Tourforce - Tourism is your Business

Edition 145 ·

Top Stories

Asia-Pacific Travellers Looking to Nature Destinations

According to latest Google Trends Data, over 50% of APAC consumers are looking to beach and nature destinations for their next trip.

Hermione Joye of Google, a speaker in the yesterday’s Global Tourism’s New Normal webinar organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board outlined critical data coming from recent surveys. Hermione’s presentation highlighted that for APAC consumers:

  • 35% of cited the risk of COVID exposure during travel was the number one concern;
  • the number one motivation for travel is for family getaways;
  • 20% of travellers would prioritise certified cleanliness and hygiene for their next travel purchase;
  • around 30% cited flexible booking policies for their next travel purchase.

If you have data or experiences to assist the industry recover, consider offering a paper at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference.

The theme for the 2020 Global Eco Conference is: Revolution, Driving Evolution.

The 2020 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference comes at a critical time for the industry. There has never been a more important time to come together, draw on the collective strengths of industry, government and academia to re-assess, reflect and recover.

For more information, visit:

Contributing to the Recovery

Offer a paper now for the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference, Ecotourism Australia’s premier event. The conference will be held 1-3 December 2020 in Margaret River, Western Australia.

The 2020 Conference comes at a critical time for the industry.

“With the massive disruption to tourism through the bushfires of 2019 followed by the universally devastating impact of COVID-19, there has never been a more important time to come together, draw on the collective strengths of industry, government and academia to re-assess, reflect and recover,”  said Tony Charters AM Convenor of the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Conference.

The Board of Ecotourism Australia took the decision to maintain its commitment to a physical conference. The timing, in the first week of December, will be in a period when domestic tourism will have been re-opened.

The theme for the 2020 Global Eco Conference is: Revolution, Driving Evolution.

The 2020 conference will give voice to the diversity of players that can contribute to a revolution in the tourism world that can take a fresh look at the industry.

The deadline for the submission of offered papers is COB Friday 31 July 2020.

Submit your paper now at

The Year the Earth Stood Still

The founder of G Adventures, Bruce Poon Tip, has released a free e-book written while in isolation during April 2020. Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still looks at the current state of the travel industry with regards to home-sharing, climate change, flight-shaming, overtourism and mass-market holiday options.

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Glasshouse Restaurant

An Amsterdam restaurant has come up with an innovative way to adapt to the 1.5 metre rule with dinner inside an individual greenhouse. The restaurant is called Mediamatic ETEN and is part of the larger Mediamatic organisation which focuses on the arts and entrepreneurship. When open the restaurant will be offering diners a four-course vegan meal inside the greenhouses.

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Funding & Grants

Wildlife Lifeline

The Australian Government has unveiled a $94.6 million support package to assist exhibiting zoos and aquariums with the fixed operational costs associated with the caring of their animals, while also helping ensure Australian zoos and aquariums can remain viable and ready to welcome visitors when restrictions are eased. Eligible exhibiting zoos and aquariums will have access to a grant that contributes towards up to six months of its animal welfare operating costs.

Further information:

Tourism Recovery Program

The Western Australian Government has announced a $14.4 million funding initiative to support tourism operators adapt and refocus their businesses in the post COVID-19 landscape. The Tourism Recovery Program includes two funding streams with an initial $10.4 million in one-off cash grants for up to 1,600 individual small businesses including micro tourism businesses such as accommodation providers, tours, transport operators, tourism attractions or experiences. Applications close 12 June 2020.

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Experience Economy Survival Package

The Victorian Government is providing $150 million to help the sport, tourism and creative industries ride out the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and reboot, rebound and recover. The Experience Economy Survival Package includes funding for Victoria’s tourism industry with funding including not-for-profit and privately-owned major tourist attractions, galleries and museums, regional tourism boards and the Victorian Tourism Industry Council.

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Fly Well

Qantas and Jetstar are rolling out a series of wellbeing improvements to give peace-of-mind to customers at each point of their journey in preparation for domestic travel restrictions easing. The ‘Fly Well’ program brings together several temporary measures already in use by the Qantas Group on repatriation flights including a combination of best-practice medical advice and feedback from customers.

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Restarting Aviation Roadmap

The International Air Transport Association has proposed a temporary layered approach to biosecurity for re-starting passenger flights amid the COVID-19 crisis. The Biosecurity for Air Transport: A Roadmap for Restarting Aviation aims to provide the confidence that governments will need to enable the re-opening of borders to passenger travel and the confidence that travellers will need to return to flying.

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Air New Zealand has launched Carepoints an initiative which enables members to gift Airpoints dollars to New Zealand charities KidsCan, Women’s Refuge and New Zealand Red Cross. The Airpoints dollars will be used to purchase essential resources like food, personal care, heating and petrol from partners New World, Mitre 10 and Z Energy. The donation period runs until 19 June 2020.

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Destination Marketing

Adventure Awaits

The Western Australian Government has announced the next phase and roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions with a new ‘Adventure Awaits’ campaign which will run until intrastate regional restrictions are lifted. The campaign includes a toolkit for tourism operators to have the opportunity to be featured as well as showcasing holiday experiences on the new Virtual Hub.

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A Taste of Escape

Visit Sunshine Coast has launched an innovative new campaign to inspire future travel to the Sunshine Coast in anticipation of a significant relaxation of travel guidelines across Queensland. A Taste of Escape campaign uses state-of-the-art Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response techniques to provide sensory sensations through a wide range of sounds that capture the essence and richness of the Sunshine Coast’s experiences and attractions.

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Rent a Finn

Tourism Finland has launched a virtual ‘Rent a Finn’ campaign to bring the Finnish happiness to visitors due to Coronavirus. The social media initiative includes Live Chats instead of personal meetings as well as tips from locals on how to become calmer and happier.

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Digital & Technology

Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

The World Tourism Organisation with the support of the World Health Organisation has launched the Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge, identifying start-ups with ready-to-implement ideas for mitigating the impact of COVID-19. The initiative attracted more than 1000 applicants from 100 countries including innovations such as AI threat detection technology, disinfection gates and digital identification and tracking technology.

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SafeSanctuary Program

The Banyan Tree Group has partnered with Bureau Veritas to develop an integrated health and wellbeing program that incorporates protocols of assurance and wellbeing standards. The SafeSanctuary Program will be rolled out progressively from June 2020 throughout all 47 hotels in 24 countries. It has over 40 areas of enhanced protocols including screening procedures, hygiene stations, and redesigned processes throughout the guest and associate experience.

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Way of Clean

IHG Hotels and Resorts is launching a Clean Promise globally from 1 June 2020 which aims to enhance the experience for hotel guests through new science-led protocols and service measures. The IHG Way of Clean program was developed with world leaders in hygiene and cleaning technologies and services, which is now being expanded with additional COVID-19 protocols and best practices to reflect the advice of the World Health Organisation, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities in markets around the world.

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Hotel Medical Assistance

Accor and AXA have announced an innovative strategic partnership to provide medical support to guests across the 5,000 Accor hotels worldwide. The partnership will enable Accor guests to benefit from the highest level of care thanks to the expert medical solutions of AXA Partners including assistance services, travel insurance, credit protection and vetted medical professionals. This unique medical service complements the enhanced health and prevention protocols that Accor has put in place through its ALLSAFE Cleanliness label.

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Travel Trade


The South Australian Tourism Commission has launched FlexiTourism a new initiative, in partnership with global travel guidance platform TripAdvisor, to give consumers flexible booking and payment options for their next holiday. Through the new partnership, FlexiTourism will allow these would-be travellers to take the next step and book their holiday with flexible payment conditions. The Tripadvisor platform will give consumers the ability to explore bookable tourism experiences and change their dates without penalties or cancellation fees.

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Protected Areas

Reef Relief

Local tourism businesses and operators on the Great Barrier Reef will receive an estimated $3 million in fee relief from the Australian Government. An additional $2.6 million from the Relief and Recovery Fund will be used to upgrade Townsville’s Reef HQ Aquarium for systems that support the Aquarium’s marine life and business opportunities in North Queensland. The Government is waiving of the Environmental Management Charge from 1 April 2020 – 31 December 2020 and tourism operator Marine Park permit fees to 30 June 2021.

Further information:

Commonwealth National Parks

To support the tourism industry through the Coronavirus pandemic and to support businesses to rebuild their operations, the Australian Government is waiving and reimbursing the cost of permits and licence fees for commercial tourism businesses operating in Commonwealth National Parks for the period of 1 January 2020 – 31 March 2021.

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Boost for Parks

South Australia’s iconic nature-based tourism sector will get a $22 million funding injection under the State Government’s new Parks 2025 plan which will activate nature-based tourism and fast-track the recovery of regional economies hard hit by national and international events. The Parks 2025 strategy identifies a range of economic stimulus measures to help the tourism industry and aims to double nature and heritage tourism expenditure to $3.4 billion over the next decade.

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Travel Restrictions Global Review

According to a report released by the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation, the travel industry could see a decline in international arrivals of up to 58 percent this year based on the gradual reopening of international borders and easing of travel restrictions by July 2020. Based on the worst-case scenario, the crisis threatens the livelihoods of as many as 120 million people who directly depend on tourism for employment, as a result of the loss of up to 1.1 billion tourists.

Further information:

Travel in the New Normal

The U.S. Travel Industry has released a guide for travel-related businesses to help keep their customers and employees safe as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Entitled ‘Travel in the New Normal’ is a collaboration between medical experts, businesses and organisations across the travel industry. It is focused on six main areas and aims to serve as a model for collaboration between the business and medical communities that forges a path toward healing both the public health and the economy.

Further information:


Education & Training

Front of Mind

International renown culinary trainers Front Cooking School is opening its new Brisbane campus and commencing hospitality courses in May 2020. Acknowledge Education trading as Front Cooking School, who already has operations in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, are now excited to be supporting the Queensland hospitality industry and training the chefs of tomorrow.

Further information:

Source: Acknowledge Education - Front Cooking School Brisbane Campus

Policy & Planning

Safe Travels Global Protocols

The World Travel and Tourism Council has unveiled a range of new worldwide measures designed to rebuild confidence among consumers in the post COVID-19 world. The new ‘Safe Travels’ protocols provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travel providers, operators and travellers. They are based on the best available medical evidence from the World Health Organisation and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The protocols will apply across hospitality, aviation, airports, cruise operators, retail, transportation, MICE and tour operators.

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Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group

An expert group has been formed to investigate and develop solutions for establishing safe trans-Tasman travel when borders re-open between New Zealand and Australia. The Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group is made up of 20 public and private sector health, airline, airport and border representatives who are working together to produce recommendations for safe border processing for inbound and outbound travellers.

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Conferences & Events

European Tourism Summit

The European Tourism Summit will take place in Barcelona, Spain on 1 October 2020. It aims to bring together institutional players, national, regional and local public authorities and industry players to reflect and build a roadmap towards sustainable, innovative and resilient European tourism.

Further information:

Global Eco Conference

The 28th Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be held 1-3 December 2020 in Margaret River, Western Australia. This event brings together tourism operators, protected area managers, tourism organisations, Indigenous bodies and researchers to discuss ecotourism, sustainability and best practice initiatives.

Further information: