Edition 179 · April 2023
Tony Charters and Associates
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After three years of planning, 80 tonnes of air cargo and over 1,000 square metres of moulded composite fibreglass, a new ultra-luxury camp experience inspired by Space exploration has been created by tour operator White Desert in Antarctica. Catering for up to 12 people, Echo Base comprises six futuristic sleeping pods, a common dining area, library, and lounge room.
Further information: https://white-desert.com/echo-launch/
Funding & Grants
Year of Accessible Tourism Grants
The Queensland Government has announced new grants as part of the Year of Accessible Tourism Queensland Fund. The $1 million Accessible Tourism Enablers Grant supports not-for-profit disability peak organisations and accessible or disability-specific service organisations to develop and/or enhance products and services for use by tourism and event businesses. The $8 million Accessible Tourism Infrastructure Grant provides funding support for sole traders, small and medium businesses to improve accessibility for tourism and events infrastructure. Applications close 31 May 2023.
Further information: https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/tourism/accessible-tourism/year-of-accessible-tourism
Nature-Based Visitor Experience Development Grants
The New South Wales Government has announced $3.5 million in Nature-Based Visitor Experience Development grants to support the development of new and enhanced nature-based tourism attractions and experiences in regional New South Wales. It is being delivered as part of the Tourism Product Development Fund and is available to tour, attraction and accommodation providers and landholders. Applications close 22 May 2023.
Agritourism Grant Recipients
The Queensland Farmers Federation and the Queensland Government have announced the 12 primary producers that have been successful in securing grants under Round 2 of the Queensland Agritourism Grants Program. The funding can be used to engage specialist services, and construct or modify on-farm infrastructure allowing operators to diversify or expand agritourism enterprises to meet the growing demand for unique Queensland experiences.
Further information: https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/96964
Caravan Industry Funding
The Federal Government is providing $10 million in funding to support upgrades and new facilities at 111 caravan parks across Australia. The grants will support the development of new sites, new accommodation, substantial renovations, as well as upgrades to make sites more accessible or environmentally friendly. Successful projects must be completed by 15 May 2024.
Sustainable Flight Fund
United Airlines Ventures has launched a Sustainable Flight Fund which aims to support startups working to reduce carbon emissions in air travel and accelerate the research, production and technologies associated with sustainable aviation fuel. United Airlines and partners Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase, and Honeywell have provided the initial US$100 million investment. Passengers buying a ticket on the United Airlines website or app can contribute to the fund and see their carbon footprint of each flight.
Further information: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/company/united-airlines-ventures.html
Air Canada has become the first airline in Canada to offer customers the safety and convenience of a new option using facial recognition technology to confirm identification. It plans to expand options using digital identification to select Canadian airports and Maple Leaf Lounges as part of its pilot project phase. The new technology will offer passengers a paperless experience with more seamless boarding.
Hi Tech Trolley
Hamburg Airport is trialling 30 smart hand baggage trolleys with the aim of making it easier for passengers to find their way around the airport. Created by Danish developer Intelligent Track Systems, the trolleys have an interactive display which passengers can use to find details of their flight, browse the offers in the various shops, or plan their route through the airport.
Tiny Wild Houses
Binna Burra Lodge has opened new Tiny Wild Houses atop the Bellbird clifftop in the Lamington National Park (Woonoongoora). Each residence features a Queen-sized bed, a comfortable two-seater couch, an outdoor teak dining table and chairs, a fully equipped kitchenette including a small fridge and microwave/air fryer, and a separate bathroom with Wallawa amenities blended with indigenous active botanical ingredients.
Further information: https://www.binnaburralodge.com.au/accommodation/tiny-wild-houses/
The new Capella Sydney is housed within the Department of Education building, originally designed in the 1900s by New South Wales Government architect George McRae. The luxury hotel with 192 guestrooms and suites occupies an entire city block near Circular Quay, the Opera House, and Harbour Bridge. It forms part of the city’s Sandstone Precinct and has been restored by Pontiac Land after a seven-year renovation. The Capella Hotels and Resorts constellation consists of properties located in Singapore, Ubud, Bangkok, Hanoi, Shanghai, and Hainan.
Further information: https://capellahotels.com/en/capella-sydney
A group of industry professionals has created EnviroRental to help vacation rental owners, property managers and technology companies cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet the growing consumer demand for sustainable stays in the short-term rental sector. The online platform also contains a sustainability roadmap and resources such as news stories, webinars, case studies, measurement tools, surveys, data, and podcasts. Partners include some of the sector’s biggest vacation rental companies such as ALTIDO, Host & Stay, Touch Stay, and Avantio.
Further information: https://envirorental.earth/
Putting on the Ritz
The new Ritz-Carlton Melbourne has opened on Lonsdale Street. The 80-story luxury hotel has 257 rooms and suites, signature dining experiences, holistic wellness spaces and an iconic infinity pool, as well as world-class meeting and event facilities and services. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International and currently operates more than 100 hotels in 35 countries and territories.
Further information: https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/australia/melbourne
A parks pass is now required for all interstate and international visitors to most national parks and reserves in Northern Territory including Litchfield, Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) and Watarrka National Parks. The Northern Territory Government manages 85 parks, reserves and protected areas with 33 of these areas formally joint managed with Aboriginal Traditional Owners. The pass provides information about visitation as well as the generation of revenue for management and development, as well as the creation of new visitor experiences. A percentage is also paid to governing land councils on behalf of Traditional Owners.
Further information: https://parkbookings.nt.gov.au/Web/
Dual Naming Resource
Tourism Australia has released a Dual Naming Guide for the tourism industry to assist when a confirmed Aboriginal name for a location or geographical feature sits alongside the official English name for the place. By adopting a dual name approach organisations can play a role in continuing to deepen the knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, and cultures.
Rottnest Island Business
The Rottnest Island Authority is calling for Expressions of Interest from interested parties wishing to operate Recreational Leisure and Aboriginal Cultural Tourism businesses on Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) commencing late 2023. Expressions of Interest close 17 May 2023.
Further information: http://rottnestislandeoi.per.mcgees.com.au/
Tourism Tasmania has launched a new travel guide to help visitors and locals explore, plan, and enjoy their Tasmanian adventures. The Discover Tasmania App provides a personalised, curated gateway to Tasmania by allowing visitors to build their own itinerary of things to do, eat and drink, and events to experience. It also includes handy information on visitor information centres, playgrounds, and public toilets.
Further information: https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/mobile-app/
Stay Away Campaign
The city of Amsterdam has unveiled a new campaign to discourage tourists from planning drug and alcohol-fuelled parties. The Stay Away campaign is aimed at people searching online for getaways in Amsterdam and receiving special warnings. It will commence in Great Britain, aimed at males in the age category of 18 – 35 years and will then be expanded to visitors from the Netherlands and other European countries.
Further information: https://www.amsterdam.nl/en/news/stay-away/
Good Trips Only
Intrepid Travel has launched a new global brand campaign delivering on its promise to provide trips that are good for travellers – the places they go and the communities they visit. The ‘Good Trips Only’ campaign also features a series of films featuring immersive reflections of the multitude of moments travellers experience with Intrepid. It is the most extensive brand campaign Intrepid has done in its 34-year history in Australia and New Zealand and will run across a variety of channels, including out-of-home, digital, cinema, television, radio, and print.
Further information: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/good-trips-only
Infrastructure & Investment
K'gari Luxury Resort
In a first-of-its-kind joint venture, developer Chiodo has announced plans to create a luxury resort on K’Gari (Fraser Island) in collaboration with the K’Gari Educational and Cultural Centre Aboriginal Corporation. The resort will include 62 luxury villas and 64 premium suites, bars and restaurants, an amphitheatre for cultural events, art studio, wellness centre, pool, conference, and reception centre. It will be designed and developed in collaboration with the Butchella people to showcase the history, culture, and natural environment of the region, as well as providing employment opportunities for locals.
Sustainable Drinking Water
Accor is partnering with SOURCE Global to replace single-use plastic with the world’s first sustainable bottled drinking water in Singaporean hotels. SOURCE uses solar-powered technology to harvest renewable water vapour in the air and transform it into drinking water packaged in reusable glass bottles. The project is part of Accor’s global commitment to eliminate single-use plastics in the guest experience, consistent with the United Nations 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/
Dove Lake Viewing Shelter
The Tasmanian Government has unveiled a new viewing shelter at Dove Lake in the iconic Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park in Tasmania’s north-west. The project is part of a $26.8 million investment towards the implementation of the Cradle Mountain Master Plan and delivers on a commitment to provide sustainable visitor infrastructure for this iconic park. Created by local architects Cumulus, the shelter is designed to blend into the landscape, whilst providing all weather protection for visitors and uninterrupted views of the lake and Cradle Mountain.
Visual Guide to Flying
British Airways has announced a partnership with Learning Rose, an organisation that develops support material for people on the autism spectrum. The first initiative of the partnership is a Visual Guide to Flying which is designed to help passengers prepare for their flight and make them feel as comfortable as possible during their journey. Each section of the guide describes a different part of the flying experience, using simple icons and text to describe the sights, sounds and smells passengers can expect.
Further information: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/disability-assistance/visual-guide
Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef has launched a carbon offset program for business events and online hubs designed to make sustainable and accessible travel easy to access. Events can fully offset their carbon footprint through the Reforest program or make a partial contribution and offer delegates the opportunity to contribute to the program throughout the event.
Super Nintendo World
The new Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood will take visitors into the world of Super Mario. Park visitors can play their favourite Super Mario games such as Mario Kart-in real life-and dine at Toadstool Café or meet the characters in-person.
Further information: https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/web/en/us/super-nintendo-world
SkyHelix Sentosa is Singapore’s highest open-air panoramic ride that offers passengers a 360° view of Sentosa Island, Keppel Bay, and the Southern Islands. The vertical open-air gondola is located at Imbiah Lookout and is the first carbon-neutral attraction on Sentosa. It’s distinctive helix-like structure is designed with energy-efficient appliances to minimise electricity consumption with the annual carbon footprint amounting to a flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.
Further information: https://www.mountfaberleisure.com/attraction/skyhelix-sentosa/
Flight Emissions Data Collaboration
The International Air Transport Association and Travalyst have joined forces to provide consumers with a consistent and accurate calculation of their carbon footprint from air travel. This collaboration will focus on both data and standard methodology for route-based passenger CO2 emissions calculations for aviation at scale. Founded by The Duke of Sussex in 2019, Travalyst is a coalition of nine of the world’s leading travel and technology companies including Amadeus, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Google, Skyscanner, Travelport, Trip.com Group, Tripadvisor and Visa.
Further information: https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/2022-releases/2022-12-07-02a/
The world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands has launched its Green Collection, bringing together nearly 200 hotels, resorts and palaces operated under the Global Hotel Alliance demonstrating their commitment to protecting people and the planet. Each property has attained at least one globally recognised certification including EarthCheck, Green Growth 2050, Green Key, Green Globe, and Green Seal. Achieving this certification demonstrates a hotel’s long-term pledge to upholding standards and practices that preserve the natural environment and benefit local communities in the destinations where they operate.
Further information: https://www.ghadiscovery.com/explore-green-collection
The Last Tourist
A new award-winning documentary has been launched to help educate and inspire people to make better, more responsible, travel choices for the benefit of our planet and its people. The Last Tourist is a feature-length documentary that puts travel under a microscope as it addresses the impact of mass tourism on the environment, wildlife, and vulnerable communities, while travelling to 16 different countries. The new documentary is available on multiple streaming platforms including Apple and Amazon.
Further information: https://thelasttouristfilm.com/
Sustainable Travel Hub
A dedicated Sustainable Travel Hub has been launched by Tourism Tropical North Queensland to help consumers plan a holiday with operators who are working to reduce their environmental footprint and giving back through local community initiatives. The online resource lists eco-certified operators, interactive conservation projects and immersive cultural experiences. It also includes blogs and a destination video which will help travellers understand the value the region places on the environment and community.
Further information: https://www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au/plan-your-trip/sustainable-travel/
Hotel Sustainability Basics
The World Travel and Tourism Council has launched the Hotel Sustainability Basics verification scheme to enable tourist accommodation providers from around the world to begin their sustainability journey. The industry-wide initiative is a globally recognised set of 12 criteria that all hotels should implement as a minimum to drive responsible and sustainable tourism. Six major international hotel groups from around the world have joined as inaugural partners including Accor, Jin Jiang International, Louvre Hotels Group, Meliá Hotels International, Meininger, and Radisson Hotel Group.
Policy & Planning
Envisioning Tourism in 2030
A report has been compiled by the Travel Foundation with the Centre of Expertise in Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality, Breda University of Applied Sciences, the European Tourism Futures Institute, and the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions. The Envisioning Tourism in 2030 research was developed to help policymakers and the tourism industry understand what a global, thriving, decarbonising tourism industry could look like by 2030 and through to 2050.
Further information: https://www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/envision2030/
Best Tourism Villages
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has opened applications for the third edition of its global Best Tourism Villages initiative which recognises outstanding examples of villages where tourism preserves cultures and traditions, celebrates diversity, provides opportunities, and safeguards biodiversity. To date, over 70 villages from almost 40 countries have been recognised as Best Tourism Villages which was launched in 2021 to make tourism a driver of rural development and wellbeing. Applications close on 23 June 2023.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/tourism-villages/en/
Certification & Accreditation
ECO Destination Certification
The Bundaberg region has become the second area in Queensland and fifth in Australia to be awarded ECO Destination Certification. The southern-most destination on the Great Barrier Reef and the home of the nation’s most significant endangered loggerhead turtle rookery, the Bundaberg Region is the second destination in Queensland and fifth in Australia to announce their ECO Destination Certification from Ecotourism Australia
Green and Fair
TUI has announced its Green and Fair Label which highlights hotels in its portfolio that have been certified as sustainable by the independent organisation. With more than 650 hotels which have been badged, the label aims to make it easier for customers to recognise which hotels offer a more sustainable option. When a customer books a Green and Fair hotel TUI will also donate £1 per adult and £0.50p per child to the TUI Care Foundation.
Further information: https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/info/sustainability
Education and Training
Tour Guide Course
Savannah Guides has launched a new online course for people considering tour guiding as a new career. Becoming a Tour Guide describes generic guiding roles and responsibilities as well as basic lessons in customer service, communication techniques and guest management. The course is valuable for individuals looking to enter the industry as well as operators who can direct job applicants to the course as a step in their understanding.
Further information: https://savannah-guides.com.au/eclectus-training-institute/
The New Golden Age of Travel Report
Luxury Gold has released its first in-depth report identifying the top six travel trends influencing how Aussies will holiday and travel in the luxury space in 2023. The New Golden Age of Travel Report reveals a return to hedonism with jet setters seeking both nostalgia and indulgent experiences, as well as keen on regenerative travel that goes beyond eco-friendly initiatives to provide a positive social or environmental impact on the communities they visit. The top six luxury travel trends are touring on top, regeneration rising, leave-to-learn, tangible nostalgia, the new roaring twenties and specialist stays.
Further information: https://www.luxurygold.com/en-au/travel-trends-report
MGH recently conducted a national survey of U.S. TikTok users to uncover the social media platform’s impact on the travel and tourism industry. The survey revealed that TikTok has become a major resource for those who are seeking out new experiences and travel tips, as well as those wanting to check out the latest destinations going viral. Results are based on a national survey of 1,139 U.S. TikTok users in July 2022. TikTok also recently announced it has 150 million users in the U.S. or a little less than 50% of the entire population.
Further information: https://www.mghus.com/blog/survey-tiktoks-undeniable-impact-on-travel-and-tourism
Global Travel Trends Report
The American Express 2023 Global Travel Trends Report uncovers the driving forces behind global traveller behaviours and how these factors are shaping the future of travel. The top trends were the rise of set-jetting with popular movies and TV shows inspiring people to visit locations, people choosing destinations based on dining experiences, wellness holidays, and going off the beaten track to support local communities. The online poll was conducted by Morning Consult in February 2023 among a sample of travellers from Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, U.K., and the U.S.
Business Traveller Safety
A global survey of business travellers commissioned by World Travel Protection reveals that seven in 10 women say travelling for work is less safe and are more likely to take measures to protect their safety during business travel than men. It also suggests that solo female travellers take precautions such as checking current government travel advice for their destination, booking group tours and being alert on public transport. The Opinium online survey was conducted from January to February 2023 and sampled 2,001 people who travel for business at least once a year in Australia, Canada, United States and United Kingdom.
Further information: https://worldtravelprotection.com/
Conferences & Events
Destination Victoria 2023
Visit Victoria will host Destination Victoria at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 16-17 May 2023. The annual tourism conference for Victoria’s visitor economy brings together tourism, events, and hospitality industries.
Further information: https://www.destinationvictoria2023.com.au/
Regional Tourism Conference
The Perth Airport Western Australia Regional Tourism Conference will take place in Kalgoorlie-Boulder on from 15-17 May 2023. It will provide opportunities for professional and business development, networking and engagement, and speakers on critical industry issues and innovative ideas.
Further information: https://tourismcouncilwa.com.au/events-training/wa-tourism-conference
Travel Matters Conference
The 13th ABTA Travel Matters Conference will take place in London on 14 June 2023. The annual event brings together an audience of CEOs and executive directors, political figures, government stakeholders and national and travel trade media representatives.
Further information: https://www.abta.com/events/travel-matters