Tony Charters and Associates

Edition 98 - March 2016

Circulated to 10,000 Professionals Worldwide

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Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference - Call for Papers! 

The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference, the premier event of Ecotourism Australia, is calling for papers relevant to the theme Ecotourism: Fostering Innovation – Sustaining Excellence.

The conference to be held 21 - 23 November 2016 in Hobart, Tasmania is in its 24th year -  the world’s most established ecotourism conference. It’s no coincidence that Global Eco attracts the world's best ecotourism operators, protected area managers and tourism professionals.

The theme focuses on the very fundamentals of ecotourism – pushing the boundaries to provide travellers with outstanding tourism experiences in a way that respects the environment, the local community and the culture of the destination.  It brings together the key players that can deliver on these fundamentals – the operators, the protected area managers the destination developers and the marketers.

"With 25 years of history (as the first National ecotourism body in the world) it is important to take stock and reflect on the growth of the industry. More importantly, there is a key responsibility to look 25 years into the future - to see how we may continue to pioneer and strive for excellence. Ecotourism is a business and it is growing across the globe at an extraordinary rate. So how do we maintain the focus on sustainability in a world that has very unequal access to technology? What is the role of innovation in overstepping limited access to technology?” said Conference Convenor, Tony Charters AM. 

World Football Museum

The FIFA World Football Museum has opened
in the centre of Zurich where 103 years of the FIFA congress is documented and on display.
The modern and interactive Museum will provide visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of football with memories of every single congress, game, player, news story and selected images exhibited under the one roof, across three themed floors.

Further information:


Safety Video

The new Qantas safety video will be seen by almost 30 million people on domestic and international flights, as well as the airline's online channels over the next year. The video features Australians from all walks of life talking passengers through the on-board safety instructions against the backdrop of locations across the country. It will also feature in a campaign with Tourism Australia that aims to promote the locations featured and maximise the benefits for local tourism operators over the next
12 months.

Further information:

Global Cruise Partnership

Royal Caribbean Cruises and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has announced a five-year global partnership that aims to set measurable and achievable sustainability targets to reduce Royal Caribbean’s environmental footprint. Royal Caribbean will also support WWF’s global ocean conservation work through a $5 million philanthropic contribution to build global awareness about
ocean conservation issues among its millions
of passengers.

Further information:


The Seven Spirits of Scotland

VisitScotland has launched a new global campaign bringing the spirit of Scotland to life in its first ever global campaign and social movement. The campaign is designed to evoke emotion worldwide through TV, radio, print, digital advertising and social media. The Seven Spirits of Scotland are the key traits that can be found within the characters of the people and landscapes of the country, encouraging visitors, residents and those who just love Scotland to reveal what the Scottish spirit means to them.

Further information:

Cycling Ambassador

Tourism New Zealand have announced Megan Gale as the first ever ambassador to promote cycling to the Australian market. The international model, swimwear and homewares designer, TV personality and actress will promote the diverse network of over 2700km off-road cycle trails. Since 2009, the New Zealand Government and local communities have invested over NZD$80 million into developing The New Zealand Cycle Trail for both experienced and leisure cyclists.

Further information:


New Online Platform

A new Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) platform has been launched which offers considerable improvements and benefits to industry operators by making it easier to manage product listings. It has increased capability which promises a more streamlined user experience.

Further information:

Packing Essentials

US-based unPack is letting travellers have essentials delivered to their destination, so they take the hassle out of packing, or just travel light and go luggage-free. Users in New York and Boston are given a set of toiletries, and can choose to rent a clothing bundle of designer brands to suit the local weather conditions for the duration of their trip.

Further information:


Mega Ship Cruise Facility

The Port of Brisbane has received approval from the Queensland Government for stage one of its market-led proposal to deliver a cruise facility for ‘mega ships’ (or vessels longer than 270 metres) at the mouth of the Brisbane River. The Port Authority will work collaboratively with Government, neighbours, Council and the cruise operators to deliver a modern, efficient and attractive cruise facility which will potentially triple the size of Brisbane’s cruise industry over the next 20 years.

Further information:$100-million-mega-sh


Caravan and Camping Holidays

Destination NSW and Caravan and Camping Industry Association NSW have launched a new digital campaign to promote caravan and camping holidays in the State. The joint campaign will target families and young adults, and highlight the range of affordable, accessible and enjoyable experiences available in regional NSW until the end of June 2016.

Further information:

Ibis Styles Brisbane

AccorHotels together with London AIM listed hotel owner and developer Action Hotels has completed a new 368 room Ibis Styles Brisbane. The property is the largest Ibis branded hotel in Australasia and AccorHotels’ first newly built Ibis Styles hotel in Australia. Ibis Styles Hotels feature individual designs that are vibrant, playful, inclusive of continental breakfast and Wi-Fi access.

Further information:


World Heritage Korea

A collection of historical sites of the ancient Baekje Kingdom in South Korea have been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the 12th site in Korea. Listed as the Baekje Historic Areas, it constitutes important cultural heritage sites spread across the neighbouring cities of Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan. Located in the mountainous mid-western region of the Republic of Korea, the Baekje Historic areas comprises eight archaeological sites dating from 475 to 660CE.

Further information: :

Every Kid in a Park Program

Yosemite National Park has distributed free park passes to fourth grade students and their families to stimulate visitation to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas by August 2016. The ‘Every Kid in a Park’ program is supported by eight federal agencies including the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Education, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Further information:


Zero Energy E-Toolkit

The UNWTO has partnered with the Nearly Zero Energy Hotels initiative to showcase a new tool designed to engage the tourism sector in energy efficiency. The new prototype is a practical instrument for hotel owners to assess their energy consumption levels and identify appropriate measures for energy efficiency improvement and reaching nearly-zero levels. It will be available from March this year.

Further information:

Responsible Business Practices Foundation

The InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the world's leading hotel companies, has launched the IHG Foundation an independent charity which will support projects across four key areas of hospitality skills development, disaster relief, local community investment and environmental sustainability. The InterContinental Hotels Group has a long-standing commitment to Responsible Business practices and initiatives such as IHG Academy, IHG Green Engage and IHG Shelter in a Storm.

Further information:


Nature-Based Tourism Plan

South Australia has released a strategy and action plan to transform the state's nature-based tourism sector, while supporting the ongoing conservation of natural and cultural heritage. It aims to inject $350 million a year into the state economy and create 1,000 new jobs by 2020 through opportunities to further develop experiences that are sustainable, have potential for growth and have proven demand.

Further information:

Tourism Strategic Plan

10 ASEAN tourism ministers jointly announced the launch of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025 at the recent ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016. The new plan will work on improving tourism and also sustainability in the region by reinforcing local community and public-private sector participation in the tourism value chain.

Further information:


Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grants Program

A three-year $4.2 million investment program for regional visitor centres in Western Australia has been launched with 39 recipients sharing in $1.1 million of funds. The Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grants Program was established to help drive innovation in visitor centres after research found tourists who use visitor centres tend to stay in a region longer and spend more money.

Further information:


Environmental, Social and Government Report

A new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council highlights a small percentage of the world global tourism and travel companies have reported on their sustainability. The Environmental, Social
& Governance Reporting in Travel and Tourism: Trends, Outlook and Guidance report aims to provide a foundation for those companies seeking orientation and guidance on publicly reporting issues relating to sustainability, corporate responsibility, or environmental, social
and governance.

Further information:

Asia Pacific Destination Index

The first MasterCard Asia Pacific Destination Index which is an offshoot of MasterCard's annual Global Destination Cities Index has been released which takes an in-depth look at tourism trends across 167 destinations drawn from 22 countries in the Asia Pacific Region. It includes data on island resorts as well as towns and cities across the region by total number of international overnight arrivals, cross-border spending and the total number of nights spent at each destination.

Further information:


Adventure Guide Standards

The Adventure Travel Trade Association has facilitated the creation of the industry’s first ever Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard or ‘Guide Standard.’ Working group participants came from 15 countries and included guides, business owners, and industry partners. The standard covers areas such as technical competencies, wilderness medicine and first aid, customer service, group management skills, natural and cultural history interpretation,
and sustainability.

Further information:


International Travel Summit

The Auckland Airport International Travel Summit will be held at the Novotel Hotel Lakeside in Rotorua on 10 May 2016. The summit will be prior to TRENZ the New Zealand tourism industry’s annual conference for operators, travel buyers and media.

Further information: http://aucklandairportinternationaltravelsummit.

Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Conference

The 8th Annual Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Conference will be held in Konya, Turkey from 1 - 4 June 2016. The International Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Group was launched in 2003 and aims to increase the relationship between cultural tourism, spiritual tourism, and religious tourism.

Further information:


The AdventureELEVATE conference will be held in Québec from 6 - 7 June 2016. The event is organised by the Adventure Travel Trade Association and brings together thought-leaders and practitioners in the adventure travel industry to discuss the topics of mobile applications, funding opportunities, rural tourism development, social media, market research and trade relationships.

Further information:


Maasai Women in Maasai Mara Benefit from Ecotourism Activities

By Mary Mwendwa - African Correspondent

They live, see and interact with wildlife on a daily basis - women from the Mara, one of the most visited areas in Kenya, are reaping the fruits of having a conservation area within them.

As you drive through the expansive savannah of Maasai Mara, you cannot miss to meet traditionally dressed Maasai women in their brightly beaded ornaments and mostly red and bright coloured clothes. They present beautifully made art work that benefits them economically and at the same time helps them appreciate conservation.

These women have formed groups where they have a revolving fund that helps them to be part of the thriving economy in the Mara. One example is Nasaru Ntomonok Community Based Organisation which has largely benefited from a project managed by Basecamp Foundation, Community Managed Micro Finance (CMMF) that trains and helps them with linkages to financial institutions.

Nonkuta Sadera, a 70 year old mother of seven has no regrets after joining her group – Nasaru Ntomonok. “I joined this group in 2012 when it started and it has been great and empowering. Through the weekly savings of 200 KSH per member I have been able to educate and buy livestock of my own. I also buy beads and make ornaments which I sell to the lodges in Mara and get money for my needs. Long ago Maasai women were not allowed to own any property or do any business. We were housekeepers with the role to bear and take care of children. Things have changed now. Within this conservation area of the Mara we have seen an opportunity in ecotourism which makes us proud and economically stable,” she happily says.

Similarly, Nalotuesha Kipira cannot hide her joy and gives her story of hope and success through the microfinance project. “Since we started this group I have seen a big change in my life. Maasai women don’t get education opportunities like other women around Kenya. Culturally we are left out in decision making activities and because most of us lack education we stay inferior. However, things are turning around. I can now have my own money, buy livestock and say something before my leaders. Before I had no say. With money I get from shukas or clothes which are culturally made.”