Edition 152 · January 2021
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Vale Nature-Based Pioneer
Tropical North Queensland is mourning the death of John Courtenay, a pioneer of the nature-based tourism industry who passed away aged 82. John was one of the founders of the Savannah Guides, the Gulf Local Authority Development Authority, the Great Barrier Reef Master Guides Program and the Far North Queensland Promotion Bureau. We extend our condolences to John’s family.
Health and Safety
Safe Adventure Travels
The World Travel and Tourism Council and Adventure Travel Trade Association have collaborated on global guidelines to support adventure travel companies rebuild consumer confidence and reduce risk in the post-COVID landscape. The guidelines were created using international industry standards and resources from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further information: https://wttc.org/COVID-19/Safe-Travels-Global-Protocols-Stamp
Funding & Grants
Environmental Management Charge Relief
Tourism businesses and individuals with a permit to operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park will receive a $6 million extension to the Commonwealth Government fee. Regulations have been amended to waive the Environmental Management Charge associated with commercial activities, tourism operations and non-tourist charter operations until 30 June 2021.
Further information: https://minister.awe.gov.au/ley/media-releases/boost-great-barrier-reef-tourism-operators
Export Market Development Scheme
New legislation has shifted the Export Market Development Scheme from a reimbursement model to a grants program. The aim is to better assist Australian exporters to enter new markets or expand their presence in existing markets by allowing eligible exporters to receive funding closer to when they incur costs to boost their marketing and promotional activities. The new scheme commences 1 July 2021.
Further information: https://www.austrade.gov.au/Australian/Export/Export-Grants
Cooperative Marketing Fund
Applications are open for the Australian Capital Territory Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund which is designed to encourage Canberra-based organisations or businesses to collaborate on innovative marketing campaigns that increase awareness of Canberra and region as a leisure destination.
Further information: https://tourism.act.gov.au/2020/10/applications-open-for-the-tourism-cooperative-marketing-fund/
Business Events Australia Advance Program
The second round of applications for the Business Events Australia Advance Program 2020-21 are open until the 29 January 2021. The program offers the opportunity for industry to leverage Tourism Australia’s expertise to increase the number and value of business events and grow attendance at confirmed international business events taking place in Australia.
Further information: https://events.tourism.australia.com/bea-advance-program/appform/Site/Register
Joint Airline Business
Qantas and Japan Airlines have announced plans to form a new joint business when international flying resumes for customers travelling between Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The proposed five-year agreement aims to help accelerate the recovery of tourism, trade and corporate travel links between Australia and Japan. The joint business will commence operations in July 2021 subject to regulatory approval.
Further information: https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/media-releases/qantas-and-japan-airlines-to-form-joint-business-to-drive-tourism-recovery/
The oneworld airline alliance has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, becoming the first global airline alliance to unite behind a common target to achieve carbon neutrality. The 13 member airlines will develop individual approaches to reach the target through various initiatives such as efficiency measures, investments in sustainable aviation fuels, fuel-efficient aircraft, reduction of waste and single-use plastics, as well as carbon offsets.
Further information: https://www.oneworld.com/news/2020-09-11-oneworld-member-airlines-commit-to-net-zero-carbon-emissions-by-2050
Infrastructure & Investment
The Spiral Tower concept is aiming to be the world’s first climate-neutral high-rise tourist attraction designed by a consortium of Dutch businesses. Built of lightweight steel and encasing a vertical garden, the tower consists of tracks taking artificial intelligence-steered cabins through a spiral viewing experience. All power needed to run the attraction is generated by the combination of solar panels located at the base and sides of the tower, as well as a windmill at the top.
Further information: https://spiraltower.info/
The Australian Museum has reopened after a $57.5 million transformation which has unlocked more than 3,000sqm of new public and exhibition spaces. Known as Project Discover, the design was led by COX Architecture and Neeson Murcutt + Neille, with Kane Constructions managing the build. The Australian Museum was founded in 1827 and is internationally recognised as a natural science and culture institution focused on Australia and the Pacific with more than 21.9 million objects and specimens.
Further information: https://australian.museum/
Dual Naming Guidelines
Western Australia has launched Dual Naming Guidelines for Aboriginal geographic features and places. The guidelines have been developed in consultation with local governments, Aboriginal organisations and other key stakeholders and provide tools for identifying opportunities. They will help recognise and preserve Aboriginal cultural heritage by capturing and recording the original place names.
Further information: https://www0.landgate.wa.gov.au/maps-and-imagery/wa-geographic-names
Architectural designs for the world’s first coral biobank in Port Douglas, Queensland have been revealed and if developed it would protect and breed about 800 coral species from around the world for conservation. The building had been designed to resemble a mushroom coral and included an exhibition centre, auditorium and research laboratories. The project is led by non-profit organisation Great Barrier Reef Legacy which is seeking philanthropic backing to fund construction.
Further information: https://coralbiobank.org/
Dark Sky Place
The International Dark Sky Association has announced Davagh Forest as the first International Dark Sky Place in Northern Ireland. The forest becomes only the third place on the island of Ireland to be accredited. The accreditation follows years of careful monitoring of the night sky in all seasons, phases of the moon and weather conditions.
Further information: https://omdarksky.com
Collie Adventure Trails Initiative
The $10 million Collie Adventure Trails initiative aims to establish Collie in Western Australia as a premier trail adventure town to attract local, national and international mountain bike and bushwalking tourists. The initiative will develop new trails and facilities that will showcase the area’s natural landscapes and cultural heritage of the region.
Further information: https://mtbwa.com.au/collie/
Rydges Gold Coast Airport
The $50 million Rydges Gold Coast Airport Hotel has opened with a rooftop bar and viewing deck only five-minutes from Bilinga and Kirra Beaches. The Gold Coast’s first airport hotel features panoramic views to Snapper Rocks and Surfers Paradise only two-minutes from the airport terminal.
Further information: https://www.rydges.com/accommodation/gold-coast-qld/gold-coast-airport/
Eos by SkyCity
SkyCity has launched a new luxury hotel as the centrepiece of its $330 million expansion of Adelaide’s entertainment precinct. The transformation of the precinct also features four new restaurants, two bars, a new casino space including VIP gaming rooms, and conference and events facilities with views of the riverbank. Eos by SkyCity has 120 rooms offering spa experiences, a personal trainer, on-call mixologist, in-room hair, make-up artist and unpacking service.
Further information: https://skycityadelaide.com.au/hotel/eos-by-skycity/
The port city of Fremantle’s heritage-listed Warder’s Cottages have undergone a restoration and reopened as the Warders Hotel. The new historic boutique hotel is located next door to the Fremantle Markets and the historic timber and stonework rooms have been restored and finished off with luxury features.
Further information: https://www.wardershotel.com.au/
This Is Canada Nice
Husband and wife duo Irene Sankoff and David Hein have released a new original song in partnership with Destination Canada. This is Canada Nice is a song of Canadian pride brought to life with animated visuals by Halifax-based animation studio Wonderlust. Created as a love letter it weaves a compelling story of Canada’s diverse people and languages, cities and communities, historic milestones and scientific achievements.
Further information: https://caen-keepexploring.canada.travel/things-to-do/this-is-canada-nice
Destination NSW has launched a suite of ultimate Sydney Playcation itineraries to encourage locals to take a break from the working-from-home routine. Covering a variety of Playcay themes, the itineraries are curated by key travel interest areas to inspire Sydneysiders to book an overnight hotel stay, explore their city and support local businesses.
Further information: https://www.destinationnsw.com.au/news-and-media/media-releases/all-work-and-no-play-time-to-take-a-sydney-playcay
Policy & Planning
Visitor Economy Action Plan
The Tourism Industry Council Tasmania, in partnership with the Tasmanian Government and the tourism industry, has launched a two-year action plan. The T21 Visitor Economy Action Plan 2020-2022 provides a roadmap of commitments focused on rebuilding visitation, re-establishing access, supporting tourism business owners and their workforce.
Further information: https://www.t21.net.au/
Air Travel Guide
The global airline alliances have come together in support of the latest report by the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force which calls for screening and testing to ease travel and border restrictions. Take-off: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis provides guidelines for passenger testing protocols, as well as the adoption of digital health pass technology for when air travel resumes.
Further information: https://www.icao.int/covid/cart/Pages/CART-Take-off.aspx
Swan Valley Distillery Trail
The Swan Valley, Western Australia’s oldest wine region has launched a new Distillery Trail. The trail is the only one of its kind in Australia where visitors can experience five distinct and different award-winning distilleries in less than a day.
Further information: https://www.swanvalley.com.au/See-and-Do/The-Swan-Valley-Trails/Distillery-Trail
Booking.com has launched a new sustainability handbook for its partners based on a 2020 survey which found that demand for sustainable accommodation is growing year on year. The handbook includes information on setting environmental baselines, reducing plastic consumption, reducing water consumption, and a section on becoming certified as a sustainable accommodation.
Further information: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/guides/sustainability-hospitality-handbook
Tourism Recovery Scenario Survey
Tourism Research Australia, in partnership with Monash University, is conducting a survey of the tourism industry to develop a range of recovery scenarios for the sector. The survey is designed to gather information from the industry to assist in developing a range of recovery scenarios covering the next three years.
Further information: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KYST597?
A study by Amadeus explores the leisure traveller’s mindset towards planning and purchasing upcoming travel amidst the realities of COVID-19. The Amadeus’ Destination X report is based on responses from more than 8500 leisure travellers globally. The global study also reveals travellers are not willing to commit to holiday plans without guaranteed flexibility and refunds, and C-19 factors like testing measures and onsite cleanliness now weigh in when evaluating destination, accommodation and transport options.
Further information: https://amadeus.com/en/insights/research-report/destination-x-where-to-next
A research report by Skift discusses the efficacy and longevity of contactless technologies in light of changing consumer demands and issues with aging hotel technology which pre-date COVID-19. Contactless Tech in Hospitality 2020 provides an overview of the contactless technology that is available, as well as advantages and drawbacks.
Further information: https://research.skift.com/report/contactless-tech-in-hospitality-2020/
The Future of Travel & Tourism
A report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council, in collaboration with Oliver Wyman, explores the implications of COVID-19 on the travel and tourism sector to provide recommendations that will build its resilience into the future. To Recovery & Beyond: The Future of Travel & Tourism in the Wake of COVID-19 includes a data-driven examination of four interlinked trends – Demand Evolution, Health and Hygiene, Innovation and Digitisation, as well as Sustainability.
Further information: https://wttc.org/Research/To-Recovery-Beyond
Education & Training
The Tasmanian Government is establishing an alternative not-for-profit industry registered training organisation with $1 million in funding over two years to support the hospitality and tourism industries. The new training model will help build specific skills to meet the demand of emerging markets, create new pathways and improve access to employment opportunities in regional areas.
Further information: http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/site_resources_2015/additional_releases/orange-bellied_parrot_returns_highest_in_10_years/tourism_and_hospitality_industry_training_boost
Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition
The winner of the 2nd United Nations World Tourism Organisation Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition has been announced from over 250 projects from 80 countries. A collaboration with Basque Culinary Centre and TUI Care Foundation this initiative aims to identify startups with the greatest potential to promote sustainable innovation in the tourism and gastronomy sector in December 2020.
Further information: https://www.gastronomytourismventures.org/en/
Conferences & Events
Reimagine Travel Global Conversations
Reimagine Travel – Global Conversations is a series of forums around the world to catalyse discussions on how to reshape global travel. As part of the forums, global partners will be invited to share knowledge and exchange ideas.
Further information: https://www.stb.gov.sg/content/stb/en/media-centre/media-releases/Singapore-looks-ahead-to-the-future-of-travel.html.html
Regional Tourism Conference
The Perth Airport Western Australia Regional Tourism Conference will be held in Geraldton from 3-5 May 2021. The conference will provide professional and business development opportunities, networking and insights from speakers on industry issues and innovative ideas.
Further information: https://www.tourismcouncilwa.com.au/wa-tourism-conference