Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 95 - December 2015

Circulated to 10,000 Professionals Worldwide

Top Stories

Global Eco Heads to Tasmania

Mark your diaries now! The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference heads to Hobart 21 - 23 November 2016.

Celebrating 25 years of Ecotourism Australia and 20 years of Eco Certification, the 2016 Conference will build on the huge success of the Rottnest Island event held last month. Global Eco Asia Pacific was last held in Tasmania in 2005. Delegates will get to see first hand some of the amazing Tasmanian tourism products and attractions.

Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania is the major supporter and partner of the conference and will feature some of its many ecotourism initiatives in November.

More details of the conference will be released early in 2016.

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Great Barrier Reef

Royalty, celebrities and media were treated to a special pre-screening of a new documentary film on the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system. The three-part 'Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough' series produced by BAFTA award-winning Atlantic Productions will be broadcast across the world. Release of the TV series will coincide with a new campaign Tourism Australia is launching in 2016 aimed at promoting Australia's aquatic and coastal experiences.

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Melbourne Invites the World to Play

Tourism Victoria is inviting the world to experience Melbourne in real time through Twitter's newest live video streaming app Periscope. Play Melbourne Live is the latest phase of Melbourne's five year campaign which will broadcast a series of games - events, stories, people and places to the world. The live and unfiltered broadcasts will be available to view by a global audience via the Periscope app and on social media for those who follow @Melbourne.

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Solar Carpark

Adelaide Airport has announced it will build the largest airport rooftop solar power system in Australia made up of 4,500 panels. The 1.17MW system to be built on the short term car park roof by Solgen Energy and will reduce the airport's energy consumption and carbon emissions up to 10%. It will be the largest private-sector solar system in South Australia and will be more than 10 times larger than the airport's existing system. Construction is expected to be completed by April 2016.

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Airplane Etiquette Study

Expedia, one of the world's largest full service online travel sites, has released the results of its annual Airplane Etiquette Study, which asked consumers to rank the most frustrating behaviours exhibited by the millions of fellow passengers who fly each year. The 2015 study was conducted online by GfK, an independent global market research company, and consisted of 1,019 interviews of randomly selected U.S. adult residents aged 18+ in August 2015.

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The Western Australian Government is developing an innovative tourism precinct in Kalbarri National Park including two 100 metre-high skywalks at the Inyaka Wookai Watju site. The skywalks will be accessible to people of all ages and abilities with interpretation signs, parking for coaches and large caravans, shade shelters and toilets. The project is a collaboration between Mid-West Development Commission, Department of Regional Development, Department of Parks and Wildlife and Tourism Western Australia. The facilities are expected to open in 2017.

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Not a Tourist

Tourism Australia and Visa have entered into a partnership to increase the number of international holidaymakers visiting Australia from the Asia Pacific region. The three year partnership is designed to engage those that are looking for authentic local experiences using Visa's cross border 'Not a Tourist' campaign. It will also see shared consumer research and insights enabling the partners to effectively target inbound travellers, as well as measure patterns and key spend categories in Australia.

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Tourism Video Competition

The Maldives has taken first place for the South Asia region in the inaugural United Nations World Tourism Organisation Tourism video competition. The winning promotional video was released earlier this year and showcases the country's beauty and culture as well as the destination's tourism product in a 30-second clip. The competition recognises the importance of multimedia in marketing and promotion of tourism destinations and was announced at the UNWTO General Assembly in Columbia.

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All Black Experience

New Zealand Rugby and Discovery Partners are creating the All Blacks Experience visitor attraction in the Wynyard Quarter of Auckland's waterfront precinct. This is no museum - visitors will get an insight into the tactics and challenges of the game, the passion and determination that drives the team, and the power and meaning of the Haka. The brand tourism experience is expected to open in January 2017.

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Horizontal Falls Park Plan

The Western Australian State Government, in partnership with the Dambimangari traditional owners, have released a draft management plan for the proposed Lalang-garram / Horizontal Falls and North Lalang-garram marine parks and the proposed Oomeday National Park on the Kimberley coast. The plan is open for public comment until 22 January 2016.

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Neighbourhood Tourism

The San Francisco Travel Association and Airbnb have announced a new destination promotion partnership to connect tourism to neighbourhoods by encouraging visitors to live like a local. The first of its kind for a destination marketing organisation, the partnership will create neighbourhood tourism tool kits that contain unique content about local businesses and experiences throughout the city. The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organisation that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination.

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Aerial Adventure Park

Australia's first aerial adventure park has opened its doors at West Beach in the Adelaide Shores precinct. The MegaAdventure Aerial Park is inspired by a British Army aerial assault training course and includes a 26-metre high structure called SkyMate that features 50 individual activities of scramble nets, rope bridges, beams, swings, log steps, aerial surfboards, row boats and even Adelaide wine barrel steps.

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Space Tourism Project

A space observatory and private pods for stargazing will be built at Earth Sanctuary in Alice Springs with the help of a grant from the Northern Territory Government's $4.75 million Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund. The project aims to capitalise on the emerging niche market of space discovery tourism and position Central Australia as one of the world's leading stargazing destinations.

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Whale Trial

The Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife will trial swimming with humpback whales at Ningaloo Marine Park next year to grow ecotourism in the region. Existing licensed whale shark tour companies will be involved which aims to provide new wilderness experiences for visitors and expand the tourist season. It will be closely monitored using real-time information from electronic monitoring systems already installed on whale shark vessels.

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Virtual Reality Theme Park

The VOID will be the world's first virtual reality (VR) theme park which combine VR technology to offer visitors physically active experiences in immersive, interactive, fantasy environments. The North American centre will be the first of a global franchise of Virtual Entertainment Centres which will include haunted castles, dinosaur safaris and futuristic battlefields.

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Mobile Luggage Billboards

U.S.-based Orion is offering travellers the chance to bypass checked-in baggage and handling fees by turning their luggage into billboards. The personalised mobile luggage billboards will pay for the cost of baggage handling. Orion are planning a number of add-on services after launch, including smart luggage that alerts users if their baggage is tampered with and travel club-style user benefits.

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Environmental Impact of Tourism

A recent study has found that the damaging effects of tourism emissions could eventually be eliminated if travellers paid an average of just US$11 (about AU$15) per trip to make their holiday carbon neutral. The research published in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism was a collaboration between researchers from the universities of Waterloo (Canada), Lund (Sweden), Canterbury (New Zealand), and NHTV Breda (Netherlands). Further information:

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Visa Global Travel Intentions

The Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2015 is prepared by Millward Brown monitors and analyses international travel trends and travel behaviour globally. It has been regularly updated and published since 2006.

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Australian Tourism Labour Force Report

The Australian Tourism Labour Force Report: 2015–2020 was commissioned by Austrade and produced by Deloitte Access Economics. It provides a comprehensive picture of the current state of the tourism labour force and associated skills demand and shortages forward to 2020.

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State of the Nation Report

The Expedia annual 'State of the Nation' report reveals how Australia is a nation of travel aficionados who use Bucket Lists to keep their travel dreams on track with more than eight in 10 having travelled overseas. Top international Bucket List destinations include the USA, England, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, France, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong and Greece.

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Blu Hotel

As part of their Blu Planet program, Radisson Blu will give a child safe drinking water for life through a donation to its charity partner Just a Drop for every 250 bath towels the company's guests re-use. Radisson Blu is part of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world's leading upper upscale hotel brands with more than 280 hotels worldwide. The program aims to provide clean drinking water for life to 12,000 children annually through the partnership.

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Tourism Pledge

The World Animal Protection Elephant-friendly Tourism Pledge is encouraging companies working in tourism to sign up and commit to not offering experiences such as elephant rides and shows. There are currently 39 commercial venues holding at least 215 captive elephants operating across Southern Africa.

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Queensland Ecotourism Plan

The Queensland Government have released a draft Queensland Ecotourism Plan which provides the framework for building a thriving ecotourism industry and delivering new experiences in national and marine parks and other natural areas. The plan includes a three-year action plan which includes 32 actions and details the government agencies and industry partners that are responsible for delivering them.

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Mountain Bike Master Plan

Purpose-built mountain bike trails will be developed in Western Australia as part of a plan to bring more cycling enthusiasts to the region. The South West Mountain Bike Master Plan identifies high-priority areas for development of trails including Collie, Margaret River and Pemberton. The plan was prepared by WestCycle in consultation with State Government, Local Government, the Western Australian Mountain Bike Association and local mountain bike community.

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Global Market Strategy

Tourism Noosa has launched the Noosa Global Market Strategy 2015-2017 which aims to build a sustainable global market for Noosa focusing on brand profile, beneficial partnerships, trade engagement, product development and consumer marketing. As part of the consultation process, Tourism Noosa undertook meetings with over 300 trade, government and industry partners, as well as a focused insight process with 50 senior industry representatives.

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Tourism InSPIRE Awards

The winners of the Tourism InSPIRE Awards were announced during the Pacific Asia Travel Association New Tourism Frontiers Forum. The awards recognise excellence in sustainable tourism operations by accommodations, tour operators, destinations and communities. Award criteria are based upon sustainable consumption and production principles including internationally recognised standards developed by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the Association of South East Asian Nations.

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Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference

The Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council will host the Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference in Bunbury from 9 - 11 March 2016. The theme is Walking Together – Building Sustainable Futures and will focus on identifying success stories as well as new opportunities and trends in the four key areas of youth, environment, culture and the business of Aboriginal tourism.

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ASEAN Tourism Forum Heads to Philippines

Under the theme of 'One Community for Sustainability' the ASEAN Tourism Forum heads to Manila 18 - 25 January 2016.

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations region as one tourist destination. Each year, the hosting of ATF is rotated among the member countries. ATF 2016 marks the 35th anniversary of this event since it's inauguration in Malaysia in 1981.

ATF aims to:

  • Project ASEAN as an attractive, multi-faceted single destination
  • Create and increase awareness of ASEAN as a highly competitive regional tourist destination in the Asia Pacific
  • Attract more tourists to ASEAN member countries
  • Promote intra-ASEAN travel
  • Strengthen cooperation among the various sectors of the ASEAN tourism industry

As the annual convention of the ASEAN tourism industry, ATF promotes the exchange of ideas, review of industry developments and joint formulation of recommendations to further accelerate the growth of ASEAN tourism.

International Food, Wine and China Symposium

The Tourism Research Cluster in collaboration with Curtin Business School's Asia Business Centre will host an International Symposium on Food, Wine and China – A Tourism Perspective in Margaret River from 4 - 5 February 2016. The symposium will discuss various dimensions of food and wine tourism in the context of the growing China outbound tourism market.

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