Edition 178 · March 2023
Tony Charters and Associates
Circulated to 10,000 professionals worldwide
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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.
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World’s Leading Beer Experience
The Guinness Storehouse has been voted the World’s Leading Beer Tour Visitor Experience at the World Travel Awards. The not-to-be-missed Dublin institution tells the story of one of Ireland’s most loved brands over seven floors, with an array of Guinness themed experiences on offer.
Funding & Grants
Visitor Experience Enhancement Program
The Northern Territory Government is providing an additional $1 million of grant funding through round six of the Visitor Experience Enhancement Program. The program seeks to enable the tourism industry to undertake projects that will improve the on-ground visitor experience, generating positive promotion. Nominations close 14 April 2023.
Export Market Development Grants
Austrade has opened applications for round three of the Export Market Development Grants. The program helps small to medium Australian businesses grow their exports in international markets through the marketing and promotion of their goods and services globally. Submissions close 14 April 2023.
Further information: https://www.austrade.gov.au/australian/export/export-grants
Aboriginal Tourism Development Program
Aboriginal owned businesses and organisations in the Northern Territory can apply for funding through the Aboriginal Tourism Development Support grant program to help develop cultural tourism experiences and products. The non-competitive funding is for professional services to support business planning and assistance in preparing applications to the relevant land council or other land management authority. Applications close 28 April 2023.
The Hurtigruten Foundation is a collaboration between guests, partners and private donors that aims to fight climate change, strengthen local communities, and stop unsustainable mass tourism. Recipients of grants span the geographical areas in which the Hurtigruten Group operates and covers the areas of preserving endangered wildlife, battling plastic waste and marine litter, and supporting local communities. The deadline for applications is 1 May 2023.
Further information: https://www.hurtigruten.com/group/foundation/application/
Chief Trash Officer
Iconic Sesame Street character Oscar the Grouch has taken up a role in the aviation industry as United Airlines Chief Trash Officer. The newly created role will see Oscar work with the carrier on a new consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of using sustainable aviation fuel. The integrated campaign features Oscar in more than 30 pieces of original video, digital, social, and out-of-home content.
Further information: https://www.united.com/en/gb/newsroom/announcements/cision-125262
Cruise Sustainability Toolkit
Cruise Lines International Association has produced a new online interactive resource showing how the cruise industry is advancing its sustainability agenda. The online toolkit includes reports, statistics, maps, posters, and infographics which can be accessed in English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian and Spanish. The site includes environmental innovations being introduced onboard cruise ships and good practice examples of cooperation between cruise lines, businesses, ports, and local authorities.
Further information: https://www.cruiseinfohub.com/
Harvest Hosts has announced a new campground membership program to support campgrounds and RVers across North America. Benefits of the CampersCard include free marketing for campgrounds, perks, discounts, and benefits for RV campers. Harvest Hosts is the largest private RV camping network in North America that offers unique overnight stays at over 7,000 locations including farms, wineries, breweries, distilleries, golf courses, museums, and community locations.
Further information: https://www.camperscard.com/
A new ranking titled Airhelp Score 2022 reveals which are the best and worst airports in the world. With a database of over 4,000 airports the air passenger rights portal evaluated international airports based on flight punctuality, customer satisfaction, food, and shops. The survey collected data between January and October 2022 with Tokyo-Haneda Airport in Japan rated the best airport in the world. The rest of the top 10 airports are in Brazil, India, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.
Further information: https://www.airhelp.com/en-au/blog/airhelp-score-2022-how-did-we-rank-the-airports/
Cruise for a Lifetime
Life at Sea Cruises is offering a three-year itinerary that visits 135 countries for about $45,000AUD per year. The world’s first three-year cruise will depart from Istanbul on MV Gemini in November 2023 and visit over 100 tropical destinations covering nearly 210,000k kilometres across all seven continents. It has 400 cabins and space for up to 1,074 passengers including a sun deck, swimming pool, wellness centre, gym, salon, and a sun deck.
Further information: https://www.lifeatseacruises.com/
Swedish architecture studio Wingårdhs has created five suites perched on raised metal stilts to give visitors the feeling of being amongst the tree canopy. Constructed from locally grown wood, the cabins are part of the Trakt Forest Hotel’s wider complex which includes a restaurant and sauna connected by small woodland paths.
Further information: https://traktforesthotel.com/
The team behind the Larapinta Trails award-winning Eco-Comfort camps has launched a new destination for adventure travellers. World Expeditions’ new Eco-Comfort Camp on Tasmania’s remote Flinders Island features seven private sleeping tents with a communal recreation and dining platform created from local produce. The private beachfront camp is fuelled by solar power and rainwater, toilets are compostable, and all the semi-permanent structures are packed away during the off season.
Plan It Forward
Contemporary hotel collection Ovolo and PlanPay are working with leading hotel booking engine RoomStay, to deliver the payment option to all guests. Ovolo Hotels is the first hotel group to offer PlanPay which allows guests to use their own money to pay before they stay, in flexible instalments that suit their lifestyle with zero credit and fees. The Ovolo Group is currently operating 13 hotels and 14 restaurants and bars across Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, and Bali.
Further information: https://ovolohotels.com/ovolo/offers/discover-a-new-way-to-pay/
Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative
The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative is a free tool for hotels to calculate the carbon footprint of stays and meetings in their properties. It was created by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and the World Travel and Tourism Council in collaboration with global companies to create a consistent methodology to measure and communicate carbon impact. Data can be used by hotels participating in the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmark Index the industry’s largest annual benchmarking of energy, water, and carbon.
Guidance on the Transport of Mobility Aids
The International Air Transport Association has released new guidance to help airlines and handling agents transport mobility aids safely and efficiently to improve travel for passengers with disabilities. The guidance reflects industry best practices for passengers, airlines, and the travel chain, it will continue to be revised and expanded prior to developing into industry standards.
Further information: https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/2023-releases/2023-02-08-01/
Accessible and Inclusive Experiences
Destination New South Wales has created a new resource to help businesses develop, promote, and sell accessible tourism offerings. The ‘Quick Tips for Creating Accessible and Inclusive Experiences’ guide ensures visitor experiences and marketing materials meet the diverse physical, sensory and cognitive needs of travellers. Accessible tourism had also been identified in the NSW Government’s Visitor Economy Strategy 2030.
Business Events Hub
Tourism and Events Queensland has launched a new dedicated hub to highlight the state’s capabilities to host major business events and incentive travel programs. The online resource provides information about each of Queensland’s regions with links to Convention Bureaux around the state for professional conference organisers, corporate end users, and associations.
Tourism Reconciliation Industry Networking Group
Tourism Australia, with the support of Reconciliation Australia, have brought together 16 organisations to jointly established a Tourism Reconciliation Industry Networking Group to further reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It will share challenges and opportunities, identify best practice, and listen to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities on topics relevant to reconciliation, culture, and tourism.
First Nations Tourism Mentoring Program
The First Nations Tourism Mentoring Program is a new free mentoring program to match First Nations tourism businesses with skilled and experienced mentors across Australia. The aim is to support First Nations tourism businesses to grow and achieve their goals by connecting them with expert advice, tailored learning, and access to culturally respectful industry specialists. Applications close 11 April 2023.
Further information: https://www.fntmp.com.au/s/
Infrastructure & Investment
Construction is soon to start on Brisbane Live, a new 18,000 seat entertainment arena complex which will be serviced by underground rail and busway infrastructure. The state-of-the-art entertainment precinct will be located at Roma Street a key CBD transit hub with new eateries, retail outlets, accommodation, and outdoor amphitheatres.
Further information: https://brisbanedevelopment.com/brisbane-live/
Wairarapa International Dark Sky Reserve
The Wairarapa Dark Sky Reserve on the North Island of New Zealand has been formally certified as an International Dark Sky Reserve to preserve the region’s night skies for future generations and tourism around dark sky themes. It joins more than 200 places in the global International Dark Sky Places Program which is a non-regulatory and voluntary program to encourage communities, parks, and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting policies, and public education.
Further information: https://wairarapadarksky.nz/
Sounds of Canada
Destination Canada is working in partnership with Spotify to launch their first destination campaign. The digital experience invites users to discover their ideal Canada holiday, based on their music tastes via two options. The ‘Turn It Up’ option matches users to a bustling Canadian city, while the ‘Take A Breath’ option pairs users with the beautiful landscapes and wilderness of Canada.
Further information: https://canada.withspotify.com/au/
Kind Traveller has partnered with Visit California on the first state-wide regenerative tourism initiative including a series of destination launches throughout the state. This new opportunity involves 10 of the most iconic and sustainable hotels in Santa Monica sharing exclusive offers to incentivise travellers to give back to non-profit organisations and agencies addressing homelessness, environmental protection, arts and education, workforce development, at-risk youth, elderly assistance, and more.
Further information: https://www.kindtraveler.com/content/santa-monica-travel-tourism
Nature-Based Holidays Platform
German startup Raus has put a nature-based spin on the traditional Airbnb stay with its sustainable cabins, situated in outdoor areas easily accessible from major German cities. The custom-designed cabins are completely self-contained and equipped with cooking facilities and tools, water from tanks, and solar power. The cabins are in a variety of countryside locations all within a train or car ride from cities such as Berlin and Leipzig.
Further information: https://www.raus.life/
Best Tourism Villages
A total of 32 villages from 18 countries all around the world have been named as ‘Best Tourism Villages 2022’ by the World Tourism Organisation. The initiative recognises rural destinations that are embracing tourism as a driver of development and new opportunities for jobs and income, while preserving and promoting community-based values and products. Entrants were evaluated by an independent Advisory Board based on a set of nine criteria.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/news/best-tourism-villages-of-2022-named-by-unwto
Citizen Science Tour
Fitzroy Island Resort is offering guests the unique experience of helping to care for injured turtles as part of a new citizen science program. Created by a marine biologist, the Fitzroy Island Resort Marine Conservation Program is the first opportunity for guests to go behind the scenes at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre to help care for the sea turtles and to assist with the Reef Restoration Foundation’s coral restoration work by removing the Drupella snail.
Further information: https://www.fitzroyisland.com/marine-conservation-program/
Climate Neutrality of Tourism Fund
The World Tourism Organisation, the Government of Panama and business group, the Network of Ocean Ambassadors Headquarters, have agreed to work together for the implementation of the United Nations Fund for Climate Neutrality of Tourism. The fund represents an innovative financing instrument to respond to climate emergency threats and ensure the transition of the tourism sector to focusing on improving people’s lives.
Customers will no longer be able to book certain tours offered by Intrepid Travel following an audit based on its animal welfare policy standards. The travel company has reviewed its 140-plus range of wildlife experiences and removed tours that failed to meet its standards of ethical engagement. The company has been a partner of World Animal Protection since 2010 and removed elephant riding on all trips in 2014.
Further information: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/animal-welfare
Policy & Planning
Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality
The latest version of the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality provides a practical four-stage roadmap to accelerate hospitality towards a sustainable future. It aligns with leading global frameworks and standards allowing every hotel to advance its positive impact regardless of size, starting point, or location. The pathway has been developed in close collaboration with the industry and support from experts such as the World Travel and Tourism Council, EY, Considerate Group and Greenview.
Further information: https://sustainablehospitalityalliance.org/pathway-v2-launch/
Sustainable Tourism Program
The UN World Tourism Organisation Sustainable Tourism Program aims to accelerate sustainable consumption and production in tourism policies and practices to address the challenges of pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change. It promotes knowledge sharing and networking opportunities including the development of sustainable tourism guidelines, a global plastic pollution initiative, the implementation of eco-friendly practices in hotels and resorts, and the promotion of sustainable tourism destinations around the world.
Further information: https://www.oneplanetnetwork.org/programmes/sustainable-tourism
Guardians of Nature
The World Travel & Tourism Council, United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance have announced a new collaboration to bring together the public and private sectors in a shared vision to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. This involves reducing carbon emissions, cutting unsustainable use of resources, and restoring nature and its wildlife. Almost 150 organisations have signed up to the vision so far including international hotel groups, tour operators, travel agents, destinations, governments, and international wildlife charities.
Further information: https://action.wttc.org/vision-for-nature-positive-travel-and-tourism
Tourism Doing Business
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has released Tourism Doing Business – Country Investment Guidelines is a continuous series of reports that highlight a country’s current investment climate as well as opportunities in its tourism sector. The guidelines serve as a tourism investment tool and aim to provide valuable information and guidance on the benefits and conditions for foreign direct investment in a country by evaluating several dimensions.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/investment/business-investing
Destination Management Plan
Redland City Council has launched the Redlands Coast Destination Management Plan 2023-2028 which aims to enhance visitor experiences ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics. The five-year tourism plan will build upon outcomes already achieved by council and the Redlands Coast tourism industry in providing opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy the city’s natural assets and values. The plan includes actions across five key areas including product development, experience delivery, destination marketing, visitor services, business readiness, infrastructure, and destination stewardship.
Further information: https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/TourismStrategy
Aviation White Paper
The Aviation White Paper will set the long-term policies to guide the next generation of growth and innovation in the Australian aviation sector. It will examine issues and policies in relation to safety, competitiveness, sustainability, and efficiency to ensure the sector is appropriately positioned to deliver aviation services out to 2050.
Tourism Climate Action
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has released a new report, in collaboration with United Nations Climate Change, highlighting the progress that global tourism has made in measuring greenhouse gas emissions. The new report ‘Climate Action in the Tourism Sector: An Overview of Methodologies and Tools to Measure Greenhouse Gas Emissions’ was developed with support from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection of Germany. It focuses on three areas accommodation, tour operators and destinations.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/methodologies-and-tools-to-measure-greenhouse-gas-emissions
Certification & Accreditation
Singapore has been certified as a sustainable destination based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council destination criteria. This reflects Singapore’s efforts and commitment in becoming a sustainable urban destination. The achievement reflects the countries commitment towards the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and Singapore Tourism Board’s Tourism Sustainability Strategy.
Ecotourism Australia and Accor Pacific have entered a strategic partnership to certify all Accor properties across Australia and the Pacific under Ecotourism Australia’s Sustainable Tourism Certification program. The program which meets international best practice for sustainability as recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council aims to make sustainability more accessible across the entire industry.
Education & Training
Tour Guide Training Manual
A new Tour Guide Training Manual for Solomon Islands has been completed with support from the Wildlife Conservation Society. The manual is designed for those starting out as guides, staff in resorts or rangers in conservation areas. It is based on tools and techniques used in overseas guide training and the experiences of professional tour guides in the Solomon Islands.
International Airfare Study
Cheapair.com has released its 2023 International Airfare Study analysing 917 million airfares across 10 global regions, uncovering the best times to book foreign travel. The report’s consumer insights include the most and least expensive months to travel, when to buy flights for the best deal, the cheapest days to travel, and the impact of seasonal variations. The study revealed that regardless of destination, booking 10 months in advance will save travellers the most on international flight prices.
Further information: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/the-best-time-to-buy-international-flights/
Tourism Investment Monitor
Tourism Research Australia’s Tourism Investment Monitor Report latest shows the 2021-22 tourism investment pipeline consisted of 244 projects with a value of $44.3 billion. It provides a point-in-time measure of investment in fixed assets for Australia, across three tourism related supply-side areas of aviation, art, recreation and business services, and accommodation.
Further information: https://www.tra.gov.au/data-and-research/reports/tourism-investment-monitor-2021-22
Conferences & Events
Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Conference
The annual Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Conference will take place on 28 April 2023 at SeaWorld Resort Conference Centre, Gold Coast and online on 11 May 2023. The conference provides all tourism stakeholders with an opportunity to learn how to cater to the valuable accessible and inclusive market.
Further information: https://getaboutable.com/aitcap/
PATA Summit and Mart
The annual Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Summit and Mart will be held in Pokhara, Nepal from 29 May – 1 June 2023. The event brings together international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers who are engaged professionally with the Asia Pacific region.
Further information: https://www.pata.org/pata-annual-summit-and-adventure-mart-2023
Travel and Tourism Research Conference
The 53rd Travel and Tourism Research Association International Conference will be held in St. Louis, Missouri from 13 – 15 June 2023. The 3-day event will include expert presentations and in-depth discussions on the latest trends and developments in travel and tourism research, data, and technology.
Further information: https://ttra.com/conference/