Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 90 - July 2015

Circulated to 10,000 Professionals Worldwide

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Innovative Ecotourism Marketing Case Studies - Apply Now

The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference is seeking several papers for its masterclass series in marketing. It has two marketing focused masterclasses:

  • Small product, big reach - this masterclass is looking for case studies of ecotours or ecolodges that have excelled in punching above their weight through innovative approaches to marketing.
  • Winners are grinners - this masterclass examines how to optimise the marketing benefits of being a finalist or winner of tourism awards. We are looking for case studies of operators who excelled gaining marketing leverage from their award winnings.

Join a literal United Nations of speakers at Global Eco and tell your story. Case study presenters are entitled to a speakers discount.

Offer a Paper at:

Entries for the National Geographic Traveler World Legacy Awards Now Open

National Geographic Traveler's World Legacy Awards showcase leading travel and tourism companies, organisations, and destinations driving the positive transformation of the global tourism industry.

Award Categories:

  • Earth Changers
  • Sense of Place
  • Conserving the Natural World
  • Engaging Communities
  • Destination Leadership

Winners and finalists will be selected by an international panel of judges, chaired by Costas Christ, one of the world's foremost sustainable tourism experts, and will receive recognition in National Geographic Traveler magazine and other National Geographic media, reaching millions of travelers around the world.

Winners will be announced at a special Awards Ceremony in March 2016 at ITB Berlin.

Submit your application through August 1, 2015 at:

Introducing our Ibero-American Correspondent

Arturo Crosby joins Tourforce from this month. Art will contribute stories from the Ibero-american region. The prefix Ibero- refers to the Iberian Peninsula in Europe, which includes Portugal, Spain, Andorra, and Gibraltar. Ibero-americano includes all Spanish-speaking countries in North, Central, and South America, plus the Portuguese-speaking country of Brazil and Portugal and Spain. There is very significant focus on ecotourism, regional and sustainable tourism within this enormously diverse region.

Art is a pioneer of rural, regional and sustainable tourism in Spain and has worked in Latin American countries for 17 years. He has been an adviser to many of the World's leading conservation and tourism agencies. Arturo edits the Naturalae Magazine and is founder and CEO of Forum Natura International, a company specialising in business feasibility assessment, strategic planning and technical co-operation.

An environmental biologist by training Arturo teaches post graduates, and mentors communities in the development of microprojects (ecotourism, rural, cultural initiatives). His career has been directed at fostering and developing nature oriented tourism and community tourism in a sustainable and competitive way. Arturo is the owner of a hacienda and private conservation reserve in regional Spain.

Tony Charters AM, Editor

New Tourforce correspondent for Nepal

Let me introduce Anjana Lamichhane, as our first Tourforce correspondent for Nepal. Anjana will contribute stories on an regular basis, to highlight the recovery from the devastating earthquake, and as time goes on to focus on ecotourism and responsible tourism stories coming out of Nepal. I was taken by Anjana's determination to get onto the front foot in the rebuilding of Nepal's tourism industry. As so often occurs with natural disasters, the blanket media coverage, while valuable in driving awareness and aid relief to affected communities, leaves an impression that everything has been destroyed. We see this with typhoon and cyclone affected areas, floods and other natural disasters. Unfortunately for Nepal this assumption has been devastating for their tourism industry.

Anjana Lamichhane is a new graduate in Travel and Tourism Management from Tribhuwan University. She has worked in the tourism industry as a hotel front office assistant and undertook her internship with Yeti Travel. More recently she has worked as a guide for a trekking and rafting company. Unfortunately all that work has dried up since the earthquake. Anjana lives 22 km from Kathmandu (Nagarkot), and she and her family have also been victims of the earthquake - having had their home destroyed by large cracks. Like many Nepalese in the 11 affected Districts, Anjana is now living in a corrugated iron shed with her family. However 64 of Nepal's 75 Districts were unaffected by the earthquake.

Drone Tourism

The Jordan Tourism Board has worked with the Matador Network to shoot multiple drone videos of its top attractions and most sacred sites. The Jordan Tourism Board has experimented with new ways to leverage digital media marketing and is relying on social media to create awareness supported by annual grants from USAID Economic Growth through Sustainable Tourism Project.

Further information:

NoSteps Tours

In response to request for accessible Sydney experiences, Australia in Style has launched No Step Tours for Sydney. Designed especially for discerning travellers and those who prefer tours with less physical activity, NoSteps Tours provide relaxed and informed experiences and cater for people of varying levels of mobility including wheelchair, walkers and sticks. All walks are on a flat surface and require minimal walking for a maximum of 50 metres. Sydney icons visited on the walks include the Sydney Opera House, Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Botanic Gardens.

Further Information:


Tourism Technology

Amadeus a leading provider of technology solutions for the tourism sector and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to advance the use of innovative tourism technology in the areas of education and multi-modality. The two bodies will also collaborate on issues of corporate social responsibility through the Talent Development in Tourism pilot project and other capacity building initiatives.

Further information:



Kimberley National Park

Tourism Western Australia has produced a major developments map which illustrates major precinct, hotel, residential and commercial developments in Perth and Fremantle. This includes the $2.6 billion Elizabeth Quay which will reconnect the city with the Swan River, Perth City Link and new 60,000 seat Perth Stadium. In addition, there are a number of hotel developments including the Westin Hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Crown Towers.

Further information:


Wi-Fi Hotspots

The Tasmanian Government is seeking request for proposals for a single operator to build, operate and maintain wireless broadband network(s) in approximately 50 high profile tourism destinations and points of entry around the state. The aim is to give tourists the opportunity to create and share their experiences of Tasmania online. It will also allowing local businesses and communities to provide online information about attractions and opportunities in the area directly to tourists while in the region.

Further information:


Off The Map Expeditions

Intrepid Travel has launched a new range of exploratory-style tours with itineraries encompassing a southern Mexican jungle, Georgia, Kosovo and Papua New Guinea. The trips will initially have limited departures allowing Intrepid to test new product with more itineraries to off-the-map regions expected to be unveiled throughout 2015. Intrepid Travel is a global adventure travel company that offers more than 1,000 trips in more than 100 countries and on every continent.

Further information:


Reef Tourism Campaign

Tourism and Events Queensland has launched a new social media tourism campaign inviting global travellers to experience the greatest reef on earth. The digital initiative forms part of a coordinated marketing effort to drive awareness and visitation to the reef via competition and a series of videos posted on social media.

Further information:


Airline Quality Rating

The 2015 national Airline Quality Rating report has been released by the Wichita State University and the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. The report reflects monthly Airline Quality Rating scores based on 15 elements in four major areas that focus on airline performance aspects important to air travel consumers including on-time arrivals, involuntary denied boardings, mishandled baggage, customer complaints and comparative performance for the calendar year.

Further information:

Fly Carbon Neutral


Qantas has reinvigorated its Fly Carbon Neutral program which gives customers the option of paying a small amount to offset the emissions associated with their flight with all proceeds going to community projects in Australia or overseas which generate carbon credits. Qantas will also replace all lighting in operational areas with energy-efficient LED lights, revamp its domestic on-board recycling program and introduce new lightweight freight containers that will cut fuel consumption by more than 800 tonnes per year.

Further information:

Jet Lag App

The International Air Transport Association has released details of a new mobile app for passengers to monitor their health and wellbeing before, during and after a flight. Used in conjunction with a Jawbone fitness wristband, the SkyZen app enables air travellers to view their activity and sleep patterns throughout the whole flight experience. Helpful hints will enable users to improve their travel experience and combat jet lag when crossing time zones based on flight number, date and class of travel.

Further information:


Mini Fashion Bar

Fashion brand Pimkie has launched the first Mini Fashion Bar at the Banks Boutique Hotel in Antwerp, Belgium to sell their latest collection of clothing and accessories. Aimed at forgetful fashionistas, the in-room store stocks various items from the Pimkie collection including a raincoat, comfortable shoes and sunglasses curated to suit the location and weather. The Mini Fashion Bar is integrated into the hotel room's closet enabling visitors to browse the garments, try things on and even request other sizes from the hotel concierge before being paid for upon check-out.

Further information:

Building Success

InterContinental Hotels Group has launched a new online platform for owners of Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The Build for Success platform provides hotel owners and developers with valuable tools and resources to enable a more efficient approach to the hotel design and development process. It will also ensure each hotel design meets guests' expectations, reduce consultancy needs and costs, maximise revenue generating space in the hotels and increase speed to the market.

Further information:


Ethical Travel Guide

Tourism Concern's Ethical Travel Guide lists hundreds of small scale ethical and sustainable tourism organisations from around the world. The guide aims to help travellers in making better decisions about where to go, who to go with, where to stay and what to do in accordance with principles of ethical tourism. For each country it lists ethical travel considerations, as well as tour operators and volunteering organisations that support local projects.

Further information:

Ecotourism Australia's ECO Certification gains Global Approval

Ecotourism Australia's ECO certification program has been approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), as one of the first tourism certification programs in the world to meet the compliance requirements of the GSTC Approval Manual.

"GSTC Approval status brings further credibility to a well-respected and established brand, ECO certification, and raises its profile in the global arena. International guests can now recognise and choose with confidence high quality tour operators delivering true ecotourism experiences" said Rod Hillman – CEO of Ecotourism Australia.

The GSTC establishes and manages global sustainable standards with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices. They are an independent body, serving the important role of managing global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism.

To read more, please visit:

Authentic Travel

Backstreet Academy works with non-government organisations across Asia enabling local hosts to offer tours and classes to visitors in search of authentic experiences. It aims to trade in authentic travel experiences by enabling locals to offer one-of-a-kind tours or activities to visitors who want to experience their destination's true culture. The online platform is a for-profit social enterprise which sources local masters of crafts such as fishing, boxing, weaving and knife-making, as well as experienced hosts who can give unique and memorable tours throughout the cities of Asia.

Further information:


Culinary Tourism Strategy

Brand USA has launched its culinary tourism strategy which includes the Flavours of the USA digital platform, a culinary content hub which includes gastronomic-inspired travel offerings from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five territories. The site will provide international travellers easy access to culinary-inspired travel itineraries, a calendar of food festivals and events, wine and beer trails, regional cuisine recipes and tips on dining etiquette. It will also be broadcast through partnerships with Food Network International and The Travel Channel International.

Further information:

Cycle Trail

The New Zealand Government and local communities have developed The New Zealand Cycle Trail (Nga Haerenga) to drive shoulder season travel and attract higher value visitors to New Zealand. The initiative offers visitors a unique way to experience over 2,500 kilometres of trails through the national parks, mountains and lakes of the North and South Islands.

Further information:


Global Muslim Travel Index

Malaysia has once more been named as the number one destination across the globe in the Muslim travel market, according to the MasterCard Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index 2015. The study looks at in-depth data covering 100 destinations, creating an overall index, based on a number of criteria which included suitability as a family holiday destination, the level of services and facilities it provides, accommodation options, marketing initiatives as well as visitor arrivals.

Further information:

Mobile Travel Report

By 2020 worldwide smartphone subscriptions are projected to top 6.1 billion, according to a report by travel industry research authority Phocuswright. The Mobile Travel Landscape 2015: A Multi-Region Report also reveals the five hot topics that are inspiring the next wave of mobile travel innovation including the mobile experience, deep linking, payments, beacons and mobile messaging.

Further information:


New Business Events Guide

Tourism Australia and Austrade have updated the Attracting Business Events to Australia guide outlining what Australian Government assistance is available to the business events industry. The guide provides a clear and concise resource for industry to understand how and when to seek government support in the three key areas of bidding, marketing and leveraging.

Further information:


Industry Skills Fund

Applications are open for Australian business to apply for the Government's $476 million Industry Skills Fund – Growth Stream. Eligible tourism businesses are encouraged to apply by demonstrating how they are positioning themselves to take up growth opportunities such as entering export markets, diversifying into new or emerging markets, and/or adopting new technologies.

Further information:


Careers Website

The National Tourism Alliance, with the support of the Federal Government, has developed an online career resource to promote tourism and hospitality career pathways in high demand occupations and regions. The Discover Your Career website offers responsive career advice, training opportunities and the latest job vacancies, all in one convenient online platform.

Further information:


Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism and Trade Conference

The second annual Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism and Trade Conference will be held in Vancouver, Canada from 12 - 14 September 2015. Organised by the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, in partnership with the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia, the event will be hosted in the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Further information:

Wildlife Tourism Conference

The third National Wildlife Tourism Conference will be held in Geelong, Victoria from 29 September - 2 October 2015. The conference theme Wildlife Tourism: A Force for Biodiversity Cosnservation and Local Economies? will involve presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops.

Further information:

Global Eco Conference

The 23rd Global Eco Conference will be held on Rottnest Island, Western Australia from 17 - 19 November 2015. Supported by Tourism Western Australia, the Rottnest Island Authority and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, it will include concurrent sessions, workshops and masterclasses on the need to encourage sustainable growth in marine and island ecotourism systems.

Further information:

Indigenous Peoples' Week

Indigenous Peoples Week (#IPW5), the annual, online, free and open unconference celebrating social-media storytelling about indigenous people and tourism, takes place from August 3 - 9, 2015. Now in its fifth year, #IPW5 highlights examples where tourism has helped indigenous culture to prosper. Talking points include cultural heritage, biodiversity conservation, food, crafts and traditional reading and writing. For more on how to get involved, visit this website.

Further information:


Cuban Ecotourism Conference

By Arturo Crosby - Ibero-American Correspondent

The Turnat International Conference Event on Nature Tourism 2015, will be held 21 - 27 September in Viñales, a World Heritage Site in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Río.

More than 160 delegates are already confirmed. Planned activities include a presentation of the Snuff Route, as a distinctive product of Western region of the Island and the largest producer of leaf tobacco.

The conference will use the Cubanacan Horizontes hotels in the middle of an exceptionally scenic region with unique natural values, conservation programs and farming. Delegates will see how the hotels are adopting the use of alternative energy and be briefed on the hotel investment program in sustainability; examine ecotourism plans and visit key natural heritage sites.

Turnat is held every two years, in differing Cuban territories known for their natural heritage.

Further information:

Ecuador and Dominican Nature Tourism Surges

By Arturo Crosby - Ibero-American Correspondent

Data from the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment confirms a rapid increase in national park visitation in the past two years. In 2013 266,000 people were registered as visitors to 31 National Parks. The following season the number grew to 1.5 million visitors in 51 National Parks.

It is reported that this rapid increase is related to the cessation of park entry fees which were introduced in 2012 and new awareness campaigns to promote tourism in National Parks.

The reasons for the growth were confirmed by Renato Dillon, former executive director of the Chamber of Tourism of Pichincha, "promoting Ecuador overseas has increased inbound travel significantly'.

In his opinion, globally there is a new interest in nature tourism that has benefited Ecuador because it is renowned for its nature and protected areas.

In the Dominican Republic, the National Association of Hotels and Tourism presented very positive figures on visits to natural areas.

In 2014, Dominican wilderness areas attracted an additional 235,000 international visitors over the previous year. Domestic visitation grew by 174,000 in 2013 and over 200,000 in 2014.

I Am Here in Nepal

By Anjana Lamichhane - Nepal Correspondent

Let me start the story by telling you about this vegetable plant in my garden. After the earthquake on 25 April and aftershocks of over 6 magnitude, hearts were pounding, legs were shaking and the land continued to tremor - not stopping for a second. My family, relatives and I were all scared. The children and old people were crying. A man came shouting "vegetable plants, vegetable plants." My mother asked him "aren't you afraid?" He replied "if you have eagerness to survive you won't die from any disaster." I bought seedlings from the man, and with my whole body still shaking I planted them. And now see them in the photo! We survived, and using those very seedlings we now have fresh vegetables too – isn't that great?

Nepal, after two big and disastrous earthquakes, is in recovery phase. Many people lost their homes, their properties and even their family members. It was one of the most devastating natural disasters in Nepal's history. On another hand, though it was a mega disaster, the overwhelming support and love from international and national community has been great to witness. Nepal will always be thankful for this support. It also revived the ailing sense of brotherhood and sisterhood among the Nepali people themselves. This has been one of the best things to emerge as a result of the earthquake. Though the disaster itself was devastating and heart breaking, a good lesson come from it for us all.

There has been a great hand fetching up the survivors of this disaster. Non-government organisations and other non-profit groups are helping with the construction houses for the victims in the 11 affected districts. On the top of this, the great spirit of Gorkhalis (Gurkhas) has shined through. A people who have never been conquered and have never been dependent on others, never stopped planting new crops despite the ongoing earth tremors. They helped each other to get on with life. They never lost their wide smile, welcoming guests and sharing their food and tents.

With patience we will see tourism recover in our country. With agriculture, tourism is the backbone of the country's economy.

The Nepal Tourism Board has a recovery strategy that amongst other things seeks to work with key source markets to loosen up the restrictive travel advisories. Also the government is very focused on the reconstruction of destroyed heritage sites and other recovery activities.

Social media playing an important role, with up to date pictures and stories about the recovery and the unaffected districts, see. There is a great campaign stating 'I am here in Nepal' and 'I am going to Nepal' – this is such a great help to get the message out that Nepal is still open for business and its people are very happy to welcome visitors.

How to Plan Your Tourism Offer for the Italian Market

By Sara Vitali- Italian Correspondent

The latest edition of the BIT 2015 Milano (Borsa Internazionale del Turismo - International Tourism Exchange) has presented the 5th Report on the Italians, sustainable tourism and ecotourism (Gli Italiani, turismo sostenibile ed ecoturismo) by Antonio Noto, Director of the IPR Marketing, in collaboration with the UniVerde Foundation.

Please note the total in the answers is more than 100% because most of the questions have are multiple answer questions.

The report shows that Italians consider tourism as cultural enrichment (45%), knowledge and exploration (43%) and relaxing (40%).

It is interesting to note, the most important attractor factors for the respondents are:

  • historic and artistic beauty and cultural events (63%);
  • nature and landscape (59%); and
  • organised entertainment (23%).

Going deeper and talking about sustainable tourism, the report shows that the most significant damage the tourism sector is guilty of is over building the lands (62%).

The adjectives that better describe the sustainable tourism meaning are: ethic and close to nature tourism. Only few respondents still consider sustainable tourism expensive (7%) and even less cheap or budget tourism (4%).

The sustainable approach is considered a need (42%) and/or an opportunity (47%) for the economic development of a tourist area.