Edition 180 · May 2023
Tony Charters and Associates
Circulated to 10,000 professionals worldwide
Submit Your Stories
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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Doha’s Hamad International Airport is first permanent Oreo Café outside of the U.S.A. in an airport. The 116 square metre café boasts Oreo-inspired treats including milkshakes, muffins and cheesecakes, as well as an Oreo Creations Bar where passengers can watch specially trained chefs create unique cookie-inspired treats live.
Further information: https://dohahamadairport.com/dine/oreo-cafe
Funding & Grants
Conservation Starts with You
The Adventure Travel Conservation Fund is offering a round of grants to projects that help preserve and protect the places where travel is essential to local communities. The program provides funding to grassroot organisations in destinations where tourism can have a positive benefit on the community, culture and landscape. It prioritises projects which intersects the four core areas of tourism, climate solutions, community engagement, and conservation.
Further information: https://adventuretravelconservationfund.org/
Aboriginal Tourism Development Support Grant Program
Tourism Northern Territory under the Aboriginal Tourism Development Support Grant Program is providing $1 million in funding to develop and activate Aboriginal cultural tourism experiences and products and to build stronger visitor experiences visitors to travel and stay longer. Applications close 2 June 2023.
Further information: https://www.tourismnt.com.au/industry-toolkit/grants-funding/aboriginal-tourism-grant-program
Really Cool Airline
A new airline is being launched in Thailand with an unusual name and livery featuring a set of headphones and sunglasses on an Airbus A350-900 in blue and white. Really Cool Airlines is set to announce its fleet and route plans in the coming months with an expectation to be in the air by the end of 2023. Aiming between the budget and luxury markets, the airline is being run by Patee Sarasin who launched Thai low-cost carrier Nok Air in 2004.
Further information: https://reallycoolairlines.com/
Sustainable Aviation Fuel
Agricultural by-products, including sugarcane, will be turned into jet fuel at a new Queensland biofuel production facility being developed by Jet Zero Australia, in partnership with leading sustainable aviation fuel technology company LanzaJet. The facility is the first project funded under the $300 million Qantas and Airbus Australian Sustainable Aviation Fuel Partnership and will utilise world-leading alcohol-to-jet technology to produce up to 100 million litres of Sustainable Aviation Fuel per year.
Further information: https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/media-releases/queensland-biofuel-refinery-to-turn-agricultural-by-products-into-sustainable-aviation-fuel/
The Parkroyal Collection Hotels and Resorts has launched its Eco-Wellness program to inspire conscious living and personal wellness in the everyday. The program presents a range of experiences as part of the hotel guests journey driven by the five senses – scent, sound, sight, taste and touch. The multi-sensorial program is designed around iconic biophilic design, sustainability and wellbeing. Pan Pacific Hotels Group owns and manages more than 50 hotels, resorts and serviced suites in more than 30 cities across the Asia Pacific, North America and Europe.
Further information: https://www.panpacific.com/en/newsroom.html#/pressreleases/parkroyal-collection-launches-eco-wellness-experiences-for-feeling-well-and-living-well-3238553
Waldorf Astoria Sydney
Western Australian firm Tattarang has purchased the One Circular Quay project in Sydney, earmarked for the first Waldorf Astoria hotel in Australia. The ultra-luxury hotel will include 220 hotel rooms across 25 levels and guests will have access to restaurants, spa and wellness facilities, an indoor pool, ballroom and function spaces, boardrooms, and a rooftop bar and restaurant that offer panoramic views of Sydney Harbour’s world-famous landmarks. Construction will commence in 2023, with the Waldorf Astoria Sydney slated to open in late 2026.
Further information: https://www.tattarang.com/news/2023/tattarang-makes-landmark-investment-at-one-circular-quay-to-deliver-australias-first-waldorf-astoria-in-new-world-class-precinct/
A new $1.5 million Eco Resort Glamping Experience has opened in Townsville, North Queensland. The 10 new glamping tents and 13 powered campsites for caravans are all equipped with technology to reduce glare, save water, and reduce energy consumption. The project was supported through the department’s $25 million Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund and used local Indigenous builders Jakaba Constructions to complete some of the project activities.
Further information: https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/tourism/funds/growing-infrastructure/Townsville-Eco-Resort
New booking site SleeperCharger has partnered with Expedia Group to offer 10,000 business hotels, holiday resorts and boutique accommodations with guaranteed charging facilities onsite. Leveraging Expedia Group’s API, SleeperCharger.com lists reviews, scores and other facilities as well as leveraging Expedia Group’s dynamic prices for instant search and book functionalities. The company is the only provider with guaranteed public charging stations within 250 metres of over 60,000 hotels.
Further information: https://sleepercharger.com/
The Southern Way initiative has been launched for visitors wanting to explore the scenic southern regions of New Zealand. The initiative is a collaboration between eight southern regional tourism organisations to collectively share more about the breadth of visitor experiences in the lower south of New Zealand. Communities in the partnering areas of Waitaki, Wanaka, Queenstown, Central Otago, Dunedin, Clutha, Southland, and Fiordland have each provided input into the creation of destination management plans.
Further information: https://southernway.nz/
Grand Train Tour of Switzerland
Switzerland Tourism and Wirz has revealed comedian Trevor Noah as the guest to appear beside global brand ambassador, Roger Federer in the organisation’s new film on the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. The rail trip allows visitors to discover the top experiences in Switzerland over 1,280 kilometres and eight stages. The advertising promotes a range of train travel offers and experiences with the main markets being the U.S., India, South Korea, Southeast Asia, China, the U.K. and Germany.
Further information: https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-au/experiences/experience-tour/highlights-by-train-bus-and-boat/grand-train-tour-of-switzerland/
Video: Grand Train Tour of Switzerland: The ride of a lifetime
Queensland Music Trails
The Queensland Government has launched the Queensland Music Trails initiative as part of the Towards Tourism 2032 roadmap for building new experiences to help visitors discover more of regional Queensland. The $20 million first-of-its-kind music tourism experience will join the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar and be promoted interstate by Tourism and Events Queensland.
Further information: https://qldmusictrails.com/
Polish Michelin Guide
The Polish Tourism Organisation and Michelin Guide have signed an agreement to highlight Polish cities including Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań and their surrounding areas in the globally recognised guidebook which has been in circulation since 1900. The project is supporting the development of culinary tourism using the Michelin Guides comprehensive system of symbols to describe each restaurant which is compiled based on anonymous inspections.
Further information: https://guide.michelin.com/en/article/news-and-views/the-michelin-guide-expands-into-poznan-poland
Global Accessible Tourism Portal
The UNWTO, ONCE Foundation and the Spanish Association for Standardisation have launched a user-guide targeting public and private sectors to include accessibility into their policies and businesses strategies. The portal provides resources which have been developed in collaboration with Disabled Peoples Organisations and key civil society, and tourism sector stakeholders. It is a tool to understand actions undertaken by organisations entrusted with designing policies, strategies and destination marketing plans in the sphere of accessible tourism.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/accessibility
Greece is making beaches wheelchair-friendly by installing the Greek-designed Seatrac system for wheelchairs. A total of 287 beaches across Greece will be fully accessible to people with mobility problems by introducing other essential facilities like parking, bathroom and changing facilities, ramps and refreshment bars. The Tourism Ministry has also designed a website with relevant information and a made series of short videos that are available on YouTube.
Further information: https://www.accessiblebeaches.gr/en_us/
Good Practices in Indigenous Tourism
The UNWTO in partnership with the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance has produced the first compendium on indigenous tourism. The Compendium of Good Practices in Indigenous Tourism highlights good practices and solutions championed by Indigenous associations, community organisations and businesses in the Americas. It includes an introduction to various aspects of planning, management and promotion of a responsible and sustainable indigenous tourism development. It also provides a series of recommendations and tips promoting the responsible conduct of tourists who visit Indigenous communities.
Further information: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/book/10.18111/9789284424184
Wine Tourism Toolkit
Destination New South Wales has created a practical toolkit which highlights the key wine regions each with its own distinct personality, varying topography, grape varieties, and signature experiences. The toolkit features six destination fact sheets that aim to inspire and inform the travel trade about commissionable products for client itineraries across the Hunter Valley, Mudgee, Orange, Shoalhaven Coast, Canberra District and the Southern Highlands.
Further information: https://www.destinationnsw.com.au/tourism/marketing-opportunities/trade/travel-trade-toolkit/wine-regions-of-nsw
Bike-Friendly Business Guide
The Queensland Government has released a new online guide with tips and tricks for business owners and operators to become bike friendly. The practical guide is based on research with bike riders, businesses, local councils, and industry groups across the state. Bike riders present a growing market of people who want to stop, shop and spend at businesses of all types from local cafes and supermarkets, through to tourism destinations and professional service appointments.
Further information: https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/97504
Community Impact Program
Banff and Lake Louise Tourism has launched a first-of-its-kind program for Canada’s business events industry. The Community Impact Program is a new innovative initiative enhancing business events, is designed to help improve the long-term economic and social sustainability of Canada’s first and most visited national park. The program provides delegates with a pre-paid credit card to purchase any goods and services within the destination including hotels, restaurants, shops, and experiences. It also provides a pre-determined donation amount to one of eighteen local charities based on the total balance on the cards.
Further information: https://www.banfflakelouise.com/business-events/community-impact-program
A new native flora and fauna experience at Taronga Zoo in Sydney has officially opened. The new $16 million Nura Diya Australia precinct was funded by the New South Wales Government and offers an opportunity for visitors to experience some of Australia’s iconic wildlife species including dingo pups, Kangaroos, and Koalas up close.
Further information: https://taronga.org.au/sydney-zoo/whats-on/nura-diya-australia
Murramarang South Coast Walk
The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service has launched a new multi-day walk on the South Coast. The Murramarang South Coast Walk is a 34-kilometre coastal walk that starts at Pretty Beach, north of Ulladulla and concludes at Maloneys Beach near Batemans Bay. The multi-day walk is one of 13 Great Walks being delivered by the NSW Government as part of the $450 million investment in national parks incorporating more than 200 visitor infrastructure projects across the state.
Further information: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/experiences/murramarang-south-coast-walk
National Park Funding
The Australian Government will invest an extra $262.3 million in 2023-24 to fund Australia’s iconic commonwealth national parks. The investment will address infrastructure needs including updating unsafe equipment, fixing inadequate signage, providing essential ranger housing, and refurbishing rundown facilities like the Kakadu Aboriginal Cultural Centre. It will boost conservation activities and cultural heritage management including the new National Seed Bank at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
Further information: https://minister.dcceew.gov.au/plibersek/media-releases/restoring-our-precious-national-parks-after-decade-neglect
The Museum of Underwater Art is installing the eight Ocean Sentinel sculpture artworks at John Brewer Reef after receiving its permit approval from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The sculptures by internationally renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor will form a snorkel trail for visitors to highlight reef conservation, marine science and education within the Great Barrier Reef. They are modelled on notable local and international marine scientists, conservationists, and traditional owners, who have dedicated their life to the Great Barrier Reef. It is the third art project installation and has been supported by corporate, government and philanthropic funding.
Further information: https://www.moua.com.au/latest-news/ocean-sentinels-approved-for-installation
The Expedia Group has partnered with the Travel Foundation to launch a first-of-its kind capacity-building program for destination marketing and management organisations. The program will provide practical training to staff and create climate champions who can apply a sustainability lens to strategic planning and decision-making. Destination Vancouver is the first pilot destination marketing organisation to sign on as a participant.
Further information: https://www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/travel-foundation-and-expedia-group-set-to-launch-climate-training-program-for-destinations/
Policy & Planning
A new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, World Tourism Organisation and the Mountain Partnership shows that generating economic benefits, creating opportunities for local communities and developing sustainable products are the main motivations for mountain tourism. The report “Understanding and Quantifying Mountain Tourism” highlights the collective efforts of public and private stakeholders across 46 countries to improve data collection, standardisation and delivery to gain a more comprehensive assessment of mountain tourism.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/news/tourism-s-potential-for-mountain-ecosystems-and-communities-outlined-in-new-report
Scenic Nature-based Tourism Strategy
The Scenic Rim Regional Council in Queensland has launched the Nature-based Tourism Strategy 2023-2032 to ensure the region’s natural beauty is protected for the enjoyment, appreciation and benefit of residents and visitors. The strategy has been developed with support from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund and aims to capitalise on opportunities for adventure and nature-based tourism in the Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast regions.
Further information: https://www.scenicrim.qld.gov.au/news/article/880/scenic-rim-well-placed-to-become-leading-nature-based-tourism-destination
Image: Cover image from the Scenic Rim Nature-based Tourism Strategy 2023-2032 featuring the view from Mount Maroon. Photo credit: Lachlan Gardiner
Magnetic Island Tourism Masterplan
Townsville Enterprise and the Magnetic Island Tourism Masterplan Steering Committee have released the new Tourism Masterplan for Magnetic Island (Yunbenun) which aims to protect the natural environment and cultural values. It outlines 26 initiatives to support the Island’s vision and sustainable visitor growth that aligns to the community and industry. It was funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and is the result of more than 12 months of extensive consultation with Traditional Owners, community, industry, residents and visitors.
Further information: https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/news/latest-news/articles/2023/may/masterplan-magnetic-island-yunbenun
Destination Management Plan
Visit Ruapehu have launched a new Destination Management Plan (Tahia Ko Puanga) which prioritises the natural environment, local place and communities to support the growth of tourism. Visit Ruapehu partnered with Waihuia Ventures to engage local and central government, local tribes, clans, youth and families, and tourism operators. The plan reflects the needs, wants of the destination, and sets out a pathway to ensure tourism is sustainable, regenerative, and benefits local communities.
Further information: https://www.visitruapehu.com/about-us/ruapehu-destination-management-plan
Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards
The Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards are for those cultural tourist destinations which have produced meaningful results such as enhancing the visitor experience, respecting traditions and involving local communities. Applications are open to tourism boards and associations, destination management organisations, museums, interpretation centres, cultural routes, festivals and cultural attractions across Europe. Applications close 1st June 2023.
Further information: https://etc-corporate.org/news/applications-now-open-for-the-destination-of-sustainable-cultural-tourism-awards-2023/
Certification & Accreditation
Airport Carbon Accreditation
Brisbane has become the first Australian airport to receive Level 4 Airport Carbon Accreditation by Airport Council International. Airport Carbon Accreditation is the only institutionally endorsed, global carbon management certification program for airports. It independently assesses and recognises the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon emissions through six levels of certification.
Further information: https://newsroom.bne.com.au/australian-first-for-brisbane-airport/
Sustainable Distribution Partner
The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse is the key distribution partner of the new Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard launched by Ecotourism Australia with founding partner Tourism Australia. Tourism businesses who have completed the scorecard will be highlighted through the online platform to highlight their commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism.
Further information: https://www.ecotourism.org.au/blog/atdw-becomes-key-distribution-partner-of-ecotourism-australia-s-strive-4-sustainability-scorecard
Education & Training
Tour guides and travel consultants have been included on the 2023 Australian Apprenticeships Priority List. This will allow both employers and apprentices to receive financial support. Some apprenticeship courses have fee-free TAFE places available, providing further support for recovery in these critical visitor economy roles.
Further information: https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/financial-programs
Future Travel Report 2070
A new report commissioned by airline easyJet forecasts innovations in airport journeys, air travel, accommodation, and holiday experiences over the next 50 years. The 2070: The Future Travel Report was authored by a group of leading academics, futurists and experts from across Europe in the fields of aerospace, innovation and engineering. The airline has over 300 aircraft on nearly 1000 routes to more than 150 airports across 35 countries.
Further information: https://mediacentre.easyjet.com/story/15737/easyjet-2070-the-future-travel-report
European Travel Sentiment
Europeans are still planning to keep their travel budgets unchanged this year, despite the current economic crisis and global financial stress, according to the European Travel Commission’s latest report on Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel. The research provides insights into European travel plans in the spring and summer of 2023 and shows that most travellers intend to take a trip during the first six months of 2023, more than last year.
Further information: https://traveltomorrow.com/europeans-wont-compromise-on-travel-budget-this-year/
Tourism Businesses in Australia
Tourism Research Australia has published the Tourism Businesses Report 2017-2022 which provides data on businesses including changes in their number and profile. As of 30 June 2022, there were 358,277 tourism businesses operating nationwide which equates to one in seven being directly connected to tourism. The report also categorises tourism businesses by industry sector, employment size, organisational structure, turnover, as well as distribution across tourism regions.
Further information: https://www.tra.gov.au/data-and-research/reports/tourism-businesses-in-australia-june-2017-to-2022
Travel Outlook Survey
International Medical Group, a global insurance benefits and assistance services company, has released its annual Travel Outlook Survey. Results of the survey reveal the travel trends for 2023 which include frequency of travel, timing of travel, and anticipated spending habits of travellers. The International Medical Group offers a wide range of programs including international medical and travel insurance, as well as 24/7 emergency medical, security, and travel assistance.
Further information: https://www.imglobal.com/newsroom/article/2023/03/29/img-travel-outlook-survey-predicts-continued-surge-of-international-travel-in-2023
Conferences & Events
Wellness Tourism Summit
Wellness Tourism Unearthed will be held in the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia on 5 June 2023. The event will see the latest consumer wellness and travel trends, as well as best practice tools to enhance current business offerings.
Further information: https://www.wellnesstourismsummit.com.au/wellness-tourism-unearthed
The Global Business Travel Association will be hosting its second global Sustainability Summit in Washington, DC on 13 June 2023. The event brings together industry to discuss solutions, as well as sharing information and data to assist business travellers in selecting greener travel options.
Further information: https://www.gbta.org/gbta-sustainability-summit-building-a-greener-future-for-business-travel-june-2023/
Travel and Tourism Research Conference
The 53rd Travel and Tourism Research Association International Conference will be held in Missouri, United States from 13-15 June 2023. It brings together researchers, marketers, policymakers, and practitioners to share insights, exchange ideas, and discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities.
Further information: https://ttra.com/conference/
Australian Festival Industry Conference
The Australian Festival Industry Conference will be held at Luna Park, Sydney from 30-31 August 2023. This is the leading event in the Asia Pacific for people who deliver music, arts and culture, food and drink, ideas and sporting festivals.
Further information: https://australianfestivalconference.com.au/