Edition 158 · July 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 email@example.com
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.
Global Eco Heads to Gold Coast 2021
Exciting news, Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be staged on Queensland’s Gold Coast in early December 2021.
The exact date and location will be released in the coming days.
This is the first time that Global Eco has been staged on the Gold Coast in its 29 year history. Global Eco Asia-Pacific is Ecotourism Australia’s premier annual conference event and brings together industry players across tourism, protected area management, Indigenous tourism, academia and research and industry professionals such as architects, planners, marketing and economic development.
Further information will be released very soon.
All Nippon Airways and Hajime Tabata has partnered with leading game studio JP GAMES to launch an interactive virtual platform that will bring the joy of travel and unique online shopping opportunities to audiences worldwide via the ‘Sky Whale.’ Launching in 2022, the new digital travel platform is where users will be able to travel and access interactive activities within three distinct areas including Sky Park, Sky Mall and Sky Village.
Further information: https://www.anahd.co.jp/group/en/pr/202105/20210520.html
Safety & Security
Star Alliance is partnering with SITA and NEC Corporation to soon enable passengers to use their biometric ID as their boarding pass across a vast network of airlines and more than 460 airports. Passengers enrol only once and can then pass through biometrically enabled touchpoints across multiple member airlines and airports using just their face as their boarding pass. This expedites airport processing while making each step touchless, supporting important health and hygiene safety measures.
Best Practice Guidelines for Travel Cancellations
To help the travel industry navigate its way through the fallout of COVID-19, Australia’s consumer protection agencies have developed best practice guidelines for pandemic-related travel cancellations. The guidelines are for circumstances where travel services have been cancelled as a result of the pandemic, not situations where the service can still go ahead but a consumer has chosen to cancel the booking due to concerns.
Further information: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/covid-19-coronavirus-information-for-business
Funding & Grants
Nature-Based Tourism Co-Investment Fund
Nature-based tourism experiences in South Australia will receive up to $1 million in grants from the Nature-Based Tourism Co-Investment Fund, a key part of the State Government’s Parks 2025 strategy. Projects must demonstrate local conservation, community and economic benefits as part of their development. Applicants can receive grants from $20,000 to $1 million with co-contributions for at least half of the total financial costs. The fund is open until June 2022.
Export Market Development Grants
The Federal Government is providing an additional $65.5 million for the Export Market Development Grants program to support small and medium-sized tourism businesses in their international marketing expenses. To be eligible, small to medium enterprises will need to be export-ready and have a turnover of less than $20 million. Grants will be available in three stages designed to provide different levels of support to business as they grow their export markets at the different stages of their export journey.
Further information: https://www.austrade.gov.au/australian/export/export-grants/emdg-from-1-july-2021
Destination Events Program
Applications for Round 20 of the Queensland Destination Events Program are now open for events being held being staged from May 2022 to May 2023 around Queensland. The funding seeks to leverage events and the destinations in which they are staged including the economic, marketing and social benefits throughout Queensland. Applications close 6 October 2021.
Loan Guarantee Scheme
The Australian Government has expanded the Small Medium Enterprise Loan Guarantee Scheme by increasing the size of eligible loans from $1 million to $5 million. Businesses with a higher turnover will also benefit with the maximum eligible turnover increased from $50 million to $250 million. Maximum loan terms under the expanded Scheme will also be increased from 5 to 10 years providing businesses and lenders with greater flexibility. Loans are available until 31 December 2021.
Further information: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/sme-recovery-loan-scheme
Ecobiz Accommodation Guide
The ecoBiz guide provides industry-specific insights, resources and recommendations to accommodation providers to help them reduce their costs. The free program helps Queensland businesses audit their resource use and reduce costs from waste, water and energy bills. Funded by the Queensland Government and run by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, it has assessed dozens of accommodation providers in Queensland.
Further information: http://info.cciq.com.au/ecoBiz-accommodation-providers.html
Virgin Galactic Spaceflight
Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity has successfully reached space completing the Company’s fourth rocket-powered spaceflight and the first test flight with a full crew in the cabin including the Company’s founder Sir Richard Branson. The crew fulfilled a number of test objectives related to the cabin and customer experience including evaluating the commercial customer cabin, the views of Earth from space, the conditions for conducting research and the effectiveness of the five-day pre-flight training program at Spaceport America.
Further information: https://www.virgingalactic.com/
Southwest Airlines has joined 15 other airlines in partnering with Uplift for flights to more than 100 destinations. Uplift is the leading Buy Now, Pay Later payment solution serving the world’s top travel brands. It provides customers with the freedom to book trips through personalized and flexible payment options.
Further information: https://www.uplift.com/
Great Southern Food Guide
The Great Southern Food and Beverage Capability Guide is a new interactive tool to connect food and beverage suppliers with retailers, buyers, wholesalers, chefs, caterers, tourism operators, regional events and consumers to promote local business. The online guide includes details about individual businesses including their product range, sales information, awards and certifications.
Further information: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/capability-guides
Hans Christian Andersen Museum
A new museum inspired by the fairytale world of Hans Christian Andersen is set to open in Odense in Denmark where Anderson was born. The HC Andersen’s House aims to make visitors feel as if they’ve stepped right into his stories through its architecture, imagery and sounds. The 5600-square-metre site includes a children’s house and an underground museum, as well as a sprawling garden that resembles a labyrinth.
Further information: https://hcandersenshus.dk/en/
Days Like This
A new $2.4 million tourism campaign has been launched inspiring Queenslanders to experience ‘Days Like This’ in their home state. The campaign featuring Van Morrison’s famous song is the first step in a long-term strategy to evolve and maintain Queensland’s brand leadership position. The campaign will feature television, print, broadcast video on demand, out of home, cinema and social media. TEQ will also partner with travel retailers to market holiday packages and deals, supporting tourism businesses around the state.
Further information: https://teq.queensland.com/industry-resources/marketing/days-like-this
Digital & Technology
Digital Tourism Tools
The World Tourism Organisation has signed an agreement with MUST Travel & Tech to promote the reactivation of the tourism sector with a view to sustainability by allowing users to share their experiences. The digital tool is already operating in 60 countries where MUST aggregates all the information of interest to travellers in one place, as well as destinations that incorporate technology and innovation in their development. By also integrating key information and analysis, it aims to become a leading tourism application and generate opportunities for destinations. The agreement will be in place until the end of 2024.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/news/digital-tools-to-revitalize-tourism
Infrastructure & Investment
Winter Sports World
Winter Sports World is an Australian first world class $300 million indoor snow resort development planned for Penrith, Western Sydney. Key features include a 300-metre advanced ski slope, dedicated learn to ski, snow play, Olympic standard ice rink auditorium, ice climbing, hotel, conference, restaurant and cafes. It will be a training facility for Winter Olympians in alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, snow board, figure skating, ice hockey, speed skating, curling, as well as cross country and biathlon. Subject to planning approvals, the opening is planned for 2024.
Further information: https://www.wintersportsworld.com.au/
Inclusive Recovery Guide
The World Tourism Organisation has partnered with the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance on a set of guidelines designed to ensure experiences are respectful and led by the indigenous communities themselves. The new Inclusive Recovery Guide for Indigenous Communities is the fourth set of guidelines addressing the socio-cultural impacts of COVID-19 with recommendations and solutions for the socio-economic empowerment of Indigenous Peoples through tourism.
The Western Australian Government has launched Tjina: Western Australian Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2021-2025. The plan was developed by Tourism Western Australia together with other government agencies, the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council and the tourism industry. The four-year plan is backed by the $20 million Aboriginal Tourism Fund which will support a range of initiatives including the development of new experiences, administration and booking systems to support tourism businesses and employment.
Aboriginal Experiences Media Kit
Discover Aboriginal Experiences is a collective of over 185 quality, authentic Aboriginal guided tourism offerings. This collective is part of Tourism Australia’s Signature Experiences of Australia Program that packages and promotes Australia’s outstanding tourism products. The collective shines a spotlight on some of the country’s most notable Aboriginal guides in its latest media kit.
Education & Training
Business Accelerator and Mentoring Program
Expression of Interest are open to tourism businesses on the North Coast to participate in the Destination North Coast Business Accelerator and Mentoring Program. The program is funded by Destination North Coast and The Australian Government under the Recovery for Regional Tourism Fund. Applications are open to tourism businesses that are currently operating or are in the start-up phase with a registered ABN.
Further information: https://www.sparrowly.com/dnc-business-accelerator-mentoring-program
Policy & Planning
Environmental Sustainability Master Plan
Spicers Retreats and the Turner Family Foundation have released their joint Environmental Sustainability Master Plan with goals to reduce waste, energy emissions and water use over the next decade. The plan summarises the achievements of Spicers Retreats to date and the direct actions being taken to achieve their specific goals over the coming years to reduce their environmental footprint. Spicers Retreats has 14 properties and eight restaurants across Queensland and New South Wales.
Further information: https://spicersretreats.com/sustainability-plan/
Tourism Intellectual Property
A new report published jointly by WIPO and the World Tourism Organisation shows how the Intellectual Property (IP) system provides an ecosystem for innovation, entrepreneurship and investment in the tourism sector. The publication entitled ‘Boosting Tourism Development through Intellectual Property’ demonstrates how stakeholders around the globe are using IP rights to add value to tourism services and products, as well as to protect and promote local knowledge, traditions and cultural heritage.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/news/new-report-shows-value-of-ip-to-the-tourism-sector
Reef HQ Aquarium Master Plan
The Australian Government is investing a further $40 million in Reef HQ Aquarium located within Townsville as stage two of the Master Plan. The funding will help transform the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium into Australia’s national centre of excellence for tropical coral reef education. The upgrade will provide visitors with a range of immersive hands-on experiences and revitalised exhibits including educational activities, onsite diving programs, scientific demonstrations and interactive technology.
Further information: https://www.reefhq.com.au/refurbishment/master-plan
The latest survey of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation panel of tourism experts shows signs of significant pent-up demand and confidence slowly returning. The pace of the vaccination rollout in some key source markets as well as policies to restart tourism safely including the EU Digital Green Certificate have boosted hopes for a rebound in some of these markets. The continued imposition of travel restrictions and the lack of coordination in travel and health protocols are seen as the main obstacle to the sector’s rebound.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/news/tourist-numbers-down-83-but-confidence-slowly-rising
Sustainable Travel Insights
Booking Holdings has released research that shows the ambition and willingness of travellers to make more sustainable travel decisions in the future. The Sustainable Travel Insights report provides an update on the progress of the company’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility activities from 2020. It also contains information and data on different aspects of business taking place across its consumer-facing brands of Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Rentalcars.com, KAYAK and OpenTable.
Further information: https://www.bookingholdings.com/sustainability/
Domestic Aviation Data
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has released new data showing business air routes compared to leisure routes. This report covers monthly domestic aircraft and passenger movements, available seats, load factors, revenue passenger kilometres and available seat kilometres. Details are provided for the top competitive routes, the top ten domestic airports in terms of passenger movements, top five airports in terms of cargo movements and the top fifty regional airports.
Accessible Tourism in Nature Areas
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation Working Group on Accessible Tourism has released a new publication on innovative, inclusive and sustainable solutions aimed at improving accessibility in nature and enabling persons with disabilities to travel to these areas. The Accessibility and Inclusive Tourism Development – Compendium of Best Practices provides relevant tourism stakeholders from both the public and private sectors with the tools and resources to make their tourism destinations, facilities and services accessible for all.
Further information: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/book/10.18111/9789284422777
Spa & Wellness
Nominations are open for the inaugural Spa and Wellness Awards which recognise the committed providers in the spa and wellness travel industry including the people, properties, spas, skincare and brands. Quality, sustainability, innovation and originality are key criteria of the awards which aim to recognise the trailblazers in six categories. Nominations close 3 September 2021.
Further information: https://www.spaandwellness.com.au/awards/about/
Conferences & Events
Tourism Summit Aotearoa
The Tourism Summit Aotearoa will be held in Hamilton, New Zealand on 1 September 2021. This annual event brings together business and government leaders from all sectors of New Zealand’s tourism industry.
Further information: https://www.tourismsummit.co.nz/
Australian Festival Industry Conference
The Australian Festival Industry Conference will be held at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast from 1-3 September 2021. Conference delegates will learn about marketing, operational developments, legislative changes and technological advances.
Further information: https://australianfestivalconference.com.au/media-release-afic-2021-launch/
Wine Tourism Conference
The 5th United Nations World Tourism Organisation Global Conference on Wine Tourism will be held in Portugal from 9-10 September 2021. It will focus on the contribution of wine tourism to social and economic regional integration, as well as its potential to generate development opportunities in rural destinations.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/news/wine-tourism-and-rural-development
Adventure Travel World Summit
The Adventure Travel World Summit will be held in Hokkaido, Japan from 20-23 September 2021. The four-day event includes educational content on key travel trends and topical interactive sessions.
Further information: https://www.adventuretravel.biz/events/summit/japan-2021/