Tony Charters and Associates Tourforce

Tony Charters and Associates releases a regular newsletter Tourforce keeping stakeholders of the tourism industry connected with current issues, research, events and funding opportunities.

Reproduction of any items from Tourforce is welcome, with acknowlegement of the source.

Welcome to Tourforce Edition 8

Guest Editorial
Ken Hickson
Author of “The ABC of Carbon” and Governor of WWF Australia

All the world’s a stage and - to corrupt Shakespeare just a little - we are all players in the climate change scenario.

The past 12 months has seen an explosion of talk about climate change from the tourism and aviation industry. But is it enough?

It is a lot like preparing a play for the stage. The script is written, the players have rehearsed, now its time to get on the stage and act in the best way possible.

There’ll be audience reactions – some applause, some boos - and critics too. The important thing is to get up there on the global stage and perform at your best. Your audience deserves that at least.

Ken Hickson decided to do a little research to see if our international airline players are getting to grips with climate change and its impacts. Here’s how he sees them:

Qantas, with a carbon offset scheme for its passengers which it started late last year, cleverly uses a number of celebrities to boost it along.It is also involved with some unique research in conjunction with Air Services Australia - an enhanced flight path trial at Brisbane Airport that has reduced aircraft carbon emissions by 650 tonnes. Not a lot, but a start.
Virgin Atlantic – and Virgin Blue in Australia - offer carbon offsets for passengers. And last month (February 2008) Virgin Atlantic staged a world first flight of a 747 with one of its four engines powered by bio fuel.Richard Branson is committed to make the airline cleaner and greener – and wants the international industry to follow suit. He put his money where his mouth is and committed US$3 billion to this end.

Lufthansa, with typical German thoroughness, has set its own house in order environmentally. For 13 years now it has had its aircraft involved in climate change research –monitoring through three scientific programs. And it carbon offsets through MyClimate.

Singapore Airlines – the first to operate the new super efficient A380 -- says ‘we have long been committed to improving environmental performance across all areas of the business.’ But it could do better and itspassengers don’t have the opportunity to offset their flights.

United Airlines, struggling through financial constraints for some time, says it works to preserve the environment through improved fuel efficiency in the air and on the ground, but no sign of a carbon offset program for its passengers.

Air New Zealand, while small by global standards, usually steps up to the plate. This year it will have a commercial trial of a bio fuelled, Rolls-Royce powered, Boeing aircraft. But no carbon offset program to speak off and nothing else to report of an environmental nature.

Because as we know, actions speak louder than words, there’s a lot more for airlines to do – and say – to show their commitment to climate change action programs.

Ken Hickson
We Have Moved
Tony Charters and Associates moved office at the beginning of March to the Ground Level of The Mansions. The Mansions is a beautiful heritage listed building which is located in George Street, on the corner of Margaret Street, near Parliament House. Built in 1889 during the late Victorian period, the style is influenced by Victorian version of Italian Classical motifs.
The Mansions was built as an investment for a group of politicians among whom were the Premier B D Morehead and Treasurer William Pattison at the time. The first female doctor in Queensland, Dr Lillian V. Cooper set up practice here in the early 1890’s and was one of the first tenants.

The building now contains a number of offices including the Board of Architects of Queensland, Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland and Management Solutions (QLD) as well as a restaurant on the ground level.

We have a 48m2 office space on the first level which is available for tenancy for up to three years. It has two offices and a private balcony. For more information call 07 3012 9575 or visit

Planning & Policy
Visitor Safety in Australia
A ‘Visitor Safety in Australia’ page has been launched on the Tourism Australia corporate website with comprehensive information to help visitors learn more about travel safety in Australia. The webpage features downloads of both the National Visitor Safety Handbook and Travel Safely in Australia brochure. The brochure also has language sections available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. The webpage has been developed by the National Visitor Safety Program Working Group which consists of a representative from national, state and territory tourism and government organisations.

Further information:
Planning to Build the Future in Western Australia

Tourism Western Australia has launched a new strategic plan setting the direction for the Western Australian tourism industry to the year 2013. The plan was developed in consultation with industry to guide the next steps in developing, promoting and protecting Western Australia’s iconic tourism experiences.

Further information:

Destination Management
Sustainable Regional Tourism Destinations

The Sustainable Regional Tourism Destinations project aims to determine best practice for the sustainable development, marketing and management of regional tourism destinations in Australia. Based upon research undertaken in 22 regional tourism destinations around the country, researchers will develop industry friendly toolkits and research extension activities to assist regional tourism destinations and regions in best practice planning initiatives. This three-year research project was initiated by the Australian Regional Tourism Network and is funded by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre. An industry reference group comprising representatives from each state and territory tourism organisation and Tourism Australia is guiding the project.

Further information:

Local Government Area Tourism Profiles

Tourism Research Australia has released Tourism Profiles for Local Government Areas in Regional Australia. The profiles were developed for over 300 regional areas located outside capital cities to provide information on visitors and travel behaviour.

Further information:

Infrastructure & Development
New Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk
Located on the Ilawarra Escarpment two hours south of Sydney, the Illawarra Fly is a 500 metre long, 25 metre high elevated tree top walk ascending at a gentle grade and suitable for visitors of all nobilities. The Illawarra Fly was built by the same company that built the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road and the Tahune AirWalk in Tasmania. An extensive on-site visitor centre seats 110 people indoors and 110 outdoors. The attraction was also built on “soft footprint” ecological guidelines with rainwater collected and no waste left on site.

Further information:
Kangaroo Island's First Luxury Lodge

Kangaroo Island’s first luxury lodge has set a new standard in accommodation.
Located on the Island’s south west coast, the Lodge site adjoins both the Flinders Chase and Kelly Hill National Parks and is at the heart of the Island’s major attractions. Southern Ocean Lodge is destined as Australia’s leading example of sustainable tourism accommodation through its unique location, contemporary environmental design, locally sourced services, personalised interpretative activities and signature wellness spa.

Further information:

Climate Change and Australian Tourism

A new scoping study which examines the relationship between tourism and climate change has been commissioned by the Tourism and Transport Forum and published by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre. This report looks at causes of climate change as well as examining short and long term strategies in order to address its impacts.

Further information:

Mobile Boarding Passes

New research has estimated that over 2.6 billion mobile barcode tickets for flights, concerts and events will be delivered to just over 208 million mobile phone users by 2011. Some benefits include reduced cost, better security, reduced paper usage and savings of up to $500 million each year for the airline industry. The research examined the current and near-future status of mobile ticketing with analysis and interviews from representatives of some of the leading organisations in the mobile ticket industry.

Further information:

Kiwis the best key to Boosting Tourism Success
A partnership with long time rival, New Zealand, could be the fillip for boosting inbound visitor numbers according to the Tourism Futures Report conducted by Roy Morgan research.

Commissioned for the Tourism Futures conference, the research surveyed industry operators, academics and government policy-makers from local, State and Commonwealth levels.

“To date we’ve probably thought we were good enough to go it alone, say industry expert, Tony Charters who is convening the Tourism Futures conference. “We are facing some real challenges at the moment. Both inbound and domestic visitor numbers are soft, and around 35 per cent of the industry surveyed thought teaming up with New Zealand could be the way forward.”

Roy Morgan Research, in conjunction with the Tourism Futures National Secretariat, is conducting research addressing the major challenges and opportunities facing the Australian tourism industry, as well as ways to maximise sustainable growth in this industry.

We encourage you to click on this link and take a couple of minutes to give your opinions.

Results will be incorporated into the 2008 Tourism Futures Conference being held from 2-4 June 2008.

In addition to having an opportunity to provide vital opinions you will also go into the draw to win a 2 night holiday at Kingfisher Bay Resort on the beautiful Fraser Island including catamaran transfers from Hervey Bay.

Grey Nomads - a Mobile Workforce
TCA recently won a federal grant form the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, under the Mature Age Industry Strategy, to run a pilot employment program in the Townsville region. The pilot will link regional employers with Grey Nomads travelling through the region in May-June 2008 for a variety of short term voluntary and paid employment opportunities.

This pilot comprises the third stage of an ongoing project to investigate the opportunities for filling labour and skills shortages in regional areas with Grey Nomad travellers. Stages 1 and 2 focused on researching the level of interest, profile and skills based of Grey Nomads as well as organisations across a variety of employment sectors. Having established positive results, stage 3 seeks to examine the practical dimension of linking the two and overcoming any key barriers that arise.

The project will provide a regional case study of how Grey Nomads can be utilised as a mobile workforce by regional employers. It will provide a demonstration of how employers can connect, communicate and establish cost effective short term working arrangements with suitably skilled and interested Grey Nomads. It will also provide a preliminary toolkit for overcoming key barriers to this process.

As a case study this project will also be invaluable to other regions interested in taking advantage of the skills base of Grey Nomads for addressing skills and labour shortages. It may also encourage and provide incentives to other employers/regions to become involved in engaging older workers in flexible working arrangements.

Climate Change
Fairmont Partners with WWF

Fairmont has partnered with WWF to lower its carbon footprint and better promote greener work ethics through the Global Climate Savers Program. The hotel chain will also seek to reduce carbon emissions through improved energy efficiency, increased conversion to renewable energy, as well as more actively pursuing a greener travel industry. Currently the Fairmont already employs sustainable practices such as waste reduction, water conservation and energy management.

Further information:

Sustaining ATE

The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is committed to making the 2008 event more environmentally friendly. Initiatives will include a recycling program, reducing the amount of printed paper in the lead up to and during the event and options for reinvesting in the environment. All ATE sellers will also be encouraged to highlight their own environmental initiatives at the event.

Further information:

The ABC of Carbon
Tourism is both a contributor to, and a victim of, climate change. Here we have a selection of edited and relevant extracts from Ken Hickson’s book, “The ABC of Carbon”. The 26 chapters represent each letter of the alphabet in this encyclopaedia of “the issues and opportunities in the global climate change environment”. Altogether 730 items or paragraphs adding up to more than 150,000 words and over 500 pages.

Receive the weekly abc carbon express e-newsletter and the book “The ABC of Carbon” in an all-in-one special package for A$50.

“The ABC of Carbon: Issues and opportunities in the global climate change environment” is due for release in the next month (April) at the recommended retail price of A$30. The subscription to the email newsletter is normally A$50 for 52 weekly issues from the date you start which if purchased now, will include the book as well.

That’s an $80 package for $50. Packing/postage extra - see rates below. So provide your address and contact details to to order
Tourism, travel and airline references in these extracts from Ken Hickson’s ABC of Carbon:

Aviation. Since 1990, carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation have increased by 83%. David Suzuki points out that the aviation industry is expanding rapidly, partly because regulatory and taxing policies do not reflect the true environmental cost of flying.

Bio-jet fuel. Air New Zealand and Rolls-Royce are joining forces with Boeing to conduct a biofuel demonstration flight in 2008 designed to help accelerate the development of viable and sustainable alternative fuels for commercial aviation uses.

Climate change. Strictly speaking, climate change means the significant changes from one climatic condition to another, but it now commonly refers to the increase in surface temperature of the earth caused by human activities.

Ecotourism. Defined as ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas, fostering environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation, ecotourism has its own Eco Certification Program in Australia — a world first.

Flying. ‘Airlines are leading the debate on environment with a vision to become carbon neutral in the medium term and zero carbon emissions in the long term. We are setting the benchmark on environmental performance for other industries to follow,’ said IATA’s director-general Giovanni Bisignani.

Green travel. Way back in 1998, The Green Travel Guide by Greg Neale, pointed out that the Great Barrier Reef of Queensland, Australia, was threatened by ‘an increase in sea temperatures caused by global warming’. Also that Coral reefs act as a protective cordon around many low-lying islands.

Intrepid Travel. By flying to the destinations we love so much, we’re actively contributing to climate change. One travel company, Intrepid, which has specialised in adventure and cultural experience holidays, has introduced automatic carbon offsetting into its tour pricing.

Maldives. For 20 years, the president of this Indian Ocean archipelago, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has been telling the world that his cluster of islands, dotted across 800 kilometres of sea off southern India is imperilled by climate change.

Ocean acid. Reef expert Dr Charlie Veron says for decades we’ve been acidifying our oceans and warmer water is bleaching the coral of the Great Barrier Reef. The new threat to the reef’s survival ... carbonic acid.

PATA. ‘Global warming is the biggest challenge facing mankind today and we must all do everything possible to reach a consensus on how to meet it,’ said Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, in support of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) with its CEO Challenge, which he said comes at a very timely moment.

Qantas. A late starter in the carbon stakes, but when Qantas did come on board it made a big impression. On 19 September 2007, the Australian airline group launched a carbon offset program, backed by a pledge to offset the carbon emissions of every international and domestic flight on the first day of the program.

Solar for Denver Airport. Scheduled for completion in 2008, a two-megawatt solar system at Denver International Airport (DIA) - the fifth busiest international airport in the US - is expected to generate 3.5 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity annually.

UNESCO World Heritage. The integrity of hundreds of natural and cultural sites with World Heritage Listing, including Kilimanjaro National Park, the Great Barrier Reef and Timbuktu, are threatened by global climate change, a new study by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO) shows.

Virgin Earth Challenge. Sir Richard Branson is offering a US$25 million global science and technology prize called the Virgin Earth Challenge. It will go to the individual or group that is able to demonstate a commercially viable design which will result in the net removal of greenhouse gases each year for at least ten years without harmful effects.

World Tourism Organisation. This United Nations agency responsible for tourism, which is both a contributor to climate change and a victim, is commited to sustainable development of tourism. The theme for World Tourism Day (WTD) on 27 September 2008 – to be hosted in Peru - is ‘Tourism: responding to the challenge of climate change’.

Zero emission fuel. Solar reflectors could one day make petrol from thin air and algae may provide all the diesel we need. In The Independent 30 January 2008, Simon Usborne reports on the race to perfect energy sources for the future.

A World Without Parks

The Parks Forum biennial conference will be held form 20 to 22 May 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand. The conference offers a diverse line-up of speakers from within and outside the parks industry. The conference will provide a source for dynamic and strategic thinking about parks management presenting the latest in research, best practice and working together to develop collaborative strategies to address the key issues facing the parks industry.

Further information:

Tourism Futures National Conference 2008

Consumer trends and the latest marketing and technology innovations will be showcased at the Tourism Futures conference on the Gold Coast from June 2 to 4.

Leading US tourism industry guru, Philip Wolf - President of renowned market analyst PhoCusWright - will address the conference and take part in several workshops and seminars over the three days at the Crown Plaza Royal Pines Resort.

“Philip Wolf is in a class of his own. He has an extraordinary insight into consumer trends and the impact of the internet and new technologies on the tourism industry,” says Tony Charters, Tourism Futures convenor.

Other sessions include ‘Making a Good Property into a Great Property’ and hot topics such as investment and development, management trends, staff and training and climate change and eco-tourism.

“If you attend only one conference this year, make sure it is Tourism Futures – the last conference was undoubtedly the best, most relevant and informative tourism conference myself and other normally conference-weary colleagues have attended in over 25 years in the tourism industry.” Jude Frank, Jude Frank Consulting Tourism, Management and Marketing Consultants.

For a full program and registrations go to

Green Start for UK

VisitBritain has announced a sustainable tourism initiative that will enable accredited English accommodation providers and attractions take the first steps in gaining green certification. As part of a pilot scheme, VisitBritain will waive the £25 charge for the first 500 businesses to join Green Start. This will be first time that a National Tourism Office has taken steps to check and endorse green tourism certification schemes. Green Start is expected to sign up 2500 businesses to its entry-level programme in its first year.

Further information:


PATA Gold Awards

Industry stakeholders who have contributed to the responsible development and promotion of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific can now submit entries to the 2008 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Awards programme. The awards will be judged by a panel of experts and presented on 19 September 2008 during the PATA Travel Mart in Hyderabad, India. Winners will be featured in the souvenir booklet, receive media coverage via press releases and are also entitled to use the award logo on websites and collateral. Deadline for entries is 30 April 2008.

Further information:

Ecotourism Spotlight Award

Government websites that spotlight ecotourism and responsible travel are eligible to win's 2008 Ecotourism Spotlight Award. Nominees can include environmental, tourism and other government portals in three categories of local, national and international. Nominations are open from 15 February to 1 July 2008.

Further information:

Tourism For Tomorrow Judging - High standards, Global Innovators
Tony travelled in Tanzania with Serena chief naturalist Mr Bob Oguya. Bob, who has been with Serena for more than a decade was a senior manager within the Kenyan Parks Service and holds a Masters Degree in Ecology. In Zanibar, Tony met with the Managing Director, Mr Jan Mohamed.

”Serena is an excellent case study with applicability across the globe. The organisation has a commitment to the protection of the natural environment and the cultural heritage and living culture of the region.
In operating a premium product Serena is cogniscent of the value of protecting the destination values of the area. Similarly it is cogniscent of the importance of involving the local community in the economic benefits that accrue from operating its enterprise.’
Tony them flew to the Maldives to review two of Six Senses properties, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili. Both these properties where damaged by the 2004 Tsunami, with the Gili property having been closed for 6 months due to damage.

Six Senses operates 10 resorts and 16 spas with several more under development. Their main focus is in Asia, and they employ around 5,000 staff.

“Soneva places great store in its personnel practices as a means to deliver excellence in hospitality. There is a very comprehensive incentive scheme available to staff based on their individual performance, guest feedback, commitment and achievement of training objectives and length of service.’
Soneva has shown an extraordinary commitment to its climate change response and is investing heavily in an innovative deep sea cold water exchange system for its air-conditioning systems, wind energy and energy efficiency.

There is clearly a very strong involvement of the owners of the resort in all matters related to design, interior decoration, landscaping and environmental initiatives. “
Tony said.

Winners will be announced at the WTTC Summit in Dubai in April.

Funding & Grants
Arts and Cultural Event Scheme

The Western Australian Government has announced the $1.5 million Arts and Cultural Event Scheme for the developmentof events in fields such as music, fashion and dance. Events held in the 2008-2009 financial year will be assessed on criteria including content, uniqueness and image building, community support, corporate support, and economic impact. Applications close 1 April 2008.

Further information:

Australian Government Grants

This page lists the grants available through the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

Further information:

Grey Nomad Working Holidays

Tourism Queensland has been collaborating with Caravanning Australia to provide easy access to information on working holidays around Queensland.

Further information: and

Responsible Tourism
Green Passport

The United Nations Environment Programme has launched the ‘Green Passport’ campaign to raise tourists' awareness of their potential to contribute to sustainable development by making responsible holiday choices. The campaign encourages tourists to choose responsible service providers, reduce the consumption of energy while on the road or in their hotel and buy locally made and environmentally friendly souvenirs. The campaign website is available in English, Portuguese and French.

Further information:

Global Geotourism Challenge

The National Geographic Society and Ashoka's Changemakers have launched the 2008 Global Geotourism Challenge to identify people and organisations that are innovators in tourism development, management and marketing. The online competition will raise awareness about how tourism can help sustain, enhance and preserve local culture and environment. Three winners will each receive a cash prize of $5,000 and an opportunity to present their innovations at a Geotourism Challenge Summit. Applications close 9 April 2008.

Further information:

Greyhound Upgreading Fleet

Greyhound Australia is refurbishing its fleet and acquiring new Scania buses which are 25% more fuel efficient and Euro 4 compliant. Greyhound Australia is also working with environmental partners to develop a carbon offset plan to ensure this method of transport contributes to a sustainable future. One full Greyhound coach already is akin to taking 16 cars off the road and has five times less CO2 emissions per passenger per kilometre on the same route than aeroplanes.

Further information:


Open Skies for Australia & United States

Australia and the United States have settled the terms of a new "open skies" air transport agreement. The agreement will allow carriers of each country to operate between Australia and the United States, via other countries and beyond the other country to other countries without restriction on the number of services operated, the number of passengers carried, or any other restrictions on rights to carry passengers or cargo. The United States is Australia's third largest aviation market.

Further information:

Product Development
Adventure Victoria

Adventure Victoria was formed in 2005 by four Victorian adventure tourism operators whose businesses had all been hit by the bushfires of 2003. It is the first adventure marketing group of its kind and has been involved in the development of Victoria’s first nature-based tourism strategy. Adventure Victoria products are now being distributed by around 20 international and domestic operators including Flight Centre.

Further information:

Drought Proof Conference Resort

The Novotel Forest Resort Creswick is Australia's first drought-proof year round green resort. The resort design incorporated stringent guidelines to protect native vegetation and wildlife including a number of lagoons and Australia's first privately owned water treatment plant. The Novotel Hotel is part of the $250 million Forest Resort development which includes a residential community, Health and Wellness Centre and championship golf course.

Further information:


Tony Charters and Associates