Edition 162 · November 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.
Ecotourism Australia is celebrating its 30th birthday with a shift in strategic direction and branding to inspire the world to travel for good. The changes will be implemented over the coming months and include a continued strong focus on destinations, stronger strategic partnerships and increased member-only benefits and industry resources.
Safety & Security
Digital Passenger Declarations
The Australian Government has appointed Accenture to create a new Digital Passenger Declarations to replace the Incoming Passenger Declaration Cards from December 2021. It aims to simplify the collection of passenger data and will be available online with completion voluntary. It will be integrated with airline data to permit travellers to select their flight details and share future mandatory quarantine planning information and vaccination data.
Tourism Recovery Playbook
The World Tourism Organisation and Instagram have joined forces to produce a Tourism Recovery Playbook to help destinations and business harness the power of digital and visual storytelling to reach new audiences. The partnership is part of a shift towards harnessing the power of digital innovation to drive the restart of local and sustainable tourism. The playbook features best practice tips on effective tourism storytelling and case studies of destinations that have used Instagram to connect with key audiences during the pandemic.
Funding & Grants
National Indigenous Tourism Mentoring Program
The Australian Government has opened the competitive tender process to facilitate the design and delivery of a $10 million National Indigenous Tourism Mentoring Program over four years. The program will provide one-on-one support to Indigenous tourism business owners as they look to recover and adjust to economic, social and travel changes in the wake of the pandemic. Tenders are due 16 December 2021.
Further information: https://www.tenders.gov.au/Atm/Show/66bf8258-658f-40b5-afd1-52f12159c93b
Cultural Tourism Accelerator Program
The Cultural Tourism Accelerator Program is a $5 million targeted measure announced by the Australian Government as part of the Regional Arts Tourism package to enable arts organisations to promote and develop cultural events for tourists across regional Australia. The program aims to increase tourism visitation in regional, rural and remote communities across Australia by providing financial support for arts and cultural activity.
Regional Community Events Fund
A new Regional Community Events Fund is open for applications to help public community events in regional Victoria with marketing support and the increased costs of running a COVID safe event. Applications are being sought from private companies, councils, Regional Tourism Boards and not-for-profit organisations for events that meet the eligibility criteria and program objectives.
Further information: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/backing-regional-events-thrive-and-grow-local-jobs
Queensland Agritourism Grant
The Queensland Farmers’ Federation has partnered with the Queensland Government to deliver the Queensland Agritourism Grants Program. The grant will assist Queensland farmers to establish or expand into agritourism by employing professional or specialist services or constructing or modifying on-farm infrastructure. and expand agritourism activities. Applications for funding close 10 January 2022.
Further information: https://www.qff.org.au/projects/agritourism/
Grampian Peaks Trail
Parks Victoria has launched the Grampians (Gariwerd) Peaks Trail a 160 kilometre world-class natural and cultural walking experience which includes 11 campgrounds with raised tent pads, communal shelters and small huts. The Grade 4 trail is a challenging 13-day/12-night hiking experience through a variety of terrain in the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park. It caters for a variety of hiking styles, from fully facilitated hikes with a Licensed Tour Operator to independent and school groups plus self-guided walkers.
Further information: https://www.visitgrampians.com.au/see-do/get-outdoors/grampians-peaks-trail
National Parks Upgrade
The Australian Government is investing a record $449 million across Parks Australia’s national parks and gardens over 3 years to attract more visitors to experience the best of Australian nature. The investment will be used to upgrade infrastructure, facilities and trails to attract more visitors in destinations such as Kakadu National Park and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to enable safe, sustainable tourism.
Museum of Ice Cream
Singapore has opened the first Museum of Ice Cream outside of the United States. Visitors are guided through 14 multi-sensory installations as well as be invited to try a range of sweet treats. The museum is designed to be a culturally inclusive community inspiring human connection through the universal power of ice cream. The first Museum of Ice Cream was opened in New York’s Meatpacking District in 2016.
Further information: https://www.museumoficecream.com/about
Intrepid Travel has announced plans to diversify into the property and accommodation sector through a joint venture with Drifter Hospitality Group. It plans to open 15 properties across Australia and New Zealand by 2025. The group then plans to take the concept globally, with targeted assets combining repositioned hotels, hostels, re-purposed commercial sites and new builds. The properties will target premium millennial travellers with private suites and shared rooms, on-site dining and a focus on sustainability. The group already has five properties in New Zealand through tourism and accommodation operator Haka Tours which has been folded into the Drifter company.
Further information: https://hakatourismgroup.com/brands/backpacker-accommodation/
Private Collection by Spicers
Spicers Retreats has launched a new sub-brand incorporating a group of private holiday homes in iconic places around Australia. The Private Collection by Spicers will have over 50 private homes in the portfolio within the next 24 months in locations including Noosa, Byron Bay, Hamilton Island, the Barossa and Port Douglas. It will be headed up by David Lacey, a 40-year hospitality veteran from the Hunter Valley.
Further information: https://spicersretreats.com/private-collection/
Flexible Work Program
IHG Hotels and Resorts has announced a new suite of benefits to its hotel employees in Australia, along with formalised guidelines to provide Flexible Work arrangements as it opens a further 30 hotels in the next few years. Branded as IHG myBenefits, the industry leading platform includes paid parental and partner leave, birthday leave, personal leave for proactive wellness, paid leave entitlements for Domestic Violence, and sabbatical leave to pursue personal or passion projects. It also gives employees access to an online Wellbeing Hub which is designed to support staff with their physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
Further information: https://www.ihg.com/content/us/en/corporate/employee
The 2020 ‘Seastainability’ Report highlights the Royal Caribbean Group commitment to a continuous pursuit of progress. The sustainability targets focus on energy consumption reduction, emissions purification, sustainable tours and destinations, sustainable sourcing, waste management, and plastics reduction. It includes background information on their Global Reporting Initiative Index, performance measures and methodology updated to reflect current trends and priorities.
Further information: https://www.royalcaribbeangroup.com/
Aviation Climate Taskforce
Several airlines have joined the Boston Consulting Group in forming the Aviation Climate Taskforce a new non-profit organisation founded to accelerate emerging technologies to decarbonise aviation. The airlines to date include Air Canada, Air France-KLM, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. The taskforce will stimulate innovation in the next generation of technologies including an Investment Fund to support emerging technologies that have the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of air travel.
Further information: https://aviationclimatetaskforce.com/
Drive North Queensland
A dedicated website showcasing the diverse drives in North Queensland has been launched featuring iconic itineraries such as The Great Barrier Reef Drive as well as drives in Outback Queensland, Mackay, Whitsundays and Townsville. The collaboration between five Regional Tourism Organisations in Queensland will continue to expand with updated itineraries while visitors will be encouraged to share their travels using social platforms.
Further information: https://drivenorthqueensland.com.au/
Visit Victoria has launched a new tourism initiative encouraging Victorians to travel with kindness. The Travel Kind initiative is part of the Stay close, go further campaign which aims to remind Victorians to book ahead and be patient when they are visiting the state’s world-class wineries, laneway restaurants, coastal villages and charming towns. Operators can access the Industry Toolkit to display in store and online.
Further information: https://corporate.visitvictoria.com/marketing/intrastate/travel-kind
Infrastructure & Investment
Outback Museum of Australia
A museum dedicated to showcasing the best of the outback will be built in Charleville in south-west Queensland. The Outback Museum of Australia will showcase outback Australian life, as well as champion the people and industries of the bush. The museum will be built in the existing Top-Secret Tourism Precinct alongside the Charleville Cosmos Centre and reimagined Secret Base and Airfield Museum used by the United States army during World War II. There will be an international competition to decide on the final design of the museum.
Million Dollar Island
Australia’s second-richest person Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest has spent $42 million to secure the leasehold of Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef via private investment company Tattarang. The island is situated 250 kilometres off the coast of Cairns in Queensland and comprises a combined 2000 hectares of land across three parcels. Delaware North currently holds the sublease on Lizard Island and operates a high-end luxury resort featuring 40 rooms and villas, a restaurant, bar and day spa. The deal is subject to approval by the Queensland Government.
Further information: https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/articles/twiggy-forrest-buys-lizard-island-for-42m
Education & Employment
Work in Paradise
The Queensland Government Work in Paradise program will be boosted to attract workers from New South Wales and Victoria. The $1,500 incentive is offered to those accepting tourism jobs in Queensland and a $250 travel voucher will be given to those who relocate more than 100 kilometres. The Queensland Government is also launching a ‘Gap Year in Paradise’ campaign to attract school leavers and university students aligned with the current program which includes accommodation partners JUCY, YHA and Hostelworld.
Further information: www.qld.gov.au/workinparadise
Visit Victoria is encouraging citizens from the United Kingdom to adopt a little penguin from Phillip Island, plant trees to support koalas, protect the Great Southern Reef, save endangered species or support the state’s Aboriginal culture. These activities are part of the Good Natured Victoria initiative to give international visitors and friends of Victoria the opportunity to engage with tourism experiences and help make a difference before and during their visit.
Further information: https://www.visitmelbourne.com/goodnaturedvictoria
Policy & Planning
The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism has brought together the latest research and global expertise to support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050. It aims to lead and align climate action across tourism stakeholders including government and institutional agencies, donors, financial institutions, international organisations, civil society, the private sector and academia. Tourism stakeholders can now become signatories of the Glasgow Declaration.
Further information: https://www.oneplanetnetwork.org/programmes/sustainable-tourism/glasgow-declaration
Working Holiday Maker Pilot
The Australian Government has announced a pilot for fully vaccinated and eligible Working Holiday Makers who will be able to enter and travel between New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory without quarantining from 1 December 2021. The Working Holiday Maker Pilot Working Group comprises the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Tourism Export Council, the Backpacker and Youth Travel Advisory Panel, the National Farmers Federation, Qantas and Tourism Australia.
Net Zero Roadmap
The World Travel & Tourism Council in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program and Accenture has announced the launch of a ‘Net Zero Roadmap’ for the travel and tourism industry. The report includes an overview of climate actions in travel and tourism, direct lessons learned from the past 18 months, as well as action frameworks for specific industries to help accelerate climate commitments and emissions reduction. It aims to offer a better understanding of the status quo of climate action within tourism as well as current challenges, opportunities and needs.
Further information: https://action.wttc.org/climate-environment
THRIVE 2030 Strategy
An independent panel established by the Australian Government has released a draft strategy after consultations with industry to identify problems, barriers, ideas and solutions on growing the Australian visitor economy. THRIVE 2030 is a proposed long-term national strategy for Australia’s visitor economy recovery and return to sustainable growth 2030. Feedback is open from tourism operators, state and territory governments until 23 December 2021.
Research & Insights
Sustainability Research Report
A new report High Moments, Low Impact: Rethinking Adventure Travel’s Sustainability Efforts is the first in a series of research reports published by the Adventure Travel Trade Association and Switzerland Tourism. The report provides the travel community with case studies, lessons and best practices from Switzerland with an aim to inspire and guide the adventure travel community forward toward a more sustainable future.
Travel Prediction Study
The 2022 Travel Predictions study by Booking.com shows almost travellers are prioritising flexibility to cancel or reschedule free of charge and are looking to extend their vacation experience in new locales by staying an extra week or two to work remotely. The research also found that 2022 will see a significant rise in people wanting to firmly re-establish vacation time as strictly work-free, remote working has brought flexibility to the workplace and an opportunity to branch out and make some new connections. The report surveyed 24,055 respondents across 31 countries in August 2021.
Further information: https://www.booking.com/c/trends/travelpredictions2022.html
Economic Impact Report
In conjunction with Oxford Economics, the World Travel and Tourism Council has produced a report on the economic and employment impact of the travel and tourism industry for 185 countries and 25 economic regions in the world. These reports assist the public and private sector bodies in understanding the value of the travel sector to the economy for policymaking and investment decisions that will hopefully allow fully vaccinated travellers to move freely without regulations on country of origin or eventual destination.
Further information: https://wttc.org/Research/Economic-Impact
Certification & Accreditation
Sustainable Travel Badge
Booking.com has announced the launch of its Travel Sustainable badge – a credible, globally relevant sustainability measure that will provide highly coveted information to travellers all over the world looking to make more sustainable travel choices. The badge is designed to be applicable to a wide range of property types including apartments, B&Bs, holiday homes, hotels, resorts and treehouses. The program will continue to share guidance, insights and best practices via handbooks and dedicated content on the Partner Hub.
Further information: https://www.sustainability.booking.com/
Sustainable Tourism Award
Tourism Australia has partnered with the Banksia Foundation to support the inaugural Sustainable Tourism Banksia Award. The award recognises outstanding achievements by tourism businesses in championing the protection, conservation and regeneration of the environment they operate in and/or the protection of the natural environment across Australia.
Further information: https://banksiafdn.com/awards-categories/
Conferences & Events
Destination Australia Conference
The Destination Australia Conference will be held at Centrepiece in Melbourne on 3 March 2022. The conference will feature high profile speakers discussing lessons learnt, sharing future focused trends and highlighting emerging opportunities.
Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event
The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event will be held in Melbourne from 21-23 March 2022 (in-person) and from 28 March to 1 April 2022 (online). This is the leading trade event for the meetings and event industry.
Further information: https://aime.com.au/