POLICY & PLANNING

National Travel and Tourism Strategy


Image: smartmoneyguy.net

The President of the United States has announced the development of the first national strategy to make the US the world's top travel and tourism destination, as well as stimulate job creation. Some of the initiatives include a new pilot program and rule change to simplify the visa process for applicants from China and Brazil, expanding the Global Entry program and the creation of an interagency task force to develop recommendations for expanding international tourism.

Further information: http://www.ustravel.org/

Smart Travel

The Australian Government has launched phase three of the Smartraveller program. The $13 million campaign has been in development for over four years and will see the roll out of television commercials, radio, print and digital advertising, as well as a new interactive website utilising social media with separate portals for youth travellers. The initiative also includes working some 30,000 travel agents across Australia to develop interactive e-learning tools that make it easier to help people register their travel and receive advice about countries.

Further information: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/




Image: smartraveller.gov.au/

PROTECTED AREAS
Coral Sea Marine Reserve


Image: brisbanetimes.com.au

The Australian government is planning to establish the world's largest marine reserve in the Coral Sea, which is under threat from commercial fishing, as well as oil and gas exploration. Covering an area approximately 989,842 sq km in size the planned proposals for environmental protection are subject to a 90-day consultation before any change can be implemented in the Coral Sea reserve.

Further information: http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/mbp/coralsea/consultation
/index.html

 

SOCIAL MEDIA
Two Million Facebook Fans
Tourism Australia's Facebook page has passed two million worldwide fans making it the most popular tourism destination page on the planet. The Facebook page has grown rapidly since it was first launched in May 2008 and allows fans around the world to view and share photographs and holiday experiences. Another new initiative will allow tourism operators to add their company to an online directory allowing consumers to search for experiences, attractions and events across Australia.

Further information: http://www.facebook.com/SeeAustralia



 
    Image: facebook.com/SeeAustralia
Lost Love In-Flight


Image: lovetrekker.com

Hoping to reunite sky high lovers or new best friends, a new website We Met on A Plane launched earlier this week to help reconnect passengers. To find a lost friend or love acquaintance, passengers log onto the site and search for the flight number, year, month, date, origin or destination and a list of stories that match the details will be listed. Searchers then read through the stories and if one sounds familiar they are able to post a reply to the story and an email will be delivered to the writer immediately.

Further information: http://wemetonaplane.com/


INDUSTRY FORUM
Tourism and Events Speaking Opportunities!
Australia's premier National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference is offering industry professionals an opportunity to present new case studies, cutting-edge research and innovative business initiatives in the conference program.

 




To be staged on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 July 2012, the conference offers presentation opportunities on marketing, tour and transport, policy development, destination management, skills, event management, and cultural and indigenous tourism.

This is a great opportunity to enhance your profile and generate new business leads.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 9 March 2012 so don't miss out!

To be part of this exciting event visit www.teeconference.com.

ACCOMMODATION
Aircraft Carrier Hotel

In the Chinese city of Tianjin a former Soviet aircraft carrier is being transformed into a luxury hotel for tourists, the first of its kind in the country. The Kiev was built in 1972 and subsequently purchased by China in 1996, where it is now part of the Binhai Aircraft Military Theme Park. The US$15 million investment includes 137 standard hotel rooms, three VIP guest rooms, two presidential suites and a luxury restaurant.

Further information: http://www.binhaipark.cn/


 
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Hotel Search Engine


Image: travel.hindustantimes.com

Six of the world's leading hotel companies have combined their brain power with the launch a new property search channel, Room Key. The new hotel search engine was designed by Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels, InterContinental Hotels, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel to assist consumer confidence when purchasing rooms. Listing properties from around the globe, the site will eventually include independent reviews, the ability to compare as well as share information with interested parties.

Further information: http://www.roomkey.com/


BUSINESS EVENTS
Turtle Power

As part of its new Tropical Breaks program for the conference and incentive market, the Pullman Reef Casino Hotel in Cairns has forged an alliance with the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

The concept provides incentive and corporate clients the chance to get out of the hotel and engage in a two-hour visit with the centre, which specialises in treating injured or ill marine turtles from the Great Barrier Reef and Cape York Peninsula.
 
Image: turtle-rescue.org/

Clients also have the chance to participate and help fund the work done by the centre's team of volunteers by taking a guided tour or through corporate sponsorship packages.

Further information: http://www.turtle-rescue.org/

Global Eco 2012: back to eco epicentre


Image: Pullman Reef Hotel Casino

Ecotourism Australia is proud to announce its 20th annual conference, the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference for 15-17 October in Cairns, Qld, the event is proudly supported by Events Queensland.


Global Eco 2012 will be held at the beautiful Pullman Reef Hotel in Cairns. Located in Tropical North Queensland the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef you will only be footsteps away from, tropical rainforests, exotic widlife and many beaches.

We look forward to seeing you in Cairns!

Further information: www.globaleco.com.au



TRANSPORT
Green Airports

A number of European airports have joined the Airport Carbon Accreditation program, a voluntary initiative launched in 2008 aimed at reducing carbon emissions. To date, 55 airports have introduced measures including purchasing electric/hybrid vehicles and finding alternative sources of airport power, such as solar panels. These positive moves have seen a reduction of 729,689 tons of greenhouse gases, which compares to removing 180,000 cars of the roads. Participating airports include London’s Gatwick and Heathrow, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Geneva, Paris, Milan or Amsterdam and Brussels.

Further information: http://www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org/

Image: airportcarbonaccreditation.org/why.html

SKILLS & TRAINING
Tourism Labour Agreement

The Australian Government is seeking public comment on a new labour agreement to help the tourism and hospitality sectors attract skilled workers from overseas. The proposed template agreement establishes a common set of requirements tailored specifically for tourism and hospitality businesses recruiting skilled overseas workers, and follows discussions with industry at the Tourism Employment Roundtable. The discussion paper is open for comment until 16 March 2012.

Further information: http://www.ret.gov.au/TOURISM/POLICIES/NLTTS/Pages/default.aspx

Image: abc.net.au
Expressions of Interest - QTIC-Y Membership


Image: Queensland Tourism Industry Council

The Generation Y tourism network links students, employees, entrepreneurs and tourism stakeholders. It offers opportunities for you to network with others interested in tourism, while striving for positive change in the industry and working on issues affecting or of importance to younger generations.


We are now accepting expressions of interest for young Queenslanders to join the QTIC-Y network. It is ultimately your participation and input that determines how effectively QTIC-Y can represent the voice of Generation Y to industry and all levels of government.

Please register your interest by Friday 9th March. For more information please contact qticy@qtic.com.au or download an application form

DESTINATION MARKETING
Green Travel Ideas
 
Image:roadahead.com.au

The Mudgee Region in Central NSW has compiled a list of its Top 10 Green Travel Ideas for 2012 to encourage people to take a clean, green and environmentally friendly holiday in the region. Ideas include visiting Australia’s first organic winery, bird-watching, visiting a National Park, bike tours and eco-friendly accommodation. Aimed at people who want to leave a low carbon footprint and be kind to the planet.

Further information: http://www.visitmudgeeregion.com.au/mrti/

Vietnam Looks Ahead in 2012


Image: famoustourisms.com/2011/07/halong-bay-vietnam-natural-charm/

Vietnam achieved spectacular tourism growth in 2011. The number of international tourist arrivals reached 6 million, an increase on 18% over 2010. A major highlight for the year was the announcement of Ha Long Bay being recognised as one of the seven World New Wonders of Nature by New7Wonders
.
During the recent ASEAN Tourism Forum held in Manado, Indonesia, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism announced that in 2012 there would be a stronger focus on destination branding, with a new slogan to be adopted 'Vietnam – Timeless Charm' and also a new tourism logo.

In 2012, Vietnam will aim to leverage growth in the business events sector by hosting the International Travel Exhibition (ITE) in Ho Chi Minh from 13-15 September 2012. ITC 2012 expects to attract over 200 participating companies from more than 30 countries and anticipates 15,000 international and regional visitors.

 

Vietnam Tourism have also advised that in 2012 they aim to organise a national ceremony on the occasion of Ha Long Bay being inscribed in the list of seven New Wonders of Nature.

Further information: http://www.vietnamtourism.gov.vn/english/


CLIMATE CHANGE
Carbon Footprint

A new United Nations mobile application lets users calculate their carbon footprint and learn new ways in which they can reduce their emissions through specific actions. Users can input the details of their air, train or road journeys to find out the equivalent area in a particular ecosystem that is needed to offset the journeys’ carbon footprint. Produced by the UN Environment Programme the free iPhone app is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

Further information: http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/climatechange/pages/
gateway/template/news_item.jsp?cid=31251


Image: travelmole.com


RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
Ethical Destinations Report


Image: ethicaltraveler.org/explore/the-worlds-best-ethical-destinations-2012/

The Top 10 Ethical Destinations for 2012 have been announced by non-profit group Ethical Traveler. The annual report names the highest performers in human rights and environmental protection based on a study of developing nations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

The research team first identifies the best tourism destinations in the developing world and using publicly available data rates countries in the areas of environmental protection, social welfare, and human rights.

Further information: http://ethicaltraveler.org/destinations

Responsible Mountain Biking

The International Mountain Bicycling Association and Sustainable Travel International have formed a partnership aimed at promoting and improving sustainable mountain bike tourism experiences worldwide. The new destinations program will be able to reach more than 80,000 mountain bike enthusiasts around the globe monthly who can access online maps, partner directory, community events calendar, special offers and book tours directly.

Further information: http://www.imba.com/destinations



 
    Image: imba.com/destinations
World's Cutest Rhinos

Scientists around the world are following the pregnancy of one of the world's most endangered species, the Sumatran rhino.

At the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia's Way Kambas National Park, Ratu has just completed the 11th month of her pregnancy. The expectant Sumatran rhino's pregnancy will probably last four to five months longer.

The Sumatran rhino is one of the world’s most critically endangered species, numbering no more than 200 individuals in Indonesia and Malaysia. Every Sumatran rhino birth - in the wild, in a zoo or in a special sanctuary – represents hope for the survival of this species, which runs the risk of going extinct by the end of this century.

Image: rhinos-irf.org
Satwa Ecolodge (www.ecolodgesindonesia.com) is walking distance to Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra where you can see Rosa, Ratu, Andalas & Bina and help with their conservation through the International Rhino Foundation.

Further information: www.ecolodgesindonesia.com

AWARDS
WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Finalists Announced

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) unveiled the twelve finalists for its 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards . The awards are one of the highest accolades in the global Travel & Tourism industry and recognise sustainable tourism achievements among businesses and destinations across the full spectrum of the industry.

As sustainable tourism practices increasingly gain momentum around the world, organisations and destinations are raising the bar on best practices to new heights.



 
Image: Tony Charters

Finalists of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards from five continents, including Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and South America, were selected for their outstanding achievements in four categories representing over 50 countries.

Tony Charters is a WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow finalist judge and recently undertook a verification study and report on one of the finalists.

View the full list of finalists at: http://www.tourismfortomorrow.com/


INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT & INNOVATION
Inclusive Tourism Guide


Image: travability.travel

A new guide has been produced by Travability an agency committed to the accessible tourism sector which provides information to tourism operators on how to ensure their infrastructure can attract travellers with a disability. The guide advises why and how to present accessibly information and gives examples of critical inclusive details required by a person with a disability to make an informed decision as to whether or not a facility is suitable for their needs.

Further information: http://travability.travel/Brochures/Industry.pdf


RESEARCH
Tourism Satellite Account

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the Australian tourism industry experienced moderate economic growth in 2010-11, with tourism contributing the equivalent of $94.8 million a day to the Australian economy. Despite a year of global economic challenges and natural disasters, tourism growth was supported by an increase in the number of visitors from overseas including China, New Zealand and Malaysia. Overall, tourism employed 513,700 people in total throughout Australia in the last financial year and contributed 8.0% of Australia's total export earnings in 2010-11.

Further information: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/5249.0


Image: blog.vecci.org.au
Win! Stunning Authentic Ecolodges Book

The Global Eco Secretariat and Conference Committee are currently planning Ecotourism Australia's 20th conference, the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference.

Readers of Tourforce are invtied to offer their ideas and suggestions to continuously improve the conference.

Please take 5 minutes to complete this online industry survey and have your say in which topics should be featured and discussed at this year's Global Eco Conference.

Image: authenticecolodges.com

Participants go into the draw to win one of three copies of Hitesh Mehta's benchmark book Authentic Ecolodges. Filled with stunning images, this is a fantastic resource for every tourism progfessional.

Complete the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MCM6DH6

Multigenerational Travel

A comprehensive study of the multigenerational leisure traveller has been undertaken by the Preferred Hotel Group who represent more than 850 independent luxury hotels and resorts in 70 countries.

More than 400 variables were analysed including attitudes, behaviours, preferences, social values, lifestyles and media habits of leisure travellers who have identified themselves as multigenerational travellers.

The hotel group will launch several initiatives aimed at this growing segment including access to innovative tools on websites to book multiple rooms or to reserve special event facilities.

Further information: http://www.preferredhotelgroup.com/PHG/index.aspx

Image: preferredhotelgroup.com
New Zealand Holiday Preference Declining


Image: Tourism New Zealand

Latest stats from Roy Morgan Research have revealed that the number of Australians who would like to visit New Zealand has fallen steeply since the Christchurch earthquake in late February 2011; as a result New Zealand and United States now share the top position as the most preferred overseas holiday destination.

The number of Australians 14+ years who say they would like to holiday in New Zealand in the next two years is at 2.5 million in the 12 months to December 2011, up from 2.2 million in December 2008, but down from its peak in February 2011 of 2.8 million.

Further information: http://www.roymorganonlinestore.com/News/Preference-for-a-New-Zealand-Holiday-Declining-sin.aspx

 

CERTIFICATION & ACCREDITATION
Global Ecotourism Recognition


Image: Ecotourism Australia

Ecotourism Australia's Certification Program has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, along with eight other certification programs from around the world. The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria is the worldwide minimum requirements for tourism businesses of all size to approach sustainability.

Further information: http://new.gstcouncil.org/resource-center/gstc-recognized-standards

Eco-Certified Hotel Program

Sabre has launched a company-wide Eco-Certified Hotel Program incorporating Travelocity, Sabre Red Workspace, Travelocity Business and Sabre Hotel RFP.

The program aims to meet the growing desire for environmentally responsible accommodations and includes more than 4,700 hotels certified and recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council's guidelines.

This includes Ecotourism Australia Certified and Advanced Certified accommodation providers.

Further information: http://www.sabre-holdings.com/newsroom/release.php?


 
Image: traveldailyasia.com

CONFERENCES & EVENTS
Sustainable Tourism Conference

The Sustainable Tourism Conference will be held in Guyana from 15 to 18 April 2012. The Caribbean Tourism Organisation has been staging its annual conference since 1997 as part of the information dissemination and regional awareness component of their strategy for sustainable tourism. It serves as a primary arena where new and creative ideas about enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of the Caribbean tourism product are generated.

Further information: http://www.caribbeanstc.com/


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Registrations Open for ASEAN Tourism Forum 2013

Buyers, sellers and media are now invited to register for the 2013 ASEAN Tourism Forum to be held 17-24 January 2013 in Vientiane, Lao.

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of South East Asian Nations as one tourist destination. The annual event involves all tourism industry sectors of the 10 member nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

It is anticipated that over 1,600 delegates will attend; including some 150 ASEAN tourism ministers and officials, 800 ASEAN exhibitors, 400 international buyers, 150 international and local media as well as 100 tourism trade visitors.

Further information: http://www.atflaos.com/index.php