Edition 176 · January 2023
Tony Charters and Associates
Circulated to 10,000 professionals worldwide
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Henley Passport Index
Japan has been ranked the world’s most powerful passport for the fifth consecutive year in the annual global Henley Passport Index which is based on official IATA data. As a result, Japanese citizens can now visit 193 destinations out of 227 around the world visa-free. At the other end of the index is Afghanistan with 166 fewer visa-free destinations than Japan.
Further information: https://www.henleyglobal.com/passport-index/ranking
Safety & Security
Digital Travel Credential
Digital Travel Credentials are becoming essential in delivering new levels of seamless and secure travel, as well as relieving pressure on infrastructure, resources, and costs. Digital identities will mean travel by air, land, or sea without needing to show physical documents such as our passport, visa, health forms, boarding pass, or driver’s license.
Grants & Funding
Cultural Grants Program
The New South Wales Government has opened applications for the $1 million Cultural Grants program 2022-23 which will support community organisations, groups, and businesses to fund Aboriginal cultural events and activities. Grants of up to $20,000 are available to empower Aboriginal communities to strengthen, protect, share, promote, and maintain traditional and modern expressions of Aboriginal culture. Applications close on 14 April 2023.
Further information: https://www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au/grants/
Linkage Grant Program
The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre have relaunched their Linkage Grant Program which helps promote the Gold Coast as a destination for international business events by providing grants of up to $8,000 to support attendance at international conferences. Recipients are offered an opportunity to advance their own professional development and profile of their research centre/institute whilst acting as a global ambassador for the city.
Further information: https://www.gccec.com.au/gccec-linkage-program.html
Aboriginal Tourism Operator Funding
The Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council charitable entity, Aboriginal Tourism Western Australia has recently secured $3.9 million of funding over the next four years. The funding provided through the support of philanthropists and Lotterywest will assist with building business capacity, deliver mentoring, and supporting emerging Aboriginal businesses and tourism leaders at the grassroots level.
International Distribution Grant Program
Tourism Northern Territory is providing grants to assist tourism businesses in getting ready for the international tourism market. Funding is available to contract advice to price product with suitable rates including commission, determine distribution potential, receive advice for international marketing plans, or to develop an export marketing plan including rates and commission structures suited to International Tourism Operators and Online Travel Agents. Applications close 30 April 2023.
A new low-cost airline has won approval to start flying to airports across Queensland and regional Australia. Bonza Airlines has been granted its Air Operator Certificate by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and will fly to 17 destinations and 27 routes from the Sunshine Coast including Albury, Avalon, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, and Melbourne. It is the first new major airline for Australia since Tiger Airways launched more than 15 years ago.
Further information: https://www.flybonza.com/
Airport Department Store
Sydney Airport and retailer Heinemann have unveiled plans to launch Australia’s first airport department store concept in the domestic terminals. Scheduled to open in July 2023, the mega-stores will offer a full suite of fashion, accessories, watches, jewellery, perfumes, cosmetics, skincare, confectionery and wines and spirits. Heinemann will operate the stores on a five-year concession, expanding its footprint from its current duty-free concession which runs to 2029 at the International Terminal.
Sustainable Drinking Water
Global hospitality leader Accor is partnering with SOURCE Global to bring the world’s first sustainable bottled drinking water brand to key hotels in Singapore. It will replace single-use plastic bottled water with drinking water packaged in reusable glass bottles made by SOURCE Hydropanels, a ground-breaking solar-powered technology that harvests renewable water vapour in the air and transforms it into drinking water. The project is part of Accor’s global commitment to eliminate single-use plastics in the guest experience, consistent with the UN Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and the Resource Sustainability Bill passed by the Singaporean Government as part of zero-waste initiatives.
Further information: https://www.source.co/
YHA Australia have launched their first Y-Hive coworking space in the Blue Mountains, YHA in Katoomba. Blue Mountains is the first of several coworking spaces, allowing guests and locals to affordably access brand new, purpose-built spaces for work or study at exciting destinations across Australia. The new offering was conceived as a way for travellers and locals alike to take advantage of YHA’s extensive network and comprehensive facilities to stay connected and find great spaces to focus or collaborate.
Further information: https://www.yha.com.au/travel-and-tours/working-holidays-in-australia/coworking/
The IUCN Green List is a global campaign to motivate improved performance and achievement of conservation objectives. Sites on the IUCN Green List are certified as being effectively managed with long-term positive impacts on people and nature. At the heart of the initiative is the Green List Sustainability Standard that provides a global benchmark for how to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century using 17 criteria.
Further information: https://iucngreenlist.org/
Lady Musgrave Island Upgrade
Lady Musgrave Island, situated 60 kilometres north-east of Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, has been upgraded with new camping facilities. The revitalisation work included a new advanced composting toilet system and a building that is accessible for people of all abilities. The upgrade is part of $262.5 million which has been invested to create and expand national parks across the state. The project was funded by the program and Reef Trust in collaboration with Australia Pacific LNG, QGC, and Santos GLNG.
Further information: https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/96924
All-Inclusive Photo Project
In partnership with world-renowned photographers, Celebrity Cruises has created the world’s first open-source photo library featuring ethnic, disabled, curvy and LGBTQ+ changemakers. The All-Inclusive Photo Project aims to address the lack of diversity in travel marketing imagery and address the under-representation of all people who travel. The images are free for use by travel companies, media, and advertising agencies looking to make their marketing materials more inclusive.
Further information: https://allinclusivephotoproject.com/
The Sunshine Council is partnering with Briometrix to create a mobility map that will change the way our community travels across the Sunshine Coast. The map identifies footpaths, shared pathways, and trails accessible for people of all abilities which are graded by the effort required to travel the pathway by an average wheelchair pilot.
Infrastructure & Investment
Native Americans Platform
Visit California and tribal leaders have unveiled a new state-wide initiative designed to showcase California’s vibrant Native communities and tourism experiences to travellers from around the world. Home to more than 100 federally recognised tribes, Visit Native California will be a source of information on the cultural tourism experiences across the state including museums, cultural centres, hiking, boating, restaurants, and tasting rooms. The building is expected to open in early 2023.
Further information: https://www.visitcalifornia.com/
The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has launched a new platform to support refugees and their families by providing access to hospitality job opportunities. Hospitality Unite was initially a pilot for Ukrainian refugees looking for hospitality work throughout Europe by providing an online space for hotel brands to post job opportunities, and refugees to apply and interview for roles while in transit or looking to leave Ukraine. The platform is powered by experts in hospitality workforce management and now aims to become global as an ongoing support mechanism for the almost 90 million people who are currently forcibly displaced worldwide.
Further information: https://hospitalityunite.com/
Tread Lightly Program
The Tread Lightly Noosa program offers visitors a range of hands-on ways they can lighten their environmental footprint while on holiday and give back to a destination they love. The six environment-based experiences aim to provide visitors with insight into local projects that are making a difference and inspires them to venture beyond the usual holiday. As the program evolves, it will expand to include experiences around cultural understanding and connection to help rejuvenate and protect the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
Further information: https://www.visitnoosa.com.au/tread-lightly/home
Air New Zealand has released its 2022 Sustainability Report following on from the launch of its commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Flight NZ0 commitment to all New Zealanders aims to find a more sustainable way to connect with the world that actively reduces carbon for a net zero by 2050 goal. The report details the carrier’s interim 2030 science-based carbon reduction target, validated by the Air NZ: Cleaner & Greener Goals Science-Based Targets initiative.
Climate Action Plan
TourRadar has released a Climate Action Plan which includes an impact measurement tool that sets a goal for all operators to have sustainability plans by 2030. The tool aims to provide a simple and centralised way of carbon measurement and reporting, allowing operators and industry supply chains to focus their efforts on mitigating the footprint of their adventures and operations. The platform also encourages tour operators to incorporate sustainable practices into itineraries with travellers able to see which tours offer initiatives that reduce emissions, and learn about animal welfare programs, and local community development projects.
Further information: www.tourradar.com
Policy & Planning
The World Travel and Tourism Council and JLL have released a report which addresses new global issues in competitiveness and sustainability for tourism cities. The Destination 2030: Global Cities’ Readiness for Sustainable Tourism Growth has categorised 63 global cities into five levels of readiness while providing solutions to promote sustainable growth in each destination. It also includes recommendations for cities looking to sustain and grow the travel and tourism industry in a post-pandemic period.
Further information: https://research.wttc.org/destination-2030-jll-wttc-report
The Australian Capital Territory Government has launched its long-term tourism strategy as the economy continues to rebound from the impacts of the pandemic with people travelling to Canberra for leisure, to visit friends and relatives, do business and study. The T2030: ACT Tourism Strategy 2023-2030 sets the foundation to sustainably grow the value of the visitor economy and identify ways to directly connect Canberra to more cities domestically, and internationally, by air.
Innovative Community Tourism Experiences Competition
The World Tourism Organisation and the Tourism Authority of Panama have launched the Innovative Community Tourism Experiences Competition to promote innovation through alliances between tour operators and community tourism providers. It promotes innovative and disruptive tourism experiences that encourage the conservation and regeneration of the natural and cultural heritage of Panama and the empowerment of local communities. The winner will receive a prize of US$25,000 in infrastructure for the community of the winning experience. Applications close 15 March 2023.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/es/nuevas-experiencias-turisticas-impulsado-por-panama
Global Youth Tourism Report
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has released a 2nd report in the Global Youth Tourism Report Series. The publication Youth-led Recovery of Global Tourism – Priorities and Recommendations was produced in collaboration with the Global Tourism Economy Forum. Primary and secondary research was used in the development of case studies showcasing various approaches to supporting education, entrepreneurship, and personal development. The report also provides recommendations to assist national tourism organisations in taking young people’s priorities into account when designing future tourism policies.
Further information: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/10.18111/9789284423705
The Tasmanian Government has created a toolkit that provides important information for operators wanting to establish agritourism businesses. The Tasmanian Agritourism Toolkit provides a guide for the approvals and permits including detailed information about working with regulators, consultants, and technical professionals, holding events and functions, obtaining a liquor licence, setting up a food premises, and meeting fire protection, accessibility, and wastewater system requirements.
Education & Training
Tourism Education Guidelines
The World Tourism Organisation have released the first Tourism Education Guidelines to promote responsible, resilient, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism as a catalyst for job creation and economic development. The initiative aims to create a tourism educational roadmap for vocational and managerial careers in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/UNWTO-academy
Air Monitor Report
Published by American Express Global Business Travel, the Air Monitor 2023 report predicts widespread airfare price rises around the world due to a range of factors including inflation, rising fuel surcharges, foreign exchange rates and capacity issues. The report created by Amex GBT’s Global Business Consulting team is an annual forecast of air fare movements on key business travel routes in the year ahead. The report also offers advice on managing effective air programs and prioritising the traveller experience.
SITA’s ‘Meet the Megatrends’ report highlights the 12 trends it says will shape travel in the next decade from air taxis to the metaverse. Key trends include the shifting staff culture, digital identities and by 2032 electric air taxis will operate as an effective auxiliary service and revenue stream for international airports and airlines.
Further information: https://www.sita.aero/innovation/meet-the-megatrends/index.html
Global Trends Report
The latest Global Trends Report 2023 shows travellers are looking for a balance of technological and human innovations, deeper and more caring connections, and embedded wellness experiences as part of the journey. The research, commissioned by Hilton and conducted by Material, uncovered four consistent themes for 2023 travel, based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data paired with insights collected by more than 7,000 travellers across the world.
Further information: https://stories.hilton.com/releases/2023-travel-trends
Pubs, Pints, and Predictions
Global hospitality at-table ordering solution me&u, in partnership with YouGov, Red Havas and Havas Labs, has released a new research report revealing consumer expectations across demographics for hospitality venues of the future. The report ‘Pubs, Pints and Predictions: Hospitality Ten Years On’ provides an in-depth look into the changes from the customer perspective and explores new predictions that operators within the hospitality industry will adopt throughout the next decade. The findings are a combination of expert interviews and analysis conducted in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
Further information: https://www.meandu.com/blog-post/pubs-pints-and-predictions-hospitality-ten-years-on
Tourism Forecasts for Australia Report
Tourism Research Australia has released the Tourism Forecasts for Australia 2022 to 2027 report which contains domestic forecasts for Australia as well as for each state and territory, and international forecasts at the national level and for selected markets and purposes of travel.
Certification & Accreditation
Green and Fair Label
TUI has announced its ‘Green & Fair’ label, which will highlight hotels that have been certified as sustainable under the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Criteria or an equivalent standard. This will make it easier for customers to identify hotels with more planet-friendly practices and TUI will also donate £1 per adult and £0.50p per child to the TUI Care Foundation. It currently has more than 650 hotels under the Green & Fair portfolio which will be reviewed three times a year.
Further information: https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/info/sustainability
Conferences & Events
Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Conference
The Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Conference in the Asia Pacific will be held on the Gold Coast on 28 April 2023 and online on 11 May 2023. The annual event is open to people of all abilities including industry keynote presentations, panel discussions, and masterclasses, as well as networking opportunities and Q&A idea sessions.
Further information: https://aitcap.getaboutable.com/
Global Sustainable Tourism Conference
The Global Sustainable Tourism Conference will be held in Antalya, Türkiye in May 2023.