Edition 137 · October 2019
Tony Charters and Associates
Circulated to 10,000 professionals worldwide
Destinations go ECO
Ecotourism Australia has recently launched a new destination level scheme – ECO Destination Certification to encourage the development of green destinations across the globe. Three levels of certification are offered.
The ECO Destination Certification program assures travellers that certified destinations are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provide high-quality nature-based tourism experiences.
This year the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference will place a spotlight on green ECO destinations with both a plenary session and a half-day workshop focussing on the evolution of green destinations and how to achieve green, sustainable destinations.
Speakers featured in these session include the co-founder of Green Destinations, Hugo De Jong of the Netherlands; Rod Hillman CEO of Ecotourism Australia; Cr Julia Leu, Mayor of Douglas Shire, Australia’s first certified ECO Destination; Masaru Takayama, Chair of the Asian Ecotourism Network; and representatives of other Australian ECO Destinations including Mt Hotham and Townsville City Council.
Global Eco 2019 features more than 40 keynote speakers including 14 international speakers from 12 nations. To view the full range of keynote speakers go to globaleco.com.au/2019/speakers/keynote-speakers. Global Eco Asia-Pacific is being staged in Cairns, Queensland, 2-4 December 2019.
Polar Art Exhibition
Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Expeditions have announced the first-ever ship-based polar art installation curated by acclaimed artist Zaria Forman, whose large-scale pastel drawings documenting climate change are exhibited worldwide. Change will include a wide-ranging collection of permanent drawings, paintings, video, photography, sculpture and soundscape by a wide range of artists.
Airbnb have launched a new tier of properties built upon the deep expertise in luxury travel gained from its acquisition of Luxury Retreats in 2017. Airbnb Luxe features more than 2,000 handpicked homes around the world, each one passing strict evaluation across 300+ criteria to meet standards in both design and function. This includes elevated design standards on a variety of elements, as well as and rare and unique features.
Unique Lodges of the World
The National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World is a collection of lodges which share a strong commitment to sustainable practices and protecting natural and cultural heritage. These properties are handpicked by National Geographic sustainable tourism experts and embody the values of authenticity, enrichment, and a dedication to preserving our planet’s diversity.
Zerobnb is an alternative accommodation listings directory which only features sustainable properties. Neste, a Finland-based producer of renewable diesel created the Nolle cabin in July 2018 to promote its vision of a zero-emissions future. To further promote its vision, the company has created Zerobnb to list other sustainable properties which can be found on Airbnb.
Yosemite National Park located three hours from San Francisco is offering a new airstream trailer option AutoCamp. The camp features 102 custom-designed and fully outfitted Airstream suites (Caravans), as well as luxurious canvas tents and suites.
Carbon Neutral Flyers
Qantas has partnered with the Harvard University Sustainability, Transparency, and Accountability Research Lab to help grow their Fly Carbon Neutral program. It brings together scholars at Harvard University who research and assess new business initiatives aimed at improving accountability, as well as generating positive social and environmental impacts. Qantas has been offsetting for more than a decade including buying carbon credits from over 40 projects around the world.
Conservation International is partnering with United Airlines on their consumer carbon offset program – Eco-Skies CarbonChoice. The program provides customers with the opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint associated with their air travel through the purchase of carbon offsets. It also allows participants to support projects designed to help reduce greenhouse gases and provide social and economic benefits to communities around the world.
Digital & Technology
Travel Now Here
Finnair has launched a new online travel service to attract international travellers to Finland and the Nordics. The Now Here program combines inspirational content with real-time experiences, hotels and flights from a large number of sources. The Finnair team met with 1,500 travel partners and hand-picked products like Reindeer Safari, Arctic Mindfulness with Huskies, Aurora Borealis Adventure, Forest Yoga and Private Island to pilot the service.
Sunshine Coast Convention Centre
The newly built $10 million Sunshine Coast Convention Centre at Novotel Twin Waters Resort is open and hosting global conferences and business events. The new centre is set to be instrumental in securing future events for the Sunshine Coast and reinforce the region’s growing reputation as a destination of choice for business and leisure.
Conscious Travel Checklist
World Resorts of Distinction has created a conscious travel checklist that empowers travellers to make more informed booking decisions. The ‘Conscious Travel Checklist’ takes into consideration the impact resorts have on their local environment, community and culture. The initiative comes off the back of the resort representation company launching its ‘Travel for Trees’ program which will see a tree planted for every booking registered at a property.
Island Resort Rejuvenation Program
Clean-up works on the critically acclaimed Wilson Island are now complete under the government’s $25 million Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Program.
Wilson Island a natural coral cay is located approximately 72 kilometres offshore from Gladstone in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. The rejuvenation works included the removal of waste, as well as installing solar power, waste treatment system and luxury tents for a new eco-tourism experience.
In a world-first guests can now access the iconic Heart Reef lagoon with the launch of ‘Heart Island’ Australia’s newest Great Barrier Reef Island. The $2 million state of the art split level pontoon caters for only six guests at a time and is only accessible via helicopter. Following a two-year environmental impact study the island was developed by Hamilton Island Air in consultation with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and has been designed to be ecologically sustainable through wind and solar power.
The Big Pineapple
A $6.8 million upgrade of the Sunshine Coast’s iconic tourism attraction the Big Pineapple will include refurbishments to the internal structure of the attraction and reception area, as well as repurposing the old Macadamia Nut Factory to host COYO an award-winning coconut yoghurt producer. The master plan for the 170 hectare site also includes a water park, an adventure precinct with a new Tree Tops Challenge high ropes and zipline course, concert event space, on-site accommodation and agribusiness precinct.
Indigenous Whale Watching Tours
Australia’s first Indigenous-owned and operated whale-watching tours will cruise North Stradbroke and Moreton Islands, as well as the greater Moreton Bay region. The new tours will be operated by the not-for-profit Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and launch from Brisbane city. Information collected on the tours will also contribute to global whale conservation, research and education in a partnership with the University of Queensland.
Priceless New York City
The official destination marketing, convention and visitors bureau for the City of New York and Mastercard have announced a new global, multi-year partnership. Mastercard will become the preferred payment technology partner of NYC & Company and will be integrated into the organisation’s global tourism promotional efforts. Market and traveller insights from Mastercard will also be used to help NYC & Company’s business partners more effectively communicate to audiences around the world.
Confidence Index Survey
The United Nations Worth Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Confidence Index Survey forecasts growth of 3% to 4% in international tourist arrivals in 2019 after slowing down at the end of 2018. The index is based on the results of an email survey conducted every four months since 2003 to collect opinions from tourism stakeholders worldwide regarding the performance of their destination, business and expectations.
A report published by the Travel Foundation in partnership with the Cornell University’s Centre for Sustainable Global Enterprise and EplerWood International describes how destinations must uncover and account for tourism’s hidden costs (the invisible burden) to protect and manage vital destination assets worldwide. The report draws upon academic literature, case studies, expert interviews, media reports and examples drawn from Thailand, Mexico, Europe, Africa and Latin America.
Evolution of the Hostel Traveller Report
Hostelworld a leading hostel-focused online booking platform has unveiled its ‘Evolution of the Hostel Traveller’ Report which reveals a noticeable shift in the activity’s backpackers do when travelling across the globe. The report shows how much hostelling has changed in the 20 years breaking backpacker stereotypes and traveller behaviours across three generations Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. It surveyed over 5,000 people from Australia, the USA, UK, France, Germany, India and Brazil.
Helpful or Harmful Report
The ‘Helpful or Harmful’ report by Kathmandu provides a current state of the global travel industry. The research survey was commissioned in October 2018 using a sample of over 1,000 Australians and 500 New Zealanders. It also included a review of key data, topics, news and trends associated with the negative and positive impacts of global travel.
Funding & Grants
Regional WA receives event funding boost
More than $1 million in funding has been allocated to 68 events through Tourism Western Australia’s Regional Events Scheme. The annual funding round aims to encourage regional communities to develop events that have economic and social benefits. The 2020-21 round will close in December 2019 for events that fall between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021.
Policy & Planning
The TUI Group an integrated tourism company has launched the 2018 Sustainability Report showing how the company is performing after four years into its sustainability strategy ‘Better Holidays, Better World’. The 2020 strategy includes four core pillars where TUI aims to advance sustainable tourism within its own operations, along its value chain, across the wider industry and in communities where it operates.
Conferences & Events
Protected Areas Congress
The first ever Africa Protected Areas Congress will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 18 to 23 November 2019. The event will discuss ways that Africa can ensure a sustainable future for its protected areas, people and biodiversity while showcasing homegrown examples of practical, innovative, sustainable and replicable solutions that unite conservation and sustainable human development.
The ATEC Meeting Place will be held in Brisbane from 25 to 27 November 2019. This is the key business-to-business event for Australia’s inbound tourism industry featuring business meetings, conference sessions and networking opportunities.
Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference
The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be held in Cairns from 2 to 4 December 2019. It brings together the world’s leading speakers on ecotourism, sustainability and responsible tourism including tourism operators, protected area managers, tourism organisations, indigenous bodies and researchers.