Edition 140 · January 2020
Tony Charters and Associates
Circulated to 10,000 professionals worldwide
In 2013, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals launched a program to bring dogs certified through their Animal Assisted Therapy Program to the terminals at San Francisco Airport. The ‘Wag Brigade’ are a team of trained therapy animals (including dogs and pigs) that ensure passengers passing through the airport are happy and make travel more enjoyable.
Further information: https://www.flysfo.com/services-amenities/wag-brigade
Cobbold Gorge in the Gulf Savannah region of north-west Queensland is now home to Australia’s first ever bridge constructed with an entirely glass surface. The 9.5-metre long bridge which cost $600,000 and was funded through the Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund has a glass bottom deck 4.5-centimetres thick. The 19-metre-high bridge provided visitors with 360-degree views of the gorge which is Queensland’s youngest at just 10,000 years of age.
Further information: https://www.cobboldgorge.com.au/
Pocket-sized Trail Guide
A new Collie River Valley and Wellington National Park Mountain Bike Pocket Map features 25 regional trails. Produced by the Bunbury Geographe Tourism Partnership the map features information about tracks such as the grade, elevation and landmarks as well as accommodation, and food and drink. The collaborative project was funded by South West Development Commission, Shire of Collie, and Tourism Western Australia with advice and assistance from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and WestCycle. It will be available through clubs, visitor centres and at key events.
Further information: https://visitbunburygeographe.com.au/
Wet Tropics Toolkit
Tourism and Events Queensland has released a dedicated toolkit for tourism operators in the in the Tropical North Queensland, Townsville and surrounding regions to assist with marketing of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The Wet Tropics is home to the oldest tropical rainforest in the world, stretching from south of Cooktown to west of Townsville. Tourism businesses can access the toolkit’s resources in order to encourage visitor dispersal across their regions and increased overnight visitor expenditure.
Further information: https://teq.queensland.com/industry-resources/wet-tropics-toolkit
Iconic Beach Walk
Marked with over 350 distinctive Aboriginal Whale Symbol signs a new 80km urban walking track around Sydney’s Harbour foreshore will link the iconic Bondi and Manly beaches. The track also features the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, as well as being rich in Indigenous heritage and passing through some of the city’s most spectacular coastal and Harbourside suburbs.
Further information: https://www.bonditomanly.com/
Kakadu Tourism Master Plan
PwC Indigenous Consulting has been appointed to develop the Kakadu Tourism Master Plan as part of the Australian Government’s $51 million investment into growing tourism in the Northern Territory. The plan will provide the strategic direction to grow tourism in the dual World Heritage listed national park over the next 10 years, through infrastructure upgrades, new visitor experiences, WiFi and connectivity in the park, and extending the main visitor season. The Darwin-based PwC Indigenous Consulting will work closely with Parks Australia, Traditional Owners, the Kakadu Board of Management, and the broader tourism industry to deliver this project.
Paluma to Wallaman Falls Trail
An ecotourism proposal for a 120km-plus walking and mountain biking trail in the Paluma Wallaman Falls area has received Commonwealth-State funding as part of the Tourism Recovery Package. The project is a collaboration between the Commonwealth, Queensland Government, local Traditional Owners and three local councils. The trail is an ancient Indigenous trading line, a language line and a songline interconnecting three traditional owner groups.
ASEAN Tourism Forum 2020 Report
Philippines Focuses on Sustainability
Following the controversial closing of Boracay for six months last year the Philippines is stepping up its focus on sustainability.
Speaking at the ASEAN Tourism Ministers Media Conference, Tourism Minister Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said it is important to promote sustainability.
“It’s not just up to National Government, it is also up to the stakeholders to promote and save our tourist destinations.” Minister Romulo-Puyat also spoke of the need to balance economic development and saving the environment. ‘Sometimes we tend to try to progress without thinking of our environment. If we don’t save our environment we won’t have tourist destinations’. She pointed to the ‘Save Our Spots’ campaign which aims to educate tourists on how to be better travellers. “We can start with simple deeds, such as using reusable tumblers instead of single-use plastics; respecting the local culture; throwing your wastes properly and, if somebody fails to do so, initiating to pick them up; advocating for local products; or just planning your next trip to be a responsible tourist wherever you go.’
The Philippines welcomed some 8 million international tourists in 2019 and it will continue to focus on improved visitor infrastructure and transforming communities towards resilient inclusive and sustainable destinations. Under its recently launched TouRIST Program it is focussing on Urban Planning, Water Supply, Sanitation, Waste Management Tourism and Health Facilities, Energy, Transport, Conservation Management and Skills Development. Early attention is being paid to Manila Bay, Coron, El Nido, Siargo, and Baglio.
Brunei-China Year of Tourism 2020
HRH Princess Hajah Masna and HE Mr Zhang Xu, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism of People’s Republic of China and HE Madam Yu Hong launched the Brunei-China Year of Tourism at the superb Jerudong International School Arts Centre on 17 January. Tourism between the countries has seen expansion through new flights to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Changsa, Nanning, Kunming, Hanhgzhou, Haikou and Beijing. Under the initiative both countries could further enhance co-operation with a view to increasing two-way tourist visits and promoting greater people to people exchanges. The year long event is also an opportunity to build wider business and trade connections in other area beyond tourism.
Both nations put on an enthralling dance and musical performance of exceptional standard.
Visit Malaysia 2020 – sticking with a successful formula
This year has been nominated as Visit Malaysia 2020 in a bid to lift tourism growth. Malaysia has been very successful in the past in driving the Visit Malaysia agenda, having previously adopted this theme very successfully in 1990, 1994, 2007 and 2014. Malaysia is promoting 198 events, 20 festivals and 20 carnivals in 2020 and is forging partnerships with industry across sectors including media, tourism distribution and aviation to drive visitation to the country.
There will be an ongoing strong focus on ecotourism, tourism on World Heritage Areas, and islands and beaches. This year also celebrates Malaysia-China year of Culture and Tourism.
Malaysia is targeting 30 million tourists and revenue of US$24.4 billion in 2020.
In a new initiative Malaysia has established the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council – an agency under the Ministry of Finance. The role of the agency is to facilitate collaboration between key public and private stakeholders to drive growth of health tourism. Their main targets are the ASEAN region plus Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, India and the Middle East.
More information on the health tourism initiative is available at www.malaysiahealthcare.org
Cambodia to Host ATF 2021
Cambodia has now taken on Chairmanship of ATF as it prepares to host the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum in 2021. The theme for 2021 will be ASEAN – A community of Peace and Shared Future. The event will be staged in Phnom Penh 17-21 January. To mark the announcement, Cambodia staged a hosted dinner and stunning cultural performance on 16 January at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall, The Empire, Brunei. The 2021 event is expected to attract more than 2000 participants from more than 25 countries.
For information about the 2021 ATF go to: www.atf2021cambodia.com
UK-based PriestmanGoode design studio has created eco-friendly replacements for the trays and food containers used on commercial flights. The designers used food waste and other biodegradable material to replace plastic. For instance, the reusable tray is a mixture of coffee grounds and husks. The single-use containers for food dishes are made from wheat bran. PriestmanGoode even created capsules from seaweed to hold milk and other sauces. The prototypes are part of a larger campaign to reduce the waste generated by travel.
Further information: www.priestmangoode.com
British Airways is extending its First Contact Resolution program to colleagues around the world following a successful roll out at Heathrow. The program enables staff to assist and resolve any customer issue at the airport rather than refer travellers to Customer Relations teams. It is part of British Airways’ investment in customer experience over five years which includes taking delivery of 73 new aircraft, refurbishing new cabins, introducing redesigned lounges, bedding and amenity kits, onboard WiFi and access to power at every aircraft seat.
Multi-planetary architectural and technology design agency, AI SpaceFactory has launched a first-of-its-kind eco-habitat B&B. The agency developed TERA with the same design and technology as its NASA-award winning Mars habitat, MARSHA. The exterior shell is 3D-printed on-site with a biopolymer basalt composite developed from crops like corn and sugarcane. TERA is based an hour and a half from New York City by train and will be available for one year before it is recycled and reprinted elsewhere.
Further information: https://www.aispacefactory.com/
Hobart’s newest boutique hotel, Moss, has opened in the historic docks of Salamanca Place, bringing the Tasmanian wilderness to the heart of the city. Set in Georgian sandstone warehouses and designed with a nature-inspired concept, Moss offers 41-rooms with high timber beams, internal greenery and sun-drenched balconies, creating a tranquil and idyllic atmosphere for guests. Located in the heart of Hobart, this inner-city sanctuary is a gateway to the city’s rich culture, history, world-famous cuisine and natural beauty.
Further information: https://www.mosshotel.com.au/
Marriott International’s playful, experiential hotel brand is set to expand its footprint in Australia with Moxy Perth scheduled to open in December 2021. The brand which is designed for the next generation of traveller, reimagines the traditional hotel experience, allowing guests to play, work and connect at an affordable price point, in the liveliest cities around the world. The 150-room hotel is the second hotel joins a global portfolio of Moxy brand hotels throughout Europe, North America and Asia.
Further information: http://moxy-hotels.marriott.com/
The InterContinental Hotels Group has announced plans to remove all miniature bathroom amenities from all its properties by 2021. According to the company, this would mean 200 million less miniatures per year, across 100 countries. The company says it will increasingly shift over to plastic-free alternatives such as refillable ceramic dispensers. The company has already committed to removing all single-use plastic straws from its operations by the end of 2019.
Further information: https://www.ihgplc.com
G Adventures has increased its commitment to community tourism with the introduction of an additional 25 projects via non-profit partner Planeterra for its tours in 2020. This will mean 90% of the operator’s small-group trips will visit a community tourism project supporting women and children, Indigenous culture or environmental conservation. All current and future projects are selected according to the biggest benefit to the community resulting from traveller numbers.
Further information: https://www.gadventures.com/about-us/responsible-travel/
Future Travel Experiences
According to a recent report international travel will be faster, easier and more sustainable than ever before. In addition the number of air travellers will double by this time, our faces will be on our passports and boarding passes and virtual travel will be commonplace. The Future Travel Experience report is part of the futurology series ‘The World in 2040’ written by internationally renowned futurologist Ray Hammond. It presents realistic developments and trends that are likely to affect international travel over the next 20 years.
A new Expedia study has found a new generation of travellers (Gen Alpha) are becoming an emergent force in influencing travel purchase decisions, even if this tech-savvy generation has yet to make any travel purchases themselves. The survey of more than 9,000 found on average families with Gen Alphas are taking more than three family trips a year including at least one bleisure trip.
Further information: https://info.advertising.expedia.com/family-travel-trends-generation-alpha
Experiential Traveller Trends
The annual Skift US Experiential Traveller Survey aims to capture year-over-year comparisons to highlight changes as well as trends that are remaining stable in the travel industry. The trends for 2019 include evolutions in travel motivations, planning and booking preferences, travel priorities and alternative accommodation use. The survey collects responses from 1,300 US residents who meet quotas for gender, age, combined household income and region.
Policy & Planning
Aboriginal Tourism Businesses Partnership
The Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) and Tourism Western Australia have signed a new $3.6 million four-year agreement that provides support for governance, marketing and business support activities. WAITOC is the peak representative body for Aboriginal tourism businesses providing Aboriginal-to-Aboriginal outcomes in Australia.
Further information: https://www.waitoc.com/
The Visitor Economy 2031 Vision was developed by Brisbane Marketing in collaboration with industry, regional tourism partners and all levels of government to unlock the potential of the Brisbane region over the next decade. It aims to build experiences in Brisbane, brand awareness, global advocacy and encourage visitors to explore the entire Brisbane region including $12 billion worth of new developments.
Smart Tourism Competition
The European Commission has named Gothenburg and Málaga winners of the 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition due to their sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation, cultural heritage and creativity initiatives. The European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative recognises outstanding achievements by cities as tourism destinations in the four categories of sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation as well as cultural heritage and creativity.
Further information: https://smarttourismcapital.eu/
Conferences & Events
Sustainability Is Responsibility Summit
The United States Tour Operators Association in partnership with Visit Norway will host its first Sustainability is Responsibility Summit in Bodø, Norway from 20-21 May 2020. The two-day conference is aimed at fostering future collaborations, innovative approaches and cross-sector education that will benefit all participants.
Further information: https://ustoa.com/events/sir
Sustainable Tourism Conference
The 9th International Conference on Sustainable Tourism will be held in Madrid, Spain from 8 to 10 July 2020. The conference aims to find ways to protect the natural and cultural landscape through the development of new solutions which minimise the adverse effects of tourism.
Further information: https://www.wessex.ac.uk/conferences/2020/sustainable-tourism-2020