium

The Australian Social Media Tourism Symposium will be held in the Barossa, South Australia from 16 - 17 July, 2014. The event provides an opportunity for industry to learn from some of the world's leading tourism marketers including Innovation Norway, TripAdvisor, Yelp, LinkedIn and Weibo. It is a key conference for tourism professionals looking to share ideas, network and discover opportunities in social media for destination marketing.

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Adventure Travel Mexico

The 3rd annual Adventure Travel Mexico event will be held in Chiapas, Mexico from 26 - 30 August, 2014. Over 400 tour operators, international buyers and media are expected to gather to learn more about adventure travel in Mexico. The conference will include a business-to-business marketplace and educational sessions on best practices and trends in adventure travel.

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Health Tourism in Malaysia Burgeoning

By Marzieh Fallah - Malaysian Correspondent

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) was established in 2009 to promote the health tourism industry and to place Malaysia as a hub for medical tourism in the region. Annually, a great number of patients, mostly from Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and other Asian countries come to Malaysia for medical treatment. According to MHTC, in 2013, Malaysia received over 770,000 patients from around the world and earned more than RM 600 million income. Medical tourism and wellness programs are the two categories included in health tourism in Malaysia. Many private hospitals have achieved certifications of internationally recognised standards such as the MSQH (Malaysian Society for Quality in Health) and JCI (Joint Commission International), which is credited by ISQua (International Society for Quality in Healthcare). Consumers can access the websites and connect to the healthcare providers. Furthermore, competitive pricing and quality services make Malaysia a good destination for health tourism. Malaysia is the only country in the region, where medical tourism is promoted by the government.

Rich Experiences at Lake Naivasha

By Mary Mwendwa - African Correspondent

What else does a tourist desire other than a landscape dotted with the famous yellow barked acacia trees, sparkling freshwater lakes reaching thousands of feet below, a variety of wildlife species including buffaloes, dik diks, waterbucks, hippos, velvet monkeys and wildebeests combined with over 180 bird species? Lake Naivasha Country Club offers an experience to guests which leave them with a lifetime experience of a holiday expedition.

Avin George, Manager at Lake Naivasha Country Club says, "We receive a variety of tourists from across the globe. Our peak season is from June to around August. We are the only group of hotels who offer a toll free telephone line for our potential visitors to make inquiries. Avitourism has picked up a lot because of the several bird species recorded in Naivasha. This has made us as a facility to take care of the riparian land by rehabilitating it and ensuring there is no encroachment on the land." He further noted how the lodge embraces sustainable tourism practices by investing in green energy within their premises. They use biodegradable materials and solar energy for heating water for use.

A relaxing spa, covering body, face and foot massages, aromatherapy, body scrubs and wraps, and a garden swimming pool, together with a children's pool, leave guests longing for more.

Offering superior, well-furnished accommodation with elegant guest rooms and a choice of 33 standard rooms, 11 deluxe rooms, three executive cottages, one executive suite and one presidential cottage with two bedrooms, guests get to be part of daily activities along the lake. All rooms have a high speed Wi-Fi Internet connection. Boat trips provide a close view of Naivasha's wide variety of birdlife and the hippo colonies provide a unique activity.

Guests get to experience some of Kenya's local cuisine served as per visitors needs. Indian cuisine never misses on the menu. The club also offers a sundowner boat trip which combines the sunset view of the lake with exotic drinks. Crescent Island has a private game sanctuary with wildlife including zebra, gazelle, hares and genet cats.

"Illegal poaching remains a challenge that the hotel has to fight. Poachers interfere with the natural heritage of wildlife and this really has an impact on the tourism sector. No tourist would want to visit a facility that has no heritage in terms of wildlife," said Avin.

Lake Naivasha Country Club is one of the facilities owned by Sun Africa Hotels. The Sun Africa Hotels started its operations in Naivasha dating back to 1932. The group also who owns other facilities including Lake Baringo Club, Kiboko Luxury Camp, Keekorok Lodge, Sovereign Suites, Sun Africa Beach Resort, Mombasa and Balloon Adventure at Masaai Mara.