Edition 150 · November 2020
Tony Charters and Associates
Circulated to 10,000 professionals worldwide
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 email@example.com
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.
FINAL DAYS TO REGISTER for Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference
There are just a few days remaining to register for the Global Eco Conference. Take advantage of the combined expertise of some 60 tourism and protected area professionals who will be presenting and have been dealing with the combined impacts of fires, floods and COVID-19. Importantly they are navigating a business path through the most challenging period of our times. The conference is a ‘must-attend’ for policy makers, operators and the research community.
‘For anyone working in or on the tourism industry, this year’s conference will be a vital source of intelligence – directly from those working at the coalface. Presenters will offer significant insights into responding to disasters – lessons and perspectives that all professionals need to be aware of’ said Tony Charters AM Co-Convenor of the Conference.
The conference runs 1 – 3 December in Margaret River, Western Australia. Delegates able to travel to Western Australia can register to attend the live conference. Delegates from across the globe can register to attend the virtual conference – selecting all or some of the conference days.
To view the program and to register visit www.globaleco.com.au
Health and Safety
The Commons Project, in cooperation with the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum, is working to initiate a CommonPass framework to ensure safer travel by giving both travellers and governments confidence in each traveller’s verified C-19 status. The digital health pass will allow travellers to securely document their certified test status while keeping their health data private. Trials are currently underway with Cathay Pacific Airways and United Airlines passengers to document their C-19 status and share it with airline staff upon disembarking from the aircraft.
Further information: https://thecommonsproject.org/commonpass
Funding & Grants
Reef Tourism Funding
The Great Barrier Reef Maine Park Authority has received $3.2 million to engage eligible marine tourism operators to undertake in-water reef conservation, monitoring and site-stewardship activities that will ensure tourism sites are maintained and ready once travel restrictions are eased. Applicants can submit a proposal though the AusTender process and must have a Marine Parks Tourism Permission, as well as relevant Marine Parks permits for reef conservation activities.
Further information: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/our-work/our-programs-and-projects/tourism-industry-activation-and-reef-protection-initiative/
Tourism Industry Development Fund
The South Australian State Government has committed $20 million to the Tourism Industry Development Fund over two years to support and stimulate private sector investment in regional tourism. Applications are limited to private sector businesses for new accommodation or refurbishments to existing properties, the development or enhancement of tourism experiences, including innovative transport options, or infrastructure to enhance visitor engagement.
Further information: https://tourism.sa.gov.au/support/tourism-industry-development-fund
Marine Tourism Rebate
Marine tourism businesses operating vessels in North Queensland can apply for rebates of up to $20,000 through the Queensland Government $2 million COVID-19 Marine Tourism Rebate program. The program is designed to support tourism vessel operators that have suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Further information: https://www.dsdti.qld.gov.au/our-work/covid-19-marine-tourism-rebate
Let’s Go There
Let’s Go There is a national initiative to encourage Americans to think about their future travels and make plans to go when the moment is right. The marketing campaign is led by a coalition of businesses and organisations from both within and outside the travel sector.
Further information: https://www.letsgothere.travel/
Holidays For Real
Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has launched a new brand and destination marketing campaign to showcase its renowned natural attributes. For Real is all about the real experiences, culture, people and nature that makes the Sunshine Coast unique. The campaign will be rolled out in phases targeting Queensland’s drive market through social media advertising and digital billboards. Trade partners Wotif.com and Experience Oz will also drive bookings to Sunshine Coast accommodation providers and attractions.
Further information: https://sunshinecoastforreal.com/
100 Year Old Kangaroo
In November, Qantas Airways celebrated 100 years since it was founded in the Australian outback. The new airline – Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (QANTAS) focused on conquering the tyranny of distance that was a major barrier to the growth of modern Australia. Affectionately known as the flying Kangaroo, Qantas is the oldest continuously operating airline in the world and normally flies to every single continent on earth.
Further information: https://www.qantas.com/au/en/promotions/brand/100-years-of-the-spirit-of-australia.html
The Virgin Hyperloop is a magnetic levitation train pod contained in an enclosed low-pressure tube at an environment equivalent to flying at an altitude of 200,000 feet. This allows the pod to travel at around 1000kph using magnetic levitation which glides over multiple surfaces for long distances at speed with little energy consumption and zero emissions. The plan is to have pods that take around 25 people who will travel at the speed of an airline with the convenience of a train.
Further information: https://virginhyperloop.com/
Origami Airline Seat
French cabin equipment supplier Safran Aerosystems has partnered with British seating designer Universal Movement to create an ‘Origami’ seat that makes partitions around economy-class seats. The Interspace Comfort System features two wings within the seat-back that can be unfolded to offer lateral support and prevent movement, leaving the middle seat of three vacant and creating a privacy barrier between seats.
Further information: www.universalmovement.io
World and National Heritage Funding
The Australian Government has announced $33.5 million for heritage upgrades to fund conservation work, infrastructure upgrades for 33 projects across 23 national and world heritage sites. It aims to restore and conserve some of Australia’s most iconic natural wonders and heritage sites, providing a vital boost to tourism operators impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further information: https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/617-million-boost-environment-jobs-and-tourism
National Parks Campaign
National parks across Western Australia have been showcased as part of a Spring into Parks campaign. The Parks Foundation’s campaign focuses on the benefits of spending time in nature for improved mental health and wellbeing, at the same time highlighting the cultural significance of the land and promoting the importance of conserving parks for future generations.
Further information: https://www.ourwaparks.org.au/
The Crystalbrook Collection has opened the Group’s newest property Flynn, a 311 room five-star hotel located on Cairns’ Esplanade boardwalk. The Crystalbrook Collection is one of Australia’s leading sustainable and innovative independent hospitality companies with a portfolio of hotels that are an authentic expression of its location, a passion for responsible luxury, considered design and a uniquely enriching experience.
Further information: https://www.crystalbrookcollection.com/flynn
California Winery Cass Wines has opened a luxury hotel in a vineyard using repurposed shipping containers. The Geneseo Inn was developed by Ecotech Design and is based around the use of 20 recycled shipping containers planted eight feet apart in rows like grapevines. Locally sourced recycled materials are being used on the exterior which is painted to complement the wineries’ labels. The building roofs were also designed to convert to solar in the future.
Further information: https://ecotechdesign.com/work/geneseo-inn
Fur Friendly Stays
QT Hotels and Resorts has launched a fur-friendly initiative across Australia and New Zealand. Pup Yeah! offers guests the chance to get away with their best friend and share in a night of luxury. The sleepover package comes with a pooch approved mini bar, designer bedding and doggy dinner menu.
Further information: https://www.qthotels.com/offers/hotel/pup-yeah/
Infrastructure & Investment
Reef HQ Facelift
Australia’s largest coral reef aquarium, Reef HQ at Townsville, will receive a $5 million facelift as part of the Government’s COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund. The funding will be used to improve the facade, as well as a new admissions and foyer area to enhance access and the visitor service experience. Reef HQ will also become the first aquarium in the world to run a revolutionary new thermal energy storage and renewable energy system which can be used to power life support systems and temperature controls for the aquarium.
Further information: https://www.reefhq.com.au/latest-news-events/Latest-news/news/reef-hq-aquariums-face-lift
Accor is providing vital aid for employees and partners in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis thanks to its ALL Heartist Fund. The fund was designed to support Accor employees and partners through the health and economic impacts of the pandemic by allocating 25% of its planned dividend. Since its launch, the fund has provided financial support to pursue, amplify and widen the numerous initiatives already launched at a regional level, especially towards the Heartists (Accor network employees).
Further information: https://group.accor.com/en/group/our-commitments/all-heartist-fund
Sustainable Tourism Video Campaign
The Tourism Authority of Thailand and GLP Films have partnered on a marketing campaign that highlights Thailand’s commitment to the future of sustainable travel. Three short films will be developed to showcase responsible travel experiences that support the environment, rural communities, animal welfare and conservation. They will be distributed across digital and broadcast channels as well as social media, influencers and the travel trade.
Further information: https://thailandinsider.com/experience/responsible-tourism/
Bushfood and Wildflower Trails
Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council has launched a new Aboriginal Bushfood and Wildflower Trails brochure featuring the medicinal, nutritional and cultural significance of some plants and wildflowers. Western Australia’s wildflowers rank among the most spectacular flower displays in the world.
Further information: https://www.waitoc.com/application/files/6215/9773/3904/Bushfood__Wildflower_brochure_download.pdf
A new koala sanctuary has opened on New South Wales’ Central Coast at Port Stephens. The sanctuary is purpose-built to not only care for sick, injured, and orphaned koalas but also allow visitors the opportunity to see and learn about these iconic native animals in their natural habitat. The new facility includes a visitor centre, koala hospital, café, overnight glamping options and an elevated treetop viewing platform.
Further information: https://www.portstephenskoalasanctuary.com.au/
Education & Training
Wet Tropics Ambassador
The Savannah Guides are offering free online workshops to become a Wet Tropics Ambassador – a storyteller and protector of the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics. The workshop is a shortened version of the full Wet Tropics Tour Guide Program to assist those working in tourism to build their knowledge of the Reef and rainforest as World Heritage-listed areas.
Further information: https://savannah-guides.com.au/professional-development/wet-tropics-ambassador-program/
Policy & Planning
The Australian Government is offering refunds or waivers of Visa Application Charges to tourists, working holiday makers, seasonal and pacific workers, prospective partners and temporary skilled workers whose travel has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitor visa holders who are overseas and whose visas expired or will expire between March 2020 and December 2021 will be eligible for a waiver when they apply for a new visa.
Further information: https://www.trademinister.gov.au/minister/simon-birmingham/media-release/supporting-tourism-and-agriculture-through-visa-application-charge-changes
Global Tourism Plastics Initiative
The United Nations Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organisation have launched the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative in collaboration with Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The initiative aims to stop plastic ending up as pollution while also reducing the amount of new plastic that needs to be produced. It requires tourism organisations to make a set of concrete and actionable commitments by 2025.
Further information: https://www.oneplanetnetwork.org/sustainable-tourism/global-tourism-plastics-initiative
Future of Travel
New research from booking.com has found that future travellers will place more importance on not just safety but also sustainability, as they also look for new ways to blur the lines between work and travel when borders re-open. The site has released the findings from a recent traveller survey which looked to identify how travel will change post-pandemic including nine key trends. The research surveyed more than 20,000 travellers across 28 countries, including 995 from Australia.
Further information: https://www.booking.com/articles/category/future-of-travel.html
The Amex Trendex is a trend report from American Express which shows consumers are missing travel and a significant number see the lack of travel causing increased stress and anxiety. The survey tracks how consumers, small businesses, and merchants are feeling about spending, saving and travelling. Data is sourced from the U.S.A., U.K., Australia, Japan, Mexico and Canada.
Further information: https://about.americanexpress.com/all-news/news-details/2020/Amex-Trendex-Consumers-Priortize-Remote-Learning-and-Work-from-Home-Upgrades-this-Back-to-School-Season-While-Dreaming-of-Future-Travel-/default.aspx
Conferences & Events
Global Ecotourism Conference
The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be held in Margaret River from 1-3 December 2020. Conference topics will range from surviving the impacts of natural disasters and pandemics to ecotourism futures and revolutionary ideas. With more than 60 speakers from public, private and academic sectors it will for the first time offer online participation for those located interstate or internationally.
Further information: https://globaleco.com.au/
G Adventures has launched a new series of live discussions in an effort to ensure the return to travel is better for everyone. The Retravel Live discussions will feature leading voices from across the industry, tackling the most pressing issues facing travel today, with travel agents, alongside suppliers and consumers encouraged to join in.
Further information: https://retravellive.com/