Edition 157 · June 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.
Top Selling Souvenirs
Club Med has revealed a list of the most popular souvenirs from around the world. The company looked at the top articles of souvenirs from each country to discover which souvenir is most popular for tourists to bring home from each country. Highlights include argan oil from Morocco, cigars from Cuba, boomerangs from Australia and harem pants from Thailand.
Further information: https://www.clubmed.co.uk/l/blog/top-souvenirs-around-the-world
Safety & Security
The Spanish Tourism Board has launched a microsite where international tourists who wish to enter Spain can see updated COVID-19 travel restrictions, as well as the entry and exit requirements from their country of origin. The TravelSafe microsite is part of the Travel Again Campaign a strategy designed to regain confidence in travelling and reinforce Spain as a destination for safe travel.
Further information: https://travelsafe.spain.info/en/
New Digital Solutions
Scoot, the low-cost arm of the Singapore Airlines Group, is trialling new digital initiatives to offer customers a seamless one-stop solution for verifying COVID-19 pre-departure test results. The airline has focused on safeguarding the health of crew and passengers through a number of initiatives including up-to-date travel information, flexible travel waiver policy and introducing low-touch self-service solutions across the customer journey.
Further information: https://www.flyscoot.com/en/announcements/safetravels
Grants & Funding
Hire and Drive Program
The Tasmanian Government is providing up to $1 million in grants to support hire and drive operators impacted by COVID-19 to re-establish their vehicle fleets. The Hire and Drive Reimbursement Program encourages the sign-up of new vehicles to accredited car sharing platforms Car Next Door and Evee. The program has been developed due to increasing visitation to the state and is open until 24 December 2021.
Regional Events Scheme
Regional communities and businesses around Western Australia are set to benefit with 62 events being awarded funding through Tourism Western Australia Regional Events Scheme 2021-22. The scheme, which is supported by Royalties for Regions, provides up to $1 million in funding for smaller and developing regional events including $150,000 reserved for events that develop and promote the leadership of Aboriginal people. The events are held from 1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022.
Regional Wine Industry Fund
The New South Wales Government and Wine Industry Association has signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will deliver support to producers and provide a renewed focus on increasing exports and regional industry development. The $300,000 Regional Wine Industry Fund will provide grants to help producers diversify and improve their existing business or cellar door experience, with a focus on increasing capacity in regional areas. It is scheduled for rollout from 1 July 2021.
Further information: https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/nsw-government-support-for-wine-industry
Global Bag Tracker
SITA has launched a new artificial intelligence-enabled solution designed to reunite the millions of items left on aircraft every year with their owners. WorldTracer is the only global baggage tracing and matching system providing a single, standardised solution for reporting and repatriating mishandled bags. Developed in cooperation with IATA, it allows customers to locate their lost baggage anywhere in the world.
Newcastle Airport upgrade
The Federal Government is investing $66 million in Newcastle Airport to widen the runway which will accommodate larger aircraft like Boeing 777s and Airbus 330s as well as increase freight capabilities for primary producers, corporate, defence and aerospace. The work will be done alongside scheduled runway maintenance at the Williamtown airbase. The project is due to commence in June 2021 and will be completed in early 2023.
Further information: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/jobs-boom-takes-hunter-newcastle-airport-investment
Qantas International Lounges
Qantas has signed a new seven-year deal with world-leading hospitality group Accor to continue management of Qantas lounges in Australia and overseas. The new agreement is an extension of the fourteen-year partnership with Accor and their team of hospitality professionals offering Qantas customers world-class service across the airline’s network of domestic and international lounges.
World's Largest W Hotel
W Hotels, part of Marriott International, has announced the development of W Sydney. The Ribbon named for its undulating form that rises through two elevated roadways in the Darling Harbour waterfront precinct is set to be the largest W hotel to open globally in late 2022. Designed by HASSEL Architects and London-based interior design agency, Bowler James Brindley, the W Sydney will showcase 586 stylish guestrooms, suites and studios. It will also feature a rooftop bar, heated infinity pool, Spa, state-of-the-art gym, all-day dining restaurant, Living Room bar and over 1100sqm of event space.
Further information: www.whotels.com/theangle
One of Australia’s leading sustainable hospitality companies has opened the first five-star hotel in Newcastle. The Crystalbrook Kingsley is a transformation of Newcastle’s iconic ‘Roundhouse’ building which is centrally located in the Cultural Precinct opposite Civic Park. The name Kingsley is a tribute to Newcastle’s heritage and the city’s earlier name of Kingston which dates back to 1804. The hotel features 130 contemporary rooms and suites with urban, park and harbour views.
Further information: https://www.crystalbrookcollection.com/kingsley
Infrastructure & Investment
Ardent Leisure has unveiled a $75 million plan for a new hotel and tourist park at their Dreamworld Resort. The theme parks operator has appointed accommodation developer Evolution Group to fund and build an accommodation precinct on part of the surplus land owned by Ardent next to the Dreamworld park. The accommodation offering will include a 4-star 250 room resort-style hotel, 40 bungalows and a 5-star tourist park with 100 powered sites.
Further information: https://www.ardentleisure.com/
Australian Age of Dinosaurs
The new $4.9 million Australian Age of Dinosaurs’ Dynamic Destination Project has been opened in Winton, Queensland. The project includes the March of the Titanosaurs exhibit, a 900 square metre building over Australia’s best preserved sauropod dinosaur trackway and four-metre-high dinosaur sculptures joining 39 life-size and lifelike dinosaur sculptures already at the Dinosaur Canyon area of the museum. The project also features the giant-meteorite-shaped Gondwana Stars Observatory with high-powered telescopes and new seating for Australia’s first International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
Further information: https://www.australianageofdinosaurs.com/
Outback Hot Springs
A new tourist attraction has been opened in the heart of the Gulf Region of Queensland on the Savannah Way. The 65 million-year-old Talaroo Hot Springs lie within a 31,500-hectare former cattle station and are the only tiered thermal hot springs in Australia. It includes camping and caravan sites, a swimming pool, camp-ground amenities, picnic shelters and a café at the remote thermal springs on the Einasleigh River. The project was funded through the Queensland Government’s Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
Further information: https://www.talaroo.com.au/
Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park has opened and is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe themed areas being developed at several Disney theme parks in California, Paris and Hong Kong. Marvel-themed Super-Hero campuses will be developed simultaneously at the three parks and will feature different sets of attractions and entertainment, whilst sharing a common narrative.
Internova Travel Group one of the industry’s largest travel services companies has launched a new advertising campaign to remind consumers that choosing to book travel through humans. Internova represents more than 62,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations worldwide. The ‘Go Human. Book Human’ campaign is designed to make people fall in love with the idea of booking travel with actual people versus doing it alone online. The campaign will run over three months featuring a longform video and out-of-home in New York and Los Angeles, along with paid and organic social, digital, and public relations.
Further information: https://bookhuman.travel/
Work in Paradise
The Queensland Government has launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to lure thousands of workers from across Australia to take a tourism job in regional Queensland. The $7.5 million package to address a critical shortage of workers at tourism businesses in regional Queensland. The government would deliver a $1500 incentive and free travel for workers taking up a tourism job in regional Queensland. The incentive program starts from July 1.
Further information: https://www.workinparadise.initiatives.qld.gov.au/
A new guide for road travellers has been launched by the Outback Queensland Tourism Association. The Drive Outback Queensland Guide has 12 tailored road trip itineraries throughout outback Queensland including luxury getaways, family friendly destinations, tailored bush hikes and ecological wonders of the vast region.
Conservation Travel Alliance
A new alliance has been launched between wildlife tour company Echidna Walkabout and the not-for-profit koala conservation organisation Koala Clancy Foundation. Conservation Travel Australia offers educational, immersive conservation travel opportunities to the leisure, corporate, educational and volunteer travel sectors. It is tourism leading conservation and will provide greater opportunities for travellers to act on climate change.
Consumer Travel Survey
Flywire has released its second annual consumer travel report of frequent leisure travellers across the globe. The independent research ‘Set to Soar: How Consumer Travel Plans Signal a Tourism Boom’ uncovered the major travel trends and consumer views toward travelling in a post-pandemic world to expect. Regina Corso Consulting conducted the survey in March 2021 of over 800 frequent leisure travellers across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Spain.
Global Recovery Index
The Skift Recovery Index is a real-time measure of where the travel industry stands in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic as a tool for strategic planning. The recovery index is a mixture of leading and trailing indicators ranging from traveller intent in the form of website visits and searches, to future bookings, to actual achieved occupancies, revenues and cancellations.
Further information: https://research.skift.com/recovery/
When We Travel Again
A study done by the Responsible Travel Insiders, with the support of Ostela Tourism Management School, provides pre and post pandemic insights from the regions of North America, Latin America and Europe. The When We Travel Again report analysed global tourism trends over the last five years and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on society. It also looked at the actions proposed by governments to safeguard their country’s well-being and support the tourism sector.
Further information: https://cdn.adventuretravel.biz/When-We-Travel-Again.pdf
Education & Training
The World Tourism Organisation has launched an innovative platform solution for hospitality recruitment designed to connect talent with employers across the sector. The Jobs Factory matches candidates with suitable positions, both locally and internationally. Jobseekers are able to create a profile, search for positions and set up job alerts. The platform also aims to help tourism businesses and organisations find and recruit the best talent.
Indigenous Guides Training Program
The Museum of Underwater Art has launched the Indigenous Guides Training Program which aims to support Indigenous trainees with a passion for sharing their culture, knowledge and connection while developing a career in tourism. The eight-week program will be delivered by Reef Ecologic Pty Ltd, Manbarra traditional owners and Savannah Guides. It will see trainees work alongside traditional owners and professionals to receive formal training and qualifications in boating, diving, project management, marine science and tourism.
First Nations Exhibition
The Australian Museum is launching one of the most significant and powerful exhibitions in its history. Unsettled is an evidence-based exhibition which takes visitors on a journey from the signal fires lit by Aboriginal people as a warning when Lieutenant Cook sailed up the east coast, to the resistance and resilience of First Nations peoples since colonisation in 1788. First-hand accounts are presented through historical documents, large-scale artworks, immersive experiences and never-before-seen objects.
Further information: https://australian.museum/exhibition/unsettled/
Policy & Planning
Norway Tourism Green Strategy
Visit Norway has launched a new tourism strategy aiming to position the country as a leader in green travel. The tourism authority and industry representatives have created the tag line “a big impact, small footprint,” which outlines a sustainable framework for the next decade of tourism development. A key pillar of the plan is an industry commitment to halve CO2 emissions by 2030 and reduce annual transport emissions by 10% to support Norway’s national decarbonisation plan. Another recommendation is a carbon calculator named Klimasmart (Climate smart) which will calculate CO2 emissions for the various parts of a trip.
Best Tourism Villages
The World Tourism Organisation is searching for the best examples of rural villages harnessing the power of tourism to provide opportunity and safeguard their communities, local traditions and heritage. The Best Tourism Villages initiative aims to advance the role of tourism in valuing and safeguarding rural villages along with their associated landscapes, knowledge systems, biological and cultural diversity, local values and activities. Applications close 31 July 2021.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/tourism-villages/en/
Visitor Economy Strategy 2030
The New South Wales Government has released its ‘Visitor Economy Strategy 2030’ setting a target to triple overnight visitor expenditure by 2030. The strategy provides a roadmap to support all industries involved in the visitor economy to recover from the impact of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 and to grow in the future. It is underpinned by through five strategic pillars sets a vision for NSW to be the premier visitor economy of the Asia-Pacific by 2030.
Sustainable Tourism Toolkit
The European Travel Commission, representing 32 national tourism organisations in Europe, has published a new handbook ‘Sustainable Tourism Implementation: Framework and Toolkit.’ The handbook aims to support European National Tourism Organisations in developing national approaches that advance sustainable tourism. A toolkit of practical resources has also been developed to assist with the implementation of sustainable tourism schemes.
Further information: https://www.gstcouncil.org/european-travel-commissions-new-handbook-recommends-gstc/
Recognition & Honours
Professor of Tourism
Ross Dowling has been named Emeritus Professor of Tourism at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. The award has been given in recognition of distinguished academic contribution and leadership in the tourism field for more than two decades, as well as his contributions to geotourism, ecotourism and cruise ship tourism in Australia and internationally.
Conferences & Events
Wellness Tourism Event
Wellness Tourism Unearthed will be held for the first time in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia from 2-3 August 2021. The event is designed to engage and upskill tourism operators and regions who want to branch into the wellness tourism industry.
Further information: https://www.wellnesstourismsummit.com.au/unearthed
State of Social
The fourth annual State of Social event will in Perth from 24-25 August 2021. The event brings together some of the most dynamic and thought-provoking industry experts to discuss and learn best in practice digital and social media marketing.
Further information: https://stateofsocial.com.au/tickets/sos21/
Global Youth Tourism Summit
The first Global Youth Tourism Summit will be held in Sorrento, Italy from 23-25 August 2021. The event aims to promote youth engagement in the tourism sector and empower younger generations in driving a more sustainable world.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/europe/global-youth-tourism-summit