Edition 185 · October 2023
Tony Charters and Associates
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Going to Green Vehicle Fleets – sharing experiences
Next month some 24 keynote speakers across 5 nations will explore the topic of transitioning government vehicle fleets to Net Zero. Organised by the Australian Public Sector Fleet Management Business Improvement Group, the conference is being staged in Melbourne 28 – 29 November 2023.
“With the rapid pace of growth in the take up of EVs within public sector fleets there is an imperative to share knowledge and experiences between agencies, as they are all on a significant learning curve” said Tony Charters AM, Convenor of the conference.
Issues across charging, networks, mechanical servicing, fire safety, driver training, supply chains and fleet optimisation are highlighted within the program.
“Importantly the Conference seeks to share the lived experience of this transition phase across government fleet managers at every level of government” Mr Charters said.
For full details and to register: https://www.npsfmc.com/
Singapore passport holders are now able to visit 192 travel destinations out of 227 globally visa-free, making it the world’s most powerful passport. The Henley Passport Index is based on data from the International Air Transport Association which ranks passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. Germany, Italy, and Spain have moved into second place with visa free access to 190 destinations.
Further information: https://www.henleyglobal.com/passport-index/ranking
Grants & Funding
Accessible Tourism Elevate Fund
The Queensland Government has announced the $5 million Accessible Tourism Elevate Fund to enhance accessible experiences for eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations, governments, and regional and local tourism organisations. The initiative will support activities to improve communication and information sharing, digital and website accessibility, staff training and education, adaptive equipment, technology, and infrastructure.
Further information: https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/tourism/funds/accessible-tourism-elevate-fund
Indigenous Tourism Destination Fund
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada has established the Indigenous Tourism Destination Fund to accelerate the growth of Indigenous tourism in Canada. The initiative aims to serve as a global model for sustainable development and position Canada as a world leader in Indigenous tourism by 2030.
Further information: https://indigenoustourism.ca/indigenous-tourism-destination-fund/
Territory Aviation Attraction Scheme
The Northern Territory Government has launched the Territory Aviation Attraction Scheme allowing Darwin, Alice Springs, and Uluru (Ayers Rock) airports to apply for a share of $10 million in funding. The funding will support the development of aviation services including new routes, capacity and frequency increases which provide more options for tourists.
Ecotourism Citizen Science Grants
The Queensland Department of Environment and Science has announced funding for tourism operators to implement new citizen science experiences in Queensland’s National Parks. The grants will support events, activities, educational workshops, or other science engagement projects that encourage participation by visitors and the community. Applications close on 8 November 2023.
Further information: https://www.chiefscientist.qld.gov.au/science-comms/engaging-science-grants/overview
Global Airlines is the world’s newest long-haul airline and has acquired its first A380 aircraft from Doric Aviation. It was founded in 2021 by renowned travel personality and serial entrepreneur, James Asquith who wants to bring back the ‘golden age’ of flying, where passengers had room for socialising assisted by an enhanced economy and business class experience. The airline aims to redefine the travel experience for passengers across all travel classes, with the first transatlantic flights expected in 2024.
Further information: https://www.globalairlines.com/
Nature Is Our Guide
PONANT has launched a new campaign to position the cruise line as a custodian of responsible tourism. The Nature Is Our Guide campaign focuses on corporate social responsibility by embodying four main actors: Captain, Naturalist Guide, Scientist and Passenger. It highlights destinations and unique experiences offered to passengers, while showing the commitment to more responsible tourism.
Further information: https://au.ponant.com/nature-is-our-guide
Google is harnessing the power of AI and machine learning to promote sustainability in aviation through Contrail Avoidance. Researchers have teamed up with American Airlines and Breakthrough Energy to bring together satellite imagery, weather, and flight path data to create forecast maps to test if pilots can choose routes that avoid creating condensation trails by adjusting the altitudes at which planes operate and regions with high humidity levels.
Further information: https://blog.google/technology/ai/ai-airlines-contrails-climate-change/
United for Wildlife
Emirates customers on long haul flights globally will receive new complimentary amenity kits, designed in partnership with United for Wildlife, to highlight eight of the most endangered species on the planet. The amenity kit pouches are reusable and made from washable kraft paper with bespoke art of the animals printed in non-toxic soy-based ink. United for Wildlife was founded by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in 2014 to make it impossible for traffickers to transport, finance, or profit from illegal wildlife products.
Tourism Tasmania has produced a guide for Tasmanian tourism and retail businesses looking to offer product to the cruise shipping market. The guide provides information on how to deliver shore experiences to passengers, who to work with, and how the cruise distribution system works. The guide also provides information on different cruise lines and their passenger demographics as well as key contacts and useful links.
Further information: https://www.tourismtasmania.com.au/industry/cruise_tourism/
Key to Hotels
The world-famous Michelin Guide which awards stars to the best restaurants will begin rating hotels using key symbols. A group of more than 5,300 hotels in 120 countries are up for the award which is based on five criteria including whether the establishment gives visitors a local experience, as well as its design and architecture. The new benchmark will be introduced next year.
Ardour Hotels and Estates
Fund manager Salter Brothers has launched a new brand of boutique luxury lifestyle hotels that will offer a retreat experience with facilities to cater for large groups including event spaces, day spas and multiple restaurants. Ardour hotels and estates will be managed by Salter Brothers’ hotel management platform which currently has 16 hotels within Australia including the Spicers brand and Escarpment Group, as well as Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa.
W Sydney Hotel
A new W Hotel has opened in Darling Harbour, Sydney. The 585-room hotel which was created by award winning interior specialists, Bowler James Brindley features a two-storey rooftop bar, a 30-metre heated infinity pool, spa, gym, restaurant, bar, and event spaces. Marriott has more than 60 W Hotels around the globe.
Further information: https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/sydwh-w-sydney/overview/
Infrastructure & Investment
Surfers Paradise Revitalisation
The City of Gold Coast has unveiled plans to transform Cavill Avenue, Cavill Mall and The Esplanade into a world-class visitor precinct. The Surfers Paradise Revitalisation Concept Design has been created based on community feedback on the Surfers Paradise Place Making Plan 2019. The proposed design focus on creating a space which has activations by day and night while providing for tourism, nightlife, entertainment, and families.
Further information: https://gchaveyoursay.com.au/surfersparadise
Cairns Convention Centre Expansion
The Queensland Government has opened the new-look Cairns Convention Centre in Tropical North Queensland. The $176 million expansion adds a rooftop banquet area, outdoor terrace, 410-seat function room, three 120-seat meeting rooms, and exhibition and plenary space for 30 booths. It will now be able to host multiple events or larger conventions and exhibitions of up to 2,500 guests.
Further information: https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/98776
Digital & Technology
Digital Traveller Declaration
The new Digital Traveller Declaration is available for travellers arriving at all Aotearoa New Zealand international airports including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown. The online and mobile system allows travellers to digitally complete a declaration about customs, travel, immigration, and biosecurity, as well as providing passport, flight and contact details. Travellers arriving by cruise ship will be able to complete an online declaration from 31 October 2023.
Further information: https://www.travellerdeclaration.govt.nz/
Maritime Heritage Centre
The DUBoak Maritime Heritage Interpretation Centre has opened on the Island of Krk in Croatia highlighting the maritime heritage of the Adriatic. The name of the €1.5 million visitor attraction reflects the historic surrounding region of Dubašnica which focuses on the maritime culture, shipbuilding skills and everyday life of the islanders. It is part of the European funded Arca Adriatica initiative between Croatia and Italy which aim to use cultural heritage as a tool for sustainable development.
Further information: https://duboak.org/en/
Nura Diya Australia is a brand-new immersive experience at Taronga Zoo Sydney allowing visitors to connect with Country and the unique habitats which native Australian flora and fauna call home. The new $16 million precinct features powerful storytelling from First Nations artists and will be home to 270 individual animals from 23 distinct species. The name Nura Diya means ‘This Country’ from Sydney First Language and features some of the oldest and rarest wildlife found nowhere else on earth.
Further information: https://taronga.org.au/sydney-zoo/whats-on/nura-diya-australia
VisitBritain has launched a new website that is a one-stop shop for accessible travel planning with free services and assistance available to any traveller with a disability visiting England, Scotland, or Wales. Accessible Britain covers the practicalities of travelling with guides for transport (airports, railways, vehicles, and coaches) and recommendations for accommodation iconic attractions which have flat paths, audio and tactile guides, and hearing loops.
Further information: https://www.visitbritain.com/en/plan-your-trip/accessible-britain
Wheel the World
Online booking platform Wheel the World has announced two new features including verified accessibility information for hotel rooms booked from its website and a price match offer from other booking platforms including Booking.com, Expedia and Travelocity. Since 2018, Wheel the World’s mission has been to open the world up to people with disabilities and provide travel accommodations and experiences that fit their needs worldwide.
Further information: https://wheeltheworld.com/
Accessible Treetop Boardwalk
Danish architecture firm Effekt have created a new treetop boardwalk specifically designed to be accessible for all nature lovers regardless of age, disability, or physical limitation in Hamaren Activity Park by Lake Fyresvatn. The two-metre-wide barrier free boardwalk is the first of its kind in Norway and stands 15 metres off the forest floor with a unique view of Lake Fyresvatn, the treetop canopy, and the summit of Klokkarhamaren. It is also suitable for pedestrians, cyclists, pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Drive the Dream
The Western Australian Government has announced the latest Tourism Western Australia road trip campaign. The Drive the Dream campaign features West Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo and highlights the state’s landscapes and experiences on a road trip from Perth (Boorloo) north along the Coral Coast Highway to Exmouth (Warnangoora). The campaign’s central short film was produced by Perth-based agency, Rhythm Creative and will be showcased in a digital-led international marketing campaign.
Further information: https://www.westernaustralia.com/en/pages/drive-the-dream-with-daniel-ricciardo
The new Slovenia Green documentary has been awarded Best Film for the Promotion of Sustainability (Terres de l’Ebre) out of 127 productions from 26 countries. The film presents the country’s wild and unspoilt nature through the experience of a cyclist following the Slovenia Green Gourmet Route created between the Slovenian Tourist Board, the Slovenia Green Consortium, destinations, and providers with the Slovenia Green Destination label
New World Geopark
The Council of UNESCO World Geoparks has approved the nomination of Biokovo-Imotski Lakes Geopark as a World Geopark. This is the third geopark in Croatia alongside Papuk and the Vis Archipelago. The new Geopark region contains several natural features including the Red and Blue Lakes whose water levels rise and fall with the seasons. It will officially join the world geoparks list in April 2024.
Further information: https://gp-biokovoimotski.com/geopark-biokovo/
Construction has started on Queensland’s first purpose-built walking and mountain bike track through a World Heritage-listed area and three national parks. The trail is co-designed with Traditional Owners the Djabugay Nation and will cover 94 kilometres from Palm Cove to Port Douglas. Once operational it will include public camping facilities and high-end eco-accommodation offerings. The $47 million project is funded jointly by the Queensland Government, with $8 million from the Federal Government’s National Tourism Icons Program.
Further information: https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/news/latest/2023/works-start-on-wangetti-trail-south
Venice Tourist Fee
Venice in Italy will begin charging day visitors over the age of 14 an entrance fee to enter the old city on peak days making it the first city in the world to charge tourists. The 30-day experiment will start in 2024 and authorities will scatter the chargeable days across the year including holiday weekends and peak Carnival periods. Exemptions will exist for locals, commuters, tourists staying overnight in the municipality, and those who are participating in sporting events.
Sea Life Program
Merlin Entertainments has announced the launch of a new conservation program in partnership with marine conservation charity the Sea Life Trust. The initiative will enable Sea Life aquariums across the globe to deliver projects designed to make a positive impact on conservation in their local communities including saving endangered species, protecting local oceans and freshwater environments. Merlin Entertainments is the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator with over 140 attractions, 23 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 24 countries across 4 continents.
Further information: https://www.sealifetrust.org/en/
Carbon Labelling Program
The Intrepid Travel Group has added carbon labels to more than 500 itineraries on the company’s website to help educate travellers to make it easier for them to understand their personal impact. The carbon labelling shows the total CO2-e of the trip per traveller, per day by identifying the components contributing to their overall carbon footprint including accommodation, transport, food, activities, and waste. The company believes carbon labelling will become standard practice as part of government policy.
Further information: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/intrepid-carbon-labelling
Nature Positive Toolbox
The Toolbox of Nature Positive Tourism Resources was created by ANIMONDIAL in support of the World Travel & Tourism Council report on Nature Positive Travel and Tourism. It provides the travel and tourism sector with the resources to aid the transition and integrate a Nature Positive Tourism approach into business. It includes a series of frameworks that demonstrate how the theory in the main report can be applied, together with useful external resources, support services, and business case studies.
Further information: https://research.wttc.org/nature-positive-travel-and-tourism
Guide to Meaningful Travel Product
The Tourism Cares Guide to Meaningful Travel Product helps travel companies make more responsible choices when building travel products. Tourism when designed properly can help alleviate some of the world’s biggest problems like social inequality, food sovereignty, and conserving environmental and cultural assets. This guide aims to help travel professionals and businesses reflect on these connections by making changes to their products to improve the positive impact of travel.
Further information: https://www.tourismcares.org/programs/guide-to-meaningful-travel-product
Tourism for Development Fund
The TUI Care Foundation, through its Tourism for Development Fund, have announced plans to invest 10 million euros by 2030 in supporting sustainable tourism development projects in Cambodia, Laos, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, The Gambia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the projects are designed to increase the capacity of communities to improve their livelihoods, conserve, and regenerate nature, and create market-based solutions that benefit tourism destinations.
Policy & Planning
Tourism Opens Minds
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has launched a new global initiative designed to unite and encourage nations, tourism sector leaders and consumers to be more open-minded when choosing a travel destination. The Tourism Opens Minds initiative is designed to encourage consumers to embrace new destinations by using tourism as a bridge between cultures and promote a more connected world.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/the-tourism-opens-minds
Agritourism Business Guide
The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment has released a new guide to help farmers set up agritourism businesses on their land. It outlines what planning approvals are needed and how landowners can meet the requirements including practical advice on issues such as location and design. The government has also removed the 100 visitors limit to farm gate premises for pick-your-own produce under exempt and complying development.
Investment in Tourism
A new report produced by United Nations World Tourism Organisation, in partnership with fDi Intelligence, has highlighted investment in global tourism has started to bounce back from the pandemic off the back of the steady recovery of international tourist arrivals. The report is based on data from greenfield FDI projects and international tourism that provides a broad overview of the ongoing investment cycle by region, segments, and companies.
Education & Training
Worker Attraction and Skills Initiatives
A new employment program is being delivered for workers in the tourism industry by the Victorian Government in partnership with Victoria Tourism Industry Council, Young Tourism Network and Typsy. The $1.4 million Worker Attraction and Skills Initiatives for Tourism program is funded by the Australian Government via the Choose Tourism Grant Program which aims to position tourism as a career choice and attract workers.
Certification & Accreditation
The ecotourism quality label of the Swedish Nature and Ecotourism Association (Naturturismföretagen) has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for sustainable tourism. Nature’s Best Sweden now joins a group of a group of reputable sustainability systems such as Earthcheck, Green Key, and Ecotourism Australia. It is based on six basic principles as well as thematic criteria depending on the nature and cultural experiences the company provides.
Holiday and Travel Survey
The Roy Morgan Holiday and Travel Survey indicates that spending on travel was up by around $30 billion in the 12 months to June 2023 compared to a year earlier. Roy Morgan predicts that spending on travel will continue to claim back its share of wallet among those consumers buffered from cost-of-living pressures, while consumers are increasingly redirecting their spending from goods and services to holidays.
Further information: https://www.roymorgan.com/industries/travel-and-tourism
Business Travel Study
New research from the German Travel Association Deutschen Reiseverband has highlighted that business travellers are increasingly considering environmental factors when selecting and booking their corporate travel. The Chefsache Business Travel study has revealed that nearly 75% of German business travellers choose train travel instead of air or rental car travel for domestic connections. It also found that companies are increasingly opting for longer business stays to reduce travel.
The Travel Foundation have published new research to help policymakers and the tourism industry understand what a global, thriving, decarbonising tourism industry could look like by 2030 and through to 2050, when tourism and every other human activity must achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. The Envisioning Tourism in 2030 report was compiled 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.
Further information: http://www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/envision2030/
Business Events Research
Tourism Australia has released new research that outlines the factors influencing decision makers when choosing a destination for events including how Australia is perceived. Of those decision makers surveyed via the 2023 Business Events Consumer Demand Project, Australia is the number one incentive destination across 22 attributes including excellent business facilities, value for money, and safety and security. This research helps inform Tourism Australia’s business events strategy to drive demand in key markets and support industry.
World Travel Barometer
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation World Tourism Barometer tracks the sector’s recovery over the course of 2023 and contains results by region, sub-region, and country. The challenging economic environment continues to be a critical factor in the effective recovery of international tourism with persisting inflation and rising oil prices translated into higher transport and accommodations costs. This could also weigh on spending patterns over the remainder of the year, with tourists increasingly seeking value for money, travelling closer to home and making shorter trips.
Conferences & Events
Global Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Summit
Reset Travel is being held at the London Hilton on 3 November 2023. This event will showcase how the travel and hospitality sector is leading the transformation towards a positive impact for Nature, People, and the Planet.
Further information: https://www.tlcharmony.com/reset2023/
Global Wine Tourism Conference
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation is hosting the 7th Global Conference on Wine Tourism in La Rioja, Spain from 22-24 November 2023. The conference allows industry experts to collaborate on solutions that makes wine tourism an enabler of more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient communities.
Further information: https://www.unwto.org/7-UNWTO-Global-Conference-Wine-Tourism