Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 80 - September 2014

Circulated to 18,000 Professionals Worldwide

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Global Eco at World Parks Congress

On 12 November Ecotourism Australia will host a special one day Global Eco Forum as a parallel event to the World Parks Congress (WPC).

Themed Tourism in Protected Areas, the Forum runs from 8:00am - 4:00pm, allowing delegates to proceed to the official opening of the WPC. The program will focus on the global state of okay relating to tourism on protected area, with world leading speakers from industry, government, intergovernmental organisations and academia.

Jeremy Lindblad of renowned Lindblad Expeditions will deliver a keynote, focusing on tourism contributing to conservation and community development.

Go the website on the link below for the full program. Registration is AUD$250-$295.

Further information:

Hobbit Contest

The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest has been launched to find the world's most ardent fans of The Hobbit Trilogy. A series of challenges will be unveiled across the world with winning fans able to discover that the fantasy middle-earth landscapes from The Hobbit Trilogy are real locations with an abundance of activities and experiences. Supporting the fans' journey are Air New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand, New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Further information:


Tourism for Tomorrow

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling for entries in the 2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in six categories including Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation, People and Sustainable Business. An international team of judges will select the finalists to be later visited by a sustainable tourism expert. All applications have to be submitted online by 14th of November 2014.

Further information:

Conference & Events


Taxi Trails

Taxi Stockholm in Sweden has created an online platform that uses GPS data from the 8 million trips the company's fleet make around the city each year to highlight popular cab destinations in real-time for tourists. Using heat maps, Taxi Trails allows users to quickly see the most popular places in the city and even trips made by posh or hip customers. When they've identified a popular location, users can then explore the area through nearby venues or Google Street View.

Further information:

Airline Up-Cycling

A 208 square metre Emirates Airlines Cabin Crew advertising banner was recently transformed into over 300 quirky and reusable shopping bags in a project highlighting the airline's fashion credentials and commitment to sustainable practices. The PVC material of the giant poster originally displayed outside Zurich Airport was repurposed with the help of Feinschliff, a socially integrative company in Switzerland which supports long-term unemployed people in returning to the labour market.

Further information:


Imagine your Korea

The Korea Tourism Organisation has launched a new tourism brand to the world, 'Imagine your Korea,' to attract 20 million tourists and advance Korea as a global tourist destination. The new brand promotes Korea's natural environment, rich tradition and history while portraying a trendy and creative tourist destination that leads the global pop culture.

Further information:


Galactic Discovery

Land Rover has launched a competition for four friends to win a trip to space with Virgin Galactic. The online Galactic Discovery competition was announced by some of the world's greatest living adventurers including Sir Richard Branson, Bear Grylls and Sir Ranulph Fiennes. To enter, aspiring astronauts from across the globe need to produce a 30-second video or image that demonstrates their spirit of adventure. The competition runs until 31st October 2014 with the four winners announced in December 2014.

Further information:


Bondi Makeover

One of Australia's best known beaches is set to receive a $20 million upgrade as part of Waverly Council's 10 year plan of management for Bondi Park, Beach and Pavilion. The plan includes a range of projects including more toilets, new picnic shelters, a children's playground and a beginners' skate park.

Further information:


Portable Hotel

The FIFA World Cup has signed an agreement with Snoozebox, a London company that transforms old shipping containers into 'pop up' hotels for the 2018 tournament in Russia. The 2,000-room 'Snoozebox Football Village' is planned for host cities with limited accommodation options and can be installed within 48 hours featuring two beds, ensuite, Wi-Fi and TV. Past events include the London Olympic Games, Glastonbury, F1 British Grand Prix, Edinburgh Festival and Ryder Cup.

Further information:


Culinary Trail Guide

A new food and wine trail handbook has been created to provide visitors with an exclusive guide to the Margaret River region's small-batch producers of food and wine. The Inspirational Food and Wine Journeys Guide produced by the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association in collaboration with the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and the Margaret River Regional Producers Association contains interviews with 19 local producers as well as personal recipes and a regional map.

Further information:


Cycle Trail

The New Zealand government has announced criteria for contestable funding over four years to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand. The new funding will be used to maintain and improve safety and quality across this world-class network of 23 Great Rides which span the length of the country and range from gentle family rides along scenic coastal cycle trails to remote off-road trails that take visitors deep into the great outdoors.

Further information:


1000th World Heritage Site

Botswana's Okavango Delta has been inscribed as the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Okavango forms each year when the summer rains in the Angola highlands drain onto the plains of Botswana, flooding a wide flat area slightly larger than Belgium. Stewardship of this unique ecosystem is under the 2008 Okavango Delta Management Plan developed by Botswana's Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism. The plan covers the institutional set-up for managing the site while ensuring biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods.

Further information:


Travel Partnership

Global travel rewards currency Avios has become the official 2014 travel partner of tourism charity, The Travel Foundation. The partnership will see Avios supporting sustainable tourism projects in holiday destinations across the world by providing sponsorship, travel and accommodation to benefit communities in Mexico, Cyprus, Jamaica and Kenya. The Travel Foundation will also run workshops for Avios staff including online training and expert support and guidance.

Further information:


Tourism Matters Competition

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) launched a social media competition on Instagram to find inspiring stories from within the tourism industry to change misperceptions. The Tourism Matters instagram competition encouraged tourism professionals around the world to share their stories of why they love working in the travel business to inspire those outside the industry have a closer look and learn more about the career opportunities available.

Further information:


Sustainable Destination Toolkit

Seven destinations in the Caribbean and central America region will receive support to enhance the long-term viability of their tourism sectors. Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua will receive support in the form of a sustainable destination toolkit that was developed by the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas and Sustainable Travel International. The toolkit includes action plans for short and long term solutions, online training for capacity building, destination monitoring system, assessment and marketing support.

Further information:


Melbourne Trekker

Tourism Victoria has partnered with Google to bring the latest Google Street View mapping and imaging system to allow prospective tourists to experience virtual versions of key attractions. The Street View Trekker technology will capture some of Melbourne and regional Victoria's most visited attractions as well as national parks and trails across the state. The Trekker is comprised of a wearable backpack with a camera system on top that features 15 lenses that automatically gather images which are stitched together to create a 360 degree panorama.

Further information:

Global Purchase

TripAdvisor has purchased online booking and search engine Viator in a deal worth around $200 million. The Viator website offers 20,000 tours and activities spanning 1,500 destinations and hosts over 600,000 reviews and photos posted by travellers. Tripadvisor is looking to provide the most comprehensive travel-planning experience for their global community of travellers both online and via mobile. Viator has a 250-strong workforce based at its San Francisco HQ and offices located in Las Vegas, London and Sydney.

Further information:

Travel Bloggers

The World Travel Market (WTM), in association with Travel Bloggers Unite, is seeking 60 travel industry bloggers to take part in a new bloggers speed networking session involving quick-fire business meetings with exhibitors interested in increasing their media exposure. The hour-long session takes place on 6 November and bloggers need to have registered for WTM to apply for a place.

Further information:


HED Talks

Hilton Worldwide has launched a thought leadership video series specifically aimed at inspiring meeting planners. The videos follow a similar format as the 'TED Talks' series of online video speeches and feature talks by a number of meetings and tourism industry leaders. The videos cover a range of categories including building connections, driving results, creating experiences and doing It all responsibly. The videos create an opportunity for planners and thought leaders to share peer-to-peer and the series will continue to evolve as new trends and best practices are identified.

Further information:


Annual Attractions Survey

Visits to attractions in England increased by 5% in 2013 according to VisitEngland's Annual Attractions Survey. The Tower of London remains the most visited attraction in the paid for category with 2.9 million visits followed by St Pauls Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. The British Museum marked its sixth consecutive year as the most-visited free attraction in England with 6.7 million visitors followed by the National Gallery, Natural History Museum and Tate Modern. The Annual Attractions Survey is carried out by BDRC-Continental and is based on a survey of 1,568 England visitor attractions.

Further information:

Allianz Global Assistance Study

A new five-year study from Allianz Global Assistance has revealed what Australian travellers are most worried about before they travel. The study collected data from 11 countries. The most searched travel topic was loyalty and mileage program due to Australia's geographical location. Air transport and airlines came in second with search terms encompassing airline companies, aeroplanes, airports and luggage requirements.

Further information:


Neighbourly Love

The Tourism and Transport Forum has launched a major policy paper, Bringing Our Neighbour Closer, which focuses on policy reforms which will help to increase the number of visitors to Australia from New Zealand including a common, affordable visa across both countries. This report builds on consultation with government and industry.

Further information:

Cultural Tourism Action Plan

The Canadian Government is contributing to the implementation of the Cultural Tourism Action Plan for British Columbia to assist Aboriginal tourism companies in developing market-ready products and experiences. The funding will be used to expand the Authentic Aboriginal certification program, a voluntary process offered to businesses, performers and artisans to ensure the cultural authenticity and quality of their operations. The vision is to have 100 Aboriginal tourism businesses established by 2017, employing 4,000 full-time staff.

Further information:

Visitor Directions

The visitor information centre directions paper A Way Forward for Queensland Visitor Information Centre’s is now available online. The paper captures future thinking about the role of accredited visitor information centre’s as information providers in Queensland.

Further information:


Pack Some Peace of Mind

State and Territory Governments have launched a multi-million dollar national campaign to inform Australians about recent changes to travel agent laws and encourage consumers to book with an ATAS accredited travel agent such as Flight Centre, Helloworld, Magellan, MTA, CTM, Travel Partners, Travel Counsellors, Travellers Choice and the Travel Corporation. The 'Pack Some Peace of Mind' campaign extends across radio, print, digital and social advertising platforms.

Further information:

China Ready Online

A global training and independent quality service assurance accreditation system for companies targeting China was launched at Australia's Federal Parliament House. Accredited individuals and businesses have been assessed to have met a strict set of criteria including Chinese cultural awareness, respect, quality service assurance, safety and legal compliance. In addition to partnering with Union Pay, the program has also partnered with leading global education provider Kaplan International to deliver consistent, quality online training.

Further information:


Geotourism - An Opportunity for Regional Australia

Geotourism as an emerging new global phenomenon will be highlighted at the national Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) conference in Alice Springs from 8 -10 October .

Geotourism focuses on an area's geology and landscape as the basis for providing visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment in developing Australia’s National Landscape Programme,” said Angus M Robinson, Chair of the recently established Geotourism Forum of the peak industry association, Ecotourism Australia Ltd.

Australia’s National Landscapes, established through a joint venture of Tourism Australia and Parks Australia, represents a significant national long term strategic approach to tourism and conservation, and aims to highlight the value of our remarkable natural and cultural environments as tourism assets, improving the quality of visitor experiences in those regions, and in turn, increasing support for their conservation.

Mr Robinson said, “The further development of the National Landscapes concept offers regional development authorities the opportunity to collaborate with park agencies to enhance the quality of the tourism infrastructure, visitor information, and overall visitation from both domestic and international markets, particularly from the emerging growth market of China.”

The target market for Australia's 16 National Landscapes is the 'Experience Seeker' market. With its integrative focus on landscapes as a whole, the development of geotourism within each landscape offers the opportunity to align with the core focus and sustainable development of each landscape region, thus fulfilling the expectations of these 'Experience Seekers'.

A full conference program, including speakers abstracts and bios is available on the website.

Further information:

Australasian Bird Fair

The Australasian Bird Fair will be held in Sydney from 25 - 26 October 2014. This is Australia's first ever large scale bird and wildlife convention with tourism operators able to access a range of tour guide resources and learn about current conservation efforts with addresses from well-known celebrity speakers and scientists.

Further information:

Sustainable Brands Conference

The Sustainable Brands Event will be held in London from 3 - 5 November 2014. This is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide with focused attention on understanding and leveraging the role of brands in shaping that future.

Further information:


CATwalk in the Forest 

By Marzieh Fallah - Malaysian Correspondent

Established on February 2010, the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT) is trying to attract volunteers to conserve the tigers in the Sungai Yu at the border of Taman Negara National Park. 

With the threat of increasing number of poached tigers in recent years, MYCAT introduced the Citizen Action for Tigers (CAT) program to conserve the region and give an opportunity to the people to participate in protecting the wildlife.

One part of program is CAT walk. CAT walks are modest walks of a few hours where volunteers can enjoy bird watching, camping, camera trapping, and other recreational activities in the forest. These kind of recreational activities not only have a low impact to the wildlife in the area but they can also disturb poachers in the area. 

The volunteer naturalists also search in the forest and if they find any evidence for snaring they will call the wildlife Crime Hotline, which is managed by MYCAT.

Further information:

Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality on Lake Como

By Sara Vitali - Italian Correspondent

In Gnallo, a small rural village of medieval origin, built halfway among Lake Como (Italy) and Lake Lugano (Switzerland), an interesting project of rural hospitality was launched in 1986.

Carlazzo, Gnallo is reached through a rural path or along a recent route for vehicles that detaches from the provincial road Carlazzo - Corrido, near the 'Bridge of Saltone. '

The village formed of a core 14 and was populated until the end of the 19th century. After this period, it was used for only rural purpose (stables and barns), until it was completely abandoned around 1980.

The early recovery interventions were made thanks to the collaboration among the association Ararat and Sabranenque of St. Victor la Coste, near Avignon, a French association of 'safeguarding habitat rural mediterranean.' This collaboration has allowed interventions by the Gnallo International Voluntary Service from 1986 to 2003 to the central part of the core (five buildings) intended for rural hospitality.

The recovery interventions were made using local materials (stone, lime, wood, terracotta) and traditional building techniques. The structural characteristics and the architectural typology of previous centuries were maintained.

The workforce was formed by both old local masons and French staff experts. Many Europeans and Americans volunteers have dedicated their summer vacation at reconstruction work. The works are well under way with the opening to the public expected (if they will obtain funding programs for the completion of work) by 2015.

The following projects have been completed:

  • Structural and restoration interventions, from top to bottom, including slabs of wood and plaster lime, of all the buildings;
  • Refurbishment of the village square (Thanks the collaboration of Ararat association, the Parish and the Common). In particular, the reconstruction of the whole paving around the chapel Votive of the early '900 (including a fresco mural '400) and the whole road that crosses the village has been paved with 'selciato lariano' with the recovery of stones local quarry and dry laying with same techniques used in bridle ways in the area;
  • Solar panels for heating space and water are ready for operation;
  • A tank for the disposal of water that allows purification through aerobic bacteria without connections to sewer systems. This intervention and the separate collection allows the almost total recycling of waste of what is produced while in the village;
  • Some structural carpentry and installation made through funding from foundations and Interreg programs.

To date, the usability of buildings is subject to the completion of the electric and plumbing system, including the integration with the solar system, and interventions carpentry to adapt to existing openings with doors and windows and doors salvaged from other buildings the area.

These works will be completed only if ARARAT will be able to obtain the necessary funding.

The recovery of the village of Gnallo is a clear example of how, in a respectful and sustainable way, it is possible to increase the tourism offer of a territory, especially when it still unknown but fascinating.

A visit will allow you to immerse yourself in an atmosphere that will amaze you with its simple authenticity.