Edition 156 · May 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.
Swedish company OnMateria have designed an amenity kit to tackle the problem of millions of single-use plastic items being thrown away each year in the hospitality industry. The Green Box is made from bio-sourced, biodegradable and compostable materials allowing hotels to recycle the items. The kit also aims to educate users about new materials and better waste sorting practices.
Further information: http://www.onmateria.com/green-box
Safety & Security
Travel Pass for Travellers
The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile application being developed to allow travellers to easily store and securely manage certifications for C-19 tests or vaccines. The information can be used by governments requiring testing or vaccination proofs as a condition of international travel during and after the pandemic. It is a secure means to manage health requirements and the information supplied is verified.
Further information: https://www.iata.org/en/youandiata/travelers/iata-travel-pass-for-travelers/
Health Security Badge
The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board has announced an initiative with digital health company Sharecare and the Forbes Travel Guide. The Sharecare VERIFIED is a comprehensive verification process that assures guests and travel planners that hotels in Los Angeles have appropriate safety procedures in place. The verification process covers more than 360 standards across health and hygiene protocols, cleaning products and procedures for guests and employees.
Further information: http://www.forbestravelguide.com/health-security-verified
The World Tourism Organisation and the International Air Transport Association have developed a Destination Tracker which allows Governments to provide information on COVID-19 test and quarantine requirements. The free online tool will also detail air travel regulations and destination’s measures, as well as indicators for infection rates, positivity rates and vaccination roll out.
Grants & Funding
Zoos and Aquarium Program
The $94.6 million Zoos and Aquarium program has been extended to support zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks to maintain their animal populations where their tourism revenue has been affected by the travel and social distancing restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Austrade administers the program in consultation with the Zoo and Aquarium Association, the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and tourism organisations.
Tourism Australia’s Business Events Boost Program has received a further $1 million in funding to extend through the next financial year. The program continues to provide Australia’s business events industry with the opportunity to access funding to deliver industry-led projects that will help win domestic business event activity taking place before 30 June 2022. Applications close 30 June 2021.
Tourism for All
The World Tourism Organisation will continue to build on its successful partnership with the Spanish ONCE Foundation and the European Network for Accessible Tourism for a further four years. The joint work will continue to focus on the promotion of good practices during the current crisis, the application of standards, the measurement of accessible tourism, as well as labour inclusion and institutional disability inclusive policies.
Craft beer brand BrewDog is planning to open Australia’s first beer hotel as part of the company’s expansion strategy which also includes launching several new sites across Australia and entering the New Zealand market. The hotel will be called The DogHouse and is an extension of the existing brewery located in Brisbane. It will be pet friendly and based on the first craft-beer hotel, located in Columbus, Ohio including in-room draft beer taps. The hotel is expected to open mid-2022.
Further information: https://www.brewdog.com/au/locations/hotels
Gold Coast Dive Attraction
Australia’s first purpose-built reef dive attraction is being created 2.5 kilometres offshore from Main Beach on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast Dive Attraction aims to deliver an iconic off-shore reef dive site eco-engineered to attract bio-diverse marine life. The project is being jointly delivered by the Gold Coast City and Queensland Government under the Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund. The reef sculptures are the work of renowned Queensland artist Daniel Templeman and will be installed by June 2021.
Further information: https://new.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/Services/Projects-works/Gold-Coast-Dive-Attraction
All Blacks Experience
The All Black Experience has opened at SkyCity Auckland providing an interactive and immersive experience of the All Blacks, Black Ferns, Maori All Blacks and All Blacks Sevens. Created by New Zealand Rugby and Ngai Tahu Tourism, it is designed to showcase all of New Zealand’s national teams through the use of innovation and full sensory technology. It is the only rugby attraction of its kind in New Zealand and only All Blacks attraction in the world. Further information: https://www.experienceallblacks.com/
Digital & Technology
Digital Marketing to Restart Tourism
The World Tourism Organisation has partnered with Facebook to deliver insights into the effective use of digital marketing to help global destinations as they look to welcome back tourists safely. The sessions provided an overview of digital tools, best practices and tips for communicating with target audiences through Messenger and WhatsApp. It also highlighted the importance of metrics and other key tools in measuring the success of digital marketing campaigns, as well as the role of advertising and creativity in reaching new audiences.
Coral Expeditions has welcomed the Coral Geographer designed for tropical expedition cruising. The new Cairns-based expedition ship operating under the company’s SailSAFE plan will access remote wilderness shores around the globe that are inaccessible to large cruise vessels. The ship is Australian flagged and crewed to deliver high standards of quality, capability, safety, and environmental responsibility.
Further information: https://www.coralexpeditions.com/au/our-fleet/coral-geographer/
Infrastructure & Investment
Home of The Arts
The HOTA (Home of The Arts) Gallery was opened in May on the Gold Coast. The $60.5 million public gallery spans six floors with over 2,000 sqm of AAA rated exhibition space. Designed by award-winning Melbourne-based architects ARM, the gallery is set to showcase artists from across Australia and the world.
Further information: https://hota.com.au/new-hota-gallery/
Wilpena Pound Development
One of Australia’s largest transport and tourism operators, NRMA Parks and Resorts has been appointed resort manager for the Wilpena Pound Resort in the Ikara Flinders Rangers National Park, South Australia. It will undergo a $3 million transformation to increase patronage and create local jobs for the region. The joint investment by the State Government and Indigenous Business Australia will reposition Wilpena Pound Resort into a world-leading Indigenous cultural destination and visitor experience.
The Cave Peak aerial stairway at Amangiri is the longest climb of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere. There are 120 thin metal steps connected by a skeleton of wiring that spans 60 metres in length 122 metres above rock escarpments in a protected valley in remote southern Utah.
Further information: www.aman.com/resorts/amangiri
Element of Dream
Tourism New Zealand has launched its first international campaign partnering with an expert to translate the true meaning behind what Australians have been dreaming of and how this links to travel. Tourism New Zealand partnered with qualified Dream Therapist Martina Kocian to translate dreams, determining a future visitor’s altered state of consciousness. Stop Dreaming about New Zealand and Go will run for 12 weeks across paid, owned, earned and trade media.
Further information: https://www.newzealand.com/au/campaign/stop-dreaming-and-go/
The next phase of Tourism Australia’s Holiday Here This Year campaign has launched to showcase more of Australia’s holiday experiences. The $9 million Epic Holidays campaign urges Australians to travel further, book a longer stay, and enjoy the benefits of a bigger domestic holiday. It will be rolled out across TV, print, online, social media, content partnerships, search, radio, cinema and outdoor. Campaign assets are available to industry and it is being supported by a range of partners including Flight Centre, Travel Associates, Big Red Group and Klook.
Further information: https://www.tourism.australia.com/en/about/our-campaigns/holiday-here-this-year.html
Indigenous Touring Map
Visitors can now access a free touring map of unique Aboriginal tourism experiences in Western Australia. The map was produced by the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council and features tours and activities ranging from bushwalks, foraging, fishing, 4WD adventures and camping to stargazing. It also features eight road trips designed by Tourism Western Australia. It is available at the Visitor Centres or online.
Further information: https://www.waitoc.com/fast-find/latest-news/free-touring-map-2021
Middle and Georges Head Walking Track
Sydney Harbour National Park’s historic military fortifications at Middle Head and Georges Head are getting a $10 million revamp. The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service is constructing a new three-kilometre walking track connecting the headlands to adjoining parklands and providing interpretation about the area’s Aboriginal, natural and cultural heritage. The new walk will also link the headlands to the Sydney Harbour Scenic Walk, part of the greater Manly to Bondi Walk. Works are expected to be completed by June 2022.
Silo Art Hotel
Visit Victoria has launched a street-art themed popup hotel located at the largest salt-lake in Northwest Victoria. The Silo Art Hotel activation will see three re-imagined shipping containers placed beside the 120,000-year-old Lake Tyrell one of the best places in Australia for star navigation and Aboriginal culture. The Silo Art Hotel is designed to support Visit Victoria’s ongoing ‘Stay close, go further’ campaign.
Further information: https://contained.com.au/silo-art-hotel/
Harvest Hosts, based in Colorado, is a membership program for recreational vehicle, or RV, owners in North America. It offers overnight camping at hundreds of non-traditional locations and scenic attractions including wineries, farms, golf courses, and museums. RV owners and renters pay a membership fee to reserve spots to stay at locations where they promise to support small businesses.
Further information: https://harvesthosts.com/
Virgin Galactic has unveiled the Company’s first Spaceship III, VSS Imagine, which will commence ground testing later this year from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Features of the spaceship include mirror-like livery material which reflects the surrounding environment, constantly changing colour and appearance as it travels from earth to sky to space.
Policy & Planning
National Geotourism Strategy
The Australian Geoscience Council has launched Australia’s first National Geotourism Strategy to promote and support the further development of major Geotourism projects in Australia that deliver benefits to regional tourism. The strategy has seven strategic goals for identifying and implementing major projects including options for visitors drawing on our unique geology, landscape, flora and fauna, cultural heritage (including Aboriginal) and mining history.
Further information: https://www.agc.org.au/geoscience-in-australia/geotourism/
Reimaging the Visitor Economy
The Federal Government has appointed an expert panel to advise on the development of Reimagining the Visitor Economy strategy. It will provide advice on the domestic and international tourism visitor economy encompassing international students, business and leisure travellers, major events and short-term overseas workers, as well as associated industries. A discussion paper has been released to support consultations with tourism operators, industry bodies, small businesses, state, territory and local governments, education providers and individuals. Submissions close 11 June 2021.
Inclusive Recovery Guide
A recovery guide for women in tourism has been developed by the UNWTO Ethics, Culture and Social Responsibility Department in collaboration with UN Women. Data has highlighted that women make up the majority of the tourism workforce and are often concentrated in low-skilled or informal work. This set of guidelines provides recommendations to policymakers, businesses and civil society actors in tourism for designing gender-responsive measures in response to the ongoing pandemic.
Further information: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/book/10.18111/9789284422616
Student Visa Changes
The Federal Government is removing the existing work limit applied during study periods for Student Visa holders employed in the tourism and hospitality sector. In addition, temporary visa holders working in, or intending to work in, tourism and hospitality will be able to apply for the 408 COVID-19 Visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months.
Rural & Agritourism
Rural Tourism Start-up Competition
The World Tourism Organisation has launched a new competition to identify the best ideas that will help rural communities recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Global Rural Tourism Start-up Competition aims to support rural tourism as a key tool to fight depopulation, promote inclusion and reduce regional inequalities in income and development. Deadline for applications is 1 July 2021.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/unwto-global-rural-tourism-startup-competition
Taste Farm Life
The Queensland Government has launched a new $2 million campaign in Rockhampton to attract visitors to farms and help farmers diversify their income as part of the state’s economic recovery plan. The Taste Farm Life agritourism campaign builds on recent studies conducted by Queensland Farmers Federation and Griffith University to inject more infrastructure around the rural industry. The two-year campaign is part of a phased approach to develop the sector further and build market demand.
Further information: https://www.qld.gov.au/tastefarmlife
Education & Training
Tourism Online Academy
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation and IE University have partnered to launch the Online Tourism Academy. The learning platform focuses on concepts and fundamental principles related to the tourism sector including the challenges of globalisation, digital revolution, travel marketing and sustainability. Participants will acquire managerial skills in marketing, finance, strategy, operations, innovation and digital transformation.
Further information: https://www.unwto-tourismacademy.ie.edu/
Certification & Accreditation
A new agreement between Ecotourism Australia and the Queensland Tourism Industry Council will see the cross-recognition of each other’s certification programs. The agreement will see over 200 of Ecotourism Australia’s Queensland certified operators receive the benefits of the Quality Tourism Accreditation program including licencing to use branding, access to ReviewPro and eligibility for the Queensland Tourism Awards.
The Sparrowly Group have released the third edition of research into the tourism industries support of people with disability. The Creating Real Inclusion discussion paper features over 30 Australian accessible tourism experiences, products and organisations based on nominations received from the industry and visitors.
Travel Business Impact Survey
The WYSE Travel Confederation has monitored the impact of the global COVID-19 health crisis on travel and tourism organisations. The COVID-19 Travel Business Impact series provides forward-looking insights into the effects that the pandemic is having on the youth and student market. It aims to update industry on the changes taking place in cultural exchange, international education, volunteering abroad, backpacking and digital nomads.
Further information: https://www.wysetc.org/covid-19/covid-19-travel-business-impact-series/
Tourism Businesses in Australia
The Tourism Businesses Report 2015-20 provides statistics on Australia’s 315,000 plus tourism businesses including size, numbers and contribution over a five-year timeframe. The report describes the health of the tourism industry and its response to changing business conditions and consumer behaviours.
The final of the World Tourism Organisation Global Start-up Competition saw 25 entrepreneurs and enterprises recognised for their creativity and commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The competition held at the FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid saw more than 10,000 applications from 138 different countries. Sponsors and collaborators included Wakalua, Qatar Airways, Telefonica, Amazon Web Services and Amadeus.
Regenerative Travel Impact Awards
The Regenerative Travel Impact Awards celebrate people and projects that embody the spirit of regeneration. They are open to all organisations and individuals involved in designing a product or service in and outside travel. Entries will be judged on their environmental and social impact, alignment with regenerative principles, as well as originality and innovation. Entries close 18 June 2021.
Further information: https://www.regenerativetravel.com/impact-awards-2021/
Conferences & Events
Tourism and Transport Conference
The Tourism and Transport Forum will be hosting the 2021 Outlook Conference on 9 June 2021. The hybrid event will bring together guest speakers from the public and private sector in Australia and across the globe to discuss Travel and Tourism: Owning the Future Now.
Further information: https://ttf.org.au/conference/outlook2021/
Experiential Travel Summit
The inaugural Experiential Travel Summit will be held in Margaret River from 13-14 June 2021. The new conference is specifically created for professionals and business owners working in marketing, communication, customer experience, business operations and content creation in the wine, food, hospitality and tourism industries.
Further information: https://www.experientialtravelsummit.com/
Travel Matters Conference
ABTA’s Travel Matters virtual conference will be streamed live via a custom digital platform on 22 June 2021. Now in its 11th year, this year’s theme is ‘Politics and Policies: An Agenda for Recovery.’
Further information: https://www.abta.com/events/travel-matters-2021
National Indigenous Art Fair
Indigenous artists from around the country will come together in The Rocks, Sydney from 3-4 July 2021 for the National Indigenous Art Fair. The two-day event offers a unique opportunity to purchase artwork directly from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from remote community-owned art centres across Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.
Further information: https://www.niaf.com.au/