Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 86 - March 2015

Circulated to 18,000 Professionals Worldwide

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2015 Global Eco Call for Papers Closing 30 March

Don't miss out on your opportunity to take an active role at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference - 17 - 19 November 2015 on Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

The theme for the 2015 Global Eco Conference is Ecotourism - Navigating for Success. The conference will be held 17 – 19 November at Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

Surrounded by a sea of emerald green, Global Eco will address topics such as coastal, island and marine tourism. Rottnest Island forms the perfect learning ground as it is a working example of tourism on a protected area, surrounded by marine reserves and with important Indigenous and European cultural heritage values.

Concurrent, workshop and masterclass papers are being sought on the following topics:

  • Island, coastal and marine ecotourism planning, management or operations
  • Driving revenue growth from quality systems
  • Optimising the ecotourism value of UNESCO sites - world heritage, biosphere reserves
  • Tourism awards - what makes a winner - are they good for business?
  • Small ecotourism business, big reach - case studies in innovative marketing
  • Global trends and innovation in ecotourism
  • Indigenous and community-based ecotourism
  • Global geotourism, geoparks and geotrails
  • Tourism investment: where is the growth? Attracting investors
  • Developing ecotourism destinations and national landscapes
  • Climate change and ecotourism
  • Innovative partnerships and ecotourism

Accepted speakers will be offered a 10% discount on registration, excluding networking events and technical tours.

The deadline for submission of papers is COB, Monday, 30 March 2015.

Cricket Menu

The national airline of India has launched a new cricket themed menu on flights between India and Australia during the ICC World Cup 2015 tournament. The Air India menu has been designed by the Oberoi Flight Services and includes lunch, dinner and desserts named in honour of famous cricketers. Business class passengers will also be given special sleep wear with a bat wielding Maharajah on the front and a signed souvenir menu card.


Virtual Reality Travellers

Qantas and Samsung Electronics Australia have launched a new entertainment service that uses virtual reality technology to give customers a three dimensional experience in a 360 degree interactive format. The technology is being trialled in Qantas lounges and on board selected flights. The virtual reality headsets will transport customers into an immersive world at the click of a button and showcase destinations, new Qantas products and the latest inflight blockbuster movies.

Further information:

Tourist Menus

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government in Japan has launched a culinary website that enables restaurateurs to upload their menu, translate it into 12 different languages and print copies using a selection of design options. The service also provides a searchable online guide for tourists to help them find places to eat in Tokyo which have menus by food type or area. The site also offers additional services such as anime guides and descriptions of Japanese food types for the customer, conversation sheets and hospitality guidelines.

Further information:


Flexible Hire Cars

Transfercar is an online vehicle relocation service that reduces costs for rental companies while offering a free way for consumers to travel. The service allows consumers who are over 18 years old with a valid United States license to a free one-way rental via the website which shows what rentals are available and where they need to be relocated.

Further information:

Airport Office

Regus, a global workplace provider, has recently launched the first ever Workpods situated airside at Gatwick Airport's North and South Terminals. The private workspaces are tailor-made for business travellers offering a desk, chair, Wi-Fi, power, mobile chargers, computer screen and telephone. Regus business centres offer users flexible workspaces in high traffic locations such as railway stations, airports, motorway service stations, retail outlets and hotels across the world.

Further information:


Cricket World Cup Microsite

The South Australian State Government has developed a new microsite packed with information for visitors coming to Adelaide for the ICC Cricket World Cup. The Adelaide Oval is hosting two World Cup warm-up matches, three pool matches and a Quarter Final. The South Australian Tourism Commission will promote the microsite through social media, and on all marketing material and flyers at various visitor touch points in Adelaide. The microsite has everything from match times, FanZone activities and road closure details to information about places of worship, transport options, vegetarian and halal restaurants.

Further information:


Australia's Highest Zipline

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures has launched Australia's highest zipline encompassing a series of cable spans and suspension bridges up to 35 metres above the forest floor. The state-of-the-art tour is the result of a $1 million investment from Merlin Entertainments Group and includes access to the award winning Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures.

Further information:


Robot Hotel

A theme park in Japan's Nagasaki Prefecture plans to have a hotel with robot staff and advanced technologies. The Henn-na (Strange) Hotel will be completed in 2016 and initially have 10 robot staff members providing a wide range of services including reception, room cleaning, front desk and porter services. All rooms will be accessed by facial-recognition technology instead of room keys and a radiation panel that detects body heat and adjusts the temperature accordingly.

Further information:

Nin Hao Program

Park Hyatt Melbourne has launched the 'Nin Hao' (a warm welcome with respect) Program in response to the increasing number of Chinese travellers. The tailor-made initiative is aimed at providing a warm reception for guests including a welcome letter, maps and information brochure in Chinese. It also includes a Chinese TV channel, tea service and food menu, as well as a direct 24-hour line to a Mandarin-speaking guest services associate.

Further information:

Doozze – Unique Homestays

Doozze is a social enterprise that is set up by people with a great passion for travelling and the belief that a rich life is one shared with others. With Doozze, local homestay owners have a platform where they can offer overnight stays on their own terms and conditions. They get the chance to break out of what the developers see is the unfair pattern, and to give travellers a real and unforgettable experience. Doozze say they have no high commissions and that every homestay owner decides for themselves what price is charged, and these prices are with all meals included. Their main goal is to let the benefits from the stay go straight to the local community, and give the customers a unique journey through a local lifestyle.

Further information:


Arthurs Seat Skylift

An $18 million gondola ride has been approved by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to replace the Arthurs Seat chairlift. The redevelopment will include 40 fully accessible enclosed cabins (gondolas), a 100-seat café, office space and an information centre to encourage visitation beyond the peak summer season.

Further information:


Future Travellers

Research commissioned by Geckos Adventures has found that travel is made exponentially better with ice cream, air travel will decline with only 100 aeroplanes expected to take off in 2015 and New Zealand will experience an influx of older travellers. The report titled The Future of Travel presents the findings of five expert 'future travellers' with the most popular destinations including Africa, Russia and Greenland. Top travel tips include wearing a seatbelt at all times, not becoming bored and avoiding sharp items in your carry-on.

Further information:

Valuing Business Events

The Business Events Council of Australia has released a new report highlighting the importance and value of business events in Australia. The study confirms the sector is a major driver for the economy with 37 million people attending more than 412,000 business events, providing 179,357 jobs and contributing AUD $28 billion in direct expenditure in the last financial year. The report also found that business events are significantly beneficial to regional areas with a growing number of people attending business events compared to major public events.

Further information:


Breath of Fresh Air

The North Coast Destination Network has launched a marketing campaign with to promote great deals across The Legendary Pacific Coast Touring route. The A Breath of Fresh Air campaign will be promoted to the 1.5 million domestic database using key destination hero images, event information, drive itineraries, video content, banner advertising and integration across social media channels. It will also be supported by local government and industry partners with tactical marketing, public relations and social media from February to June.

Further information:

Rugby World Cup Campaign

The national tourist board of England has launched a TV campaign aimed at raising the profile of English destinations in the year of Rugby World Cup 2015. The 'Discover Your England' advertisement features over 16 iconic English attractions, landscapes and scenery with appearances by a collection of sports personalities. VisitEngland works in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors.

Further information:


Sensible Tourism

Small-scale tourism ventures such as basic accommodation and eco-activities may be permitted in Tasmania's World Heritage Area under a new draft management plan. The Tasmanian Government has been seeking proposals on the opening up of areas for responsible tourism ventures and appropriate recreational experiences that protect cultural and natural values, as well as allowing access to share with the world.

Further information:


Healthy Meetings Program

Hilton Worldwide has launched a new MICE program aimed at promoting healthy habits for meeting professionals and sustainable options for events. Called 'Meet with Purpose' the program is designed to work in tandem with company corporate responsibility goals and has two components: mindful eating and mindful meeting.

Further information:


Rainforest Watch

Intrepid Travel has launched a one-of-a-kind trip to the Daintree Rainforest of Northern Queensland in partnership with international field research organisation Earthwatch. Participants have the opportunity to participate in a week-long expedition that ventures into the Daintree with some of Australia's leading climate change scientists. They will put into practice real scientific techniques by getting up close with rare animal and plant species to better understand the impact of climate change on delicate ecosystems.

Further information:


Online Jobs

A new online community for the travel and tourism industry has been created to help address the manpower shortage for the sector. Jobs In Travel Online brings industry employers and employees together in a dedicated online community which can be viewed on mobile, iPad, laptop and other devices. The website provides regular news and updates as well as allowing online industry networking.

Further information:


Green Tourism Card

With over 2,000 members in the UK, Ireland and Canada, Green Tourism is the largest and most established sustainable grading program in the world. Green Tourism offers credible, trustworthy, independent guidance to tourism businesses wishing to operate sustainably including Manchester United Football Club.

Further information:


SEGRA 2015 - Call for Contributions

Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia, SEGRA, provides a single forum in which people with a deep commitment to regional Australia can discuss issues and advance options and solutions for the future. Drawing over 200 delegates from across Australia, it is now recognised as the nation's most credible voice on issues affecting regional Australia.

The SEGRA National Steering Committee is seeking contributions for SEGRA 2015 being conducted in Bathurst, New South Wales from 20 - 22 October.

Further information:

View the 2015 Call for Contributions flyer:

Submit a contribution:

Responsible Tourism in Destinations

The 11th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations will be held in Cape Town from 13 - 15 April 2015. The conference forms part of Africa Travel Week which includes the International Luxury Travel Market Africa, International Business Travel Market Africa and WTM Africa.

Further information:

World Tourism Forum

The World Tourism Forum will be held in Lucerne from 23 - 24 April 2015. It is a platform for leading policy and decision makers from public and private sectors to discuss future drivers in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.

Further information:

PATA Annual Summit

The PATA Annual Summit will be held in Leshan, China from 23 - 26 April 2015. The theme New Dimensions of Heritage and Culture Tourism will explore the preservation of heritage and cultural sites while promoting and attracting an increased amount of tourism growth to a region.

Further information:


Perak International Ecotourism Symposium 2015

By Marzieh Fallah - Malaysian Correspondent

Despite having rich biodiversity, rainforest and enormous natural resources, Perak, the second largest state in peninsular Malaysia, has numerous tourism destinations such as Pangkor Island, Kellie's Castle, Belum Forest Reserve, Taiping Lake Gardens, and Tempurung Cave and many more.

To conserve the natural resources and promote ecotourism opportunities of Perak state to the world, Perak International Ecotourism Symposium (PIES) will be launched with the assistance of the Perak State Government. The conference has a strong program of international and local speakers including Tony Charters AM. The symposium gives an opportunity for Perak to become more recognised both locally and internationally. The three-day symposium will be held at Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, Malaysia from 16 - 18 June 2015.

Further information:

Water Harvesting Saves Water Stressed Laikipia Farmers

By Mary Mwendwa- African Correspondent

Matwiku village horticulture farmers in Laikipia County can now breathe a sigh of relief after a water harvesting technology came to their rescue. Through constructing dams that save water for domestic and farm use, they are able to meet their water needs despite water challenges facing the county. Kamwenje and Millima Tatu Hills are the main catchments for the water supply in the village.

According to Peter Ngugi, Chairperson of the Matwiku Self Help Group, "Dam water harvesting technology has seen this area of Matwiku remain food secure. Laikipia is generally a dry place and therefore issues of water shortage are not any news. Even now as we speak, most dams have run dry but with high water table, we are able to dig more dams and harvest water for use in our farms. My group , we use drip irrigation that has seen us use less water in the farm where we grow onion, tomatoes, bananas and other horticulture crops. Last year saw a revolution in this village. We recorded the highest number of farmers who ventured in horticulture farming; many of them pump water using generators to their farms. Maybe this is what has contributed to the drying of this dam. This was the only permanent water source here so we are mobilising farmers and educating them on how to use water sustainably by using drip irrigation to save on the little remaining."

The group has one acre of land which was installed with a water pumping system using fuel donated to them by partners to run the horticulture project. Mr.Ngugi appreciates the fact that as a group they have had to face some challenges that has proved a learning experience to them.

During a farmers field day where over a hundred farmers gathered to interact and learn from experts about farming, it emerged that there was need for more education on how people can use the little water they have sustainably. One by one, each speaker called on proper water management to avoid wastage during this time of drought. Celina Njeri, a resident at Makwitu village says that she has seen many dams dry in the last 10 years of her stay. "Those people who don't use drip irrigation end up drying the dams very fast. We are happy here because since the drip irrigation system was introduced we enjoy continuous flow of water,"she said.