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Global Eco Call for Papers Open

Ecotourism Australia’s Global Eco Asia Pacific Conference is headed to Adelaide, South Australia 27-29 November, 2017.

The conference theme: Ecotourism – transforming urban and regional tourism, will contribute to the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Development for Tourism program of events.

Global Eco Asia-Pacific will focus on the evolving role of ecotourism in both urban and regional settings. No longer a small niche within the tourism industry, ecotourism is being embraced by the mainstream. Ecotourism is the natural home for high value experienced travellers.

Global Eco brings together the key players that can evolve this critical sector of the tourism industry – the operators, protected area managers, destination developers, applied researchers and destination marketers.

Ecotourism is now growing across the globe at an extraordinary rate. In the Asia-Pacific ecotourism represents the ideal vehicle to achieve poverty alleviation, community involvement and environmental sustainability.

Importantly, the theme explores how new players are taking a critical role in developing ecotourism – bringing economic, community and environmental benefits.

Global Eco will be staged at the state of the art Sanctuary Adelaide Zoo conference centre located in the city centre. Sanctuary, Adelaide Zoo is right in the city, just a 15 minute drive to CBD hotels and restaurants, festival and events.

Now in its 25th year, it’s no coincidence that Global Eco attracts the world’s leading ecotourism operators, protected area managers and tourism professionals.

Mark your diaries now to secure your place at the world’s leading ecotourism conference, in its 25th anniversary year.

The conference theme and a call for papers will be released soon. The theme will contribute to the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Development for Tourism program of events.

To offer a paper, visit:

Image: South Australia Tourism Commission

Global Ecotourism Experts Headline Subic Ecotourism Conference

The International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) of the Philippines  is holding a high level conference as part of the 2017 Subic Ecotourism Festival at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Centre 29 May – 1 June 2017. The event also celebrates the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

The conference will bring together some 25 international ecotourism luminaries from 10 nations to address themes including:

  • Innovative investment attraction
  • The business of best practice in ecotourism
  • Community-based ecotourism
  • Ecotourism and conservation
  • Marketing ecotourism for yield

Seven Board members of the Global Ecotourism Network (GEN) will attend and speak at the Conference in addition to a strong representation of the Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN) Board.

This marks the first time the Philippines has hosted the GEN, a group that represents the foremost experts in ecotourism and sustainable tourism. With members hailing from USA to Costa Rica to Jordan, and specialisations ranging from architecture to ecotourism site development to media and communication, this diverse group truly has much to offer and share to those who want to build their ecotourism destination or operation.

To Register, visit:

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Image: Provided by Tony Charters

Beer Hotel

One of the world’s most notorious craft beer companies is crowdfunding a new hotel attached to its brewery in Columbus, Ohio. The DogHouse hotel which will have 50 rooms and a craft beer spa, is expected to cost around $6 million and be open in September 2018.

Further information:


Product Development

Mt Coo-tha Zipline

Brisbane City Council has released a Request for Proposal for the construction, operation and maintenance of a zipline at Mt Coot-tha six kilometres from the Brisbane CBD. The unique ecotourism opportunity will complement the new Visitor Information Centre, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha lookout, Summit restaurant and café, multi-use trails and picnic areas.

Further information:


Outback Dinosaur Canyon

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum has officially opened its latest tour attraction, Dinosaur Canyon, which is expected to become a catalyst in the future development of international tourism in western Queensland. The new $1.3 million exhibit recreates life as it would have appeared during the Cretaceous Period including five outdoor dinosaur galleries positioned along an elevated concrete pathway. The new exhibit a combination of government funds, private sponsorship and Museum operating funds.

Further information:

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Protected Areas

Whale Heritage Sites Initiative

The World Cetacean Alliance is requesting initial applications from locations around the world that practice responsible whale and dolphin (cetacean) watching for its Whale Heritage Sites initiative. Whale Heritage Sites will be identified against criteria that interweave natural and cultural elements and acknowledge critical places that for reasons of physical and social geography are sites where people can coexist with cetaceans in an authentic and respectful way. Registrations close 28 June 2017.

Further information:

Destination Marketing

Best of All Hong Kong

A new global tourism marketing campaign for Hong Kong titled ‘Best of All, It’s in Hong Kong’ has been launched to highlight the rich diversity and quality of local experiences across the city to 45+ repeat travellers as well as first-time millennials. It features four videos starring local personalities which highlight Hong Kong’s diverse areas of appeal – gourmet dining, fashion and entertainment, family adventures and the great outdoors. The campaign will be activated across digital channels in Australia, specifically through programmatic and native advertising, as well as through tactical campaigns with trade partners.

Further information:

Wildlife Tourism

Penguin Passport

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium has launched Sydney’s first face-to-flipper encounter with a sub-Antarctic penguin colony. The exclusive Penguin Passport tour provides guests with a behind-the-scenes opportunity to see the penguin food preparation area as well as how this state-of-the-art exhibit maintains its temperature. The Penguin Expedition opened in November 2016 and is a world first exhibit inspired by Macquarie Island which provides an immersive, sensory journey involving a colony of King and Gentoo penguins.

Further information:

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Digital & Technology

Adventure Junky

Australian start-up Adventure Junky was recently launched to tourism professionals at ITB Berlin 2017. The Adventure Junky app, Earth’s Adventure Travel Game, is the result of three years of research and development and an ambitious goal that reimagines the way the world travels. It represents an innovative new social platform designed to capture and hold the attention of today’s traveller. Adventure Junky currently partners with tourism board from Australia, Sweden, Greenland, and Canada.

Further information:

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Visitor Centre Technology

Busselton’s new foreshore visitor centre has secured funding from the Royalties for Regions Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program which is administered by Tourism Western Australia. Co-funded by the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, the new centre features an innovative layout, virtual reality experiences and digital advertising all located within Railway House on the foreshore.

Further information:



Sleep Strong

Westin Hotels and Resorts is encouraging an emerging pro-sleep movement and pledging to support the World Sleep Society for those who use the #SleepStrong hashtag to showcase their ‘best rest’ on Instagram and Twitter. The World Sleep Society is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to advance sleep health worldwide. Westin Hotels and Resorts has been a leader in wellness and hospitality for more than a decade through the brand’s Six Pillars of Well-Being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well.

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Climate-Neutral Ship

Switzerland has introduced its very first climate neutral ship the MS 2017 which will enter the public service on Lake Lucerne in May 2017. The ship will be the country’s second eco-friendly vessel following the launch of the restored Vedetta 1908 on Lake Lugano which runs on solar and electric power.

Further information:

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Green Flights

Singapore Airlines, in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, has started operating a series of green package flights over a three-month period on its non-stop San Francisco-Singapore route. Featuring the latest-generation and most fuel-efficient aircraft (Airbus A350-900), the flights are the first in the world to combine the use of biofuels, fuel-efficient aircraft and optimised flight operations. The flights will also raise awareness of sustainable biofuels for aviation and provide the industry with valuable insight on the economics, logistical requirements and performance of biofuels.

Further information:

Responsible Tourism

Pilot Hotel Food Waste Scheme

The World Wildlife Fund supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and the American Hotel and Lodging Association has launched a series of pilot projects aimed at reducing food waste in the hotel industry. Participating hotels include Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Sage Hospitality and Terranea Resort. They also plan to publish a toolkit that reports on key findings, best practices and next steps.

Further information:


Eco-Friendly Travel Survey

A global survey carried out by TUI Group examined people’s attitudes to sustainable travel with one in 10 European holidaymakers booking eco-friendly hotels. The representative survey among more than 3,000 respondents examined people’s attitude to sustainable travel in Germany, the UK, France, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Further information:

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index

Over the last 11 years the World Economic Forum has been carrying out an in-depth analysis of travel and tourism competitiveness of 136 global economies. The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector which in turn contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.

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Policy & Planning

Caravan Industry Development Initiative

The Caravan Industry Development Initiative is a collaboration between Tourism Western Australia, Caravan Industry Association of Western Australia and Breakaway Tourism. It aims to address key business, workforce and developmental priorities for regional caravan parks, identify opportunities for business improvement as well as a pathway to national accreditation. The program is open to any licensed caravan park or camping ground in Western Australia and selection will be based on competitive evaluation of the applications.

Further information:

Seasonal Tourism Worker Program

The tourism pilot of the Seasonal Worker Program is now available to assist tourism operators fill unmet demand in the sector with a temporary low and unskilled workforce. The program contributes to the economic development of nine participating Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste by providing access to work opportunities in Australia in certain industries with seasonal demand for workers.

Further information:

Nature-Based Tourism Strategy

The Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association has released a Nature-Based Tourism Strategy to guide decision-making processes around the development of nature, Aboriginal and adventure-based initiatives and activities in the region.

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Grants & Funding

Advance Program

Applications for the Advance Program which offers marketing partnerships between Tourism Australia and industry that are determined via a submissions and assessment process, and prioritises activity based on criteria that includes alignment with Tourism Australia’s strategy for business events. Applications close 7 July 2017.

Further information:

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Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program

Regional visitor centres across Western Australia can apply for the final round of funding under the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program. Centres are encouraged to apply for projects that make them more sustainable and adaptable in a changing tourism environment. Applications close 16 June 2017.

Further information:

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Conferences & Events

Sustainable Tourism Summit

The GreenBiz Group, in collaboration with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Sustainable Travel International, will host a Sustainable Tourism Summit in Honolulu on 21 June 2017. The half-day summit will see more than 100 stakeholders including global hotel brands, local operators, airlines, cruise lines, government tourism departments and policy makers.

Further information:

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Aviation Summit

The CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit will be held at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Hotel from 1-2 August 2017. The two-day summit is the region’s largest strategic aviation and travel industry event attracting up to 1,000 of the world’s leading industry executives. It will provide a forum for strategic discussions on aviation issues across Australia and the Pacific region.

Further information:

Global Eco Conference

Ecotourism Australia’s Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be held in Adelaide, South Australia from 27-29 November 2017. The annual conference will be staged at the state of the art Sanctuary Adelaide Zoo conference centre located in the city centre for its 25th anniversary.

Further information:

Image: South Australia Tourism Commission

International Correspondents

The Cry of Mother Nature Depicted Through Art

By Mary Mwendwa – African Correspondent

From a distance, one would think or imagine it is a form of monument. Colourfully displayed, sitting on the map of Kenya, an image of a woman crying surrounded with all sorts of wildlife ecosystems and a huge axe cutting through her. It is breath taking.

Natural sounds of animals, the loudest being the king of the jungle, the lion and waterfalls straight away gives an impression of nature. She is surrounded by many types of animals and plants; big cats, primates, insects and birds. Beside her is her lifeless ‘husband’- the stump of a tree that is lonely and no one is close to him. He is dead.

This is none other than Mama seedlina. Mama Seedlina (Mother of seedlings hence forests) is a symbol of Mother Nature whose absence is disastrous to life on earth. She personifies the role of a mother figure in creating a platform for co-existence of living organisms on the planet through various interactions.

“With her partner (Baba Seedlina), felled long ago to satisfy selfish human needs, the burden on her shoulders to provide the indispensable ecosystem services is almost unbearable unless there is some intervention. Her exposure to wanton human developmental activities leaves her mourning the imminent loss of her ‘children’ and the entire ecosystem she supports.” Says Peris Karuiki, A researcher at the National Museums of Kenya.

Nicholas Muema, the artists behind Mama seedlina, agrees to the fact that art is a wide subject that involves many things like primitive/abstract art. “My interest evolves around anything that involves creativity and art hence when the idea of demonstrating how nature has been destroyed was proposed to me, I took up the challenge,” he says.

Muema says that it has been work in progress and he is proud of his final product. He has done botanical demonstration for 13 years and believes art is a useful tool to pass a message. “This kind of art is four dimensional (4D) meaning it allows the viewer to see all dimensions of the art work, “he concludes.

Mama Seedlina was part of the exhibition at the National Museums of Kenya stand at a plant science congress, where they showcased opportunities and challenges in biodiversity conservation in the face of climate change. Themes were around plant and animal interactions, ecological diversity and sustenance and values of biodiversity.

Image: Provided by Mary Mwendwa