Edition 163 · December 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.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Adopt A Booth
The British government is looking to protect the 21,000 bright red phone booths that are scattered throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland. These symbols always attract the attention of foreign tourists, and the Adopt a Booth scheme allows non-government organisations to buy a booth for one pound and repurpose by turning them into libraries, mini art galleries or first aid centres.
Further information: https://dip.org.ua/en/tourism/british-iconic-phone-booths-rescued/
Safety & Security
Digital International Travel
The World Travel and Tourism Council has released the Role of Interoperability and Digital Travel Portals report which draws on guidance developed for governments from the World Health Organisation, International Civil Aviation Organisation and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This report outlines a practical digital solution for COVID-19 checks of travellers that achieves the needs of both governments and industry for the safe and sustainable resumption of international travel.
Further information: www.wttc.org/Digital-Solutions-For-Reviving-International-Travel
The Australian Tourism Industry Council has launched a new program to support Australian tourism businesses to identify and promote themselves as a COVID Vaxx Practicing Business. The program has been developed for accredited businesses who want to highlight to both customers and staff that they have the appropriate workplace policies and procedures in place regarding vaccinations. The new module is also available to tourism businesses accredited through the Quality Tourism Accreditation program.
Further information: https://www.qualitytourismaustralia.com/home/covid-vaxx-practicing-business/
Funding & Grants
Nature-Based Tourism Co-Investment Fund
The $5 million Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund is a pilot grant program designed to assist eligible businesses and organisations to partner with the State Government to deliver ecologically sensitive tourism experiences and products in South Australia. The fund is part of the Parks 2025 Strategy and is intended to provide the stimulus to activate or build tourism offerings in the state’s national parks, reserves, botanic gardens and Crown land. The fund will be open until June 2022.
Tourism Aviation Network Support
The Tourism Aviation Network Support initiative is being extended until 28 February 2022 for both sales and travel, to ensure travellers impacted by lockdowns or border closures can access these tickets and visit key tourism regions over summer. The initiative will allow Australians to access half-price airfares this summer under the cheap flight’s initiative, boosting airlines and tourism operators while accelerating Australia’s economic recovery.
Tourism and Events Recovery Package
The New South Wales Government is investing in reviving events across the state through a $530 million package to supercharge businesses and attractions that contribute to visitation for the destination. The package is a key part of the N.S.W. Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.
The Queensland Destination Events Program funding is now open for applications. The program seeks to leverage the link between events and the destinations to extend the flow of economic and social benefits throughout Queensland. The funding can be used for marketing costs, strategic plan development, engaging specialised personnel and/or hire of temporary infrastructure.
Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism Grant Program
The Australian Government has announced the opening of the new $3 million Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism program to support activities that encourage cultural tourism, preservation of heritage and stories of local communities. Under the program, community museums, galleries and historical societies in regional Australia can apply. Applications close 29 April 2022.
Further information: https://www.amaga.org.au/chart
Qantas frequent flyers will be awarded loyalty points and ‘green tier’ status if they offset emissions from their flights, cars and homes as part of the airline’s efforts to improve its sustainability credentials. The Green tier will sit alongside existing flying tiers and is designed to educate, encourage and reward the airline’s 13 million frequent flyers. The investment from customers will see Qantas which is already one of the largest private sector buyers of Australian carbon credits, support more conservation and environmental projects.
Nautilus Aviation has partnered with Eve Air Mobility to introduce a fleet of 10 new zero-emission aircraft by 2026. The partnership will see the introduction of zero-emission flights serving Queensland’s most iconic tourism attraction the Great Barrier Reef. Nautilus Aviation is Northern Australia’s largest helicopter operator with over 25 years flying experience and a network of bases spanning Cairns, Port Douglas, Townsville, Darwin and Horn Island in Torres Strait. Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions is a new independent company founded by Embraer dedicated to accelerating the Urban Air Mobility ecosystem.
Virgin and United Partnership
The Virgin Australia Group has announced a new partnership with United Airlines to increase the airline’s reach when customers travel to cities in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. Commencing in April 2022, the partnership will establish codeshare co-operation as well as reciprocal loyalty benefits for frequent flyer members to earn, redeem and receive tier benefits. It will also see the two airlines work together to improve customer experience and share best practices in areas such as innovation and sustainability.
Infrastructure & Investment
Auto Mall Track
Brisbane Airport Corporation is calling for Expressions of Interest for businesses with experience in managing entertainment, hospitality, events and track facilities for a non-aviation project called the BNE Auto Mall. The project is located on a 51.3-hectare site next to the International Terminal and will be home to a diverse range of industries including iconic automotive brands, retail, hospitality, entertainment, innovation and education. The heart of the precinct will be the 2.4-kilometre performance track designed by Australian motor racing legend Mark Skaife. Submissions close on 28 January 2022.
For information: https://www.bneproperty.com.au/BNE-Auto-Mall
G’Day Undara Experience
World-renowned Undara Experience near Cairns has been sold to the G’Day Group adding to its portfolio of iconic Australian accommodation including El Questro and Kings Canyon. Previous owners the Collins family established the outback volcanic tourism attraction back in 1990 and will have an ongoing relationship with the property. The purchase is part of over $100 million in acquisitions and developments which the Adelaide-based G’day Group has made this financial year.
Further information: https://www.gdaygroup.com.au/
Digital & Technology
Snapchat has partnered with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to launch a global call to action that will raise awareness and drive action to help plant a million corals. The campaign will harness the power of Snapchat’s camera, encouraging millions of users globally to share a first-of-its-kind environmental pledge in Augmented Reality via a unique Water Segmentation Lens.
A new $18 million luxury lodge has opened at Mount Lofty Estate in the Adelaide Hills. Sequoia Lodge which overlooks the Piccadilly Valley features 14 luxurious sustainably designed suites built alongside natural artesian spring-fed stone hot pools and a campfire amphitheatre. The rooms feature sunken lounges complete with stone fireplaces, king-size beds, outdoor daybeds, free-standing bathtubs, heated floors and advanced in-room technology.
Further information: https://www.sequoialodge.com.au/
Hostelworld and G Adventures are joining forces to bring a new style of travel to 18 to 35-year-olds that combines the social hostelling experience with small group adventure travel. The Roamies Collection is the start of a longer-term partnership that will launch with a collection of 38 trips in 15 countries staying across more than 50 hostels. Trips will be sold by both G Adventures and Hostelworld, as well as via travel agents.
Further information: http://gadventures.com/roamies
Matagarup Bridge Zipline
The Matagarup Bridge zipline has opened adding another unique experience for people visiting Perth and marking the completion of the Matagarup Bridge project. It is supported by Tourism Western Australia’s Tourism Case Management Framework and complements the Bridge Climb attraction which opened earlier this year.
Further information: https://www.zipclimb.com.au/
Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld has launched its latest ride called Steel Taipan, named after the deadly snake native to Australia. The $32 million Steel Taipan is the theme parks largest investment in a single attraction and is the southern hemisphere’s first triple launch system with 3.8 G-force and the world’s first ride to feature spinning rear seats.
Intrepid Climate Action
Intrepid Travel’s not-for-profit organisation has formed a new partnership with Blue Carbon Lab which conducts cutting-edge research into a little-known climate change solution called blue carbon. Blue carbon ecosystems are coastal wetlands of mangroves, tidal marshes, and seagrasses, which draw down carbon from the earth’s atmosphere at up to 50 times faster than trees and then lock it away to help slow global warming. The Intrepid Foundation has donated $81,000 to Blue Carbon Lab and team members will also join researchers in the field as citizen scientists.
Further information: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/climate
Expedition travel company Lindblad Expeditions is making it easier for travellers to learn about responsible travel and make more informed decisions when picking a travel company with its brand-new guide, Sustainable Travel: A How-To Guide for Making a Positive Difference to the Planet. Lindblad created this downloadable guide as an educational resource to help travellers navigate the increasingly confusing world of sustainable travel.
Further information: https://au.expeditions.com/landing/sustainability-guide-guest/
Alaska Airlines has launched a partnership with travel2change to connect guests with enriching volunteer experiences and activities aimed at creating a positive benefit for communities across the Hawaiian Islands. Founded in Hawaii in 2011, travel2change pioneered a more responsible organic environmentally sustainable give-back model that is first designed to support local making it easier for travellers to find and participate in authentic educational and cultural experiences during their visit.
Further information: https://travel2change.org/alaskaair/
Hunter Valley Zoo joins Australian Wildlife Parks
Hunter Valley Zoo has been welcomed into the Australian Wildlife Parks group, joining Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park in Western Sydney and Mogo Wildlife Park near Batemans Bay. The purchase cements Australian Wildlife Parks as Australia’s largest private wildlife tourism operator. Over the past 14 years the Hunter Valley Zoo has expanded from a native only collection to species including primates, American alligators, white lions, wolves, meerkats and capybaras.
Further information: https://www.huntervalleyzoo.com.au/
Connect to Country
Tourism Australia has released a new social video in partnership with Indigenous creative consultancy Campfire x to encourage Australians to Connect to Country. The video highlights that wherever you are in Australia you are on the Country of Traditional Custodians. It also provides ways to connect with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and traditions including participating in tourism experiences.
Further information: https://www.connecttocountry.com.au/
Australia’s Biggest National Park
The new national park has been declared within the Lake Eyre Basin in South Australia. It spans 3.6 million hectares which is four times the size of Yellowstone in the United States. Munga-Thirri-Simpson desert is Australia’s largest national park and is a sanctuary to more than 900 species of plants and animals including dingoes, thorny devils and wedge-tailed eagles.
Tourism Video Competition
The 2021 United Nations World Tourism Organisation Tourism Video Competition was designed to recognise the best visual storytellers from every global region. The winners were judged by an independent jury made up of international media in two categories that aimed to show the best examples of destinations harnessing the power of tourism for sustainable development.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/news/2021-unwto-tourism-video-competition-winners
Australia's Craft Beer Capital
With 21 craft breweries across the region, the Sunshine Coast is home to the largest number of breweries per capita in the country making it Australia’s Craft Beer Capital. Local brewers have collectively won more than 170 awards for their beer, Moffat Beach Brewing Co was recently awarded Champion Medium/Small Brewery at the 2021 Independent Beer Awards Australia and Your Mates Brewing’s Larry Australian Pale Ale was awarded 4th best Aussie Craft Beer in the 2020 GABS Hottest 100.
Further information: https://www.visitsunshinecoast.com/craftbeercapital
Discover the Originals
Visit Sweden has launched a new campaign called ‘discover the originals’ to reclaim 21 iconic places across the country which have inspired the names of well-known and loved IKEA furniture and household items. The campaign created by Ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors aims to reveal the tongue-in-cheek truth behind these often-funny sounding Swedish product names to offer travellers more opportunities to explore the country.
Policy & Planning
Action Plan for Tourism Recovery
The Queensland Tourism Industry Reference Panel has released an Interim Action Plan for Tourism Recovery following months of state-wide consultation. The Interim Plan is designed to help restart Queensland’s tourism and events industry by providing a blueprint on opportunities, enablers and a focus on connecting customers with products. It outlines a strategic framework of recommended actions for implementation now and in the longer term. The panel will continue to engage with industry before a Final Action Plan is released in early 2022.
Further information: https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/tourism/tourism-industry-reference-panel
Best Tourism Villages
A total of 44 villages from 32 countries across five world regions have been recognised as the best examples of villages embracing tourism to provide opportunity and drive sustainable development. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation Best Tourism Villages initiative was launched to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, as well as local gastronomy. The next edition will open in February 2022.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/news/unwto-announces-list-of-best-tourism-villages-2021
Review Transparency Report
Tripadvisor has published its Review Transparency Report revealing in detail the volume of traveller reviews submitted on the platform throughout 2020. The report analysed over 26 million reviews from many perspectives including how the company deals with fake and fraudulent reviews, as well as the process of moderation. It also highlighted the important steps Tripadvisor is taking to protect travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic with the introduction of new community standards designed to prevent the spread of misinformation and protect businesses that have been keeping customers safe.
Further information: http://tripadvisor.com/TransparencyReport2021
Education & Training
Tourism and hospitality employers and workers can now connect more easily following the launch of an online platform by the Tasmanian Government called Shift Sharer. The platform was developed in response to labour supply issues facing the industry and to support the industry coming into the busy summer season. It enables employers to request talent and register their shift vacancies on the portal, while employees can register their availability.
Further information https://www.searsonbuck.com.au/shiftsharer/
Research & Insights
Trending in Travel Report
The World Travel and Tourism Council and Trip.com Group have launched the Trending in Travel: Emerging Consumer Trends in Travel and Tourism in 2021 and Beyond. The new report shows the latest trends traveller behaviour and future booking patterns including domestic rediscovery, longer stays, the allure of secondary destinations, responsible travel, wellness and virus prevention.
Further information: https://research.wttc.org/trending-in-travel
Tourism Working Group Survey
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Tourism Working Group is seeking feedback to understand the vulnerability of the tourism sector to support future policy development. The tourism industry is invited to respond on the preparedness and use of information and communication technology in response and recovery efforts. The survey closes 7 January 2022 with results expected to be published in mid-2022.
Further information: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T838YLG
Outbound Tourism Market Trends
Booking behaviour by the European outbound tourism market is changing rapidly and new generations with different demands and factors are taking over the market including an increasing concern for sustainability, health and lifestyle. A new study by the Centre of Expertise Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality has explored 4 scenarios of what could happen with global tourism with each resulting in different threats and/or opportunities for the tourism sector.
Further information: https://www.cbi.eu/market-information/tourism/trends
A new report released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation shows how sustainable tourism is playing a key role in boosting livelihoods, poverty alleviation, and environmental conservation in mountainous areas. The publication Mountain Tourism – Towards A More Sustainable Path highlights the important role that tourism can play in valuing the natural and spiritual heritage of mountains, and the cultural diversity and traditional practices of mountain peoples. It features examples of innovation and best practices, as well as practical guidelines and recommendations for sustainable mountain tourism.
Further information: https://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cb7884en
Traveller Value Index
The Expedia Group’s latest research reveals how traveller preferences have shifted due to the pandemic and how they vary across different geographies, age groups, and travel experiences. The Traveller Value Index was conducted by Wakefield Research among 8,000 nationally representative adults ages 18+ in eight markets: U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., France, Germany, Japan, and Australia, between April 16 and May 7, 2021, using an email invitation and an online survey. It covers multiple sectors including hotel, vacation rentals, air, car and cruise.
Further information: https://welcome.expediagroup.com/en/research-and-insights/the-traveler-value-index
Workforce Crisis Resilience and Recovery Plan
The Queensland Tourism Industry Council, in partnership with The University of Queensland, has developed an industry Workforce Crisis Resilience and Recovery Plan. The plan has been developed after extensive nationwide surveys and consultations into the resilience factors and impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism workforce in five regions across Queensland including the Whitsundays, Tropical North Queensland, Gold Coast, Southern Queensland Country, and Outback Queensland.
Conferences & Events
Gastronomy Tourism Start-up Competition
The UNWTO in collaboration with Basque Culinary Centre has launched the 3rd Global Competition for Gastronomy Tourism Start-ups. It aims to identify challenges, projects and innovations that can transform Gastronomy Tourism into a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient sector. Deadline for applications is 28 February 2022.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/3rd-global-gastronomy-tourism-startup-competition
Place Branding Australia
The Place Branding Australia conference will be held at Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart from 9-11 March 2022. This conference will provide attendees with insight into the challenges and learnings from a wide range of live place branding projects across Australian and New Zealand.
Further information: https://placebrandingaustralia.com.au/
Australian Tourism Exchange
Australia’s largest trade event the Australian Tourism Exchange will take place in Sydney in May 2022. The event delivered by Tourism Australia will be held in a hybrid format with ATE Live from 15-18 May and ATE Online from 24-26 May to connect those unable to travel to Australia.