Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 92 - September 2015

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Global Eco Final Program Released

The greatest international line-up of speakers ever assembled for Global Eco has just been announced. Some 20 nations are represented across the three day program on Rottnest Island, Western Australia. With a strong focus on ecotourism business, the program features some of the world's leading eco operators – all award winning enterprises, small in scale, but globally recognised.

Setting the scene will be presentations from the Global Ecotourism Network and the Asian Ecotourism Network leaders. Rottnest Island offers great opportunities to investigate sustainable tourism management on protected islands. Surrounded by marine parks and as a protected reserve, Rottnest Island will be a living classroom for the three days of the conference. Delegates will be encouraged to explore the island and will be issued with a bicycle as part of their registration package. They can also join a dawn whale watch to see firsthand one of the ecotourism highlights of the region.

Tourism on protected areas, and more specifically private investment in ecotourism on protected areas, will be a feature of this year's program. Ecotourism Australia has brought key industry investors and capital raising experts to provide guidance in this critical area, and the emerging player in the field - crowdsourcing.

Alternative energy is a natural topic for a location like Rottnest Island and innovative hydro, wave, wind and solar energy will be examined in detail, including through back-of-house tours.

Pre-Global Eco Investment Forum

Tourism Western Australia, the Department of Parks and Tourism Western Australia and the Department of Parks and Wildlife invite you to a specialist forum on ecotourism development in Australia.

  • Hear from and join the discussion with leading Australian and international industry owners, developers, and operators
  • Discuss the latest trends and outlook in ecotourism and sustainable development in Australia
  • Evaluate the development and investment challenges and opportunities in protected estates and national parks
  • Reveal successful and innovative ecotourism product development and operating models

Date: Monday 16 November 2015
The forum will be held prior to the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference 17 -19 November 2015:

Western Australian Maritime Museum Victoria Quay, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160

11am - 2:00pm. registration and networking from 10:30am

Cost: $70 or $55 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference attendees and FACET members

RSVP: By Friday 16 October. Limited spaces available - purchase your tickets with FACET:

Disney Themed Star Wars

The Walt Disney Company will build two new Star Wars themed attractions at its original Disneyland theme park in California and its Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida after acquiring Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012. The multibillion-dollar expansion will include a replica of the famous cantina patronised by outer-space creatures from the 1977 Star Wars film as well as a ride based on the fictional spacecraft Millennium Falcon.

Further information:

Intrepid Campaign

Australia's largest adventure travel company Intrepid Travel has launched a new campaign asking travel agents across Australia the question 'What does travel mean to you?' Agents are invited to share their thoughts on what travel means to them online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest by 16 October 2015. Intrepid Travel is a global adventure travel company that has been taking travellers off the beaten track for 26 years in more than 100 countries.

Further information:

Backpacker Stores

STA Travel has launched a brand new range of stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns to cater to this ever-growing market of youth travellers. Called 'Backpacker by STA' the new concept stores offer the local neighbourhood 'lowdown' on the best hostels, activities and transport along with free Wi-Fi. The concept stores will be a one stop travel shop for everything on the ground in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Asia.

Further information:


Embracing Sustainability

Patricia Dwyer has 15 years sustainability leadership experience, most recently as Global Head of CSR and Sustainability for Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts and today as Founder and Director of The Purpose Business. Pat will give a keynote address at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference in November focusing on how to bring your whole team in behind your sustainability efforts.

Pat was Head of CSR and Sustainability at Shangri-La for almost seven years, first for the Philippines hotels and soon after, for the group. She developed 'Sustainability,' Shangri-La's Social Responsibility programme that now runs across the groups almost 90 hotels, and the only Asian hotel group to be listed and recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

With Pat as the Founder and Director, The Purpose Business Ltd (TPB) is Hong Kong's first 360 degree network of sustainability and business advisors. They work with organisations to galvanise and align their business, brand and develop sustainability goals, co-creating responsible operations that positively impact the bottom line. They do this through five main sustainability channels: strategy development, internal/ external engagement, training, communications and reporting, as well as crafting a customised partnership that helps clients understand and embrace sustainability in a way that is optimal for their operations and positively impacts value and their bottomline. Pat is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and serves on the WEF Global Agenda Council for Oceans. She is the recipient of the International Hotel Investment Forum Young Leader award and was named one of Premier Traveller's '30 most Compelling Women in Travel' earlier this year.

Great Barrier Reef Meets Rottnest Island

Peter Gash is a Keynote Speaker at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference in November. Peter, Managing Director of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort spoke on social media at the 2013 Conference and was voted the most outstanding speaker of the conference.

Lady Elliot is a coral cay on Southern Great Barrier Reef, and Peter has been achieving amazing things with interpretation, education and research, not to mention achieving 60 percent of the eco-resorts energy needs from the sun! Speaking at the Rottnest Island conference will be a classic east meets west opportunity for sharing initiatives and experiences.

Peter was awarded the Marie Watson-Blake award for 'Outstanding Contribution by an Individual' at the 30th annual QLD Tourism Awards in 2014. Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort was also awarded the Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism in 2014

Peter's main motivation is Education and the Environment - Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort operates on a 'Four E's' Philosophy:

  • To look after the Environment
  • We need to be Efficient
  • Economically Sustainable
  • Able to Educate Effectively

Peter's personal mission, more now than ever before is to "inspire and encourage other people, particularly the younger generation to follow their dreams to make a difference on the planet."

Tide Turns On Coal

Carnegie Wave Energy Limited is an Australian, ASX-listed wave energy technology developer and owner and developer of CETO Wave Energy Technology. It is focused on key target markets including UK, Europe and remote islands. Carnegie recently signed an MOU with the Rottnest Island Authority off Perth, Western Australia, to carry out a feasibility study in the area.

The CETO 6 unit has a targeted 1MW (1000kW) power capacity, some four times of the current CETO 5 generation being used in the Perth Project. It will have a superior efficiency, lower capital and maintenance costs than any CETO product generation developed to date. Dr. Michael Ottaviano, CEO of Carnegie Wave Energy will be a Keynote Speaker this November at 2015 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference on Rottnest Island.

During his time as CEO, Dr. Ottaviano has lead the Company's development of its CETO Wave Energy technology and has raised AUD$77m in equity, AUD$35m in Government grant funding and AUD$20m in a loan facility. He has been a Board Member of the Clean Energy Council, Australia's clean energy peak industry group, and a member of the Australian Government's Energy White Paper High Level Consultative Committee.

Michael will join other Keynote Speakers at Global Eco who will address alternative energy systems and the sustainable management in remote locations and islands.


Eye and Fingerprint Scanners

Alaska Airlines is rolling out a pilot program to test boarding-pass technology in partnership with the CLEAR airport security fast lane program. Individual physical characteristics (eyes and fingertips) are used to confirm the identity and travel itinerary of passengers.

Further information:

Cruising Volunteerism

Carnival has launched a new brand to service passengers wanting to volunteer in the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic. Passengers will get orientations, basic language lessons and other training en route. Activities range from teaching English to building water filters to cultivating cacao plants for a women's chocolate-making cooperative. A portion of every ticket purchased will go to partner organisations to cover on ground costs including supplies, travel and personnel.

Further information:

Solar Powered Airport

Cochin International Airport in the southern Indian state of Kerala has become the first airport in the world to be powered by the sun. The airport has set up a 12 MWp solar power generation facility comprising of 46,150 panels spread across 45 acres beside the cargo complex. The new plant will generate enough energy for the airport to carry out all of the operational functions, enabling it to become power neutral.

Further information:

Airport Take-Away

AirGrub is a new app that enables customers to order carry-on meals from any restaurant in the airport and pick them up before boarding. The start-up is currently operating in San Francisco, Boston and New York airports, and is likely to expand to other cities including Los Angeles.

Further information:


Aboriginal Art Trail Map

Kimberley art project Desert River Sea has designed a Kimberley Aboriginal Art Trail Map to support and promote the Aboriginal art of the region. The project aims to encourage visitors to meet locals and experience the origins, value and significance of art. The map provides contact information for 12 Aboriginal

Art and Women's Centres and can be found online or at visitor centres across the Kimberley region.

Further information:


Musical Hotels

Ibis Hotels has announced an innovative campaign where guests can connect, discover and participate in a world of music following the brand's partnership with Deezer, an international music streaming service. Guests will have access to an exclusive microsite which will grant guests access to geo-localised gig guides, tastemaker curated playlists, reviews, music community news, artist interviews, photo galleries and exclusive content.

Further information:

Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry

Hilton and the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) have committed to developing a range of sustainability programs over the next three years including water stewardship, sustainable seafood, renewable energy and waste reduction. Whatever is learned through the partnership will be integrated into LightStay, the environmental performance measurement and reporting platform available to all Hilton hotels.

Further information:


Golden Investment

South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales will benefit from a proposed multimillion dollar investment in the Gold Coast Airport. Stage one of the proposed redevelopment named Project Lets Invest for Tomorrow (LIFT) is due to commence in early 2016 and be completed prior to the Commonwealth Games. Subsequent stages of the project will include further enhancements to the existing terminal building and an additional two wide bodied aircraft parking stands, with provision for additional aerobridges as required.

Further information:


Whale Heritage Sites

The World Cetacean Alliance has launched a new initiative to recognise destinations championing responsible whale and dolphin watching. Under the new scheme, destinations considered to be centres of excellence will be awarded Whale Heritage Site accreditation. The World Cetacean Alliance is the world's largest partnership working to protect cetaceans and representing 70 partners in 23 countries worldwide. It is hoped that designation of a destination as a Whale Heritage Site will boost visitor numbers and the incomes of tourism suppliers.

Further information:

Cliff-Face Walkway

Northern Ireland's famous Causeway Coastal Route has opened 'The Gobbins,' a two-mile-long cliff-face walkway. The restored Edwardian attraction features a series of 23 tubular and suspension bridges, a staircase, caves and tunnels carved through the County Antrim basalt. Its name comes from the Irish 'An Gobain meaning 'the points of rock.' It was originally designed by engineer Berkeley Dean Wise and built in 1902 and is straight out of Game of Thrones and is part of locations used in the filming of the hit TV show.

Further information: :

Tourism Cares for National Parks

In the lead up to the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, the National Park Foundation is teaming up with partners on initiatives to drive broad awareness, deepen engagement and increase support for the work of the National Park Service. One such partner, Tourism Cares, is working with the National Park Foundation to identify national parks where travel industry volunteers can donate more than 10,000 hours to restore and protect at least one of America's 407 national parks.

Further information:


Sustainable Framework

Air New Zealand has launched a new Sustainability Framework focused on economic, social and environmental initiatives supported by six key focus areas including the airline's people, communities it operates within, carbon, nature and science, tourism and trade, and enterprise. The airline has also formed an advisory panel made up of New Zealand and international experts with specialist knowledge.

Further information:


The Great Eastern Drive

The Great Eastern Drive has just been launched on Tasmania's east coast stretching 176 kilometres between Orford and St Helens. The new drive will lead visitors to explore experiences and destinations in the region including Wineglass Bay, the Maria Island Walk, the Freycinet Experience Walk and the Bay of Fires Walk.

Further information:


Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Entries for the 12th Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are now open. Businesses and organisations from travel & tourism who feel they have what it takes are encouraged to enter one of the five award categories for next year: Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People. Applications can be submitted online using the application tool before the 16 November 2015 deadline.

Further information:


Global Travel Intentions Study

The Visa Global Travel Intentions Study, published since 2006, monitors and analyses international travel trends and travel behaviour globally. The 2015 survey provides a better understanding of current and future travel trends, profile and habits of travellers, impact of technology including payment methods and patterns. It is undertaken by Millward Brown and is conducted with 13,603 travellers aged 18 years and above across 25 countries in January and February 2015.

Further information:

Open Door Report

The Open Doors Organization has released its third nationwide study of the American disability travel market. The 53-page report covers all travel sectors from restaurants and hospitality to air and cruise lines. It reveals that travellers with disabilities spend USD$17.3 billion a year for their own travel, with their overall economic impact doubling to USD$34.6 billion when the contributions from traveling companions are considered.

Further information:


Whale Heritage Sites Summit

The Whale Heritage Sites Summit wil be held on Faial in the Azores from 28 - 30 October 2015. Experts, charities and companies from across the world will discuss how the World Cetacean Alliance and its partners can work together to effectively protect cetaceans through four global programs.

Further information:

Tourism Innovation Conference

The Tourism Innovation Conference will be held in Cairns, Queensland on 6 November 2015. The annual conference hosted by Tourism Tropical North Queensland will feature consumer and tourism trend leaders to drive innovation and draw on expertise from around the world to inspire our industry to innovate, and teach us how to capitalise on emerging trends.

Further information:

World HOST 2015

For the first time, there will be an international forum that aims to establish and strengthen a network of community homestay providers and supporters of community-based tourism. The World Homestay Organisations Summit for Tourism (World HOST) 2015 will be held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on the 28 November – 2 December and hosted by the Malaysia Tourism Council and the Malaysia Homestay Association. The summit expects to attract community-based tourism providers, public and corporate partners, planners, researchers, students, professional groups and community-based organisations from around the world. Full registration inclusive of forums, meals, tours and 4-nights accommodation is at US$375.

Further information:


Guatemala Regulates Marine Tours

By Arturo Crosby - Ibero-American Correspondent

From December 2015 new laws will come into force to regulate whale watching and other aquatic animals in the Pacific coast. "Guatemala is an ideal place for observing these amazing species, where they spend time feeding and breeding," said Jose Pablo Coyoy, spokesman Conap. "This proposal will prevent activities that threaten these animals and therefore help in their the survival of life wild ."

So far there are 16 registered companies that offer tour packages for whales, dolphin and turtle watching together with birdwatching and even jellyfish watching. "The number of people who go on these trips each year varies, although it is difficult to define precisely because it was not regulated," says Coyoy.

With the new regulations these tour companies shall register as domestic and inbound tourism operations and will be granted an annual permit. They must also register as specialised guides to the Guatemalan Tourism Institute (INGUAT).

Logistically, the boats can not approach within 100 metres of cetaceans or 150 metres if it is smaller animals they must always act with the utmost caution and the engine must be in neutral. Only three vessels can be watching a particular group of whales, turtles and dolphins simultaneously.

Festival Season in Nepal

By Anjana Lamichhane - Nepal Correspondent

Gai jatra, the festival of the cows was celebrated in August. The festival commemorates the death of people during the year. During the festival, cows are marched in the streets. This year it celebrated the memory of dead souls from the earthquake and other accidents.

The festival was started by King Pratap Malla (1624-1674AD) after his son died of disease and his queen was grief stricken. The king was very upset to see his queen to stricken. He desperately wanted to see her smile again. He announced that anyone who made the queen laugh would be rewarded. During the festival of Gai jatra, the cow procession was brought before the grief-stricken queen. Then the participants began ridiculing and making a mockery of important people within the society. The queen could not help but smile. The queen laughed and the king instituted a tradition of including jokes, satire, mockery and lampoon into the Gai Jatra celebration.

Hotels and cultural sites, which were partially damaged by the earthquake, are now repaired and open for business. Most importantly they are ready and waiting to welcome you. Visitors are returning in good numbers – which is great evidence and a good sign for our recovery. Adventure trekking routes have re-opened and according to statistics from the Nepal Tourism Board and Trekking Agency Association of Nepal, since the earthquake to August 18, the number of trekker arrivals was 1,635 in the Nepali mountains.

Residents Saved by Water Kiosk from Climate Change Woes

By Mary Mwendwa - African Correspondent

In the Rift Valley of Kenya, Kamurio village in East Pokot, Baringo County, residents can now breath a sigh of relief after a water kiosk came to their rescue. Effects of climate change are a reality in this remote village which has infrastructure coupled with other cultural challenges that continue to hinder development in the region.The rocky rough terraine, shrubby vegetation scattered huts and lots of livestock are a clear indication of how life looks like at Kamurio village. The hot dry climate makes it worse with seasonal rivers that have very limited or no supply of water at times.

Eunice Korir, Chairlady of the Kalya water project, a mother of six and a resident of Kamurio Village testifies to how the water kiosk has seen their lives transition from misery to hope."In this region we are used to recurrent droughts and therefore that means no water, drought has brought us very devastating effects, including to our livestock which is our main livelihood. As a woman at family level my household chores and nutrition for my children has immensely. I now get more milk from my cows and this is very good for us," she says. The same sentiments are echoed by Ruth Tumuro, member of water project who says that the bore hole has really helped them so much."We thank those people whose generosity has given us access to this precious commodity – water.

At Kamurio Dispensary, women and children are seen taking water from the dispensaries tap to quench their thirst after long treks in the sun. Sylvia Wangui a medic at the dispensary says "We are relieved now that we have water in this facility. It is difficult to offer health services without water. Many of the patients here need water to take drugs or for cleaning themselves after the long journeys. Diarroheal diseases have been common here because of poor sanitation, we are now seeing a decline in the cases."

Ecotourism at Lake Como, Italy

By Sara Vitali - Italian Correspondent

In the Lake Como area there is a new initiative promoting ecotourism: Non Solo Lago (literally translated in Not Just Lake). The project Non Solo Lago aims to enhance and promote the alpine area of the municipality of Gravedona ed Uniti (located in the northern part of Lake Como), with particular regard to the Valle Albano Park and its adjacent areas.

The project is involved in upgrading the network of walking paths in Valle Albano, expanding the offer for tourism and recreation in the mountain area and supporting the local agro-pastoral production chain. Project initiatives will make it possible to tackle the causes behind the deterioration of the alpine environment, and to encourage good custodial practices. Lastly, the project favours the development of more sustainable ecotourism as an instrument to ensure the valorisation of local natural and cultural heritage in cooperation with the socioeconomic growth of the community.

The first initiatives have started in cooperation with three local organisations offering several itineraries for visits of one or two days. The routes have been designed for those who wish to explore the mountain area for its natural beauty, but also for its historical and cultural value. The project has also managed to reduce the cost per single visit.