Edition 159 · August 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.
2021 Global Eco Conference Cancelled
Given the ongoing uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and its associated lockdowns and restrictions the Board of Ecotourism Australia and Conference Convenor Tony Charters have decided to cancel this year’s Global Eco Conference. “The Global Eco Conference is a huge undertaking and the risks are just too high this year,” said Rod Hillman, CEO of Ecotourism Australia.
This is the first time in 29 years that this annual event has not been staged and is indicative of the uncertainty throughout the nation’s tourism industry. “The seemingly endless cycle of lockdowns and restrictions has shaken confidence within tourism,” said Rod Hillman, CEO of Ecotourism Australia. “We look forward to the nation’s vaccination rate reaching 80% and our industry can return to a semblance of normality.” In the meantime we will carefully monitor the situation as we approach 2022 and hopefully the Conference can return to its normal format next year.
Safety & Security
The UNWTO and IATA Travel Tracker is a one-stop-shop for global information on COVID-19 related travel regulations which aims to build confidence among travellers and business, as well as support policy worldwide. The free global dashboard provides information and insights on the current status of air travel restrictions and health-related measures in place at destinations. The collaborative initiative uses data provided by both organisations as well as other Our World in Data and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/unwto-iata-destination-tracker
It’s Our Best Shot For Travel
Tourism Australia has launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging Australians to support the travel industry by getting vaccinated for COVID-19. The ‘It’s our best shot for travel’ toolkit features a range of ways for the travel industry to share the message including social media assets, email signature, website sticker and Zoom background.
Further information: https://www.tourism.australia.com/en
Give the World a Shot
Expedia Group and its family of brands have announced a joint program to help safely re-open the world, one trip and one shot at a time. The ‘Give the World a Shot’ campaign aims to support UNICEF’s global COVID-19 response including distributing safe effective vaccines, diagnostics and treatments in over 180 countries. A portion of every eligible booking made via mobile apps will result in a donation to support UNICEF with the Expedia pledging to donate a minimum of $10 million.
Further information: https://www.expedia.com/lp/b/return-to-travel?langid=1033
Grants & Funding
Tourism Attractions Funding
The Federal Government is providing over $5 million to fund new tourist attractions in Tasmania including mountain bike trails, rock climbing and farm experiences. The eight projects aim to encourage agricultural businesses to develop unique tourism experiences such as interactive farm tours, on-farm accommodation and meals, paddock to plate experiences and cooking schools.
Indigenous Tourism Boost
The first round of recipients for the Federal Government’s Indigenous tourism grants have been announced as part of the $40 million Indigenous Tourism Fund. The funding for 60 Indigenous-owned tourism businesses and community organisations aims to increase the number of Indigenous tourism products available and support the start-up, stabilisation and growth of operators in the sector.
The Queensland Government will provide payments to small and medium businesses across Queensland affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns. Small and medium businesses are defined as businesses that have a turnover of more than $75,000 per annum and have an annual payroll in Queensland of up to $10 million. Applications for grants will open from mid-August.
The Australian Government has further extended assistance to support domestic aviation including the Domestic Aviation Network Support and Regional Airline Network Support programs. The Tourism Aviation Network Support initiative supporting half-price flights is being extended to 30 November 2021 for both sales and travel to ensure travellers impacted by lockdowns or border closures can access tickets and benefit key tourism regions.
Further information: https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/
Regional Event Funding
Regional event holders are encouraged to apply for funding through the Western Australian Regional Events Scheme 2022-23. The annual funding round supports smaller and developing events with a total of up to $1 million in funding available for events held between1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023. The scheme is part of Tourism Western Australia’s Regional Events Program with applications closing 19 October 2021.
Hotel On Wheels
French start-up Midnight Trains is seeking to make comfortable, overnight train travel an easy switch for budget airline travellers. Sleeper trains provide comfort, ease of access and are only slightly longer than a flight on many European routes. Midnight Trains will offer private compartments for individuals, duos and larger family groups inclusive of a private bathroom, full bar and restaurant access. The company plans to introduce its first line in 2024 with at least 10 total planned to connect a range of cities including Edinburgh, Berlin, Milan and Porto.
Further information: https://www.midnight-trains.com/en/home
India’s Cochin International Airport is completely run by sustainable energy after installing two additional solar plants that produce 40 MWp per day. The airport achieved a world’s first in 2015 when the company installed a dedicated solar power production facility as part of a public-private partnership.
Further information: https://cial.aero/
Digital & Technology
Tourism Recovery Partnership
The World Tourism Organisation and Google have signed a new agreement to work together and lead global tourism’s recovery through innovation, education, data and market intelligence to drive sustainable and inclusive recovery. The new Memorandum of Understanding will see the rollout of a new Capacity Building Curriculum developed by Google to empower destinations to switch to digital, with the training adapted to reflect their specific circumstances and unique challenges.
A new initiative supported by Tourism Western Australia will provide travellers with an easy-to-use interactive map which shows exactly where the wildflowers are blooming around the State. The Wildflower Tracker is designed to provide up to date information and recent sightings of over 12,000 species of wildflowers from June to late spring.
Further information: https://www.wavisitorcentre.com.au/wildflowers
Give with Oakwood
Following the success of last year’s inaugural campaign, Oakwood has announced the launch of Give with Oakwood, its commitment to spread kindness and compassion to vulnerable members of society. The global outreach program is designed to cater to the specific needs of destinations that Oakwood operates by caring for all guests, associates and communities. From July to September 2021, 58 properties across the United States and Asia Pacific will contribute rice as a staple food towards a local community, charity organisation or food bank with every direct reservation received.
Further information: https://www.oakwood.com/offers/give-with-oakwood
HALO Rooftop Tours
Construction has started on the latest attraction at Optus Stadium in Perth allowing fans access to one of the best views of any stadium in the world. The new 42-metre-high viewing platform will allow visitors to walk several metres beyond the edge of the stadium roof giving views of Stadium Park, the Swan River and Perth’s surrounds. The new experience will add to the already successful HALO behind-the-scenes rooftop tours and Aboriginal experiences. The new platform is scheduled to open in 2022 and accessible to all ages and abilities.
Further information: https://theozone.com.au/
The world’s first artificial floating reef is being installed on the Gold Coast, 2.5km offshore from Main Beach. The $5 million Wonder Reef will contain nine spiral flutes up to eight metres long anchored to the seabed at depths from 10 metres to 30 metres to suit divers of varying capability. designed by artist Daniel Templeman the artificial dive site will open in 2022 once sea life has had a chance to attach itself to the structures to create a mini ecosystem.
Further information: https://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/Services/Projects-works/Gold-Coast-Dive-Attraction
Maritime Tourism Research Centre
The World Tourism Organisation is collaborating with the Greek Ministry of Tourism in establishing the first research station based at the University of the Aegean dedicated to measuring the sustainable development of coastal and maritime tourism across the Mediterranean. The new monitoring centre will capture and collate measurement data and analysis relating to the environmental, economic and social impact of tourism for coastal communities.
A watchtower has been built in Serra das Talhadas, Portugal as part of a project comprising several structures dedicated to ecotourism in the area. The 16-metre-high tower is made from a lightweight steel structure divided into platforms at various heights with the latest technology and photovoltaic panels on the roof for electricity. The new structure forms part of the nature trail inside the Geopark Naturtejo which is recognised by UNESCO as a site of international geological significance.
Infrastructure & Investment
URBNSURF is proud to be developing URBNSURF Sydney a world leading surf park facility at Sydney Olympic Park in 2022. The new surf park will be set on 3.6 hectares and will generate a wave every eight seconds using Wavegarden technology already used at Australia’s first artificial surf park near Melbourne Airport. Construction of the $50 million development is expected to commence in 2021.
Further information: https://urbnsurf.com/
Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre
Plans for the first Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre have entered the South Australian planning approval process. Located on Kaurna Yarta (Kaurna Country), the centre will be Australia’s premier centre honouring more than 60,000 years of continuous First Nations cultures across the country. Designed in collaboration by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot, the $200 million Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre is planned to start construction in late 2021 with opening scheduled for early 2025.
Further information: https://lotfourteen.com.au/projects/aboriginal-art-and-cultures-centre
Policy & Planning
Tourism Investment Guidelines
The World Tourism Organisation has developed a series of Investment Guidelines to enhance coordination and cooperation in the development of public private partnerships that assist global economic recovery post COVID-19. The Enabling Frameworks for Tourism Investment provides insights for understanding the conditions and barriers to tourism investment in building a competitive, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector.
Further information: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/book/10.18111/9789284422685
First Nations Plan Tender Open
The Queensland Tourism Industry Council has developed the Queensland First Nations Tourism Plan through broad state-wide industry and stakeholder consultations. The steering committee is now calling for proposals for the development of a region specific First Nations Tourism Action Plan for Tropical North Queensland in consultation with key stakeholders. This project has been made possible through the Queensland Government’s Year of Indigenous Tourism program.
Walk for Wild
The Tasmanian Walking Company has partnered with WWF-Australia to raise funds for the largest wildlife and landscape regeneration program in Australia’s history. All sales from the Walk for Wild initiative will be donated to WWF’s Regenerate Australia program to restore wildlife and habitats, rejuvenate communities impacted by the bushfires, boost sustainable agriculture and future-proof Australia’s environment.
Further information: https://www.taswalkingco.com.au/wwf-walk-for-wild/
Sustainable Travel Report
New research released by Booking.com containing insights from more than 29,000 travellers across 30 countries suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has been the tipping point for travellers to believe they have to act now to save the planet for future generations. The Sustainable Travel Report 2021 reveals that travellers are more committed than ever to travel more sustainably in the future. Booking.com is also displaying over 30 certifications officially approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Green Tourism, EU Ecolabel and multiple hotel chain sustainability programs.
Global Passenger Survey
IATA is calling for participating in its annual Global Passenger Survey which it has carried out since 2012. The survey is designed to provide objective and in-depth insights into the preferences and behaviours of air travellers all around the world which can shape future travel experiences in the airline industry.
Further information: https://www.iata.org/en/publications/store/global-passenger-survey/
International Travel and Tourism Report
YouGov’s International Travel and Tourism Report 2021 analyses consumer travel preferences across 25 global markets in the near-term and long-term as travel and tourism returns. The report gives insights into the travel plans, considerations and motivations of Millennials, On-The-Go and Responsible traveller segments. The report utilises the most up to date data from the YouGov Destination Index and Global Travel Profiles, as well as custom research of around 185,000 survey respondents.
Further information: https://business.yougov.com/content/36500-international-travel-tourism-report-2021
Future of Nature-Based Tourism
A new report by the Luc Hoffmann Institute outlines the challenges facing the nature-based tourism sector and offers recommendations for future resilience and sustainability. The Future of Nature-Based Tourism offers examples of pathways to sustainable recovery including virtual tours and creating new tourism products with lower rates for domestic visitors. The research also emphasises the urgency of diversifying community livelihoods and conservation funding beyond the reliance on tourism including technical and financial assistance available in the form of grants, crowdsourcing and investment platforms.
Further information: www.luchoffmanninstitute-future-nature-based-tourism-report-2021
Conferences & Events
The eTourism Summit will take place in Las Vegas from 20-22 September 2021. The event will see updated information on the latest trends in e-mail marketing, search, social media, mobile and web design,
Further information: https://www.etourismsummit.com/
Skift Global Forum
The eight Skift Global Forum will take place at the iconic TWA Hotel next to New York’s JFK Airport from 21-23 September 2021. The event will see over 30 expert speakers including executives from leading companies to discuss the industry’s long-awaited return, while rediscovering and reimagining travel’s global impact.
Further information: https://live.skift.com/skift-global-forum-2021/
Global Green Destinations Days
The 6th edition of the Global Green Destinations Days will take place virtually from 4-8 October 2021. The conference aims to connect professionals, destinations and tourism boards through peer-to-peer learning, practical tools and solutions for sustainable tourism destinations.
Further information: https://greendestinations.org/ggdd2021-registration/
Global Sustainable Tourism Conference
The Global Sustainable Tourism Conference will take place in Kelowna, Canada from 3-5 October 2021. The event will welcome delegates including destination management, marketing, airlines, travel agents, tour operators and media.
Further information: https://www.totabc.org/gstc
Australian Regional Tourism Convention
The Australian Regional Tourism Convention will be held in in Ballarat, Victoria from 11-13 October 2021. The convention is aimed at all sectors of the tourism industry including local councils, regional tourism organisations, tourism professionals, business and government.
Further information: https://regionaltourism.com.au/convention/
Australian Society of Travel Writers' Convention
The Australian Society of Travel Writers’ Convention will be held in the Tweed Region of New South Wales from 14-16 October 2021. The event will see 200 travel media writers, editors, photographers, publicists and influencers coming together to network and share.
Further information: https://astw.org.au/