Tourforce - Tourism is your Business

Edition 146 ·

Tourforce During COVID-19

In this extraordinarily confronting and damaging time in the tourism industry we will continue to publish Tourforce monthly. However, we will not seek to offer advice or updates on COVID-19, as industry bodies and government bodies are best equipped to do this – with destination specific information.

We welcome short stories on innovations, and success stories and stories that reflect the positive things that the tourism industry is doing to ensure that the industry returns and re-builds. Submit stories to

We want to place on record our thanks to those in business, government, research and the not-for-profit sectors who are working to get us through this challenging time.

Top Stories

Global Eco Conference is COVID-19 ‘Friendly’

With some uncertainty over the ability for delegates from all parts of the country (and overseas) being able to attend the Global Eco Conference due to closed borders etc, Ecotourism Australia has developed a range of innovations to allow delegates to attend the conference in person or online through live-streaming.

Also to provide delegates with greater certainty, a very liberal cancellation policy had been developed for COVID-19 related cancellations.

In the event that a delegate is unable to attend Global Eco due to COVID-19 related issues, a full refund will be available up until the day before the conference. Full details of the cancellation policy are available at

“The Global Eco Conference is all systems go and we have a great line-up of keynote speakers already confirmed. While the conference is definitely running as a physical conference, for the first time, delegates from across the globe will be able to join the conference online,” said Tony Charters, Convenor of Global Eco Asia-Pacific.

In recognition of the uncertain border closures we are able to offer online speaking opportunities within the workshop program.

The deadline for offered papers has been extended until 21 August, 2020.

If you would like to offer a paper please visit

Recreational Trail Guidelines Set to Get Regional Tourism Back on Tracks Post-Coronavirus

As the Australian tourism sector slowly ramps up post-COVID-19, TRC Tourism (TRC) has today released the Recreational Trail Planning, Design and Management Guidelines to help the outdoor tourism sector and regions with their recovery efforts.

Available free to download, these new global best-practice guidelines incorporate TRC’s 20 years’ experience and knowledge working with Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island’s highest profile nature-based tourism regions.

The Guidelines cover all aspects of trails planning including mountain bike strategies, iconic multi day walk product development, trails master plans and feasibility studies, integrated regional trails strategies, cycleway planning, rail trails, drive trails and assessments of the economic benefits of trail development.

The Guidelines are a free resource created to provide best practice guidance to the outdoor recreation industry, local community groups, regional Councils and others to help regional centres provide best practice solutions and develop world class experiences.

For a copy of the Guidelines, visit

Image: (from TRC Tourism) TRC Outdoor Active Specialist, Chris Ord on site visit ground-truthing a set of proposed shared off-road cycling and walking routes and assessing alignments, proposed trail specifications and experience design at Nitmiluk National Park, NT

Hyperloop Travel

A Dutch company, Hardt, has proposed a 10,000-kilometre hyperloop network in Europe as a new mode of transportation. The superfast and sustainable train travels through a tube connecting cities, countries and continents. In a hyperloop, people and goods can travel at a speed of more than 1000 kilometres per hour through tubes with minimum air resistance. It’s powered by integrated solar panels, making it potentially faster, cleaner and cheaper than a train or an airplane. The first facility to test hyperloop at high speeds will be built in the Dutch province of Groningen and is slated for completion in 2022.

Further information:


Safety & Security

One Stop Map

Tourism Australia, in partnership with State and Territory Tourism Organisations, has released a new one-stop-shop interactive map to interstate border restrictions. The Australian Travel Status Map will help consumers and industry navigate the varying and constantly changing travel restrictions in each state and territory.

Further information:

Travel with Confidence

G Adventures has unveiled a new ‘Travel with Confidence’ policy designed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both travellers and employees. The policy includes new social distancing and hygiene measures that encompass transportation, restaurants, accommodation and activities on the ground across G Adventures’ global supplier network.

Further information:

Safe Travel Stamp

The World Travel and Tourism Council, with the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, has launched a global safety and hygiene stamp. Eligible businesses such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports can use the stamp once the health and hygiene protocols have been implemented. The stamp will also allow travellers to recognise governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols.

Further information:


Etihad Wellness

Etihad Airways has launched ‘Etihad Wellness,’ a comprehensive health and hygiene program. The program will be championed by the introduction of specially trained Wellness Ambassadors who will provide essential travel health information pre-departure and on-board. Etihad Wellness initiatives will be communicated through an easy-to-use online customer guide highlighting the high standards of cleanliness, health and hygiene being applied at every stage of the customer journey. This includes culinary hygiene at the airline’s catering facilities and food testing laboratory, aircraft cabin deep-cleaning, check-in, health screening, boarding, inflight experience and product, crew interaction, arrival, and ground transportation.

Further information:

Image: Ethiad Youtube Video -

Cruise Education

Cruise Lines International Association Australasia has a new education platform giving travel agent members access to new features, content and simplified services to boost cruise knowledge. There is also an amalgamated calendar that combines events with cruise line initiatives such as information evenings, ship inspections and roadshows. Existing education components have been updated in look and content, while new courses are being introduced.

Further information:

COVID Aviation Map

The International Air Transport Association has introduced a free online interactive world map to provide travellers with the latest COVID-19 entry regulations by country. The map relies on a Timatic database which contains comprehensive information on documentation required for international travel. Timatic is updated more than 200 times per day to provide accurate travel restrictions specific to the current pandemic, based on one’s citizenship and country of residence.

Further information:

International Education

Luhrmann Appeal

Study Queensland has launched a new initiative to support international students with essential items like groceries and programs for mental wellbeing. The Study Queensland Luhrmann Appeal will be run in partnership with Study Queensland, charity GIVIT and the Queensland Government Care Army. It complements a range of state-wide relief programs already introduced by the Queensland Government, education providers and communities.

Further information:


Five-Star Margaret River

One of the world’s largest hospitality providers Marriott International will open a five-star resort in Margaret River in mid-2023. The Westin Margaret River Resort & Spa will be located on the southern headland of Gnarabup Beach and include 120 guest rooms, on-site dining venues, and meeting and event space.

Further information:


Travel Trade

Aussie Specialist Program

Tourism Australia has launched a local version of its Aussie Specialist Program providing domestic travel agents with access to a free online training platform. It is designed to equip agents with relevant, up-to-date information and showcase new regions, destinations and experiences within Australia. It offers training modules, itinerary suggestions, fact sheets, industry news and monthly email updates.

Further information:

Protected Areas

Kalbarrai Skywalk

The Kalbarri Skywalk in Western Australia is now open offering visitors breathtaking and uninterrupted views over Kalbarri National Park, a six-hour drive from Perth. The 100-metre high Skywalk features two cantilevered viewing platforms that extend 25 and 17 metres beyond the rim of the Murchison River Gorge. The $24 million project also includes toilets, shade shelters, paths, wheelchair accessible viewing structures, visitor information, parking and an environmentally friendly kiosk to be built in the future.

Further information:



Misool Foundation

Misool Foundation is the registered Indonesian Charity arm of the private island resort, Misool – located in remote Raja Ampat just south of the equator. The Foundation’s work began in 2005, when it leased 425 square kilometres of sea from the local community in South Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Since then the Foundation has maintained a broad approach to conservation combining environmental, social, and educational elements by developing programs and campaigns focused on safeguarding threatened species and important marine habitats across Indonesia.

Further information:


Destination Marketing

Wander out Yonder

A new intrastate campaign has been launched encouraging West Australians to support local tourism businesses and enjoy a staycation in Perth or seek out new experiences across the State. The print, digital media and radio campaign aims to spread the message promoting holiday offers with hotels, holiday parks, campervans and a range of tours and experiences.

Further information:


Good to Go

Tourism and Events Queensland has launched a new major campaign to drive intrastate tourism. The Good to Go campaign will run across print, social, digital, radio, television and out-of-home advertising focusing on driving visitation during the June/July school holidays. Although the campaign is initially targeted at Queenslanders and intrastate travel, it has also been designed to extend interstate in future. The core message is that Queensland’s tourism industry is open, ready to welcome visitors and is following COVIDSafe practices.

Further information:

Make Yourself at Home

Tourism Tasmania is encouraging Tasmanians to holiday at home safely and support the local tourism industry. The Make Yourself at Home campaign has been developed in partnership with the four regional tourism organisations, the Department of State Growth, the Tasmanian Hospitality Association and the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania.

Further information:

Responsible Tourism

Tomorrow’s Air

A new traveller-based collective for carbon removal was incubated by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, in partnership with Climeworks, an innovative technology company providing direct air capture carbon removal. The Tomorrow’s Air initiative is a key element of shifting ‘carbon removal’ from the climate science community into the mainstream adventure traveller community. It aims to appeal to travellers with simple payment options and travel benefits linked to carbon removal through direct air capture.

Further information:

Planeterra Impact Fund

The Planeterra Foundation is releasing emergency grants to help people at 85 projects in more than 50 countries globally. The Planeterra Impact Fund is encouraging travellers to turn travel into impact from home by donating to social enterprises enabling them to support basic community needs including food and medicine.

Further information:


Policy & Planning

Tourism Sector Recovery Plan

The New Zealand Government has announced a $20.2 million package to support 31 Regional Tourism Organisations to enable them to implement Destination Management and planning, along with other projects to sustain their organisations and support their local industry so it can rebuild and recover from the impacts of the COVID crisis. The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan includes a public-private taskforce that will continue the work started by Tourism New Zealand to reimagine the future of tourism and help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19.

Further information:

Policy on Great Barrier Reef Interventions

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is developing a policy with wide input to provide guidance on matters related to restoration and adaptation interventions within the Marine Park. It is also intended to inform Traditional Owners, partners, proponents, stakeholders and the broader community about these management arrangements so there are no adverse impacts on the ecological, biodiversity, heritage, social or economic values of the Marine Park. The draft is open for comment until 31 July 2020.

Further information:

Global Tourism Guidelines

The United Nations World Travel Organisation has released global tourism guidelines to support the recovery of government and the private sector from COVID-19. Produced in consultation with the Global Tourism Crisis Committee, they aim to provide both governments and businesses with a comprehensive set of measures designed to help tourism re-open in a safe, seamless and responsible manner. The guidelines highlight the importance of restoring the confidence of the travellers through safety and security protocols designed to reduce risks in each step of the tourism value chain.

Further information:

Funding & Grants

Tourism Business Survival Grants

The $4 million Tourism Business Survival Grants package will be available for tourism operators in Western Australia dealing with exceptionally difficult circumstances and iconic experiences. The Survival Grants will target businesses located in parts of the State with more restrictive travel bans in place, or whose circumstances otherwise mean they will face a more difficult road to recovery.

Further information:

Economic Recovery Strategy

The Queensland Government is spending $50 million to support tourism businesses, theme parks and animal parks affected by COVID-19. The funding is a part of the broader Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy which includes a number of grants, support and infrastructure works. Queensland small businesses can now apply for up to a $10,000 grant under a new $100 million package to help them counter the impact of COVID-19.

Further information:

Business Events Advance Program

Business Events Australia has revamped the Advance Program to increase support for Australia’s business events industry including greater access for smaller projects by lowering the minimum amount requested for each project and streamlining the application process. This partnership marketing initiative provides financial assistance to support marketing and distribution projects aimed at driving business events visitation to Australia.

Further information:


Accreditation and Certification


A national program is being hosted by the Australian Tourism Industry Council in collaboration with its member state and territory organisations. COVID Clean is a checklist that will guide tourism businesses through the recommended steps to return to business under the current restrictions and beyond. The program has been specifically tailored for tourism businesses and is run through the Quality Tourism Framework platform which also hosts the Tourism Awards process, the Star Rating and the Quality Tourism Accreditation program.

Further information:



Air Travel Pulse

IATA and McKinsey & Company have partnered to develop Air Travel Pulse, a dashboard that provides the industry with a current and comprehensive view of travel demand and indications of recovery. It summarises the traditional leading travel-demand indicators (air-travel search and ticketing data, flight schedules, and cancellations) with other public data sources (travel restrictions, online search behaviour). The aim is to allow the aviation and travel industry better gauge the booking funnel, deploy capacity, allocate marketing resources and adjust pricing.

Further information:

Conferences & Events

Travel Writers Convention

The Australian Society of Travel Writers Convention scheduled to be held in Sydney, NSW from 21-23 October 2020. Attendees represent some of the top journalism and PR media outlets.

Further information:

Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference

The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be held in Margaret River, Western Australia from 1-3 December 2020. The theme is – Revolution, Driving Evolution and is aiming attract a diversity of attendees that can contribute to a revolution in the tourism world that can take a fresh look at the industry.

Further information: