Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 96 - January 2016

Circulated to 10,000 Professionals Worldwide

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Sustainable Theme Park

Sustainable energy provider Qurrent is collaborating with Jora Entertainment on plans for the world’s first sustainable theme park. The amusement park will use wind turbines both as the energy source and infrastructure for rides. The 8,000 square metre park will include a wind turbine waterslide and a 95 metre tower ride. It will also aim to normalise the use of wind power for its visitors and educate them about the benefits of the sustainable energy.

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Indonesia's Investment in Marketing Ramped Up

Indonesia's Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya, set out an ambitious plan for infrastructure and destination development at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manila recently. Among the projects is the development of 10 priority destinations, the development of 15 secondary city airports and the improvement of 27 existing airport runways and the refurbishment of 13 existing airports. Minister Yahya also announced that the marketing budget for Indonesia had been increased by 300%. Minister Yahya said the Indonesian government had responded rapidly and effectively to the recent terrorist attack in Jakarta and that such an event could happen anywhere. He said the incident should not be seen as an event that has compromised Jakarta's reputation as a safe destination.

Philippines ATF Wins High Praise

The 2016 ASEAN Tourism Forum won high praise from delegates, National Tourism Organization heads and media for its staging of the event in January. Over 2600 delegates attended ATF in the outstanding SMX Convention Centre in Manila. ATF Travex marked its 35th anniversary and attracted 1,000 ASEAN exhibitors, 457 international buyers and 174 international media. The Philippines maximised the presence of the strong international media presence and offered a comprehensive program of pre and post tours including 10 highly subsidised four day post ATF tours to key destinations.

Quality to Guide Thailand's Future

Following the success of the Discover Thainess 2015 campaign, Thailand is further developing its focus on authenticity, quality and visitor satisfaction in 2016 and beyond. The Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn, stated at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manila that the focus for marketing into the future would shift to the promotion of the Kingdom as a quality leisure destination. Under this approach, greater emphasis will be placed on yield and revenue growth rather than growth in visitor numbers. The target is to achieve USD$66.5 billion for 2016 of which USD$43 billion would be generated from international visitors. Visitation and visitor revenue were each up over 20% in 2015.

Singapore to Host ATF 2017

Singapore will play host to the 36th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) from 16 - 20 January 2017 with the theme 'Shaping Our Tourism Journey Together.' ATF 2017 also coincides with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. ASEAN will also launch a year-long travel campaign to promote the region’s diverse offerings. Within the ASEAN Economic Community, Tourism is one of the priority sectors for integration by 2015, and to achieve this, ASEAN had adopted the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2011-2015. ASEAN will further build on this momentum and develop the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016-2025. TRAVEX, a key component of ATF where sellers from ASEAN get to meet buyers from all over the world, will be held in Singapore from January 18 - 20, 2017. Building on five decades of successful history, the ATF 2017 programme will encompass the meetings of ASEAN Tourism Ministers and leaders from ASEAN National Tourism Organisations, ASEAN Airlines Meeting, ASEANTA Board Meeting and Annual General Meeting, media briefings and the all-important travel exchange, TRAVEX.

ASEAN Tourism Survey

Readers of Tourforce have been invited to participate in a survey, 'The Assessment of the Effectiveness of the Brand,' aimed at the global travel trade, to improve ASEAN tourism promotion. To complete the survey follow the link below: The main objective of the survey is to measure the brand awareness of ASEAN tourism including its tagline and logo. The survey will feed into the further development of destination branding. Please take a few minutes to answer the survey. Your kind responses will be processed confidentially and only group data will be made available. If you have any questions regarding this survey, please do not hesitate to contact Dr.Kaewta Muangasame, Mahidol University International College, based in Thailand: or Asst. Prof. Amy C. Hsueh, National Open University


Trip TV

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has developed a free custom app for television. The Apple TV app available in 21 languages provides content such as photos of TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award-winning destinations and points of interest, photos in a slideshow format and easy one-swipe access to traveller insights including reviews and bubble ratings.

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Digital Explorers Program

Gold Coast Tourism is inviting high-profile bloggers, instagrammers and videographers with over 100,000 followers to come and explore the destination as part of the Gold Coast Explorers Program. The initiative aims to get influencers to leave a digital footprint which will generate exposure for the destination and subsequently inspire fans to add the Gold Coast to their travel bucket list.

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Online Driving Test for Tourists

Self-drive holidaymakers from French-speaking countries can now take a free online Road Code quiz in French to test their knowledge of New Zealand’s road rules. The quiz contains a subset of questions from the New Zealand learner licence exam highlighting the most important rules that drivers unfamiliar with driving on the left-hand side of the road need to know.

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Sustainable Cruising

Royal Caribbean Cruises has released their latest Sustainability Report highlighting the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and improved efficiencies across its fleet. Royal Caribbean Cruises take five million guests to nearly 500 ports around the world every year. Examples include the successful delivery of the breakthrough Quantum-class ships, the expansion of its Advanced Emissions Purification program and its plans to update its Save the Waves goals into the next decade.

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Digital National Park Guides

To celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016, Brand USA have partnered with the Telegraph to launch six digital guides. The guides will provide information on highlights, itineraries, access, places to stay and where to eat in the five most visited parks - Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain.

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Grampians Peaks Trail

The 144 kilometre Grampians Peaks Trail will connect some of the Grampians’ most spectacular peaks and Aboriginal culture. The 13-day walk is being constructed in stages over the next five years starting in the region’s north near Mount Zero and running south past Halls Gap to Dunkeld. The Victorian Government is supporting the project which is destined to become a leading nature-based and cultural tourism attraction.

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Tourism Supporting Biodiversity

A new manual on Biodiversity and Tourism Development aims to improve knowledge and materials to better integrate biodiversity into sustainable tourism development. The guide is aimed primarily at planners, developers, managers and decision-makers involved with tourism development and resource management in areas of sensitive biodiversity.

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Antarctic Journey

The ‘Antarctic Journey’ at the Nobbies Centre on Phillip Island is set to become the world’s first interactive Antarctic experience developed in partnership with WWF-Australia. Launched late last year, the new interactive exhibition comprises of three levels which take visitors on a virtual journey into the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

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Mount Lofty Mountain Bike Trail

The South Australian Government will invest $1.5 million towards establishing the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges as an international mountain biking destination by 2020. The trail will be built on the existing network of trails across national parks, forest reserves and other public land.

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Eco Turtles

Guests at the Ramada Eco Beach Resort in Western Australia are helping scientists collect data on flat-back turtles as they come ashore for nesting season. Conservation Volunteers Australia is currently monitoring the nesting turtles every night at Eco Beach with guests able to tag and measure turtles, as well as record data on nests and tracks. The eco resort has won numerous awards and uses solar power, fluorescent lighting and recycled water to maintain the expansive grounds.

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Oddball Map

Warrnambool has been the star of family feature film Oddball, which tells the true story of how Maremma sheepdogs came to save the town’s little penguin colony from predatory foxes. Tourism Victoria worked with Great Ocean Road and Warrnambool City Council to create media tools and a movie map based on the locations of the film.

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World's Largest Hotel Company

Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide are merging to create the world's largest hotel company. The transaction combines Starwood's leading lifestyle brands and international footprint with Marriott's strong presence in the luxury and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort segment. Combined, the companies operate or franchise more than 5,500 hotels with over one million rooms spanning over 100 Countries.

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Career Pathways in Tourism and Hospitality

The Tourism & Hospitality Careers Council has updated the ‘Discover Your Career’ website to help people find a career in tourism and hospitality. The site offers advice on career pathways, job opportunities and mentoring support to apprentices while also providing inspiration through videos and profiles of people in the industry. To increase the number of visitors, the site has also been better integrated with the other 'Discover' websites and is mobile and tablet optimised.

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Cycle Tourism

Tourism Research Australia and Tourism Victoria have conducted research into the motivators and barriers of cycling tourism in Australia and its potential for growth in Victoria. The research was conducted via an online survey of 2000 respondents engaged in cycling tourism in several states within Australia. The report discusses how to create a value proposition and how online information can generate awareness and educate the market on Victoria as a cycling destination including downloadable maps and a website for planning cycling trips.

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Travel Trends Report

TripAdvisor have announced the results of the latest TripBarometer study, the world’s largest accommodation and traveller survey, highlighting the key travel trends for 2016. Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, the TripBarometer study is the analysis of more than 44,000 survey responses from travellers and the hotel sector worldwide. The ‘Travel Trends’ report presents a snapshot of the travel landscape for 2016 revealing global, country and regional specific travel trends.

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State of the Australian Tourism Industry Report

Tourism Research Australia has released its’ annual State of the Industry report. This is the sixth edition of the report which reviews the performance of the Australian tourism industry in 2014-15 across a range of key performance indicators. It also measures progress towards the industry’s overnight visitor expenditure target as part of Tourism 2020 national strategy to grow the tourism industry.

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Public-Private Partnerships for Tourism

The UNWTO have launched a report on Public-Private Partnerships in Tourism Development. Produced in collaboration with the Griffith Institute for Tourism, the report demonstrates how public-private collaboration plays a key role in advancing tourism’s contribution to development in emerging destinations and local communities. It identifies three different types of resources available as well as case studies across a broad range of geographic contexts.

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Regional Tourism Strategy

A draft regional tourism development strategy has been released for stakeholder comment in regional Western Australia. It is aimed at creating a unified approach to the management of tourism development, marketing and infrastructure across the City of Bunbury and Shires of Dardanup, Collie, Harvey, Capel, Donnybrook-Balingup and Boyup Brook. Submissions close 29 February 2016.

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Queensland Tourism and Transport Strategy

The Queensland Government is developing a Queensland Tourism and Transport Strategy to ensure the transport network and soft infrastructure supports tourism growth into the future. It will detail the approach to transport planning and identify tourists' requirements for future planning and investment across the transport network. The development of the strategy is being informed by an industry reference group that will provide expert advice to guide the development of the strategy for release in 2016.

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WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards announces 2016 Finalists

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced the 15 Finalists for its 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in the five categories; Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People. The 15 Finalists, which were chosen after a rigorous judging process, showcase the highest level of sustainability practices within the Travel & Tourism sector. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards programme celebrates business leadership that works towards a more sustainable future of our sector by educating and inspiring governments, travellers and other tourism businesses. The 2016 Awards saw applications from 62 countries across all continents. Following the first phase of the three stage judging process all applications have now been carefully evaluated by a committee of independent expert judges against established sustainable tourism criteria, which include community development, preservation of cultural and natural heritage, and innovative solutions for sustainable practices. Winners will be officially announced during the Awards Ceremony taking place in Dallas, USA on 7 April 2016 during WTTC’s Global Summit.

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Tourism Futures Forum

The Tourism Futures Forum will be held at the Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville on 4 March 2016. The event is the premier forum for local operators and tourism students in the Townsville North Queensland Region.

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Destination Australia Conference

The Destination Australia Conference will be held in Sydney on 16 March 2016. The conference is targeted at tourism businesses marketing to international leisure and business travellers. It will focus on how Australia can attract more high-yielding international visitors to grow its tourism industry and the rise of Chinese tourism to Australia.

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Regional Events Conference

The New South Wales Regional Events Conference will be held in Wagga Wagga from 2 - 4 May 2016. The event will provide professionals and stakeholders the opportunity to get together and hear from targeted and experienced presenters discussing issues and topics that directly impact the regional event industry.

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Discover the Untouched Beauty of the Wild, Olare Mara Kempinski

By Mary Mwendwa - African Correspondent

In the heart of the expansive Olare Motorogi Conservancy in Maasai Mara National Reserve, an alluring and exquisite tented camp offers guests an opportunity to interact with rare wildlife species in their natural habitats.

Olare Mara Kempinski, located a 45 minute drive from Olkiombo Airstrip, offers breathtaking experiences to guests that leave them yearning for more. Sights include savanna grasslands, distinctive acacia trees, large populations of lions, zebras, gazelles, elephants, cheetahs, buffaloes, wild beasts and a variety of bird species coupled with vibrant Maasai people who are welcoming and hold a unique culture of livestock rearing and dressing that no one can fail to appreciate.

Olare Mara, which overlooks the Ntiakitiak River, offers guests authentic African adventure in style and comfort. According to Fairman Muhingi, Manager, Olare Mara Kempisinki, “The 12 tents have woven rugs, cosy beds which are made of wood from local forest trees that form part of the 35,000 acres of prime grass land of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. The tents include one suite tent with a private plunge pool, four family tents and seven private tents, each have been given Maasai names with a special meaning relevant to the region. The tents are also equipped with ensuite bathrooms with rain showers, bath tubs, outdoor showers, electric shaver sockets, hairdryers, intercom telephones and safe boxes for personal valuables. Our tents use solar energy and therefore we are able to mitigate on effects of climate change by using clean energy in our facilities. We believe in personalised services that will offer an exclusive feel at the Olare Mara Kempinski premises.”


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