Edition 168 · May 2022
Tony Charters and Associates
Circulated to 10,000 professionals worldwide
Dunny Dash Art Trail
A new tourism app is encouraging food and wine lovers to explore the Southern Downs and Granite Belt region. It provides an interactive platform for visitors to immerse themselves in the tourist experience including the Dunny Dash Art Trail an artificial intelligence element which has seen public toilet blocks transformed with murals painted by local artists.
Further information: https://southerndownsandgranitebelt.com.au/new-visitor-app/
Safety & Security
COVID Safe Hub
Tourism Australia has updated its COVID safe travel information allowing consumers to find relevant links and information about holiday planning and travel restrictions in Australia. The useful resource has new content that features simple checklists, safety tips and a one-stop-shop on the border declarations and apps required to access visitor experiences across the country.
Further information: https://www.australia.com/en/travel-alerts/coronavirus.html
COVID Clean Approved
New Zealand’s tourism quality assurance organisation has launched a new certification to provide assurance that tourism operators are following safe cleaning protocols and operational procedures around COVID-19. The COVID Clean Approved assessment has been developed for Qualmark New Zealand licence holders in accordance with New Zealand Government and the World Travel and Tourism Council guidelines. It offers information and checklists, as well as demonstrating to visitors that appropriate standards have been met.
Further information: https://covidclean.qualmark.co.nz/
Funding & Grants
Aviation Attraction Fund
Applications are open for the New South Wales Government’s $60 million Aviation Attraction Fund program which aims to build aviation capacity over two consecutive years. The Aviation Attraction Fund is designed to secure international and domestic routes at airports across the state from Sydney to Shellharbour, Moruya to Moree and Broken Hill to Ballina. The program will be managed by Destination New South Wales with applications closing 30 June 2023.
Further information: https://www.destinationnsw.com.au/aviation-attraction
Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business Program
Round two of the Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business Program is available which aims to increase the number of Aboriginal-owned tourism products available in the market and support operators to plan for and grow their tourism businesses. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $50,000 and community organisations up to $100,000 to develop authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitor experiences. Current round closes 14 June 2022.
Logan City Council has launched a new financial incentive to help boost nature-based tourism and create more short-stay tourist parks. The council will defer the infrastructure charges payable for nature-based tourism camp sites and tourist parks to a maximum of $100,000. The aim is to significantly reduce the establishment costs for landowners to allow tourists to enjoy their private property locations.
Qantas is ordering 12 Airbus A350-1000s to enable non-stop flights to Australia from long-haul destinations from late 2025. Codenamed Project Sunrise, travellers can expect more direct routes, significantly reduced point-to-point travel time and a cabin interior and service design influenced by medical and scientific research. Qantas has worked with Airbus to develop the Project Sunrise A350-1000ULR which will be fitted with an extra fuel tank, engineering modifications and design, as well as technical refinements needed to fly non-stop for up to 21 hours. Launch routes will be Sydney-London and Sydney-New York, with further destinations including Paris, Frankfurt, Chicago and Rio de Janeiro.
Electric Vehicle Charging
Up to 3,500 electric vehicle chargers will be rolled out across regional New South Wales as part of $20 million in grants to establish Australia’s largest destination charging network. The electric vehicle destination charging grants will be offered on a co-funded basis for the purchase and installation of chargers in regional areas. A range of destinations can apply for the grants including motels, wineries, cafes, restaurants, natural attractions, visitor information centres, museums and zoos.
Entrepreneurial start-up CABN has announced a partnership with Intrepid Travel who will invest over $7.8 million into the business to build an additional 70 off-grid sustainable cabins around Australia by 2023. The investment will boost CABN’s annual room nights including a new product alongside the Cooloola Great Walk in Queensland. Each cabin is built from locally sourced and sustainable materials that requires minimal infrastructure with a ‘leave no trace’ philosophy. Their unique design allows guests to immerse themselves in nature while encouraging a disconnection from everyday life.
Further information: https://cabn.life/
Marriott International has announced the expansion of Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy across the Asia-Pacific. The program now spans close to 100 hotels across the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio in the Asia-Pacific and offers guests the opportunity to forge first-hand connections with local communities and the environment during their stay. The expansion builds on last year’s pilot with 15 hotels across the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio in the region, reaffirming Marriott International’s commitment to doing good in the communities where it operates.
Further information: https://marriottbonvoyasia.com/goodtravel
Rottnest Island Lodge
A $40 million revamp Rottnest Island Lodge has received development approval. The proposal includes a range of new accommodation including affordable and premium options consisting of 46 new boutique-style rooms and 56 refurbished rooms. It will also feature new food and beverage facilities, a wellness centre, community space and two pools. Construction is expected to be completed in 2025.
Further information: https://ria.wa.gov.au/lodge
Dryandra Woodland National Park
The Dryandra Woodland is Western Australia’s newest national park located near the town of Narrogin, two-hours south-east of Perth. Dryandra is also home for some of Australia’s rarest and most vulnerable wildlife making it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts, campers and bushwalkers. Basic accommodation is available at Lions Dryandra Village and campers are welcome at Congelin Campground and the new Gnaala Mia Campground, which has campsites suitable for tents, camper trailers and caravans.
Further information: https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/dryandra-woodland-national-park
The Queensland Government has launched a global Working Holiday Maker campaign to build aspiration, drive conversion and employment. Phase 1 of the campaign, in partnership with Greyhound Australia and Backpacker Deals, will see discounted one-way bus ticket to Queensland that encompasses 30 days of travel over three months. As part of the activity, 14 wrapped Greyhound buses will become moving billboards along popular routes departing from Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane. The website Queensland.com will also provide a one-stop-shop of resources for Working Holidayer jobs and links to partner websites.
Further information: https://www.queensland.com/au/en/working-holidayer’
Online travel agent Hostelworld has launched a new partnership with G Adventures to offer a new style of travel to 18-to-35-year-olds called ‘Roamies.’ The immersive small group tours for 18-to-35-year-old travellers aims to explore iconic destinations and stay in some of the world’s best hostels. The new program captures the free-spirited nature of adventure travel and combines it with the inherently social side of hostels in 15 countries including Albania, Austria, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Peru, Thailand and Vietnam.
Further information: https://www.hostelworld.com/roamies/
Commonwealth Games 2026
The State of Victoria has been confirmed as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games. In a first for the Commonwealth Games, Victoria will introduce a new multi-city model bringing this global event to four regional hubs of Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland. This will deliver a unique experience for athletes, officials and fans.
Further information: https://www.vic.gov.au/victoria-2026-commonwealth-games
The British Columbia Effect
Destination BC has launched a $6.7 million marketing campaign designed to drive emotional urgency and encourage travel to BC in 2022 and 2023 from key international and domestic long-haul markets. The British Columbia Effect – Find Yourself campaign leverages the global brand platform first launched in 2019 and tactics will vary across markets including TV, video, newsprint, magazine and digital advertising.
Cellar Door Brewery
Coopers, Australia’s largest independent family-owned brewery, is investing $50 million in the construction of a new world-class visitor centre, microbrewery and whisky distillery at their Regency Park site in Adelaide. The unique curved design of the structures is inspired by the iconic Coopers’ label rondel and encompass a sloping amphitheatre which will showcase the brewery grounds and provide an immersive cellar door experience. Construction is expected to begin mid-2022 pending Council approval.
In a first for Australian stadiums, the new rooftop experience at Perth’s Optus Stadium allows fans to walk several metres beyond the edge of the stadium roof at a height of 42 metres. Harnessed from above and with no handrails, thrill seekers can peer face-first over the edge for an uninterrupted view of the field of play. The new VERTIGO experience joins the suite of HALO rooftop tour, Behind the Scenes Stadium Tour, Game Day rooftop experience and Aboriginal Cultural tours.
Further information: https://theozone.com.au/experiences/vertigo
Yarra Valley Four Pillars
Four Pillars has unveiled its newly expanded distillery, gin garden and hospitality experience in Healesville, Yarra Valley. Distillery 2.0 has been designed by Melbourne’s sustainability led Breathe Architecture with capacity for around 300 patrons. The venue will include multiple event and function areas and a copper bar, while the snack menu has been designed by former founder of Melbourne eatery Pope Joan, Matt Wilkinson.
Further information: https://www.fourpillarsgin.com/
Sustainable Travel Handbook
Lonely Planet has launched a Sustainable Travel Handbook with advice on topics such as how to reduce carbon emissions, choosing a bone fide eco hotel, reducing waste while travelling and being an ocean-friendly traveller. The handbook also looks at developments in electric transport, responsible wildlife watching experiences and the best ways to visit indigenous people respectfully.
Further information: https://shop.lonelyplanet.com/products/the-sustainable-travel-handbook
Reducing Urban Glow
Bundaberg Regional Council has launched a new turtle awareness campaign aimed at educating people on the impacts of artificial light sources on local marine life. The Reducing Urban Glow is a collaboration between the council, partners and technical experts that uses smart technology to measure urban lighting levels and makes that data available to the community to reduce the negative impact of lighting on both nesting and hatchling marine turtles.
Further information: https://www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au/environment/reducing-urban-glow
Policy & Planning
Digital Futures Program
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has launched the Digital Futures Program designed to accelerate the adoption of new technology among small and medium-sized tourism enterprises. Developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading technology, finance and business companies this initiative aims to provide tourism companies with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to harness the power of new and emerging technologies.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/news/unwto-launches-digital-futures-programme-for-smes
First Nations Tourism Action Plan
Consultation is about to start on the Tropical North Queensland First Nations Tourism Action Plan with workshops to be held across the region to support the development of Indigenous tourism. The Tropical North Queensland Indigenous Experiences Cluster Group have formed a Steering Committee to lead the development of the Plan. Workshops are being held at 13 locations from Innisfail north to Thursday Island and west to Normanton from April to June 2022.
Further information: https://tourism.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au/indigenous-experiences/
The International Air Transport Association has welcomed the renewed commitment to the industry-wide 25by2025 initiative in which participating companies commit to increasing the number of women in senior positions and in under-represented jobs. The 25by2025 voluntary initiative aims to change the gender balance within the aviation industry by recognising female talent and creating opportunities for women in which they can thrive.
Further information: https://www.iata.org/en/policy/future-of-airlines-2035/25-by-2025/
The Australian and Indian Governments have renewed the Australia-India Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation which aims to help encourage more Indian visitors to Australia and the capabilities of Australian tourism businesses. Both governments will work with airlines and airports to boost aviation capacity and visitation between Australia and India, as well as advance cooperation on tourism policy, data sharing, training and industry engagement.
Global Travel Trends Report
As travel continues to recover, American Express Travel has released the 2022 Global Travel Trends Report which shows people are planning to spend more or the same on travel compared to a typical pre-pandemic year. The report looks at the motivations and considerations of travellers as well as trends shaping the future of travel based on data from the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India and United Kingdom. It reveals consumers are traveling to see the people and places they love, celebrate important life events, embark on wish list trips, experience in-person events, and to seek greater wellness and self-care.
Further information: https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/travel/discover/get-inspired/global-travel-trends
Tourism Data Dashboard
The Tourism Data Dashboard provides statistics and insights on key indicators for inbound and outbound tourism at the global, regional and national levels. Commissioned by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, it covers tourist arrivals, tourism share of exports and contribution to Gross Domestic product, source markets, seasonality, as well as data on number of rooms, guest and nights for accommodation.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/unwto-tourism-dashboard
Hotel and Short-Term Rental Insights
London-based start-up OTA Insight is acquiring Madrid-based Transparent which gathers business intelligence on more than 35 million vacation rental and short-term rental listings including AirBnB, VRBO, Booking.com and industry partners. OTA Insight is already a global leader with around 55,000 hotel operators using their shopping and market intelligence tools. The new acquisition will create the world’s most comprehensive platform for data and analytics across both hotel and short-term rental industries.
Further information: https://www.otainsight.com/resources/news/ota-insight-acquires-transparent
Education & Training
Tour Guiding Course
Industry association Tour Guides Australia is offering a short course designed to provide foundation skills for people interested in a tour guide career. The Guiding Fundamentals Course will assist tourism businesses to have a stable supply of appropriately skilled workers delivering high-quality experiences. Tour Guides Australia is already recognised by the Australian Government for its Guides of Australia accreditation program and for representing the interests of Australian Tour Guides.
Further information: https://tga.org.au/
Conferences & Events
Tropical Tourism Conference
The My Queensland Tourism Conference is being held in Cairns from 16 June 2022. The event will discuss future-focused ideas and stories with extensive backgrounds in tourism, events, government, airlines, inbound, wholesale and beyond. Registrations close 10 June 2022.
Western Australia Tourism Conference
The Western Australia Tourism Conference will take place in Perth from 21-22 June 2022. This conference aims to provide professional and business development, networking and engagement and industry-leading speakers on issues and innovative ideas.
Further information: https://tourismcouncilwa.com.au/events-training/wa-tourism-conference