Edition 167 · April 2022
Tony Charters and Associates
Circulated to 10,000 professionals worldwide
Sustainable Tourism Award
Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort in Queensland has won the Sustainable Tourism category at the National Banksia Awards. The awards align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Sustainable Tourism category is sponsored by Tourism Australia to recognise outstanding achievement in championing the protection, conservation, and regeneration of the environment.
Further information: https://banksiafdn.com/award/
Trees4Travel develops Planet and People-Positive Travel programs to rewild the world through the creation of new forests. It plants indigenous trees to provide an income through fruit and medicine farming instead of timber production or forest clearing. This helps to restore ecosystems and biodiversity as well as supports local communities through the dignity of employment.
Further information: https://www.trees4travel.com/
Funding & Grants
Budget Boost for Tourism
The Australian Government has announced $60 million in funding to accelerate the return and regional dispersal of international travellers to destinations impacted by border closures. Tourism Australia will receive $45 million over the next two years for international marketing campaigns and partnership opportunities, as well as extending the National Experience Content Initiative and Business Events Australia’s bid fund. Tourism Tropical North Queensland will also receive $15 million to get tourists back to North Queensland and promote the Great Barrier Reef.
Further information: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/additional-funding-attract-international-visitors
Queensland Destination Events Program
Round 22 of the Queensland Destination Events Program is open for all events being staged between January 2023 and January 2024. The program seeks to leverage the link between events and destinations in which they are staged to extend the economic, marketing, and social benefits throughout Queensland. Applications close 1 June 2022.
Tourism Australia’s international business events marketing partnership initiative offers the opportunity to leverage expertise to grow consideration of Australia as a business events destination and deliver best-practice marketing to grow international visitation to business events. Managed by Business Events Australia, the Advance Program delivers specific, measurable, and achievable activity within a specified fiscal year. Deadline for submissions is 10 June 2022.
Virgin Voyage for Lopez
Richard Branson’s new cruise line Virgin Voyages has revealed its fleet-wide partnership with international film and music superstar, entrepreneur, and style icon Jennifer Lopez. The new partnership is a modern reinvention of the traditional cruise ship godmother role and will see Lopez’s influence throughout the company’s ships from guest experience development with an emphasis on well-being and fitness, to design collaborations and entertainment co-creations. Virgin Voyages is a cruise vacations brand for adults only with operations in the U.S., U.K., and Europe.
Further information: https://www.virginvoyages.com/ahoy/stories/jlo-called-we-answered
Climate Action Plan
The Qantas Group has released its Climate Action Plan making sustainability a key pillar of decision making across all areas of the business. It outlines the specific steps it is taking to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 including key targets for fuel efficiency and the uptake of sustainable aviation fuel, as well as reducing waste and continuing to grow carbon offsetting.
Infrastructure & Investment
Experience Co has launched a new $7 million marine science and tourism pontoon at Moore Reef. The three-level platform which can accommodate over 500 guests has three wind turbines, 18 solar panels, dive and snorkel platforms, sun deck, as well as a laboratory and accommodation for marine scientists. Experience Co partnered with the Queensland Government under its Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
Further information: https://www.reefmagic.com.au/new-pontoon/
Kingfisher Bay Resort Rebrand
Kingfisher Bay Resort is celebrating 30 years since the resort opened its doors on K’gari (Fraser Island) in 1992. Opening the same year as the island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ecotourism accommodation operator is commemorating the occasion with a full rebrand of its business offerings following a renaming agreement made with the island’s traditional owners last year.
The Solo System
The Hostelworld Group has launched a networking platform which enables travellers to interact and connect with like-minded people. The Solo System allows users to see which cities and venues are trending, as well as other traveller profiles and message them once they book. The personalisation also includes a profile photo, first name, nationality and where users have travelled. Hostelworld is an Online Travel Agent with hostel accommodation options in over 180 countries worldwide.
Waldorf Astoria Sydney
One of Hilton’s iconic luxury hotel brands has announced its expansion into Australia with the signing of Waldorf Astoria Sydney. The hotel is part of AW One Circular Quay’s mixed-use development site with views of the famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House. The new hotel will feature 220 rooms across its 28-floor expanse with two new restaurants, the Waldorf Astoria Spa and the central gathering space dubbed ‘Peacock Alley.’ Tokyo’s Kengo Kuma and Associates and Sydney-based Crone Architects will oversee the architecture which blends contemporary living with innovative design. It is earmarked to open in early 2025.
Digital & Technology
Visitor Centre App
TripTech has been working with The Tourism Group to build Australia’s first visitors centre app. The Australian Visitor Centres – Explore Australia App features every Accredited Visitor Information Centre throughout the country and curated content from local Explore Visitor Centres. It will help visitors journey through Australia’s regions and council areas providing the latest information on regional events, news, accommodation, and things to do.
Further information: https://www.thetourismgroup.com.au/explore-australia-visitor-centre-app
The Last Tourist
The Last Tourist is a new documentary released by G Adventures that reveals the real conditions and consequences of one of the largest industries worldwide. Filmed in over 16 countries and guided by the world’s leading tourism and conservation visionaries it aims to empower audiences with the knowledge and inspiration to make a positive impact and recommends tangible ways travellers can use their personal power to have a positive impact as the world reopens to international travel.
Further information: https://thelasttouristfilm.com/
Tourism Tropical North Queensland has launched an eco-travel campaign with Concrete Playground as part of their partnership with the Qantas Green tier program. The Green Playground aims to inspire and educate more Australians to make mindful decisions in their travel choices. Tropical North Queensland is home to two natural World Heritage listed sites and the highest number of eco-certified operators who support culture, community, and the environment. The project received funding under the Recovery for Regional Tourism program.
Further information: https://www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au/plan-your-trip/eco-travel/
Event Here This Year
A new iteration of the domestic focused Event Here This Year campaign will target local decision makers to drive demand for face-to-face business events across Australia. The campaign positions face-to-face business events as the critical ingredient to build and foster workplace culture, morale, and performance. It will run until 30 June 2022 supported by a content and public relations program, as well as a range of media including business press, out of home, social media, digital display, and search.
Budj Bim Cultural Landscape
One of the world’s oldest and most important cultural sites is open to visitors following consultation with Gunditjmara Traditional Owners and completion of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in Southwest Victoria is home to fish traps and weirs used for farming eels as well as the remains of over 300 Aboriginal stone houses. The Victorian Government invested more than $12 million through the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund to develop a new eel aquaculture education centre, art installations, walkways, cantilevered lookout, information centre and interpretive signage.
Further information: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/unesco-world-heritage-site-opens-cultural-destination
Tourism and Conservation Alliance
Leading tourism and conservation organisations have joined forces to lobby the Queensland Government to increase funding for protected areas in the state. The new Tourism and Conservation Alliance is made up of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Ecotourism Australia, Queensland First Nations Tourism Council, Queensland Conservation Council, Pew Charitable Trusts, and the National Parks Association Queensland. Any funding will be used to establish new national parks and private protected areas, ensure effective management of existing and new protected areas, and support nature-based tourism activities.
Monarto Safari Park
Monarto Safari Park, the world’s largest open-range safari experience outside of Africa, has opened its new Visitor Centre redevelopment. Located one hour east of Adelaide, the centre overlooks the expansive Monarto property plains and houses a spacious retail store, refurbished cafe, exhibition room and children’s playground.
Further information: https://www.monartosafari.com.au/
Awake Tourism Challenge
The World Tourism Organisation has launched the second edition of its global flagship competition. The Awake Tourism Challenge will identify most innovative start-ups that are working to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Applications close 31 June 2022 and winners will be announced in October 2022.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/unwto-awake-tourism-challenge
The Republic of Palau in the North West Pacific has a new model of responsible tourism that aims to change the way people interact with the environment and local culture. The Ol’au Palau initiative allows visitors to accumulate points for demonstrating responsible and regenerative behaviour during their stay which they can use to access unique cultural experiences normally reserved for locals. In 2017, Palau also launched the Palau Pledge, a world-first mandatory environmental pledge that’s stamped into a visitor’s passport on arrival. It has since been replicated in New Zealand, Hawaii and Finland.
Further information: https://olaupalau.com/
Carbon Footprint Calculator
Sustainable Travel International has launched a new online carbon footprint calculator that promotes climate-friendly travel by enabling users to measure and offset their travel emissions. This new tool is designed specifically for travel activities including commercial and charter flights, vehicles, cruises, liveaboards and yachts. The calculator was completely redesigned and rebuilt to account for nearly all the high emissions aspects of travel including the latest methodologies for travel foot printing.
Further information: https://sustainabletravel.org/carbon-calculator/
Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan
Tourism Western Australia and the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council has announced a four-year funding contract worth $4.32 million to support the implementation of the Jina: Western Australian Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2021-2025. The plan was developed to build the capacity for Aboriginal people to enter the tourism sector and facilitate the development of Aboriginal cultural experiences to meet the growing demand from visitors.
Policy & Planning
The Australian Government has launched THRIVE 2030, Australia’s national strategy for the long-term sustainable growth of the visitor economy. Industry-led and government-enabled the strategy was driven by the core themes of collaboration, modernisation, and diversification. It aims to help the sector recover fully and grow sustainably long into the future. The strategy has set a target of returning visitor expenditure to pre-COVID levels of $166 billion by 2024 and growing it to $230 billion by 2030.
Further information: https://www.austrade.gov.au/news/publications/thrive-2030-strategy
Hotel Sustainability Basics
The World Travel and Tourism Council have launched the Hotel Sustainability Basics initiative to provide a globally recognised set of sustainability indicators for hotels to ensure they meet the minimum requirements. The criteria were developed with the support of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and include actions to measure and reduce energy, water, waste, and carbon emissions. The aim is to encourage hotel operators, owners, associations, and investors around the world in implementing the criteria across their networks.
Further information: https://action.wttc.org/hotel-sustainability-basics
Sports Tourism Partnership
The World Tourism Organisation and the Union of European Football Associations have announced a partnership to jointly promote the shared values and benefits of sports and tourism to drive social and economic change. Under the new partnership, the organisations will work together to facilitate travel and mobility, promote opportunities for jobs and education, champion youth empowerment and gender equality, as well as climate action responsibilities.
Image: UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin and UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili
Niche Tourism Markets
Dark sky tourism, agritourism, glamping and wildflower tourism have been revealed as new niche tourism markets with the potential to grow Western Australia’s visitor numbers, according to insights from a series of consumer research reports which have been shared at regional workshops for businesses interested in using tourism to generate additional income.
Women In Adventure Travel
A new report released by Adventure Travel Trade Association, in partnership with Switzerland Tourism, is based on a survey of women employees, women travellers, and women in local communities. It discusses the roles and types of benefits offered to support work-life balance and encourage leadership development. It also provides recommendations on how the industry can be proactive in identifying and supporting pathways for women to succeed in adventure travel businesses.
Tourism Investment Monitor
According to Tourism Research Australia’s Tourism Investment Monitor 2020-21, there are 225 tourism projects in the pipeline valued at a combined nearly $43 billion. Projects in the pipeline cover the main tourism sectors of aviation, arts, recreation, business services and accommodation. The monitor uses data from Deloitte Access Economics’ Investment Monitor, STR Global Asia Pacific’s Pipeline Database and investment authorities within state governments.
Further information: https://www.tra.gov.au/data-and-research/reports/tourism-investment-monitor-2020-21
Education & Training
Protecting Animals and Nature
The Adventure Travel Trade Association has partnered with Animondial to provide a new OnlineEDU course. The Protecting Animals and Nature in Adventure Travel course is designed to inform, inspire, and empower travel and tourism organisations. It provides guidance and tools required to mitigate risk, safeguard clients, protect local livelihoods and ensure best practice in managing animals in tourism.
YHA has launched ‘Y-Jobs,’ connecting Working Holiday Makers with tourism and hospitality roles across Australia. With over 40 properties, YHA is an accommodation provider which has introduced the service to help the industry recover from staffing shortages. The site lists a range of jobs including bars, restaurants, hotels, tour operations, guiding and administration.
Further information: https://www.yha.com.au/about/news/introducing-y-jobs/
Conferences & Events
Australian Festival Industry Conference
The Australian Festival Industry Conference will take place at Sea World Resort from 30 August – 1 September 2022. The event will provide valuable insights and practical knowledge from Australia’s leading industry experts in the festival business.
Further information: http://australianfestivalconference.com.au/2022-program/
Adventure Travel World Summit
The Adventure Travel World Summit will be held in Ticino, Switzerland from 3 – 6 October 2022. The event is centred on Sustainable Tourism with themes centred around the elements of fire, water, air, and earth.
Further information: https://www.adventuretravel.biz/events/summit/switzerland-2022/