Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 79 - August 2014

Circulated to 18,000 Professionals Worldwide

Join our community on Facebook

Global Eco Tourism in Protected Areas Forum

Ecotourism Australia has been approved to run the 22nd Global Eco Forum as a parallel event to the World Park's Congress in Sydney.

Global Eco will be held at the Sydney Olympic Park on 12 November 2014, the first day of the World Parks Congress.

Ecotourism Australia has partnered with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Tourism Australia, The University of Queensland, and UNESCO International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage to stage the one-day event focusing on the theme Tourism in Protected Areas.

Registration is being offered at a highly affordable rate of $295 and $250 for developing economies. Global Eco will draw on the expertise of the World's leading practitioners in tourism in protected area.

Further information:

Mobile Bowls

AAT Kings is visiting travel agencies across Australia in a bus specially fitted with the world’s first mobile indoor lawn bowls green. The partnership with Bowls Australia, Grassman and Scania has seen the company strip the interior of one of its luxury vehicles and install a ‘state-of-the-art’ lawn bowls green. It will visit more than 60 regional towns and metropolitan cities in July and August with the assistance of community organisations and travel agency partners.

Further information:


Bike-Ready Vehicles

Europcar Australia has become the first car rental provider to offer a new category of vehicles fitted with bike carriers. The ‘bike-ready’ Mitsubishi Outlanders fitted with Thule ProRide bike carriers are available from airport locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Coolangatta and Maroochydore. The new category is in response to the company’s close connection to the sport of cycling and the growth of cycle tourism. Europcar are rolling out the new fleet with the vision to expand to other major centres across Australia by the end of 2014.

Further information:

World's Best Airline

Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific has been named the world best carrier at the annual World Airline Awards. The World Airline Awards run by research firm Skytrax are one of the most high-profile in the aviation industry. Cathay is the first airline to win the award four times having previously taken the title in 2003, 2005 and 2009. The awards are based on a survey of 18.85 million airline passengers from more than 160 countries and 245 airlines worldwide.

Further information:

Flight Comparison

Lonely Planet has partnered with international travel search provider Skyscanner to develop its first branded flights comparison engine. The engine now sits within the Lonely Planet website and is completely mobile optimised into Lonely Planet’s new site which is evolving to become a one-stop hub for travellers, providing them with inspiration and the information and tools they need to plan and book a trip.

Further information:


Golfing Partners

Accor hotels and resorts have signed a partnership agreement with Great Golf Courses of Australia to promote and sell golf itineraries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Great Golf Courses of Australia provides a centralised resource for golfers, media and trade to access information on iconic golf courses and golf tourism experiences. The partnership will allow Golf Australia access to more than 200 hotels and across a network of 13 golf resorts in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Further information:

Growing Food and Drink

The national tourism organisation of Scotland has announced a new fund to promote Scotland as a land of food and drink. VisitScotland is inviting applications from tourism groups throughout Scotland to apply for growth fund grants to support marketing campaigns during the 2015 Year of Food and Drink. Funding will be awarded to campaigns that promote the use of quality Scottish produce and aim to increase visitor satisfaction with the Scottish food and drink offering.

Further information:


Travel Sharing

Social travel website ‘I Like Local’ is launching an international platform enabling travellers to book over 190 different and unique activities across eight countries in Asia. It will connect travellers to locals who offer activities in categories including homestay, farmstay, art, culture and food experiences with locals in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The website was founded by a former business consultant from the Netherlands who developed the concept to combine her passion for other countries and cultures through the sharing economy principle.

Further information:

Adventure in Motion

The Adventure Travel Trade Association is accepting submissions for an inaugural short film competition called Adventure in Motion. Tourism organisations or businesses that have produced a short video in the last year are eligible to enter the contest. Finalists will be selected by a jury and have their films shown during the 2014 Adventure Travel World Summit in Ireland in October 2014. Winners will receive one-year membership of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, a ticket to the 2015 Adventure Travel World Summit and a feature interview in Adventure Travel News.

Further information:

How Much Is That Seat?

Online travel company TripAdvisor has redesigned its flights search feature to provide detailed information globally for 31 countries and in 17 languages. The feature aims to simplify the experience for those who book their own flights by showing all available flights, with fare comparisons and a breakdown by flight segment of amenities and services on a particular airplane. Other information presented includes seat pitch, flight on-time records, availability of Wi-Fi and in-seat power ports, as well as seatback video and TV.

Further information:


Ecotourism Opportunity

Registrations of interest are open for qualified and experienced tourism operators to develop new visitor experiences on Aboriginal land in Ngamoowalem Conservation Park, near Kununurra in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. The park features stunning landscapes, important flora and fauna habitats and considerable Aboriginal cultural heritage. This opportunity is part of the Naturebank program which allows for the development of quality, environmentally sensitive tourism accommodation and experiences on conservation land. Applications close 30 September 2014.

Further information:

Interactive Whale Shark Tours

The Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife has called for expressions of interest for a whale shark tour operator license within the Ningaloo Marine Park. The opportunity allows for the development and operation of commercial in-water interactive whale shark tours. Submissions close 16 September 2014.

Further information:


Holiday Social Discounts

Hotelied is offering travellers personalised luxury hotel deals based on their social media network and number of followers to generate exposure and publicity. It is focused on serving 'lifestyle' properties and luxury hotels with opportunities to provide discounts towards influential travellers with a large amount of social media clout as well as those from certain industries including fashion or entertainment. Travellers looking to use the service need to create a profile on the Hotelied website and link it to their social networks of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Further information:

Bee Hotel

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has introduced a bee hotel at Toronto's Fairmont Royal York to provide a sustainable nesting site for local pollinator bees. The project aims to support bees as part of a larger partnership with Burt's Bees and its annual WILD FOR BEES campaign. These companies have teamed up with Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building and Pollinator Partnership Canada to design and construct five sustainable bee hotels in Toronto and Guelph.

Further information:


Victoria's Trails Strategy 2014 - 2024

The Victorian government has launched Victoria's Trails Strategy 2014-2024, a 10-year plan to realise the economic, social and environmental potential of Victoria's 2,000 nature trails. An accompanying website will be developed by Tourism Victoria to promote trails to domestic and international audiences, highlighting Victoria's offerings in nature and adventure-based tourism.

Further information:

Cruise Development Plan

Sydney-based company MI Associates has been appointed to work with Destination NSW to produce a 10-year Cruise Development Plan to ensure NSW captures a larger share of the cruise market including providing food and other supplies to cruise ships, pre and post-cruise tours for passengers and identifying capacity and infrastructure needs. The report will be developed in consultation with industry and will be completed by the end of 2014.

Further information:

Healthy Business Travel

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a resource aimed at increasing awareness of international health hazards and better prepare travellers for business trips overseas. The Business Pulse: Travellers' Health guidelines offer tips and statistics related to overseas travel to help protect travellers against infectious diseases, personal health issues, work related stress, jetlag and environmental concerns while on the road.

Further information:


Regional Events Study

A new study into events as drivers of regional tourism has found that 25% of Australians attended a regional event within the past two years while spectator sports, music, food and wine and cultural events had the greatest impact on boosting visitation. The research was co-funded by Tourism Research Australia, the South Australian Tourism Commission and Tourism Victoria to provide a better understanding of regional events across Australia as a tourism product and their place in driving regional tourism.

Further information:

Airline Industry Performance

A report by the International Air Transport Association has shown that global aviation is creating value for passengers, aviation investors and governments through profit from increased efficiency. According to the Economic Performance of the Airline Industry report, global spending on aviation will reach US$716 billion by the year 2014, equal to 1 per cent of global GDP. In addition, 3.3 billion travellers are expected to travel in 2014 and a forecast 58 million jobs to be created worldwide.

Further information:

Tax-Free Shopping Trends

According to research by Global Blue, overseas tax-free shopping is on the rise with more than 200 million tourists from 10 nations spending over 10% more on average in 2013 than they did in 2012. This top 10 includes China, Russia, Indonesia, USA, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Hong Kong. Global Blue is a shopping tourism company headquartered in Nyon, Switzerland, best known for tax-free shopping.

Further information:

Visitor Information Centre Futures Study

Tourism Victoria, in conjunction with the Victoria Tourism Industry Council, commissioned Urban Enterprise to undertake an analysis of Visitor Information Centre’s in Victoria in order to propose a vision for 2022. The report highlights that while visitors use technology to gain information pre-visit, visitor centres provide invaluable local and personal insights that add value to a holiday. The report also allows local government to make informed decisions about visitor services within their area, as well as highlight the importance of collecting visitor statistics to enable benchmarking of long-term trends.

Further information:


Philippines Ecotourism Prepares for Growth

The Philippines Department of Tourism and Department of Environment and Natural Resources hosted two regional workshop in Cebu and Davao this week to continue progress on the National Ecotourism Strategy. The workshop focused on the selection of priority ecotourism sites, selected against comprehensive tourism attributes. Tony Charters spoke to the groups about ecotourism investment attraction and participated in site assessments. The national strategy can be viewed online.

Further information:

Responsible Tourism Events at ITB Asia 2014

The annual ITB Asia trade show and convention, now in its seventh year, will be held 29 – 31 October at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.Every year, ITB Asia offers practitioners, newcomers and pioneers a great stage for responsible tourism topics to be discussed. Wild Asia, ITB Asia's official CSR partner is proud to put together and announce 2014's series of Responsible Tourism events. Experts and experienced practitioners will be presenting concepts, international standards, lessons learnt, current trends and notable regional case studies.

Tony Charters will be speaking at the event on cost effective ways to achieving sustainable tourism best practices.

Further information:

Nordic Symposium in Tourism and Hospitality

The 23rd Nordic Symposium in Tourism and Hospitality will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 2 - 4 October 2014. This annual scientific event, organised in cooperation with the Nordic Society for Tourism and Hospitality Research, will see over 140 delegates attend from the Nordic countries and other continents.

Further information:

International Tourism Conference on China

The 5th International Tourism Studies Association Conference will be held in Perth, Western Australia from 26 - 28 November 2014. The conference will focus on opportunities from China's burgeoning outbound tourism market as well as nature-based tourism and its synergies with China.

Further information:


Spa Tourism Industry in Malaysia

By Marzieh Fallah - Malaysian Correspondent

The spa tourism industry in Malaysia is increasingly growing with a 16 percent growth rate in the last five years. Considering this fact, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture provides spa therapist training program and is expecting this industry to become the fifth largest revenue earner for the country until year 2020. Currently in Malaysia, income from spa tourism is about RM 56 billion per year and the goal is to raise the income to RM 128 billion by 2020 according to the estimation of the Ministry.

However, this industry is faced with some challenges. It has dominant rivals in regions, such as Bali, Manila and Bangkok, which are pioneers in the spa industry. Another issue is the lack of local massage therapists and the hiring foreign workers, which consists of more than 60 percent of therapists in the industry. Also in regards to cultural matters, some Malaysians do not think massage therapy as an honourable career.

Malaysian Association of Wellness & Spa, a non-profit organisation, was established to promote and advance the spa and wellness industry in Malaysia through public educational seminars, distribution of printed materials and other interactive occasions. This organisation may also inspire participants to meet regularly and to link with specialists from Malaysia and other international organisations and become independent from foreign spa therapists.

A Historic Camel Caravan Trek for Climate Change Adaptation

By Mary Mwendwa - African Correspondent

The scorching heat, tough terrain, no clean water, no pasture, no green vegetables and no fruits was the order of the day, during a recent 250 kilometre trek from Merti to Archers Post town in Isiolo County.

Over 200 pastoralist communities from Samburu and Isiolo participated in this event that was meant to sensitize communities living along Ewaso Nyiro River on the importance of using its waters in a sustainable manner.

Armed with luggage, seven camels, women, men, girls and other participants from different quarters including media, the message was clear: restoration of Ewaso Nyiro River needs urgent attention!

At a colourful ceremony after the five days trek, all the communities who trekked from upstream and downstream gathered at Archers post and expressed their concerns about the state of Ewaso Nyiro. Other issues raised were on Kenya's government blue print project, the proposed Isiolo Resort city and the mega twin dam in Isiolo. Isiolo Residents claimed that they were not consulted in any of them and they feel they need a dialogue with government about the projects as they will have both economic and social impacts on them.

The communities agreed that activities from upstream users have a negative impact on those living downstream, who are majorly pastoralists and rely on the little water to feed their livestock and other domestic chores. "There is an urgent need to enhance the accessibility of water by downstream users who are the Borana, Rendile and Turkana communities by regulating the management of water usage at upstream," said Galgalo Kote from the Girissa women's group, Garbatula, Isiolo County.

The communities are also hit by famine and drought regularly. "Right now we can foresee a looming drought. We have very little water in Ewaso. It is so dry, the last time we saw rain cannot be remembered. We are a forgotten people. Bad infrastructure which makes us not being able to access services like other Kenyans is a mountain that we are struggling with. We hope one day things will change. Ewaso is a livelihood for wildlife and our livestock here," said Dabaso Halkano, a village elder from Isiolo.

Mohammed Dida, a disaster risk expert expressed his concerns about the current sad state of Ewaso River Ecosystem. "The water levels are dropping day by day. We need concerted efforts by government, community and other partners to restore the glory of this river. This river is a livelihood for over three million Kenyans. In Isiolo County it's the only source of water for livestock and domestic use. These people are most vulnerable as they live downstream where the water is very minimal, "he says.

Sirak Temesgen, a Kenya country coordinator says that the camel caravan which is the second since inception has helped the communities living along Ewaso Nyiro to understand the threat facing the river and adopt resilience building activities as they lobby for the sustainable water usage of the upstream people who the downstream community claim make them not get enough water.

The camel Caravan event that was organised by Partners for Resilience (PFR), multispectral partners whose objective is to strengthen resilience by reducing the impact of natural hazards on the livelihoods of vulnerable communities.