Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 87 - May 2015

Circulated to 10,000 Professionals Worldwide

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Global Eco is Go!

World leading operators and tourism identities are now locked in to the Global Eco Conference keynote program. Rottnest Island is ready and waiting for the international delegation of practitioners come November. Registration for the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference is now open.

Being staged on Rottnest Island, Western Australia from 17 - 19 November, Ecotourism Australia's 23rd Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference will have the luxury of a being a live case study and conference venue in one. As an A Class Reserve, Rottnest Island is both protected area and major tourism destination. An island with surrounding marine reserves, a playground to locals and international alike, and just 20 kilometres offshore from Perth.

Water, energy and waste management are critical on Rottnest and delegates will go back of house to see sustainability initiatives. This year's focus will be on island, marine and coastal management, geotourism, investment in ecotourism and excellence in ecotourism.

Conference Convenor, Tony Charters AM said "To keep speakers and delegates on their toes, Global Eco will introduce Delegate Disruption in 2015. More will be revealed!" Register now and secure your place with the global leaders of ecotourism.

Register at:

Underwater Cruise

Dreamlines has unveiled the world's first underwater cruise on a research submarine aimed at passengers who want to experience life under the Pacific Ocean from Sydney to Honolulu. The former research submarine USEA-341 has undergone two years of extensive renovations in Germany to attain a four-star quality standard. The panoramic lounge provides underwater viewing through 15 centimetre thick anti-reflective armoured glass, while cabins have specially enlarged portholes and extra-long berths.

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Greener Hotels

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced a new partnership with global music artist and entrepreneur and The Coca-Cola Company to bring the EKOCYCLE brand to hotel rooms around the world. W Hotels will soon begin making their beds with new EKOCYCLE branded sheets, which are made in part with rPET (polyester partially made using recycled plastic) or approximately 31 recycled plastic bottles. Another initiative is the Mobile Charger and Accessory Valet, a multi-tasking USB charging device that also acts as a watch stand and an alarm clock.

Further information:


Airport Arcade

Charity Arcade has given the donation box a major upgrade installing classic arcade games in the baggage terminals of Swedish airports. The gaming consoles offer celebrated cult classics including Space Invaders and Ms Pac-man on custom machines which can accept any currency. The collaboration between Alranda Airport and the Red Cross is enabling people to make a donation with left-over coins while they wait for their bag.

Further information:

Happy Little Flyers

Bound Round and Virgin Australia have formed a unique content agreement with over 30 destination and attraction videos made by kids for kids available in-flight. Travelling families can find the educational content and videos in the watch section of the in-flight entertainment system via the wireless service and seatback screens.

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Touching Masterpiece

The Prado Museum in Madrid is displaying six 3D replicas of famous masterpiece paintings which visually impaired visitors can explore through touch directly. The exhibition is called Touching the Prado and was created by Spanish printing studio Estudios Durero using a printing technique called DidĂș. The replicas are produced over a 40 hour process which selects detailed textures and volumes to guide the blind person's hand around the painting to understand the composition.

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Flying Concierge

The tourism organisation of Swiss city Basel is launching a volunteer service together with the Basel Hotelier Union and the Grand Casino Basel to help tourists. Basel Tourism is looking for about 100 volunteers for the Flying Concierges project who will greet guests during events and provide information on transport and tips regarding restaurants or shopping. Those who decide to get involved will receive Basel training and a guidebook, as well as a Flying Concierges uniform.

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Youthful Partnership

The New South Wales (NSW) Government has entered into a new partnership with the world's largest youth travel network to encourage young international travellers to visit Sydney and regional NSW. Destination NSW and STA Travel has signed a two year Memorandum of Understanding which aims to promote NSW to young travellers across the international markets of UK, Germany, USA, Singapore, Japan and New Zealand through in-store and online channels.

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National Surfing Reserve

Noosa has officially become Australia's newest National Surfing Reserve alongside Manly/Freshwater, Margaret River and Phillip Island. The concept of a National Surfing Reserve is for all people to be able to enjoy, understand and protect special coastal environments of universal value to the surfing world. The Noosa National Surfing Reserve takes in all surf breaks from the Noosa River mouth to the northern end of Sunshine Beach, including the Noosa National Park.

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Find Your Park

The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation of the United States has launched a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016. The Find Your Park campaign aims to encourage people to connect with their favourite parks and public lands via a feeling, a state of mind or a sense of American pride. The campaign also highlights historical, urban and cultural parks as well as National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide.

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Parkfinder WA App

The Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia (DPaW) has just released a new Parkfinder app for smartphones. The app provides users with information on Western Australia's national parks and reserves such as activities and facilities and and an interactive map finds which park is nearest to their current location. Users can also save parks to their favourites' list, share them with friends on social media and also post reviews of their experience. The Parkfinder WA app is part of the $21.05 million, four-year Parks for People initiative that is expanding camping and visitor experiences in parks and reserves throughout Western Australia.

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Grand Tour

Switzerland Tourism has teamed up with National Geographic Traveller to develop an online content platform highlighting the newly created Switzerland Grand Tour which comprises over 1,000km of railroad and highway journeys throughout the country. Switzerland Tourism is hoping to direct more long-haul customers to traditionally underserved regions in an effort to extend room nights and drive new business. The tourism board developed a social media competition, as well as traditional online and print marketing materials to promote the initiative.

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Tourism and Events Queensland is rolling out Australia's largest tourism network of iBeacons to assist visitors in exploring Queensland. The 150 iBeacons have been installed across 13 tourism destinations including at airports, visitor information centres, national parks and other popular attractions. Using new location-based technology the beacons will automatically deliver users information about the top things to see and do in the region including any major events.

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Smartphone Tours

Lopeca enables users to see the world including places they might never get to visit via remote video tours over smartphones. It is currently recruiting locals as potential guides to host live online walking tours of city areas. Remote explorers then get in touch via their website requesting the place they want to see and when they would like to see it. Lopeca links up matches and handles payment taking 25% of the fee. At the allocated time, both users simply connect via smartphone platforms.

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Devil Experience

Tasmanian boutique hotel Saffire Freycinet in conjunction with the University of Tasmania's Menzies Institute for Medical Research and the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is offering guests the rare opportunity to save this endangered iconic species. Saffire Freycinet is supporting critical research aimed at saving the world's largest carnivorous marsupial from extinction due to the rare and contagious Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Led by expert trained guides guests will have the opportunity to see the devils in a purpose built enclosure which reflects their natural habitat.

Further information: http://www.saffire-freycinet

Sustainability Microsite

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has launched a new online tool for information on sustainable and socially responsible travel issues. The 'go to' resource includes a suite of case studies which include examples of more than 800 best practice initiatives. The site also features facts and figures, tips, glossary, statistics, recommended reading and calendar of sustainable tourism events around the world.

Further information:


Social Media in Tourism

Researchers from the University of Western Australia, in collaboration with the USA and UAE, are conducting a study on the use of social media in the tourism industry. The research serves to compare consumer needs and attitudes towards social media with current practices utilised by tourism organisations. Tourism organisations are encouraged to participate by completing a short online survey and all participants will receive a report outlining the findings as well as recommendations to better satisfy consumer needs.

Further information:

Air Travel Trends

Expedia in partnership with the Airlines Reporting Corporation has released a new white paper which analyses comprehensive information on travellers and those in the airline industry. The report entitled Preparing for Take-Off: Air Travel Trends 2015 is a detailed analysis of global air travel data from both companies as well as other credible industry sources.

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The Future Traveller

A new report commissioned by Amadeus has defined the six 'traveller tribes' or segments that will shape the future of travel through to the end of the next decade. Future Traveller Tribes 2030 identifies six categories including social capital seekers, cultural purists, ethical travellers, simplicity searchers, obligation meeters and reward hunters. Findings are based on interviews and workshops with leading futurologists, travel industry experts and travellers from across the world. A complementary report will be released in June 2015 examining how the industry can cater to the needs of each of the six traveller tribes.

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Northern Business Chicks

Tourism Northern Territory and Business Chicks have entered into a 12 month partnership to raise awareness of the Northern Territory at eight events across Australia. The arrangement will see promotions on their media platform, events, branding and advertising opportunities as well as business networking inclusions and membership discounts. Business Chicks is Australia's largest community for women which facilitates more than 90 events with high profile keynote speakers.

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Accessible Tourism Manual

The UNWTO in collaboration with the ACS Foundation have produced The Manual on Accessible Tourism for All: Public-Private Alliances and Good Practices aimed at assisting any tourism destination, attraction or business to become more accessible. The manual highlights the value of accessible heritage and cultural resources and provides the necessary technical knowledge for making both built and natural tourism environments accessible within the framework of public-private alliances.

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Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

The five winners of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards for 2015 were announced at the recent World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Madrid. The event attracted many of the World's leading tourism companies, large and small. Tony Charters AM was a finalist judge for the Awards.

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 held in Bathurst, New South Wales from 20 - 22 October.

Further information:

View the 2015 Call for Contributions flyer:

Submit a contribution:


Perak International Ecotourism Symposium 2015

By Marzieh Fallah - Malaysian Correspondent

Perak International Ecotourism Symposium (PIES) will be launched at Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, Malaysia from 28 - 30 July 2015. An impressive line-up of speakers has been assembled for the event. International and local speakers including Tony Charters AM and Tengku Adlin will attend.

Tony was awarded an AM - Order of Australia for significant service to the ecotourism industry, particularly to nature-based recreation and to environmental education and visitor programs. He has been a pioneer in ecotourism planning and destination development. Tony has edited and co-edited a range of books which deal with ecotourism best practice, sustainable tourism, and private sector involvement in protected areas management.

Tengku Adlin is the Chairman of the Sabah Tourism Board since year 2000. He played a leading role in staging international adventure sports in Sabah, i.e. the Camel Trophy 1993, Eco Challenge 2000, Outdoor Quest (2003 - 2005), Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon 1987-2008, Skydive Borneo Boogie 2001, 2002, TM KL / Tun Mustapha Tower International Base Jump 2006, 2007, 2008, Sabah F2000 World Cup Powerboat Race 2007, among others. He is the author of numerous books and publications on conservation, nature and adventure.

Lake Bogoria Spa Resort - A Healing Experience

By Mary Mwendwa- African Correspondent

Famous for its three piece healing effect of the Neem soup, natural heated water and spa, Lake Bogoria spa resort has gained unique popularity for its unique services, not to forget the sweetest honey where the nectar is collected from acacia trees. Located in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, five minute's drive from famous Lake Bogoria National Reserve, bubbling hot springs, steaming geysers and bird watching, guests get an opportunity to experience the rich heritage of Africa.

Fredrick Chepsat, Operations Manager, says "The hot springs is a natural heated swimming pool that tourists cannot miss in order to enjoy this wonder of Lake Bogoria Spa Resort. With guided bird watching tours within the Kesubo nature trail, there are daily trip excursions to Lake Bogoria National Reserve, where millions of lesser flamingoes carpet the saline lake of Lake Bogoria. In the reserve, wildlife like kudus, zebra and buffaloes do not miss. Included in these trips are views to the Tugen Hills, Kipsaraman historic site and boat rides at lake Baringo.''

The spa resort offers a wide range of highly affordable accommodation including six executive rooms, 30 junior suits and spacious tents with camp beds. All rooms are air conditioned and have an ensuite. Lounge areas and modern comforts such as mini bars and entertainment facilities are available and complimentary Wi-Fi is provided.