Tourforce - Tourism is your Business

Edition 151 ·

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

Tokyo Toilet Map

Japanese public toilets are being redesigned in 17 locations throughout Shibuya Ward in Tokyo with the help of 16 creators from around the world. Toilets are a symbol of Japan’s world-renowned culture of hospitality and the specifications of each toilet vary at each location. The Nippon Foundation, the Shibuya City Government and the Shibuya Tourism Association maintain the facilities using a team of professional toilet inspectors who survey the toilets to ensure the best user experience.

Further information:

Health and Safety

Operational Guidance Kit

Travelife has produced the COVID-19 Operational Guidance Kit to help hoteliers ensure they are putting the health and safety of people first, whilst minimising their environmental impacts and continuing their important community support work, as well as caring for their staff.

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Travel Pass

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is developing a digital document to manage and verify the secure flow of testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers. The IATA Travel Pass incorporates a global registry of health requirements, testing/vaccination centres, a lab app and a contactless travel app. It aims to meet the needs of the travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation.

Further information:

Aussie Travel Code

The Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australia Tourism bodies have launched a campaign promoting responsible and sustainable visitor messages for region landscapes. The cheeky online campaign uses Aussie humour to sell its messages of responsible travel which includes staying on tracks, not leaving any rubbish or waste, getting approval to travel on people’s properties, as well as how to conduct yourself when you are visiting someone else’s backyard.

Further information:

Image: @austravelcode Instagram


American Airlines has launched ‘VeriFLY’ a mobile wellness wallet app that provides international COVID-19 travel guidance and testing documentation verification to streamline travel and destination entry. It is built on identity assurance leader Daon award-winning technology that performs authentications each day for iconic companies around the world. It is currently in trial phase before expanding the program to additional markets.

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Product Development

New Museum

The new Western Australian Museum (Boola Bardip) has opened with innovative new exhibitions and multimedia experiences. The $400 million redevelopment of the museum includes eight new permanent galleries, a 1,000sqm temporary exhibition gallery, life-long learning studios and retail and café spaces.

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Vine & Shine Trail

The Vine and Shine Trail is Queensland’s first official wine trail covering more than 70 wineries, vineyards and cellar doors. As Queensland’s first official wine trail it offers the chance to discover wine varietals found nowhere else in Australia.

Further information:

Funding & Grants

Consumer Travel Program

Applications are open for travel agents and tour arrangement service providers to apply for a one-off payment under the $128 million COVID-19 Consumer Travel Program. Eligible businesses will be able to apply for a taxable payment of $1,500 for a business with a turnover (gross income) of $50,000 up to $100,000 for a business with a turnover of $20 million. Claims will be processed and administered by Services Australia with applications closing 13 March 2021 or until funds are exhausted.

Further information:

Domestic Aviation Support

The Australian Government has extended key assistance measures to support domestic aviation, as well as announcing the appointment of a Future of Aviation Reference Panel. The $231.4 million program will be extended until the end of March 2021.

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Destination Travel Guide

United Airlines has launched a new interactive tool which allows travellers to view COVID-19 travel restrictions, local regulations and travel guidance in the U.S.A. by state. The Destination Travel Guide is a colour coded map which highlights which destination is closed, partially open or fully open for travel.

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Scoot has launched a new inflight portal serving as a one-stop shop for all customer needs inflight. ScootHub can be accessed from mobile devices allowing customers to order food and beverages, shop for duty-free items, play games and browse inspirational travel content. This transition from physical to digital inflight menus, duty-free catalogues and magazines reduces surface contact and interactions between customers and crew.

Further information:


Facial Biometrics

Etihad Airways has partnered with information technology company SITA to trial facial recognition technology to identify and authenticate crew members. The new initiative will replace the current kiosk-based process by allowing crew to complete check-in and mandatory pre-flight safety and security questions digitally via mobile devices. The trial will continue until February 2021 providing invaluable data to explore future biometric technology use in guest operations for check-in and boarding.

Further information:


Contactless Airport Delivery

AtYourGate and Grab have announced a partnership to bring socially distanced shopping to travellers in North American airports. The service enables travellers to order from any business signed up to the platform and offers deliveries across security checks. Passengers have multiple options in terms of how to order including a smartphone app, airport social media channels, self-order kiosks and table service.

Further information:


Destination Marketing

Give it a Go

The Queensland Government has launched a new campaign to fill the demand for workers in the state’s tourism industry as travel restrictions ease. The ‘Give it a Go’ jobs initiative will help tourism operators to re-open and job seekers are entitled to a $300 discount to get to their employment destination with Greyhound Queensland. In addition, Queensland Rail’s Regional Workforce fare will offer 60% off one-way fares for travel from Brisbane to Cairns.

Further information:

The Big Overseas Experience

Tourism Australia has launched a new PR and social media campaign showcasing the experiences New Zealand youth can have while working and travelling in Australia. The Big Overseas Experience aims to provide a tourism boost and fill the current workforce shortages across regional areas. The campaign will also feature updated content, factsheets and a ‘Jobs Board’ tool to help kiwi’s find work in agriculture, tourism and hospitality sectors.

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Fairbnb was started in 2016 as a movement seeking to provide a non-extractive alternative to existing home-sharing and rental platforms. It now offers authentic, sustainable and intimate travel experiences while facilitating the development of socially relevant projects within communities globally. Apartments on the platform are currently available in cities including Amsterdam, Venice, Barcelona, Bologna, Valencia. Berlin, Paris, London and Lisbon.

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Power Hotel

A new hotel in northern Norway will be the first to meet the energy positive standard by producing more energy than it uses. Designed by the Norwegian sustainable design studio, Snøhetta, the Svart hotel will be built at the foot of the Svartisen glacier in the municipality of Meløy. The circular-shaped hotel is inspired by local architecture including the ‘fiskehjell’ (a wooden structure used to dry fish) and the ‘rorbue’ (a traditional house used by fishermen). The hotel is expected to be completed by 2023.

Further information:


Infrastructure & Investment

Victorian Tourism Recovery Package

The Victorian Government has unveiled a $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package to help the sector bounce back after a year of bushfires and health restrictions. The funding will provide up to 120,000 vouchers each worth $200 available to entice more people to visit and stay in regional Victoria. It will also provide more than $149 million to build new visitor accommodation, improve major tourist trails, and drive more people out to regional Victoria.

Further information:



Global Traveller Sentiment Survey

A recent OAG global survey has found that although high value travellers are crucial to overall recovery, marketing should be turned to millennial and generation Z consumers. There is a segment of the younger travellers who were already eager to travel before COVID-19, believing that tourism benefits local communities as well as their personal growth.

Further information:

Travel Consultant of Tomorrow

A new Amadeus report says travel agencies will need to ensure their workforce has the right skills and technology to compete and deliver better journeys in the future. The Travel Consultant of Tomorrow study collated feedback from travel industry leaders and concludes that the travel agency workforce will need to re-skill across the four critical areas of evolution, technology, adaptability and emotional connection.

Further information:

Travel Recovery Guide

Travelport has published a guide to travel recovery to support the industry as it reopens for business. It aims to share the latest research-based perspectives from travellers, suppliers, and agencies. The report provides insights based on research carried out across the travel ecosystem including which safety processes will restore consumer confidence and the key measures that are most important to travellers throughout their journey.

Further information:

Climate Change

Carbon Neutral Tourism Destination

The Palau Bureau of Tourism, Sustainable Travel International and Slow Food have launched a project that aims to establish Palau as the world’s first Carbon Neutral Tourism Destination. It includes promoting local food production and developing a carbon management program for tourists to reduce CO2 emissions. A new online platform will also allow visitors to calculate and offset the carbon footprint associated with their trip.

Further information:

Policy & Planning

Restart Tourism Campaign

The World Tourism Organisation and CNN International Commercial have released a 45-second film which highlights tourism’s unique ability to adapt and innovate and generate opportunities for sustainable development. The #RestartTourism video will be broadcast exclusively on CNN International until 10 January 2021 aiming to reach more than 310 million households across Asia, South Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Further information:


Nature-based Tourism Ideas

The Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is seeking ideas for new high-quality tourism experiences in lands and waters managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service. The initiative aims to boost the tourism potential of parks and submissions are invited from industry which may include new adventure activities, experiences, infrastructure, tour products, accommodation and cultural tourism opportunities.

Further information:

Conferences & Events

Global Eco Presentations Available

The Ecotourism Australia Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference saw over 300 delegates take stock, review and reassess the industry and its path forward. Presentations from leaders and innovators in ecotourism academia, industry and governance are now.

Available at:

Destination Australia

Tourism Australia will be hosting the seventh annual Destination Australia conference in Sydney on 4 March 2021. The conference will include high profile speakers sharing consumer insights, global trends and key opportunities for the tourism industry in a post COVID world.

Further information: