Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 81 - October 2014

Circulated to 18,000 Professionals Worldwide

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2014 Global Eco Forum

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 8:30am - 3:45pm, allowing delegates to proceed to the official opening of the WPC. The program will focus on the global state of play relating to tourism on protected areas, with world leading speakers from industry, government, intergovernmental organisations and academia.

Keynote speakers from more than 10 nations will cover topics including ecotourism investment, community development, tools and technology, partnerships and quality programs.

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

Further information:

Dubai Legoland

Dubai is looking to open a Legoland in 2016, the first in the Middle East and the seventh in the world. The Dubai Parks and Resorts project will be in the city's Jebel Ali area, best known as the location of the Emirate's second palm-shaped island. It will include shopping and dining, a family-friendly hotel and access to the new five-runway Al Maktoum International Airport Project

Further information:


2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

The 2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards hosted by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) are still open for entries until the 14th of November 2014. WTTC is encouraging businesses and organisations committed to sustainable tourism to apply before the deadline to ensure their efforts are recognised.

What are the Awards for? The Awards are one of the world's highest accolades in the Travel & Tourism sector, aimed at recognising best practice in sustainable tourism.

How do the Awards work? Candidates can apply in one of the six Award Categories: Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation, People and Sustainable Business. Judging process is based on three-steps: Finalist Selection, On-site Visit by an expert and Winner Selection. An international team of over 20 judges, representing a wide range of professional backgrounds and expertise in the Travel & Tourism, first choose three finalists in each category to later decide on the winners.

How to apply? If you think your organisation has what it takes to be a winner, we want to hear from you. To start the process, applicants have to register online via Online Application Tool. Once registered, candidates can fill in the form, double check, save along the way, and return to the application form multiple times before submitting. It's FREE to apply.

Why apply? Becoming a finalist means you will receive corporate endorsement by a panel of internationally acclaimed experts in sustainable tourism, an invitation to the grand awards ceremony at the 15th WTTC Global Summit in Madrid, Spain, on 15-16 April 2015 and complimentary flights and accommodation to during the Summit. Being shortlisted also means great opportunities to network at the conference, the outstanding international Media exposure and promotion through our communication channels, including the Tourism for Tomorrow Newsletter.

Need help or inspiration? Watch 'A Winner's Journey' animation which explains both the application & the judging process. For some advice on what judges are looking for in this year's entries watch the tips for applying to the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards video from our judges.

Remember to submit your entry by the deadline - 14 November 2014. For more details visit Tourism for Tomorrow Awards or contact Agata Zborowska -

Further information:


Airport Beacons

San Francisco Airport is trialling new beacon technology that delivers location-sensitive, voice-based directions via smartphones to assist people with visual impairments or sight difficulties to navigate. Indoor mapping firm has now installed 300 of the beacons at various points of interest around Terminal 2 including stores, restrooms, boarding gates, baggage claim and even power outlets. The beacons use triangulation to determine exactly where the passenger is within the vicinity and to relay nearby facilities using voiceover technology.

Further information:


Wildcard Adventure

STA Travel has joined forces with VisitBritain to launch a new campaign that challenges young Aussie professionals to return to Britain and venture further afield than London. The ‘Wildcard Challenge’ campaign will see Australian reality TV star Tully Smyth turn travel insider for two weeks to provide Australian travellers with a unique taste of Britain’s countryside and regional cities. As part of the challenge, Australians are invited via social media to vote on which yet to be revealed off-the-beaten-path challenge Tully should face.

Further information:


Global Heritage Fund

The Global Heritage Fund has been working to ensure the preservation of monuments around the world, and its strategy from the get-go has been to factor in the local community. These local communities are the key stakeholders to ensure the site’s sustainability and create opportunities for growth.

Further information:


Market the Welcome

Brand USA, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Aviation, Choose Chicago and Discover Illinois, has unveiled a new campaign targeting international travellers. The ‘Market the Welcome’ campaign includes a customisable ‘plug-and-play’ toolbox to improve the traveller experience from the moment international visitors arrive until they pick up their baggage. It will include localised imagery with a destination call-to-action via digital and video, as well as information on US visa and entry policy.

Further information:

Lirrwi Tourism

The Yolngu people of Australia's Northern Territory have unveiled a new brand identity as part of a long-term vision for tourism in Arnhem Land. Under the umbrella of the Lirrwi Yolngu Tourism Aboriginal Corporation, more than 20 different Yolngu communities have united to create a thriving tourism industry that will foster economic independence, strengthen cultural traditions and help boost Australia's tourism profile internationally. The Lirrwi is now preparing to operate regular tours to multiple homelands and specialist tours for women.

Further information:


Airport Exercise Desks

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has installed desks that enable passengers to charge their devices through pedal power while they wait for their plane. The desks are equipped with pedals attached to dynamos that convert physical exertion into energy which is then used to power devices in an environmentally-friendly way. As well as Schiphol, the desks are also being installed at Brussels Airport and various railway stations around Europe.

Further information:

Coach Campaign

Tourism New Zealand has launched a Coach Touring campaign enticing Australians to cross the Tasman and experience New Zealand's unique landscapes by coach. Activities includes television advertising, a 16 page Fairfax Coach travel supplementary and online consumer website hub. Australia's major coach partners, AAT Kings, ANZCRO, APT, Evergreen Tours, Grand Pacific Tours, Kirra Tours, Scenic Tours and Travelmarvel are supporting the activity with special offers available on New Zealand touring holidays.

Further information:


KLM LinkedIn

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is offering round-the-clock customer service via LinkedIn on topics such as seat reservations, rebooking a ticket or making arrangements for extra baggage. The airline already has over 70,000 followers on LinkedIn who can keep up-to-date with business focused blogs and product information. Customers can contact KLM in one of 10 different languages - Dutch, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Norwegian, Russian and Japanese.

Further information:

Regional Events Social Media Resource

A new online social media toolkit released by Tourism Research Australia aims to help event managers understand in eight easy steps how best to use social media to promote their regional events. The toolkit has been developed as a result of a major study co-funded by Tourism Research Australia, South Australian Tourism Commission and Tourism Victoria into the influence of events on regional tourism.

Further information:


Digital Hotel Lobby

Guests staying with Hilton Worldwide hotels will soon have the ability to check-in and choose their exact room from digital floor plans, using their mobile devices, tablets and computers. They will also be able to customise their stay by purchasing upgrades and making special requests for items to be delivered to their room. By the end of 2014, digital check-in, room selection and check-out will be available at more than 4,000 Hilton Worldwide properties across 11 brands in 80-plus countries via members' Hilton HHonors accounts.

Further information:

First TRYP Hotel

TRYP by Wyndham in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley is the first street art hotel and the first TRYP hotel in Australia. The four-and-a-half-star, 65-room hotel is a new boutique-style experience for corporate and leisure travellers visiting the area by offering one part experience and one part destination with contemporary, unique lodging options. It is part of the Wyndham Worldwide Corporation which is world's largest hotel company with approximately 7,540 hotels worldwide.

Further information:


Tourism Employment Plan

The Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island Tourism Employment Plan has been released to address the region’s tourism labour and skills needs. The plan is the result of 12 months collaboration with local industry representatives, councils and regional tourism boards to develop effective short and long-term strategies that will help businesses meet their workforce development including tailored training, government and industry programs.

Further information:


Visitor Attractions Quality Scheme

VisitEngland operates the Visitor Attractions Quality Scheme which is responsible for instigating, modifying and shaping changes to the customer experience at visitor attractions across England. The scheme currently has over 1000 members which undertake an annual assessment of pre-arrival information, website, journey planning, signage, toilets, catering and retail outlets.

Further information:


Self-Drive Touring Routes

Five new touring routes highlighting the best of South Australia have been developed by the South Australian Tourism Commission. The routes are a guide to wine regions, scenic coastal and Murray River drives, outback discovery routes, seafood and produce. The website features an interactive map that provides detailed information about must-do experiences along the touring routes, suggested itineraries and downloadable maps.

Further information:


Power of Research

Tourism and Events Queensland and the Pacific Asia Travel Association have announced an exclusive new partnership allowing Queensland tourism businesses access to the latest Asia-Pacific visitor research and online data. TEQmPower will overlay Tourism Research Australia’s international visitor data alongside Asia-Pacific trends providing industry with a one-stop-shop for the latest visitor insights affecting their destination.

Further information:

Australia's International Tourism Industry

The Australian Productivity Commission has commenced a research project examining Australia’s international tourism industry. The project will use qualitative and quantitative information to examine trends, drivers and barriers to growth in the Australian international tourism industry. Submissions are due by Friday 28 November 2014, with a report to be published in early 2015.

Further information:

Green Air Travel

According to a study released by the Air Transport Action Group, the air transport industry currently supports 58.1 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in global gross domestic product. The report Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders looks at the economic and social benefits of the commercial aviation industry around the world and examines the sector's environmental progress.

Further information:


World Responsible Tourism Day

World Responsible Tourism Day takes place on Wednesday, 5 November 2014 at the World Travel Market in Excel, London.

Further information:

Global Eco Forum

Ecotourism Australia’s 22nd Global Eco Conference will be held at Sydney Olympic Park on 12 November 2014. Ecotourism Australia has partnered with UNWTO, UNESCO, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Tourism Australia and the University of Queensland to stage the one-day event which will focus on the theme Tourism in Protected Areas.

Further information:

IUCN World Parks Congress

The IUCN World Parks Congress will be held in Sydney from 12 - 19 November 2014. The Congress is only held once every 10 years and is the landmark global forum on protected areas. Delegates will present, share, discuss and create original approaches to address any gaps and set the agenda for the conservation and sustainable development of protected areas over the next decade.

Further information:

International Tourism Congress

International Tourism Congress will be held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman from 2 to 4 December 2014. The conference theme is Image and Sustainability of Tourist Destinations.

Further information:

5th DBM Conference in Macau

The 5th International Conference on Destination Branding and Marketing will be held from 3-5 December 2014 in Macau, China. The theme for the conference is Building Enduring Place Brands.

Further information:


Kinabalu National Park

By Marzieh Fallah - Malaysian Correspondent

Located in the west coast of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, Kinabalu Park, with a magnificent variety of flora and fauna and its outstanding universal values, is Malaysia's first world heritage site nominated by UNESCO in 2000. Kinabalu Park was established on 1964 and is one of the first protected areas in Sabah. Every year a considerable number of tourists visit this park to discover the beauty and adventures. Most visitors come to the park by package tours.

The most well known feature of the park, Mount Kinabalu, at 4,095 metres, is the highest mountain on the island of Borneo. It is known as one of the youngest non-volcanic mountains in the world. This mountain was formed within the last 10 to 35 million years and still grows at a rate of five millimetres a year.

ECU Tourism Students Excel

By Marzieh Fallah - Malaysian Correspondent

Five Edith Cowan University (Western Australia) Tourism Students gave an outstanding presentation at the 8th Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia from 16-18 October ( The conference was attended by 220 delegates from over 20 countries.

The students – Lauren Flight, Lisa Hindmarsh, Pia McKenzie, Taylor Rawlings and Tenielle Armour made a presentation to the conference on their International Study Tour to Borneo in April 2014.

Immediately upon the conclusion of the presentation, the students received enthusiastic applause and have now been invited to work in ecotourism in many countries around the world.

The Sabah Tourism Board has asked if the DVD could be posted on their website.

The five students were stars of the Conference, and following their presentation, many delegates from around the world commended the students for their work.

East Africa's Premier Sustainable Tourism Report Launched

By Mary Mwendwa - African Correspondent

The first ever Sustainable Tourism Report was recently launched in Kenya. The report is inspired by changing trends in consumer choices that are driven by a growing number of socially and environmentally conscious travellers, and the need for East Africa to compete for market share.

Judy Kepher – Gona, founder of Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda said: "In today's tourism industry, competition has taken a new dimension as travellers are seeking experiences that go beyond relaxing, and sightseeing. They expect holiday experiences that positively impact on their destination of choice. One way business can meet this need is to embrace sustainable tourism practices and assure travellers that their excursions are not adversely affecting destinations."

Speaking at the Eco Warrior Awards Gala Dinner, Judy emphasised that healthy ecosystems need healthy communities for sustainability of tourism activities. She called for all travellers to their various destinations to leave 'positive footprints.' She further said that the Sustainable Tourism Report is a refreshingly bold publication that seeks to bolster the development of responsible/sustainable tourism in East and Southern Africa, through debates between industry stakeholders, academia, and tourists. STTA expects this publication, which will be out three times a year to inspire, educate and challenge the tourism industry across East and Southern Africa.

Mureithi Ndegwa, Kenya Tourism Board said that unless communities are educated on conservation, it would be difficult to promote sustainable tourism practices. He pointed out Kenya being able to show the rest of the world how ecotourism thrives. He assured the tourism sector of the government's support in any tourism related activities.

During the launch, the Eco-Warrior awards ceremony also took place. Pomp and colour splashed the whole scene. Many were dressed in local African attires. Local dances and local delicacies were part of the menu, which included guests from over 50 countries.

The Eco–Warrior Awards recognise the efforts, innovations and exceptional achievements that promote sustainable tourism and enhance tourism sustainability that is directed at environmental conservation linked to communities through mutually beneficial and equitable partnerships. Over 50 stakeholders applied for the awards. The ecotourism journalist of the year was awarded to Fleur Ngweno and Ecotourism student of the year went to Ummi Njoka, from Kenyatta University among other categories respectively.

The awards were organised by Ecotourism Kenya and sponsored by various stakeholders in the tourism Industry.