Edition 155 · April 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.
The First Bubble
Tourism Australia is launching a new international campaign as two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand commences. The $3 million ‘Be the First’ campaign is scheduled to run until June 2021 across TV, out-of-home, online, print and radio and PR. It will also be amplified via partnerships with airlines, State and Territory Tourism Organisations, key distribution partners and 600 Aussie Specialist agents to stimulate travel to Australia.
Further information: <https://www.australia.com/en-nz
Safety & Security
Digital Green Pass
The European Commission is creating a Digital Green Certificate to restore safe freedom of movement inside the European Union. The pass will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated, has received a negative PCR test result or has recovered from COVID-19. It will be available free of charge in digital or paper format with a QR code to ensure security. It will be operational by June 2021 and is temporary until the World Health Organisation declares an end to the COVID-19 international health emergency.
Further information: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_1181
Airbus has launched a travel companion app that provides passengers with the latest and most relevant travel conditions, restrictions and health requirements without having to consult a variety of sources. Tripset is part of Airbus’ continuing commitment to supporting the safe and well-coordinated return of the flying public which is essential for economic recovery after COVID-19.
The Whitsunday Climate Change Innovation Hub is delivering a key four-year project under the Reef Islands Initiative to reduce the carbon footprint in the region. The Whitsundays Healthy Heart Project is working with the local tourism industry to create green marketing opportunities and enhance sustainability. The Reef Islands Initiative is a Great Barrier Reef Foundation program funded by Lendlease, the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, the Queensland Government and the Fitzgerald Family Foundation.
Further information: https://www.innovationhub.whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au/
World Heritage Discovery Centre
A new Interpretation Centre has been opened on K’gari (Fraser Island) to enhance environmental awareness and conservation efforts on the world’s largest sand island. Located within Kingfisher Bay Resort, the K’gari World Heritage Discovery Centre provides high quality interpretation for guests, as well as an educational resource for visiting schools and groups. The initiative is funded by the University of the Sunshine Coast and SeaLink Fraser Island with support from the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation and Fraser Coast Council.
Further information: https://www.kingfisherbay.com/images/media/kgari-discovery-centre.pdf
Grants & Funding
National Business Events Program
The Queensland Government has launched a new program targeting Australian corporates to hold business events in Queensland. The National Business Events Program provides funding to support the attraction of national conferences, conventions, exhibitions and corporate events. The program focuses on events with more than 350 delegates with funding to cover costs associated with the event venue, delegate accommodation and/or ground transfers.
Further information: https://teq.queensland.com/events/events-support/business-events
Consumer Travel Support Program
Australian travel agents will receive an additional $130 million under a second round of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program. The funding extension will provide support over the next three months for eligible travel agents who continue to provide refunds and hold credits for Australians who are unable to travel. Applications open in April 2021.
National Experience Content Initiative
Tourism Australia has launched a $12 million program to provide professional photos and footage for 1800 tourism experiences from 57 regions across the country. The National Experience Content Initiative is available to tourism operators to lessen the financial burden of COVID-19 recovery. The new visual library resource will see local photographers enlisted to provide experiences and attractions with access to images and video footage for use in social media, websites and brochures.
Work and Play
Tourism Whitsundays have launched the next phase of the Work and Play in The Whitsundays campaign aimed at enticing jobseekers in the tourism, hospitality and agriculture industries. The campaign will show the many perks associated with living and working in The Whitsundays from island resorts to mainland accommodations and tour operators there are many positions available across the region.
Further information: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au/workandplay
Margaret River Wine Unveils New Brand Film
The Margaret River Wine Association has developed a new brand campaign and film highlighting Margaret River’s breathtaking environment, coastal lands and experiences to visitors. The film will be shared by growers, winemakers and locals at events and through their marketing. The campaign will also be delivered across a combination of social media, targeted digital display advertising, PR and strategic media partnerships.
Trade & Distribution
Google Travel’s search engine is now making it free for hotels and travel companies around the world to appear in hotel booking links improving the search and price comparison experience for potential customers. The initiative follows others launched by Google in recent months including notices about COVID-19 restrictions in destinations or free cancellations over health emergencies.
Digital & Technology
During COVID-19, artists have been producing augmented reality works that have appeared above 24 different London landscapes between Waterloo Bridge and the Southbank. The ‘Unreal City’ augmented reality exhibition was produced by company Acute Art in response to galleries closing or moving to virtual space due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further information: https://acuteart.com/
Award-winning Queensland brewer, the Ballistic Beer Co has opened a new craft brewery in Airlie Beach taking over The Whitsunday Islands Brewing Company in Cannonvale. The company has also purchased Bargara Brewing in Bundaberg as an important step in plans to become the biggest independent brewery in Queensland. The Ballistic Beer Co was founded in the Brisbane suburb of Salisbury in 2015.
Further information: https://ballisticbeer.com/
Retreats in Motion
Automaker Lexus is elevating the American road trip by offering self-guided retreats to meet the growing need for deeper, meaningful experiences that promote wellbeing. The Retreats in Motion program allows guests to take a restorative drive between two luxury hotel partners with curated self-care and wellness activities to help travellers get the most out of their journey. Lexus has partnered with mindbodygreen to create custom content featuring some of the world’s most-loved health and well-being experts.
Further information: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/lexusretreats/
For Sale - Great Barrier Reef Lodge
The Bloomfield Lodge in Cape Tribulation is being auctioned by Sotheby’s International Realty. The current owner, Trailfinders founder Mike Gooley, bought the lodge in 1990 and invested over $20 million in turning it into a world-class eco-retreat. The 18-room resort occupies three hectares of Daintree Rainforest along the Weary Bay coastline named by Captain James Cook and his men who ran aground in 1770.
Further information: www.queenslandsothebysrealty.com/1P2137/1-esplanade-cape-tribulation
Regenerative Resorts is a global network of independently owned eco-luxury hotels and resorts seeking to advance crowd-free and planet-friendly travel habits. The consortia have over 40 members in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, North America and South America. The company focuses on regenerative development and design, counteracting over-tourism, establishing circular economies and thoughtfully engaging communities.
Further information: https://www.regenerativetravel.com/resorts/
Tourism New Zealand and Trees That Count have joined forces to make it easier for visitors to support efforts to address climate change by creating canopies of carbon-sequestering native trees. Under the partnership 1500 native trees have been donated by people overseas to be planted across New Zealand (Aotearoa) this year. People can choose where in the country they’d like it to go and then get informed about where it will be planted.
Further information: https://grow.treesthatcount.co.nz/fund/trees/
Green Food Initiative
Salsa Bar & Grill of Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland have recently partnered with Green Food Australia to close the gap on the circular economy. Green Food Australia will take the restaurants food waste and convert it into an organic liquid product that can be used to replace fertiliser. The process breaks down the food, then combines with bio-accelerants, water and after 28 days of fermentation it can be diluted and poured back into the Earth enhancing the soil biology and locking the carbon from all the food back into the ground.
Further information: http://greenfoodaustralia.com.au/
Rail & Fly
Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn are expanding their train to flight service from December 2021 to include five new cities Hamburg, Munich Berlin, Bremen and Münster. The joint initiative will complement the current 134 daily feeder trains from 17 German cities to Frankfurt Airport. Features of the Lufthansa Express Rail program include reserved seats, connection security, mileage credit for the train journey as well as access to lounges for Business and First-Class customers in the future.
Further information: https://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/rail-and-fly
Hyperloop Passenger Experience
The new Virgin Hyperloop passenger-carrying vehicle will be on display at the Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building from November 2021. Dubbed ‘Pegasus’ it is the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years. The interior of the new transport resembles a business class cabin on an aircraft with each vehicle able to carry up to 28 passengers. By combining an ultra-efficient electric motor, magnetic levitation and a low-drag environment hyperloop systems can carry more people than a subway at airline speeds with zero direct emissions.
Further information: https://virginhyperloop.com/
Investment and Infrastructure
Golden Wave Pool
A proposed $35 million world-class wave pool has been earmarked for development on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The Endless Surf Wave Lagoon is earmarked for a site at The Club Parkwood Village next to the existing 18-hole golf course. It is hoped the project will be open to the public by 2023.
Further information: https://endlesssurf.com/
Dinosaur Interpretation Centre
The Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre which has opened in Muttaburra, Queensland was designed by Yeppoon architect Brian Hooper and built by local builder PJ Garland. It contains numerous interpretive pieces depicting periodic dinosaur ages along with evolutionary elements, as well as the most complete fossilised dinosaur skeleton in Australia (Muttaburrasaurus langdoni) discovered in 1963 by local grazier Doug Langdon.
Education & Training
World of Tourism
Go with Tourism, a New Zealand Government funded initiative to build the tourism workforce, has launched a new web tool that allows users to explore the career pathways that are available in tourism and hospitality. Targeted at educators and students, World of Tourism provides information on job progression in tourism, the skills needed to move up the career ladder or into new career paths.
Further information: https://www.gowithtourism.co.nz/world-of-tourism
Student Explorer Pass
StudyPerth has launched the Explorer Pass to encourage international students living in Western Australia to explore new places or rediscover places already visited. The $100 pass must be redeemed on tours and experiences booked through the Western Australian Visitor Centre and students can choose to contribute additional funds towards experiences. A user generated content competition is running alongside the promotion encouraging students to share their experiences on social media (With love from #StudyPerth) to win a trip to one of five tourism regions.
Further information: https://www.studyperth.com.au/explorerpass
Policy & Planning
Swisstainable Tourism Strategy
Switzerland Tourism has launched an initiative to renew its full commitment to sustainability including the creation of a new term Swisstainable (sustainability the Swiss way). The new strategy also provides tools and insights for the Swiss tourism industry to amplify opportunities and success stories with the end goal of becoming the most sustainable travel destination in the world.
Further information: https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/planning/about-switzerland/sustainability/
Industry Reference Panel
The Queensland Government has announced the formation of an Industry Reference Panel to chart a recovery course for the state’s tourism industry. Panel members include Liz Savage, Andrew McEvoy and Brett Godfrey who will work with the industry to explore options and identify new initiatives. Roundtable events and a series of public discussion papers will help shape the plan with actions to be identified by the middle of 2021 and a final plan to be released by early 2022.
Further information: https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/tourism/tourism-industry-reference-panel
Cultural Tourism Guidelines
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation is developing a series of thematic recovery guides reflecting the sociocultural Impacts of COVID-19. The guides are collaborations with relevant partners with expertise in accessibility, women in tourism, culture, indigenous peoples’ development and other relevant issues. The guides aim to help governments and businesses craft an inclusive response to the impacts of the pandemic.
Further information: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/book/10.18111/9789284422579
Traveller Sentiment and Influences
The Traveller Sentiment and Influences 2020-2021 survey to learn how the pandemic has impacted the hearts and minds of travel shoppers around the world. Expedia surveyed 11,000 travellers across 11 countries to understand the impact of the pandemic on travel in 2020 and what is driving intent to travel in 2021. The study looked at many types of travel and what factors are influencing destination, accommodation, and transportation decisions. Respondents represented a variety of generations and demographics.
Further information: https://info.advertising.expedia.com/traveler-sentiment-and-influences-research
Global Travel Trends Report
The annual American Express Global Travel Trends Report highlights the pent-up consumer demand and desire to book through an agent. It predicts that agents are among those set to benefit from the new mentality of traveller including the type of destination they choose, the way they look at work/life balance and how they define luxury. The study surveyed people from seven different countries including Australia, the U.K. and U.S.
Global Traveller Study
The Global Traveller Study, commissioned by Amadeus, uncovered the key differences across countries and demographics to assist the travel industry and governments address concerns about travelling in the next 12 months. The study found that technology will play a crucial role in supporting recovery and confidence by addressing concerns around social distancing and physical touchpoints. The survey is based on 6,074 respondents from France, Germany, India, Singapore, U.K. and U.S. who travelled abroad in the last 18 months.
Further information: https://amadeus.com/en/insights/research-report/rethink-travel-global-survey-reports
Next Normal Report
A new report by McKinsey and Company has identified some of the trends that will shape the next normal in 2021. ‘The Next Normal Arrives: Trends That Will Define 2021 – and Beyond’ discusses how these trends will affect the direction of the global economy, how business will adjust and how society could be changed forever as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Conferences & Events
Virtual Global Summit
The World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit will be held in Cancun, Mexico from 25-27 April 2021. This virtual event is free of charge and brings together senior public and private sector figures including Heads of State, Government Ministers, Chairs and Chief Executives to discuss and debate issues affecting the travel and tourism sector in an open forum.
Further information https://www.wttcglobalsummit.org/registration
Sustainable Trails Conference
The Sustainable Trails Conference will be hosted at the Desert Park, Alice Springs in the Northern Territory from 1-4 June 2021. The conference brings together leading experts in all aspects of sustainable trail development, management and marketing.
Further information: https://www.trctourism.com/sustainable-trails-conference-2021/
Australian Tourism Exchange
The Australian Tourism Exchange will be held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney from 6-9 June 2021. The hybrid event combines in-person and virtual components allowing industry to meet, exchange knowledge and re-establish business connections.