Edition 154 · March 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.
Chernobyl Sightseeing Flights
The national airline of Ukraine is launching sightseeing flights over Chernobyl after numerous requests from passengers. Ukraine International Airlines will offer a flight-to-nowhere at low altitude over Kyiv and along the Dnieper River towards the Chernobyl disaster zone in March 2021. The flights will be made on an Embraer 195 aircraft flying at an altitude of 900 meters.
Safety & Security
Denmark is planning a digital passport that will allow people who have had COVID-19 vaccines to travel this summer. The extra passport will allow citizens in Denmark to view on mobile devices the official Danish health website confirmation of whether they had been vaccinated.
Further information: https://www.sst.dk/en/English/Corona-eng
Ahead for Business
Ahead for Business is a program to support the mental health and wellbeing of small business owners. The free digital hub provides access to a variety of resources for the tourism industry including online workshops, focus groups, articles, videos, podcasts and self-assessment tools.
Further information: https://aheadforbusiness.org.au/communities?filter=tourism%20industry
Training & Education
Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program
Queensland primary and high school students can visit the Great Barrier Reef under a new $1 million subsidy scheme announced by the State Government. The Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program will cover travel expenses for around 6,500 eligible students in Term 3. It will also support opportunities for tourism operators from Cooktown to Bundaberg to enhance and develop educational products and experiences to stimulate visitation to the region.
Further information: https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/our-work/education-experience-programs
Grants & Funding
Tourism Aviation Network Support
The Federal Government has announced a new $1.2 billion support package for the tourism and aviation industries. The Tourism Aviation Network Support program will increase the number of flights on selected routes to 13 key tourism regions impacted by the loss of international visitors. The discounts will be supported by Tourism Australia through the Holiday Here This Year campaign which aims to encourage Australians to book a domestic holiday. Discounted tickets will be available from airline websites from 1 April 2021.
Further information: https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/index.aspx#aviation
Hotel Energy Uplift Program
The Australian Government is providing $10.2 million in funding for small and medium accommodation providers to help reduce energy use, improve energy productivity and deliver carbon abatement. The Hotel Energy Uplift Program will deliver grants of $10,000 to $25,000 for hotels, motels and serviced apartments that are not in or on a residential plot. Applications close 1 April 2021.
Further information: https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/hotel-energy-uplift-program
Indigenous Tourism Fund
The Federal Government has announced a new support package under the $40 million Indigenous Tourism Fund. A National Indigenous Tourism Advisory Group will also be established consisting of Indigenous experts from a variety of fields to advise on priorities for the sector and the implementation of the fund. It was developed in consultation with the Indigenous tourism sector and includes business support and grants for Indigenous-owned tourism businesses.
Great Koala National Park
The University of Newcastle has assessed the economic impact and environmental benefits of the proposed Great Koala National Park on the mid north coast of New South Wales. The research looked into the establishment, management and visitor expenditure over the next 15 years of Australia’s first national park dedicated to protecting koalas. The proposed National Park will add 175,000 hectares of native state forests to existing protected areas to establish a 315,000-hectare reserve which is habitat for around 20% of the NSW koala population.
Further information: http://www.hrf.com.au/gknp
Ningaloo Coast Survey
The value of our beautiful World Heritage listed Ningaloo Coast has been highlighted in a new economic study commissioned by the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction. The Deloitte study found tourism is on the top employers in the region with an estimated 218,000 people visiting the Ningaloo Coast in 2018-19 financial year spending 1.3 million nights.
Further information: https://www.dbca.wa.gov.au/parks-and-wildlife-service/resilient-reefs-ningaloo
Iconic Australian tourism assets El Questro in Western Australia and Kings Canyon Resort in the Northern Territory are back in Australian hands, with the G’day Group purchasing the properties from global hospitality company Delaware North. The G’day Group has upgrades planned for each property, particularly King Canyon Resort, with collective upgrades anticipated to total $22 million, creating 272 regional Australian jobs during construction.
Further information: https://www.gdaygroup.com.au/
Home exchange or home swapping made its way as one of the key alternatives to safely enjoy the summer by providing private spaces with all the comforts to feel at home and flexibility in cancellation policies. HomeExchange, a global home exchange community platform, has multiplied its activity by almost six times. The destinations most requested by users who crossed borders for the summer vacations were France, Portugal, Germany and Italy.
Further information: https://www.homeexchange.com/
Green Hotels Program
Hotelbeds has launched The Green Hotels Program, a new initiative to identify, highlight and promote sustainable accommodation within its hotel portfolio. Over 15,000 properties are certified as sustainable based on criteria around four main themes and are available to more than 60,000 travel partners worldwide including travel agents, tour operators, airlines and point redemption schemes.
Further information: https://corporate.hotelbeds.com/sustainability
Baillie Huka Lodge
New Zealand’s Huka Lodge has joined Baillie Lodges’ portfolio of luxury accommodation, the second international property after Vancouver Island’s Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge joined in late 2020. Baillie Lodges’ portfolio of upscale lodges also includes Longitude 131° at Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island and Silky Oaks Lodge in North Queensland. Baillie Lodges was acquired in 2019 by an affiliate of KSL Capital Partners a leading U.S. investment firm focused solely on investments in travel and leisure businesses.
Further information: https://baillielodges.com.au/
Infrastructure & Investment
The Destination Brisbane Consortium has secured a deal with retail giant DFS (part of the Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton Group) who will create the largest luxury shopping footprint in Oceania at the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf integrated resort development. With a portfolio of 750 of the world’s most sought-after brands, the luxury shopping precinct will become fully operational as part of a staged opening from late-2022.
A luxury resort located on Shurayah Island in the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia will use 100% renewable energy backed up by the world’s largest battery storage facility. The Coral Bloom project will incorporate 11 unique resorts designed by Foster + Partners powered by solar panels and wind turbines. The resort, due to open in 2023, is being designed to blend into and enhance the local environment with construction using lightweight and prefabricated materials. Further information: https://www.theredsea.sa/en#
City Escapes Campaign
The latest version of Tourism Australia’s Holiday Here This Year activity aims to drive visitors back into major cities to experience world-class accommodation, attractions, dining and culture. The City Escapes campaign will be rolled out across a range of channels including TV, print, online, social media, content partnerships, search, radio, cinema and outdoor advertising. The campaign is also being supported by a range of key partners including Qantas Holidays, Mastercard, Ticketek and Trip.com Group.
Further information: https://www.tourism.australia.com/en/about/our-campaigns/holiday-here-this-year.html
Australian Underwater Discovery Centre
The $30 million Australian Underwater Discovery Centre is set to open two kilometres off the coast beside Busselton Jetty southwest of Perth in Western Australia. The underwater observatory will become the largest natural marine observatory in the country and mimic a whale surfacing off the coast of Geographe Bay. Construction will begin in 2021, with the centre open by December 2022.
Further information: https://www.busseltonjetty.com.au/new-developments/
Safari Gateway Visitors Centre
Construction has started on a new state-of-the-art Safari Gateway Visitors Centre at Monarto Safari Park near Adelaide in South Australia. The Visitors Centre is the first stage of the $16.7 million redevelopment which will transform the 1,500-hectare site into the world’s largest safari experience outside of Africa. Plans include a large indoor and outdoor cafe, nature play spaces, retail, parking and improved accessibility. A private investor is also building a $40 million luxury resort and glamping facility allowing visitors the opportunity to experience a sleepover.
Further information: https://www.monartosafari.com.au/monarto-safari-park/
HALO Rooftop Tours
Optus Stadium’s new rooftop tour allows guests to climb 78 steps up to the roof of the stadium on a guided tour and experience the stunning city views and field of play from seats 42 metres above the ground. The HALO tours include a behind-the-scenes look at how the stadium runs on game day, as well as information about the stadium’s construction.
Further information: https://www.theozone.com.au/on-tour/halo/
U.S. based Zephyr Aerospace has designed a social distancing-compliant seat and bed combo for premium economy passengers. The Zephyr Seat is fitted above the floor-level seats but within the standard height of aircraft cabin giving passengers more leg room without the airline having to sacrifice space or reduce passenger numbers. Although still in concept phase, the company is taking to major airlines including Delta Air Lines.
Further information: https://republic.co/zephyr-aerospace
Air Transport Technology Insights
SITA’s Air Transport IT Insights report is a global benchmark for the air transport industry. The research explores emerging IT trends and insights from over 180 decisions makers at leading airports and airlines around the world. It is based on surveys conducted in September and October 2020.
Further information: www.sita.aero/resources/surveys-reports/air-transport-it-insights-2020/
Flying with Confidence
British Airways’ renowned Flying with Confidence course for nervous flyers is going virtual. It will be offered as a live interactive webinar covering everything from how an aircraft flies, to why turbulence is uncomfortable but not dangerous, as well as simple breathing techniques to manage anxiety. The course will also cover all the C-19 safety measures put in place both on the ground and in the air.
Further information: https://online.flyingwithconfidence.com/
Connect with Confidence
Marriott International has launched a digital content platform for meetings and events hosts, organisers and attendees. The platform outlines the new processes and best practices for the business events industry worldwide. Meeting planners can reference a series of new materials including a video, customer stories and resources which provide context for Marriott’s venues and protocols.
Further information: https://www.marriottbonvoyevents.com/
Policy & Planning
Tourism Management Action Strategy
Consultation is underway on a new Tourism Management Action Strategy to help improve tourism management on the Great Barrier Reef into the future. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has released a draft strategy outlining how the authority will support tourism operations into the future to guide their work in simplifying and improving tourism management on the Great Barrier Reef whilst protecting the reef’s values. Feedback is open until 16 April 2021.
Further information: https://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/about-us/consultation/consultation-underway
Working with Industry Guide
Visit Victoria has released the latest resource designed to help Victorian tourism operators understand the best ways to engage and learn about opportunities. The Working with Industry Guide provides a starting point for industry to connect with the State Tourism Organisation and industry partners. It outlines the role of key industry stakeholders, marketing and PR, industry development, major and business events.
Further information: https://assets-corporate.visitvictoria.com/documents/Working-With-Visit-Victoria.pdf
Regional Events Body
A new regional events industry body has been formed after the impacts of COVID-19 highlighted the common need for greater connection and collective representation. The Australian Regional Events Alliance, or AREA is set to champion and inspire the regional events industry representing operators and professionals from local government through to not-for-profit. It is inclusive of all types of regional events, from sporting, music and business, to tourism, cultural and community events.
Further information: https://regionaltourism.com.au/area/
Adventure in a Box
RAW Travel, Australia’s most inspirational and innovative walking company, has launched a new world first service for hikers. The ‘Adventure in a box‘ offering provides all the elements that independent hikers want and need including a comprehensive preparatory guide, an easy-to-use walking app and tasty trail food.
Further information: https://rawtravel.com/destinations/independent-adventures/
Global Traveller Poll
The International Air Transport Association has released its latest poll of travellers which shows a growing confidence in air travel returning and frustrations with current travel restrictions. The report also revealed news about quarantine measures and the need for vaccine and testing certificate frameworks. Future travel trends indicate a willingness by travellers to use secure mobile phone apps to manage health credentials which comply with global standards. A total of 4,700 interviews were conducted online in 11 markets during February 2021.
Further information: https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/pr/2021-03-09-01/
Travel Better Survey
A recent report commissioned by IHG Hotels and Resorts aimed to get a deeper understanding of consumer social and emotional wellbeing, as well as their sentiments towards travel into the new year. The research was conducted online in January 2021 and surveyed 6,000 adults across Australia, U.S. and U.K. IHG Hotels and Resorts is one of the world’s leading hotel companies with a family of 16 brands covering 6,000 hotels in over 100 countries.
World Tourism Barometer
The third quarter of 2021 could spell the beginning of the recovery for international tourism, according to forecasts of the latest United Nations World Tourism Barometer. In 2020, the economic losses suffered by the global tourism industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are eight times more those registered in the global financial crisis of 2009. Travel restrictions are considered the main barrier to the recovery of international tourism, along with the slow response to contain the virus and low consumer confidence.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/barometer
Conferences & Events
Victorian Tourism Conference
Visit Victoria and the Victorian Tourism Industry Council will be hosting the Victorian Tourism Conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 21-22 April 2021. The conference will feature ideas and practical advice on how to reignite the visitor economy and tourism businesses.
Further information: https://victourismconference.com.au/
Regional Tourism Conference
The Perth Airport Western Australia Regional Tourism Conference will be held in Geraldton from 3-5 May 2021.
International Media Marketplace
The International Media Marketplace virtual event will be held from 5-6 May 2021. Known as Australia’s largest media networking event it will connect PR professionals with top-tier media titles.
Further information: https://travmedia.com/imm/