atx: from the MD
thegreenmyth The tourism industry fights back
ecofriendlyskies Airlines are “neutral” as their critics take sides
ATEC annualreport The year in review
Dear industry colleague
Season’s greetings, Matthew Hingerty Managing Director Australian Tourism Export Council
newcooltravellers Who they are and what they want
doityourself Get with the program and prosper
profile Bob East - A stella career
usefulstuff Tourism Cogs turn for online advertising
usefulstuff QANTAS launches premium economy cabin
whathappensontour... Postcards from the road
Welcome to the latest edition of atx, incorporating the yearbook for 2006-2007. As we reflect on the past year we can mark it down as one of the better ones for the industry and for ATEC. While inbound numbers were below the world average growth, yield was stunning, with $2 billion extra earned from our sector in the financial year. It is very tempting to say that the White Paper - and the TA Campaign are working based on those figures. ATEC had a good year too, with the Board’s target of prudentially-responsible capital reserve being reached, which means we can weather any storm on the horizon. And there may be a couple too. As we look ahead we can spy the uncertain waters of a continued high dollar and rises in other business costs such as interest, fuel, labour, building materials and food and beverage. On the broader stage, we have to face up to the uncomfortable truth that tourism is now in the red in the balance of trade in travel services – something which we have to work at to turn around. There are however, plenty of shafts of sunlight breaking through those clouds. The future of the White Paper is assured under the new Government and they have added a long-awaited liberalization of the EMDGS to our armory. Aviation capacity constraints are easing both internationally and domestically and the industry is rapidly getting on top of the Climate Change issue. And then there are big hopes for the new film, Australia, to add to our marketing offering. With these fundamentals in place, ATEC will be looking at its own future. Your new Board is about to embark on a full review of our business model, corporate plan and constitution. We hope you can participate vigorously in that process. Whatever the New Year brings, it won’t be boring. We look forward to bringing these issues to you and our stakeholders through atx.
Allan Leibowitz is a former editor of Business Queensland and the Australian Travel Reporter. He now specialises in business travel, and edits the specialist publication, Business Travel Monthly.
Alistair Smith a professional journalist, former public relations executive and small business owner. Alistair holds a Diploma of Travel (Travel Consultant, International Operations), is a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers, and has been made an honorary member of the Australian Journalists Association.
atx: is published by Sampson Communications Australia on behalf of the Australian Tourism Export Council.
editorial publisher Rob Sampson editor Kerri Anderson ATEC Liaison Nikki Mallam senior art director/designer Mark Devries
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has reported airline affairs for 36 years. His contributions appear in The Australian Financial Review, Aviation Business Asia Pacific, and overseas publications served by the Guardian & Observer News service.
Peter Needham is a freelance writer and columnist, based near Sydney. HIs background includes seven years (1986-93) as Editor of ‘Inside Tourism’. Before that, he worked for ‘Traveltrade’ (Australia), Australian Associated Press (Sydney), Reuters (London), Los Angeles Times/Washington Post News Service (European Bureau, London), The Guardian (London).
contact us Phone 02 9922 3388 ATEC 02 8262 5500 Email email@example.com ATEC firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.atxmag.com.au, www.atec.net.au
© Sampson Communications Australia 2007
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greenwash to fight myths Australia is not only competing against other destinations, it now also has to contend with an antitourism campaign. Allan Leibowitz looks at efforts to counter the lobby groups portraying travel as environmentally irresponsible. Klaus Lengefeld, a German advisor on sustainable tourism, recently cited an English bishop who demonised tourism, describing air travel as a sin “since it is an unnecessary luxury which is destroying our climate”. While the clergyman’s extreme beliefs may not be officially sanctioned by any church, his views are not out of keeping with a radical environmental wave especially evident in Europe. The “tourism is wasteful” line is reinforced by some recent Scandinavian studies such as one reported in Svenska Dagbladet under the headline “Tourism bad for environment”. The report referred to a study at Lund University which attributed 10% of Sweden’s combined carbon dioxide emissions to the tourism industry. The researchers, one of them a Kiwi, pointed a finger at the Swedes’ wanderlust, blaming travel agents and tour operators for encouraging locals to holiday further away. Worse still was some research from Massey University in New Zealand that found that
tourism is our Tasman neighbour’s highest carbon dioxide emitter out of 25 industry sectors, partly because of the international travel component. And to add another nail to the coffin of the industry, the study concluded that the negative environmental impact is not balanced by the economic benefits because the industry is more energy-intensive even than pulp and paper, and second only to metal smelting. In this new green era, everything environmental is being politicised and Lengefeld argues that the climate change debate has discovered travel and tourism as “easy targets”. And the easy targets are being attacked on a number of fronts. The good news, however, is that tourism is fighting back and even the ideologues at the United Nations are re-examining their rhetoric. Just last month, the UN-backed World Tourism Organisation declared that tourism is “an economic lifeline for many nations and simplistic moves to curb it could spell doom for millions of people”. Speaking ahead of a meeting of UN environment ministers in Bali, WTO secretarygeneral Francesco Frangialli said “tourism helps poverty alleviation, which is one of the millennium development goals, so tourism must be part of the solution”. “People see tourism as a luxury, a leisure pursuit,” Frangialli said.“They don’t see it as a vital economic activity. Our goal is to make sure they see this side of it as well.” This view forms the basis of Lengefeld’s argument that if we succumbed to the radical green criticisms and halted tourism, economies would crumble – including many that the campaigners are trying to save from exploitation. When faced with calls to stop “unnecessary” atx:magazine
travel, the German asks what would happen in countries like Sri Lanka, Indonesia or Kenya or if the climate defenders’ dream came true and international air travel stopped completely? “What would happen if, for example, we all would stop travelling to Brazil?”,he asks. “Thousands of hotels and restaurants would have to close … together with hundreds of other tourism businesses and local suppliers of farm and non-farm products and services to the tourism and hospitality industry,” he explains. Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of people would lose their jobs and income “and all these former waiters, room-maids, tourist guides, transport providers, etc. would have to find new ways to survive in Brazil”. The picture he paints is of a mass return to subsistence agriculture, with 100,000 new farmers clearing and burning huge tracts of the Amazon rainforest, producing masses of CO2 so that they could stake out their farms. This benevolent view of tourism is showing up in the most critical assessments of climate change and environmental challenges. A recent United Nations Environment Programme report on the impact of tourism notes a range of beneficial effects, including the all-important economic contributions which underpins Lengefeld’s assertions. The report points to Costa Rica, where tourism represents 72% of national monetary reserves, generates 140,000 jobs and produces 8.4% of the gross domestic product. In addition, it highlights the direct financial contributions to the conservation of sensitive areas and habitat as well as indirect contributions through taxes and government levies in countries like the Seychelles where the US$90 travellers’ tax will be used to preserve the environment and improve tourism facilities.
atx: fightingthegreenmyth The UN report notes also that tourism has the potential to increase public appreciation of the environment and to spread awareness of environmental problems when it brings people into closer contact with nature and the environment. and Australian tourism’s environmental credentials, particularly through activities such as the Visiting Journalists Programme, according to Buckley. The UN report notes also that tourism has the potential to increase public appreciation of the environment and to spread awareness of environmental problems when it brings people into closer contact with nature and the environment. “Tourism can significantly contribute to environmental protection, conservation and restoration of biological diversity and sustainable use of natural resources. Because of their attractiveness, pristine sites and natural areas are identified as valuable and the need to keep the attraction alive can lead to creation of national parks and wildlife parks,” it says.
Greening Australia’s image Geoff Buckley, managing director of Tourism Australia, acknowledges that “there are definitely concerns in the industry that there may be some anti-travel sentiment attached to the current concerns about climate change”. Much of the focus of the debate has been in the UK and Europe, but to date it “doesn’t seem to be as significant in influencing travel plans” in the region, he says. Tourism Australia has been closely monitoring foreign attitudes and Buckley notes that the findings so far indicate that while many travellers are concerned
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about the environment, they are more concerned about other factors of their holiday such as personal safety, the quality of accommodation, the friendliness of the locals and the cost. This observation is echoed by Jayson Westbury, chairman of the NSW Tourism Industry Council, who cautions against attributing the current downturn in inbound visitors to the green lobby, saying it’s probably more about price at this stage. Westbury sees the anti-travel movement as posing “a difficult issue for the industry as it is easy for competing destinations to talk about the problem”.The real challenge, he believes, is how we get the truth out and maintain a common message about the issue. Hotel chain Accor has not seen any ‘pushback’, but that hasn’t stopped the group from committing to an even higher level of environmentally friendly policies, says Michael Issenberg, Managing Director of Accor Asia Pacific. “Our aim is to introduce measures not as a result of guest demands, but in recognition of the role the tourism and hospitality sector must play in the overall global environmental effort,” he explains. Tourism Australia, meanwhile, continues to emphasise “positive experiences”
“Green/nature messages are being incorporated into Tourism Australia’s campaign activities globally in ways that are appropriate to each market. For example, the campaign with a World Heritage focus currently under way in Japan will be adapted to major community marketing forums in the Western Hemisphere markets. “This will include consumer events such as Australia Week in the United States, Canada, Germany and New Zealand. Australia’s nature will be a core message strategy at these multimillion-dollar events which create tens of millions of dollars in exposure, engage thousands of consumers in the market and include participation from our industry stakeholders,” he says. For most Australian tourism operators, the “truth” that Westbury refers to includes solid environmental credentials and that is becoming increasingly important with the rise of eco-tourism. Tourism Australia cites recent research indicating that eco-tourist destinations now attract about 15% of the global tourist market and more than a third of travellers say they would favour environmentally friendly destinations. In fact, a quarter even say they’d pay more for a green holiday. “The wonderful beauty of Australia lends itself to be presented as a green tourism
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atx: feature destination, but there is a lot to be done to get us to that point,” says Westbury.“It is one thing to say ‘we are green’ and it is another to really actually be green.”
The programme is being funded by the South Australian Tourism Commission and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Protection Authority, and will be trialed early next year.
One way to demonstrate environmental responsibility is through certification, and Ecotourism Australia offers accreditation to provide “an assurance that an accredited product is backed by a commitment to best practice ecological sustainability, natural area management and the provision of quality eco-tourism experiences”.
“The new Climate Change Certification will allow our tourism industry to take its environmental commitment to the next level,” says South Australian Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith.“That won’t just be good for the environment, but also for the state’s economy, as more visitors come here to take holidays that minimise their carbon footprint.”
The programme, the world’s first eco-tourism accreditation programme, has been so widely recognised that it is being exported to the rest of the world as the International Ecotourism Standard. It currently lists more than 700 Eco-certified operators and members, covering every state and territory in Australia. In keeping with current greenhouse gas concerns, the certification programme is now being expanded to cover the tourism industry’s carbon footprint. Ecotourism Australia’s new Climate Change Certification programme will allow the travelling public to identify accommodation and tour operators who are committed to reducing their carbon emissions.
Reef Marine Park – where tourism has been the most powerful force assisting to protect the Reef.” Buckley points out that Australia has some terrific tourism operators that have already been adopting sustainable practices and are leading the way in terms of reducing the environmental footprint.
Natural attractions Tourism Australia notes that nature and wildlife experiences are among the key motivating factors for international travellers and Australia is strongly committed to protecting its natural environment. It has 17 World Heritage sites and over 2,000 national parks. “The protection of our natural and cultural assets has been vital to Australia’s $81 billion tourism industry, which creates positive economic and social outcomes for the benefit of all Australians,” says Buckley. “Tourism has helped to draw attention to, and protect, important natural places and wildlife. Take, for example, the Great Barrier
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“The idea is that you can have tourism and conservation, it is not either or.” These include the late Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, which stands as a shining example of conservation. The Sunshine Coast theme park undertakes endangered species breeding, field study, habitat acquisition, rescue and research – all funded by its eager patrons and visitors. The park certainly seems to fit the definition of sustainable tourism proposed by New Zealand Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons. She defines it as “an industry that bases all its decision-making on living within the limits of the natural environment, minimising its energy use, its water use, its sewage and its solid waste”. Fitzsimons told a recent tourism conference that “in future all tourism must be sustainable, and all nature tourism must be eco-tourism”. Sustainability also includes social impacts, she said.“Worldwide, tourism is a doubleedged sword for local communities. The jobs and economic development have saved many communities. But the service industry is known for low wages, and the intrusion of big money, casinos, high property prices and corporate chains found all over the world can change the local character that people value.” The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns is a prime illustration of social and economic sustainability. A privately owned business with the majority shareholding forever in the hands of the Aboriginal tribal councils themselves, the park is funded by the admission price, its food and beverage outlets and retail shop, and by producing evening events for the conference and incentive market.
Joint approach NSW Tourism Industry Council’s Westbury believes positioning Australia as a green tourism destination will require a concerted approach by industry and government. “We need comparative data to be able to mount a case in the first instance. I still believe it is too early in the debate for operators to be advocating messages about green or the environment unless they are in the real business of environmental tourism,” he believes. For Accor’s Issenberg, the call is now very strong for tourism authorities and hospitality providers to demonstrate clearly that they take the environmental issue seriously. “The idea is to prove that you can have tourism without leaving an overly large environmental footprint. For instance, our Novotel Lake Crackenback in the NSW Snowy Mountains introduced summer trekking in the Snowy Mountains but works hand-inhand with the National Park’s environmental officers and groups such as Leave No Trace. “The idea is that you can have tourism and conservation, it is not either or. “And hotels can also play their part and go well beyond tokenism. The point is that most tourists want to be environmentally sensitive when they travel; they just need travel operators to provide the means for them to be able to do that,” he says.
Tourism Australia, meanwhile, says it is doing its bit for the green revolution by playing a key role in the Tourism and Climate Change Taskforce. Buckley explains that the organisation is a member of the sub-groups addressing: Climate Change and aviation/ inbound consumer reactions – the role of aviation; Industry economic impacts; and a Communications Strategy. He recently attend the UNWTO Ministerial meeting on Climate Change at this year’s World Travel Market in London where it became clear that “many countries had similar concerns about the issue – in particular the focus on long haul aviation in the debate – when tourism is such a vital contributor to the global economy”. Buckley is encouraged by the support for the Davos Declaration, the October 2007 accord which acknowledges that tourism will continue to be a vital component of the global economy. The UN-backed agreement calls for “truly sustainable tourism that reflects a ‘quadruple bottom line’ of environmental, social, economic and climate responsiveness”. ATEC, through its Managing Director, Matthew Hingerty, is a member of the Tourism and Climate Change Task Force. Mr Hingerty represented ATEC at the Davos and World Travel Market Summits. Importantly, the declaration includes calls for targeted, multi-disciplinary research on impacts of climate change and tourism. Such research can only benefit the industry, especially as it faces ongoing and often irrational attacks in the public debate.
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SKIES Ben Sandilands looks up and sees that things are not what they seem.
Rob Kella at Qantas is closely involved in its pursuit of green skies, and is faced with a fast moving dilemma. “The technology issues are moving very well in the right direction,” he says,“but the political and regulatory issues are not.” Kella is the executive general manager for risk and assurance at Qantas. He sees a clear threat to the interests of Qantas and some of its competitors who play critical roles in the tourism export sector in the detail of the impending unilateral EU Emissions Trading scheme for carriers flying within and to the UK and the continent. “Our main concern initially is a city pair or hub efficiency issue,” he says. Under the
current proposal Qantas would have its emissions calculated on the stage length of the flight that serves London, Frankfurt or other centres from the last port of call. Those stages from Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong are much longer than, and in some instances nearly double those from hubs in the Middle East. It is an iniquity that also confronts other major suppliers of inbound capacity including Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Thai International, as well as challenging the emerging long haul expansion plans of Jetstar International and AirAsiaX. And it also works against the major flag carriers of Europe and the UK in terms of their non-stop or one stop services deep into the Asia-Pacific region and on to Australia as code shares or in their own right. The European ETS is to be in full implementation by 2011 and the EU determination to stick to this timetable, and impose it on US carriers without significant consultation or negotiation, has put Brussels
offside with IATA, airline groups, individual carriers, airport forums and tourism organisations, and a head on collision course with the current administration in Washington DC and undoubtedly the one that will replace it in January 2009. Kella says “We have no argument with the science of global warming and climate change. But we are asking that our core business competitiveness not be harmed and that our determination and willingness to address these environmental issues is recognised.” When Tony Tyler, the chief executive officer of Cathay Pacific spoke to industry groups in Australia last month he expressed dismay about “the nonsense in Europe” and regretted the strategic error of the aviation sector in “allowing the debate to be controlled by those determined to reduce airline activity rather than embrace technological solutions.” Tyler said “If we don’t get this right we’ll find ourselves drowning in green taxes that will go to government funding of everything
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atx: ecofriendlyskies Process changes include better and safer use of air space, enabling jets to fly more direct routes, including the ‘straight in’ approaches to airports from its emissions trading scheme if a similarly repressive system was introduced in this country. Very clear battle lines have been drawn for every industry, including inbound tourism, that depends on air travel, and they are between the doctrinaire interventions of social engineering and the bright inventions of aerospace engineering. other than reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.” At last month’s Greenskies conference in Sydney, the enormity of the EU challenge to numeracy and equity in aviation matters became apparent in the comments of Roberto Salvarani, its director of air safety and the environment. Salvarani dismissed out of hand the notion that technology could solve airline emissions, and insisted that air traffic could pump out half the world’s carbon emissions by 2050, which is insupportable by rational analysis. However Salvarani said the EU would try to get Australian government support for its position by promising to exempt Qantas
At Qantas, Kella says reducing the risks climate change poses to the carrier fall into four quadrants. These are changes to process, as in reducing energy consumption by operational efficiencies with current technology, the pursuit of ‘drop in’ fuel alternatives in which kerosene is replaced by non-fossil fuels which are fully compatible with current engines and jets, carbon offset or emissions trading initiatives, and new technological advances in materials or engines. Process changes include better and safer use of air space, enabling jets to fly more direct routes, including the ‘straight in’ approaches to airports in which Qantas is playing a leading role in refining.
Jet engines are least efficient when taxying on the ground, or climbing or descending. On a typical Sydney-Melbourne flight a 90 minute block time may involve as little as 30 minutes of peak fuel efficiency in level cruise. Alternative fuel options are not limited to biofuels which controversially can involve the diversion of agricultural productivity into growing fuel instead of crops. While Boeing in conjunction with Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic will trial ethanol rich blends in one of the four engines of a 747 flown by each carrier in the New Year to test their practicality as ‘drop in’ fuels, newer projects are looking at fuels derived from animal or vegetable waste fats that will not involve any loss of food production. Projects to develop such biologically produced fuels avoid releasing the carbon locked up in fossil fuels, and are an extension of solar energy, using photosynthesis to produce fuel that is constantly recycled instead of leaving a surplus of accumulating carbon in the environment. They also lead into synthetic fuels, which may make suitable replacements as by-products
atx: coverstory of process cleaning up coal, or creating complex hydrocarbons with the help of solar energy, although the greatest barrier to success lies in avoiding excess use of energy to create the end product. ETS & offsets range through the wholesaling of compulsory schemes for governments or regulators to airlines to the retailing of optional carbon neutral schemes by airlines to their customers like those found in Australia, Europe and North America.
It claims a 20 per cent weight saving in airliners compared to the current carbon fibre reinforced plastic structure that Boeing is using in the 787 Dreamliner family, which is claiming to save a least 20 per cent in weight compared to conventional alloys. Make that therefore the prospect of an overall 24 per cent decline in comparable jet weights. But this yields even better emissions reductions than weight savings as a simple metric. Aeronautical engineering is engaged
The first GTFs could be powering regional jets by 2012 and the P & W design has already been chosen for new models under development by Bombardier and Mitsubishi to compete with the 70-110 seat Embraer E-jet range. GTF engines are strongly tipped to play a leading role in the all new replacement designs for the workhorse A320 and 737 families Airbus and Boeing intend bringing into service from about 2015.
Their objective is to reward carbon efficiency throughout industry, turning it into a tradeable asset, and generating funds for abatement or research projects. However the issue for this industry is to resist schemes that seem likely to punish or suppress aviation or other emissions generating activities more than encourage their prompt and effective transition into lowered or zero emissions status, the later being the ambitious goal of IATA as soon as 2025. Technological advances that lead to drastically lowered fuel consumption and cleaner emissions per unit of energy produced are focused on new composite materials for making lighter airframes, and breakthrough propulsion systems including radical improvements in ceramics to extract more energy more cleanly from fuels and engines. The current highest profile examples of technological advancement are the giant Airbus A380, which reduces fuel burn to less than half of that achieved by the most efficient hybrid cars measured by in units of available seats times distance, and the high composite Boeing Dreamliner 787 family, which is some months away from starting its test flight program. There are however two other very promising developments which escaped public attention in the second half of this year. In September a Euro-American materials research consortium bankrolled by Alcoa, announced CentrAL, which is a sandwich of aluminium lithium sheets reinforced with a filling of carbon fibre based composites.
in the pursuit of virtuous circles. Make a jet lighter or give it more fuel efficient engines and it no longer needs to be as heavy or with as large a tank capacity as before, yielding cumulative benefits in fuel burn and the payload/range curve than also halve the emissions current designs add to the atmosphere with available technologies, never mind future refinements. The world’s third largest engine maker Pratt & Whitney, unveiled its breakthrough technology in October, when it rolled out a geared turbo fan engine (GTF), which looks like a fat jet engine, but is really a large propeller like fan enclosed in a jet like pod and run at more efficient settings through a geared link to the combustion chambers in its core. GTFs could dramatically reduce fuel burn on the high frequency short intercity routes that account for most of aircraft emissions because they slash the inefficiencies or current jet engines during ground movements or climbing or descending.
At this early stage the fuel burn of such engines before taking into account a lighter airframe is 20 per cent better than the best similar sized engines in current service. The aircraft makers are in accord with the airlines in urging travellers not to be bullied into feeling guilty about flying. When the first production A380 was delivered to Singapore Airlines in Toulouse in October the Airbus chief operating officer, John Leahy, said if its fuel efficiency was applied to the world fleet today air transport’s carbon footprint would be almost halved. But if his and for that matter Boeing’s market outlook for 2025 is correct this would still leave air travel creating half as much carbon again as it does today with three times the head count, helped by phenomenal rates of air travel growth primarily in the Asia-Pacific hemisphere. Leahy’s answer is that “this is what we could achieve in 2025 with the technology of 2007.
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atx: ecofriendlyskies “But even though there is a lot of hard work to do, aerospace technology isn’t standing still. We won’t be meeting the future with the unchanged technology of the past.” Unless the social engineering agenda to shut down or curb air travel wins the day. The jet makers and the airlines emphasise that without an expanding market benefiting from the cost efficiencies of new fleets those investments needed to achieve a low, even zero emissions industry will not be made. It is a conundrum firmly embraced by Rob Kella at Qantas.“People should feel good about flying, because they are creating the very growth which facilitates the technology breakthroughs that makes travel and tourism a driver of better environmental outcomes. “This notion of shutting down activity to save the planet is a prescription for perpetuating worst practice rather than encouraging best practice.” Kella says it is true that a complete suite of technologies that will allow travel to grow fully green is not yet in sight.“But”,he says, “the brains and the dollars are being applied. “I predict that within five to ten years we will see these missing innovations or inventions come to light, and air travel is one of the activities driving their discovery.”
Until the recent extension of campaigning by the aptly named Plane Stupid movement to Australia, public debate about achieving carbon neutrality in air transport had been largely low key and constructive.
This was nonsense, but uncritically reported in the mass media without any examination of any of the assumptions on which such a forecast was supposedly based.
In March, Virgin Blue introduced its Fly Carbon Neutral program for voluntary cash offset levies on fares for investment in emissions mitigation programs including forestry and sustainable energy research. Qantas adopted a similarly named program in September. Both are endorsed as approved abatement projects by the Australian Greenhouse Office.
The media ignored the subsequent leaking of an internal study by the Intertanko group, representing the high tonnage shipping industry, which concluded that it was contributing 5 per cent of global carbon emissions, which had not been measured by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC and diluted the claimed input of aviation from between 2-3 per cent of emissions to the 1.6-2.4 per cent range.
However shortly before Plane Stupid landed locally the Australia Institute made headlines by calling for a compulsory levy similar to that imposed in the UK to discourage air travel, arguing that unchecked 50 per cent of national emissions would come from expanded air travel by 2050.
Plane Stupid has been described by IATA director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani and others in terms of being a magnet for the practitioners of the politics of envy and confiscation, and for whom jet airliners, airports and travel retailers are rallying points for their resentment of consumerism, personal choice and mobility.
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ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
2007 annual report John King, Chairman
In October last ATEC, in association with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), jointly hosted an international conference titled, Tourism Directions and Distribution â€“ A New Paradigm. In receiving the excellent presentations and reviewing the predicted changes in terms of their implications on the way we will need to do business in the future, it became clear that a key theme ATEC has been pushing for the past year requires increasing priority and attention. Following the Board retreat in February, where the focus and priorities of the organisation are annually determined, our Managing Director, Matt Hingerty developed a thought provoking discussion paper for consideration by the entire tourism industry and government on the need to address key supply side issues, such as the quality of service and experience not matching the brand promise; the need for new investment, greater innovation and more attention to retaining and developing our essential human capital. At the New Paradigm conference it became clear that the customer is increasingly becoming central to our marketing and distribution, not just at the receiving end of our promotions and sales. Traditional marketing techniques are becoming significantly less potent with â€˜word of mouthâ€™ fueled increasingly by IT based mediums such as blogs, chatrooms and specifically branded travel sites such as Trip Advisor becoming more and more the powerhouse of demand. Potential customers seeking particular experiences and outcomes from their travels are becoming more engaged in the distribution and packaging process. Our future success therefore is going to increasingly rely, not on how clever we are in mounting effective advertising and marketing programs, but on how well we deliver on the promise of our brand and fulfil the aspirations and exceed the expectations of our customers in the service and experiences we provide. Whether it is seeking to improve service standards, the quality of our product, the development of our human resource and skills
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base, the creation of new and increasingly revenue rich tourism activities, ATEC will increase its quest commenced in the past year to maintain our appeal and protect this important export industry in the face of increasing competition, investment and commitment by a growing number of competitors. At the same time as it is playing a growing broad industry leadership role, ATEC is managing to maintain and even expand its core role of facilitating effective networking between suppliers and with ITOs and other players in the distribution process, in providing business development support and ensuring the environment in which we operate is as conducive as possible to the operation of profitable and sustainable businesses. As a membership based organisation, our focus must first and foremost be upon serving the needs of our members. This is our strength, but in some ways it is also our weakeness. As we increase our influence and success, the demands upon ATEC also expand. A key role of the Board therefore is to maintain a balance between what we need to do and what we can afford to do. To date we have managed to achieve this balance through the extraordinary efforts and contribution of our small team, our branches, our supporters and corporate partners and our members. The past year has seen records set in new membership, retention of existing members, the number of activities undertaken and in the financial reserves we have accumulated. The five year target for a reserve of half a million dollars was achieved a year ahead of schedule. The organisation therefore is in a sound condition. I look forward confidently to another year where ATEC will continue to be relevant and responsive to the challenges that lie ahead. John King Chairman
ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
ATEC md’s report The last year was one of significant success on the lobbying front with two of ATEC’s key longterm campaigns coming to fruition. One was the recommitment of the Coalition Government (and supported by the Labor opposition) to the Tourism White Paper for a second round of funding, a decision which will give Tourism Australia and its industry partners certainty about Australia’s future marketing efforts. Matt Hingerty, Managing Director
The second was the announcement of the establishment of a work-and-holiday maker visa class with the United States, the first negotiated by the US, on the eve of APEC. While the visa is slightly more regulated than a typical workingholiday maker visa, it is nevertheless a great shotin-the arm for the backpacker sector and a great win for the Backpack Tourism Advisory Panel. Being an election year, ATEC was kept busy talking to both sides of politics and making submissions to various inquiries. The most pressing issue on our agenda was our response to climate change, and I was pleased that ATEC took a leading role in both raising awareness of the issue and in being a central player in the joint industry and government response. Over the last twelve months a number of other issues have bubbled to a head which may have the cumulative impact of threatening our industry’s growth. The rise of the Australian dollar beyond the US 90 cents mark makes our competitiveness on a price basis even harder, especially in an Asian-Pacific region seeing unprecedented investment in infrastructure. Room availability in some capitals and access to skilled and unskilled labour is placing further pressure on our capacity to grow. The answer is to continue to look at ways we can improve the quality of our customer’s experience. We need to look for new ways to build on established markets while accessing new markets and niches. To that end, ATEC has supported the on-going work of the Sustainable Tourism CRC while calling for the same innovation support
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for the services sector as enjoyed by the mining, manufacturing and farming sectors. With these and many other issues, we therefore have a lot on our plate. To provide an effective voice of the export tourism industry we need to be a strong organisation and we need to be sure we are representing the day to day commercial concerns of our members and their investors. Every issue we raise publicly is a response to those issues our members encounter in the daily business. These issues are raised through our vibrant program of business to business, educational, networking and policy workshops. The last year was no exception with over 80 events around the country. For our flagship event, Symposium, we returned to our ITOA “roots” by visiting an emerging destination, and subsequently provided valuable and honest feedback to the Tweed as they explore hurdles and opportunities of investing in the export sector. As we have been so outspoken on range of issues relating to our sector, ATEC can be proud of the respect with which it is held by our stakeholders. ATEC is often the first organisation to be asked to provide media comment or a keynote speech. In the last year, that has extended to the world stage, where ATEC has become more active, particularly on climate change, with partners such as the Pacific-Asia Travel Association (PATA). All this increasing activity has placed significant pressure on ATEC staff, both at head office and in the regions. I would like to place on record my thanks for their dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism. I would also like to thank my Board of Directors, in particular our tireless Chairman John King, and the many state committee members who have enthusiastically volunteered their most precious resource – their time. Matt Hingerty ATEC Managing Director
ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
ATEC branch update North Queensland Branch:
South Australia Branch:
• Inbound Up North - this was the new concept of travelling together and went from Dunk to a school camp site. • “How to” Workshop • NQ ATEC Sydney Showcase
• The 2006 AGM was held in August at the Rendezvous Allegra Hotel, with networking drinks to follow. • Later in August over 20 ATEC members hosted a themed networking function at The Tap Inn in Kent Town for a team of 10 staff from the AOT Group. • A dinner for the same agents was arranged on Kangarro Island the next night. • The annual ATEC Christmas function was held at the Adelaide Rowing Club in December, with special guest speaker Jeff Ellison from the SeaLink Group. • This year’s Discover SA ITO workshop took place at the Glenelg Surf Club in March, maintaining the status and value of the branch’s most important annual business-to-business event. • In June we hosted another ITO networking function, this time with the staff of ATS Pacific at the Holiday Inn Adelaide. • Also in June, networking drinks were held with the staff of GTA Australasia at the Dover Castle Terrace, a new addition to the luxury accommodation portfolio presented by the North Adelaide Heritage Group.
South Queensland Branch: • Gold Coast ITO workshop & familiarization our annual Gold Coast event was once again a major success with the State Tourism Minister, Margaret Keech, to officially launch the event at the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre in March 2007. The event drew the cream of the Gold Coast tourism suppliers and 35 leading Australian ITO’s. • Japan Policy Panel meeting on the Gold Coast in August 2007 - for the first time the JPP met on the Gold Coast and addressed a forum of leading Gold Coast suppliers with a special focus on the Japan market. • ATEC Board meeting - in keeping with the ATEC approach of visiting the regions, the National Board met on the Gold Coast with the local branch conducting a review of the activities in the region. The Board meeting was held in conjunction with the local AGM and was held with up to 60 local industry partners. • Southern Queensland workshop & familiarisation - Sep 2007 - this important event for the emerging regions in Southern Queensland was this year held in Noosa amongst cyclonic weather conditions. Despite the weather the event proved highly successful in attracting approx. 30 leading ITO’s and suppliers from all over the region. • Symposium Bid 2009/10/11 - ATEC Southern Queensland in conjunction with GCT and TQ presented a well received bid to hold the ATEC Symposium on the Gold Coast for 3 consecutive years. The bid presented a persuasive pitch to further assist the event become a world class tourism forum.
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Membership The SA branch had a total of 69 financial members at year’s end. Committee • The full committee met four times during the year, with sub-committee meetings on another six occasions. • A major sub-committee project culminated in an ATEC presentation by the branch chair and manager to the February SATC board meeting during which a variety of inbound industry issues and proposals were canvassed. • In May the committee convened a strategic planning day, facilitated by ATEC’s national chair, John King, to review branch policies and programmes and determine its major priorities and planned activities for 2007/08 and beyond.
ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
branch update...cont. • Thanks to all the committee for their enthusiasm, and to those members who stepped down, for their service to ATEC and the inbound industry – Sonia Lefevre (Hyatt Regency), Rosemarie Clemente (Hilton Adelaide) and Fleur Honner and Amy Moffatt (YATEC chairs).
NT Central Branch: • The annual general meeting was held in September at Voyages Alice Springs Resort with guest speaker, Alistair Feehan, chief executive of Imparja Television and a member of Tourism NT’s advisory board. • A combined networking and Christmas function with Tourism NT’s international managers was organised in November. Sponsored by the Novotel, Alice Springs Helicopters, Heavitree Gap Outback Lodge and APT Connections Adventures, the opportunity to meet informally with the overseas team was very much appreciated by those members who attended. • Our February get-together at the All Seasons Oasis with Tourism Australia’s Dean Bagley proved to be a popular and enjoyable way of starting off the year and was an excellent way to find out at first hand about TA’s activities. • The Central branch of ATEC was happy to contribute, along with the Top End branch, towards the cost of hosting the sunset drinks function held during Inbound to the Outback in May. It was an excellent opportunity to show the strength of the two NT ATEC branches. Membership There were 30 branch members at year’s end. A number of these members have their contact offices in Sydney or Melbourne, however, and this does reduce our core attendances. Committee Meetings The committee met on five occasion during 06/07 and special thanks should go to Andrea Lehman of Desert Quads who left the committee during the year.
NT Top End Branch: • September 06 – Annual General Meeting The branch AGM and a cocktail function were atx:magazine
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held at the Saville Park Suites with presentations by ATEC’s national chair, John King and deputy managing director, Gary O’Riordan. November 06 – General Meeting This was a casual mix and mingle meeting with Tourism NT international managers, followed by a presentation on Crocosaurus Cove. Thanks to Redco Investments and Melaleuca on Mitchell for their sponsorship support. April 07 – General Meeting Updates were provided by Tourism NT’s CEO, Marree Tetlow, on the new international division arrangements and Suzanne Morgan spoke on promotional opportunities. May 07 – Inbound to the Outback A very successful event and particular thanks to Tracey Vince for her help in the organisation of ATEC sunset drinks in the car park at Nourlangie Rock. Also to Paul Styles from Parks Australia for his assistance and Peter McKelvie and team at Aurora Kakadu for sponsoring the catering. May/June 07 - Tourism NT International Industry Forum – Pre/Post ATE Briefings Members met with Tourism NT international managers. Presentations provided members with specific market intelligence and information about in-market promotions.
Membership Branch membership at the close of 2006/07 stood at 20 financial members, a net decrease on the previous year, due in part to the introduction of a fee for the “additional location” category of membership. Committee A special thanks to the two committee members who stood down during the year - Melanie Reichlmeier (Odyssey Tours and Safaris) and Sallyann Lister (InterContinental Hotels Group). The Future We will continue to work closely with the Central Australia ATEC branch, with Tourism NT and with Tourism Top End by assisting with famils and functions for visiting inbound and international agents.
ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
branch update...cont. During the year, we lost both Nicole Mitchell and Anna Guy from the Inbound Division of Tourism NT. To Suzanne Morgan and her team in Darwin and Richard Doyle and his team in Sydney, we extend our thanks for your continuing close working relationships with the committee and members to help maximize our industry’s success.
Highlights for the year included: Winner of Major Tourist Attraction at the Australian Tourism Awards
Victoria / Tasmania Branch: • Australian Open Tennis – This very popular annual event saw 60 Suppliers and ITO’s attending the Australian Open Tennis in a Corporate Box at Vodafone Arena. • Lawn Bowls – This event was held at the Richmond Union Bowling Club. You could not get more “Cracker Jack” if you tried! • Sales Training – This event was held prior to ATE in order to prepare our Suppliers for their appointments with he buyers. Doug Callander was the trainer for this workshop and is in demand as a speaker on sales, service and memory who is entertaining and down to earth with a focus on results. He is described by clients as “inspiring” and “motivational” with “a pleasant mix of humour and education”. This event will be held again in 2008. • Cultural Awareness – Following a large amount of interest from members to hold a cultural seminar to increase knowledge of how to work more effectively with other cultures, the Vic/Tas branch put together a seminar specifically on this occasion on how to work with the Chinese market. The presenter was Joanna Deng from Access China, who has an in-depth knowledge of the Chinese market.
Australian Capital Territory Branch: The National Museum of Australia in Canberra was named the winner of the Major Tourist Attraction category at the 2006 Australian Tourism Awards. This is the second time the Museum has won the top national award and it comes in a year when the Museum attracted more than 945,000 visitors. Cook’s Pacific Encounters This major exhibition, shown only at the National Museum of Australia, contained 350 Pacific artefacts never-before seen in Australia from the Cook–Forster collection of the University
National Museum of Australia
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ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
branch update...cont. Miss Australia: A Nation’s Quest This exhibition traced the history of the quest from humble beginnings in 1907, through to its final year in 2000. Titleholders, volunteers, fundraisers and sponsors were all featured and 14 former titleholders attended the National Museum of Australia for the exhibition opening. Miss Australia: A Nation’s Quest is now touring nationally.
of Göttingen, as well as historical objects and artworks relating to James Cook.
Cook’s Pacific Encounters exhibition Photo: George Serras
Between the Flags: 100 Years of Surf lifesaving Celebrating the centenary of surf lifesaving, this major exhibition looked at the history of surf lifesaving, the lifesaver as an Australian icon, beach culture and stories of the rescued and rescuers. A very successful Between the Flags Festival Day was held on Australia Day 2007. Between the Flags: 100 Years of Surf lifesaving is now touring nationally.
Between the Flags Festival Day photo: George Serras
Caroline Lumley, Miss Australia 1988 (at right) and Julie Matschoss, Miss Australia Fundraiser 1988 Photo courtesy Caroline Lumley
Major acquisition: Leichhardt’s plate The disappearance of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt’s third expedition in 1848 and the failure to find any definite artefacts of the expedition has been one of the great mysteries of Australian exploration. A small brass nameplate marked ‘LUDWIG LEICHHARDT 1848’ is the first authenticated relic of the journey and was acquired by the National Museum of Australia in November 2006.
Leichhardt’s plate photo: George Serras
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ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
ATEC financial report The financial year 2006-2007 concluded with a very satisfactory result. In 2005, the National Board was concerned that ATECâ€™s level of financial reserve was not of sufficient quantity to ensure the continuity of the organisation should an exceptional circumstance intervene. It set itself a prudential target of half a million dollars in the bank as insurance against such a circumstance, a target that was achieved ahead of schedule in this financial year. Members can now be assured that ATEC can continue to operate effectively, in the medium term, in the case of an unforeseen external event. That this milestone has been achieved is important for a range of reasons beyond business continuity. Cost pressures at present on tourism organizations are intense, and those organizations that are prudentially and transparently managed through a system of internal checks and balances are those most likely to survive and thrive. Businesses are less likely to invest their precious marketing dollars into organisations that have a questionable future. The reaching of the reserve milestone also means that more of our operating profit can now be invested in member services and industry development activities.
Process The financial performance of the organisation is reviewed against budget by the Audit and Finance Committee of the National Board. Chaired by Jayson Westbury, the A&F committee met on 11 occasions in 2006-2007. The Committee then reports to each Board meeting. Annual finances are audited by HLB Mann Judd and presented to the subsequent Annual General Meeting in December.
good financial result from national events. On the down-side, both corporate partner and branch event revenue did not achieve budget.
Expenditure Overall expenditure continued the pattern of recent years, coming within budget. Indeed the strong financial outcome for 2006-2007 allowed ATEC to retire previously amortised expenditure on web-development which will have a positive impact on future budgets Relative to recent years, comparative capital expenditure was light, with a replacement of the web-server and some collateral being the main items.
Outcome The ATEC Board was pleased to note a strong result in 2006-2007, with a surplus of $142,385 This surplus lifted the organisationâ€™s reserves to $505,416. Full details of the financial outcome for 2006-2007 can be found by members on the ATEC website.
Looking ahead Along with the tightening cost pressures noted above, ATEC will need to consider the budgetimpact of a number of emerging trends. These include the unintended competition to ATEC events of seminars and trade events hosted by publicly funded tourism bodies and consolidation in the distribution chains. A significant item of potential capital expenditure is the upgrade to our back-of-house software relating to our membership database, events database and payments system. This is being carefully considered by management and the A&F Committee.
Revenues grew by $177,219 in 2006-2007, helped by record growth in membership revenues and a
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ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
ATEC board John King, Chairman
(as at Nov 30, 2007)
Anna Guillan, Vice-Chair
Matt Hingerty, Managing Director
North Queensland Branch Manager Pip Miller 07 4046 4777 email@example.com
ATEC branches council representative Vicky Uren, GTA Japan industry representative Kazunori Yamaguchi - Japan Airlines State tourism organiation CEO forum representative Richard Muirhead - Tourism Western Australia ITO member representatives Ken Tadani - Kintetsu International Express Oceania Pty Ltd David Armour - Southern World Australia Natalie Pickett - Southbound Australia Francis Wong - Encounter Australia
Victoria/Tasmania Branch Manager Graeme Haycraft 03 9824 8673 firstname.lastname@example.org South Australia Branch Manager Kent Rossiter 08 8331 1200 email@example.com
Supplier member representatives Peter Doggett - Warner Village Theme Parks Ron Livingston - Livingston Tourism Marketing Sudhir Warrier - Magistic Cruises and Sydney Showboats
Western Australia Branch Manager Rick Suermondt 08 9380 9394 firstname.lastname@example.org Australian Capital Territory Branch Manager Sarah Buchanan email@example.com
ATEC Branch Contacts
NT Central Branch Manager Kent Rossiter 08 8331 1200 firstname.lastname@example.org
NSW Branch Manager Jennifer Woodbridge 02 8262 5514 email@example.com
NT Top End Branch Manager Kent Rossiter 08 8331 1200 firstname.lastname@example.org
Young ATEC representative Greg Daven - Parker Travel Collection
South Queensland Branch Manager Don Jolly 07 5535 1289 email@example.com
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ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
ATEC branch committees Northern Territory Top End Committee
The following industry representatives were elected at branch annual general meetings throughout the year.
Robert Hansell Director Travel Maestro
Peter Townsend National Sales Manager Sightseeing AAT Kings
Kate Still (Chair) Tourism Development Coordinator Australian War Memorial Jonathan Dean (Vice Chair) Business Development Manager Novotel Canberra Stefan Fuchs Senior Business Development Manager Saville Park Suites Canberra Karen Kennedy Exhibition Facilities Manager National Capital Exhibition Ross Penglase Tourism Marketing Co-ordinator National Museum of Australia Gordon McDonald Principal Hotel Kurrajong (and Australian International Hotel School (AIHS)
Russell Windebank Business Development Manager Odyssey Travel Paul Fitzgerald Business Development Manager InterContinental Hotels Group Stephanie Siebert International Sales Manager Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Explorer Tours & Undara Experience Northern Territory Central Committee Warwick Rock (Chair/Treasurer) Operations Manager Connections Safaris Wayne Thompson (Vice Chair) Central Australian Manager Cobb & Co. Coaches
Larisa Marland Business Development Director Crowne Plaza Canberra
Jeff Huyben General Manager Voyages Alice Springs Resort
John King National Board Mentor - ACT Chairman - ATEC
Ellen Hawkey Sales and Marketing Manager Ananugu Waai!
New South Wales Committee Rob Sampson (Chair) Managing Director Sampson Communications Australia Len Whittaker (Vice Chair) Sales Manager Captain Cook Cruises Shannon Bailey Group Sales Manager Sydney Attractions Group Nicole Braden International Marketing Tourism New South Wales Anna Guillan (Board Mentor - NSW) Director of Sales & Marketing - Hayman and Director of Strategy – Sales & Marketing Mulpha Hotels Pty Ltd Anna Guy (YATEC Representative) Market Servicing - Tier 4 & Distribution Development Tourism Australia
Frances Fausett (Chair/Treasurer) Marketing Contractor Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin Sylvia Wolf (Deputy Chair) Tourism Contractor Thrifty NT Louise Kitchingham Hotel Sales Executive SKYCITY Darwin Steve Frichot General Manager Saville Park Suites Darwin Fiona Clift Area Director Sales and Marketing - NT InterContinental Hotels Group Brett Binns Day Tours Manager AAT Kings Darwin Danielle Thomas (Ex-Officio) Senior International Markets Coordinator Tourism NT Tony Clementson (Ex-Officio) General Manager Tourism Top End Matt Hingerty (National Board Mentor - Top End) Managing Director ATEC
Mechelle Collins Director Alice Springs Helicopters
Carolyn Bird Inbound Manager Northern Gateway
Olivia Chandler Sales and Marketing Manager Alice Springs Desert Park
North Queensland Committee
Joc O’Connor General Manager Alice Private Tours Danielle Thomas Senior International Markets Coordinator Tourism NT Matt Hingerty (National Board Mentor - NT Central) Managing Director ATEC
Megan Bell (Chair) Director of Marketing Quicksilver Group Sharyn Brydon General Manager - Western Markets Tourism Tropical North Queensland Greg Daven (YATEC Representative) International Sales Manager Kuranda Scenic Railway Andrew Dineen Project Manager Parker Travel Collection
Sandy Osborn Partner Ossies Outback 4WD Tours
Kellie Eustace General Manager Rydges Plaza Hotel Cairns
Christine Clissold Industry Development Officer Tourism NT, Central Australia
Angela Freeman Director of Marketing Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
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ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
ATEC branch committees Michael Nelson Managing Director Etch Tourism Marketing Sharon Livingston Director of Sales & Marketing Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises Ron Livingston (National Board Mentor - North Qld) Managing Director Livingston Tourism Marketing Regina White Director of Sales Sea Temple Palm Cove/ Port Douglas South Australia Committee Regina Twiss (Chair) Sales Director North Adelaide Heritage Group Grant Burton (Vice Chair) General Manager Gray Line Adelaide Craig Haslam Director Nullabor Traveller Caroline Densley Director Diverse Travel Australia Siggi Frede International Operations Manager South Australian Tourism Commission Drew Kluska Managing Director Outback Encounter Francis Wong Managing Director Encounter Australia Gemma Foord (YATEC Representative) Director of Sales Proud Australia Group Felicity Brown Director Chinta Air Tours Rudi Francken Sales and Marketing Manager APT Kangaroo Island Odysseys Steve Laybourn Director Marketing and Business Development Hughes Chauffeured Limousine Cars & Coaches Sandy Pugsley Guide Manager Tourabout Adelaide
South Queensland Committee Narelle Eichorn (Chair) Director of Sales & Marketing Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Lachlan Furnell (Vice Chairman) Regional Sales Manager Sea Temple Resort & Spa Leah Gage Sales Coordinator JC Travel Professionals Pty Ltd Wayne Clift Managing Director Australian Day Tours Peter Doggett International Relationship Manager Warner Village Theme Parks Jim Kelly Owner/Operator Australian Whale Watching Kerry Bell Director of Sales and Marketing Palazzo Versace Megan Thompson Director International Tourism Queensland
David Cox Manager, International & Niche Markets Gold Coast Tourism Corporation Katie Mills Industry Development Executive Queensland Tourism Australia Robyne Wilson Sales & Marketing Manager Wentworth Holidays Victoria/Tasmania Committee Aileen Cobern (Chair) Senior Director, Sales & Marketing Choice Hotels Australasia Nicole Hill (Vice Chairman) International Sales Manager Phillip Island Nature Park Paul Cooper (Seconded) International Business Development Manager Yarra Valley & Dandenongs Marketing Karen Fraser General Manager - International Marketing Tourism Tasmania
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Maree Martin Tourism Marketing Manager Museum Victoria Ian McDougal International Market Operations Manager Tourism Victoria Paddy McLeod Business Development Manager Langham Hotel, Melbourne Kathie Sikkes General Manager - (Product) Abercrombie & Kent (Aust) Mark Phelps Director of Sales and Marketing Sita Coaches and Sunbus Airport Transfers Gary Paterson General Manager of Global Sales The AOT Group Natalie Pickett Managing Director Southbound Australia Greg Dallas Director Epicurean Food & Wine Tours
Alison Saunders A/Inbound Coordinator Tourism Queensland
Yann Duroselle Executive General Manager Batman’s Hill Hotel
Western Australia Committee Stephanie Lang (Chair) Director of Marketing Seashells Hospitality Group David O’Malley Chief Executive Officer Australia’s Coral Coast Michelle Docherty Senior Business Development Manager InterContinental Burswood Perth Edwin Kwan General Manager Wel-Travel (Aust) Matthias Reimann Managing Director Australia One Richard Muirhead (National Board Mentor) Chief Executive Officer Tourism Western Australia Meng Mong Managing Director Blue Corporation
ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
ATEC long serving members 30+ Years Contribution AAT Kings Tours Australian Pacific Touring Captain Cook Cruises ID South Pacific Tour Hosts Destination Management 20 - 29 Years Contribution ATS Pacific - Sydney Australian Farm Tourism Pty Ltd Australian International Hospitality Group Bay Village Tropical Retreat Bob Wood Travel Group Pty Ltd Cairns Colonial Club Resort Choice Hotels Australasia Cobb & Co Coaches - Melbourne Conrad Jupiters Contiki Holidays (Australia) Pty Ltd Destination Cairns Marketing Dreamworld Federal Group Four Seasons Hotel Sydney Gold Coast Tourism Hamilton Island Hertz Australia JTB Australia Pty Ltd - Cairns JTB Australia Pty Ltd - Melbourne JTB Australia Pty Ltd - Sydney Magistic Cruises Murrays Travel - NSW Pacific International Hotel Pan Pacific Travel Australia Pty Ltd Qantas Airlines Qantas Holidays Quadrant Australia Pty Ltd Quality Hotel Cambridge Quicksilver Group of Companies Restaurants of The Rocks Rydges Tradewinds Cairns Sofitel Wentworth Sydney Southern World Australia Sovereign Hill Spirit of Tasmania Starwood Hotels & Resorts Sydney Opera House Taronga Zoo The Hotel Windsor The Menzies Sydney, An Accor Hotel Thrifty Car Rental - National Office Tourism Australia Tourism New South Wales Tourism NT - Darwin Office Tourism NT - Sydney Office Tourism Queensland Tourism Victoria Tourism Western Australia Tropic Wings Coach Tours Warner Village Theme Parks
10 - 19 Years Contribution Abercrombie & Kent Accommodation Down Under Accor (AAPC Ltd) Accor’s Brisbane Hotels Accors Darling Harbour Hotels Adventure Duck Adventure Tours Australia Angsana Resort & Spa Great Barrier Reef AOT INBOUND Pty Ltd Around Australia Tour Service Aurora - Hotels - Resorts - Attractions Australia Bound Travel Pty Ltd Australia New Zealand Travel Marketing Australian Day Tour Group Australian Institute of Sport Australian Tours Management Pty Ltd Australian Vacations Australian Wild Escapes Ballooning With Hot Air Bathurst Visitor Information Centre Bayview International Hotels & Resorts Beehive Australian Inbound Tour Service Best Western Australia Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises Binna Burra Mountain Lodge Brisbane Airport Corporation Limited Brisbane Marketing Broken Hill City Council - Tourism Department Cable Beach Club Resort Broome Cairns International Hotel Cairns Reef Charter Services Cairns Tropical Zoo Captain Cook Cruises SA - PS Murray Princess Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific Central Coast Tourism Inc. China Travel Service (Aust) Coachtrans Australia Cockington Green Connections Constellation Hotel Group - QLD Coral Princess Cruises CountryLink Couran Cove Island Resort Courtyard by Marriott Surfers Paradise Resort CP Tours Crowne Plaza Royal Pines Resort Crowthers Coaches Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary DFS Australia Gold Coast DFS Australia Sydney DFS Galleria Cairns Double Bay Inbound Travel Down Under Tours Australia EcoPoint Resorts Encounter Australia Pty Ltd. ERM Travel Service BNE Pty Ltd Experience Tours Australia Pty Ltd Exportise Fantasea Cruises Finesse South Pacific Travel Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Board
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General Travel Australia Globus & Cosmos Tours Gold Coast International Hotel Golden World Travel Goway Travel Grand Hyatt Melbourne Gray Line Melbourne Great Southern Railway Great Southern Touring Route Hard Rock Cafe - Sydney Hayman Hilton Adelaide Hilton Hotels Of Australia Hilton Hotels of Australia - Brisbane Hilton Hotels of Australia - Cairns Holiday Pacific - Surfers Paradise Hunter Regional Tourism Organisation Hunter Resort Country Estate Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism Hyatt International Hotels & Resorts Hyatt Regency Adelaide Innkeepers Marketing Pty Ltd InterContinental Hotels Group - NSW InterContinental Hotels Group - NT InterContinental Hotels Group - Sth QLD Islander Resort Hotel Jade Express Travel Jalpak International Oceania Pty Ltd JMD Ross Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd Kangaroo Island Odysseys Kangaroo Island Sealink Kingfisher Bay Resort & Village Kintetsu International Express - Oceania Pty Ltd Kintetsu International Express - SEQ Lasseters Hotel Casino Lawand Tourism Leeton Tourism Lilianfels Blue Mountains Lion International Travel Service Pty Ltd Luxury Personalised Tours (Lygon Limousines) Melbourne Observation Deck Mercure Hotel Harbourside Cairns Metro Hospitality Group Mirvac Hotels Pty Ltd Mount’N Beach Safaris Pty Ltd Murrays Travel - QLD National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Nippon Travel Agency - NSW Northern Gateway Novotel Atrium Darwin Novotel Langley Perth Novotel Rockford Palm Cove Resort O’Reillys Rainforest Guesthouse Orient Express Hotels Orpheus Island Resort Outback Ballooning Pty Ltd Pacific Spirit Travel Palm Royale Cairns Phillip Island Nature Park Port Stephens Tourism Limited Premier Stateliner Coach Group Pro Dive Cairns
Puffing Billy Steam Railway Queensland Rail Queenslander Hotels - Cairns Redcliffe City Council Rendezvous Hotels Australia Rendezvous Observation City Hotel Perth Rydges Hotels & Resorts Rydges Melbourne Saville City Suites Adelaide Shangri-La Hotel Sydney Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Shopping Spree Tours - Melbourne Sita Coaches Pty Ltd SKYCITY Darwin Pty Ltd Sofitel Brisbane Sofitel Melbourne Sofitel Reef Casino Cairns South Australian Tourism Commission Southbound Australia Southern Travelnet Pty Limited Stamford Hotels and Resorts Star City Hotel and Apartments Stella Hospitality Group - NSW Summit Restaurant Sunlover Reef Cruises Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort Sydney Airports Corporation Sydney Attractions Group Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Tailormade Tours & Airport Limousines Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort Terra Nova Coach Tours Pty Ltd Territory Thrifty Car Rental - NT The Grace Hotel The Horizon at Mission Beach The Observatory Hotel THL Rentals Time Travel Pty Ltd Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park Tourabout Adelaide Tourism Sunshine Coast Tourism Tasmania Tourism Tropical North Queensland Tourism Whitsundays Tournet Australia Townsville Enterprise Limited Trailfinders/Bloomfield Rainforest Lodge Transglobal Tours Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin Tropical Fruit World Undara Experience Underwater World - Sunshine Coast Unique Australian Holidays United Travel Corporation (Aust) Pty Ltd Voyages Hotels & Resorts Waratah Adventure Tours Wel-Travel Australia Pty Ltd - WA Wing on Tours YHA Australia
ATEC ANNUAL REPORT
YATEC 2007 initiatives Branch Events
Event/Function: YATEC NSW Social Drinks Date/Time: Every two months Venue: Pier 26 and Jackson’s on George Purpose: Networking opportunity between members Speakers: N / A Attendance: Numbers varied from 10 – 50 Outcome: Stronger relationships and networks between members
YATEC NSW Strategy Plan 2007 – 2008 The YATEC NSW Committee realigned its vision, framework, goals, and strategy developing a newly defined Tiering system of members: Tier 1: those starting out in the industry (starting out) Tier 2: members with 2 – 4 years experience (building experience) Tier 3: members with 5 + years experience (where to from here) The committee has then begun to develop programs for each group accordingly
Event/Function: YATEC Symposium Gladiator Event Date/Time: Thursday April 19th 2007 Venue: Bamboo Restaurant, Tweed Heads Purpose: Networking opportunity between members Speakers: N / A Attendance: Numbers 100 Outcome: Stronger relationships and networks between members and overall promotion of YATEC Event/Function: YATEC NSW Mentor Program Date/Time: Every Tuesday 2nd October to 27th November 2007 Venue: Sydney Central YHA Purpose: Career Development for YATEC NSW members Speakers: (see attached schedule) Attendance: 33 mentees Outcome: Career development and information sharing and learning between the more and less experienced members of the industry Event/Function: YATEC NSW Christmas Party Date/Time: Thursday 29th November 2007 Venue: Jackson’s on George Purpose: End of year celebration and networking event Speakers: N/A Attendance: 100 + members Outcome: Stronger relationships and networks between members
YATEC NSW Sponsorship JJ O’Briens graciously offered sponsorship to support YATEC NSW social events for 2007 – 2008. YATEC NSW Newsletter Distributed every two months Emailed to membership database of 250 Content includes: • Discussion of current issues • Profile of an ATEC member • Facts about Australia • Upcoming events • New initiative of job advertisements YATEC Facebook Page YATEC launched a YATEC facebook page for all YATEC members to join and converse online to one other regarding YATEC and other tourism related industry issues. Student Membership Recruitment The committee progressed the student membership drive by presenting to tourism students at both the University of Technology Sydney and University of New South Wales. Further recruitment drives will take place in 2008.
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New cool TRAVELLERS
Peter Needham finds new prospects in greener pastures
mechanisms for it to be put into place might have to be something other than conscience.”
Hands up everyone who wants to save the planet, stop global warming and prevent the extinction of polar bears!
Taxation could be such a mechanism – though airlines are implacably opposed to carbon taxes on tickets. A recent Dutch Government proposal to slug outbound air passengers with an environmental tax of about $75 each drew a stinging response from Giovanni Bisignani, chief of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). A tax would be ineffective and inappropriate, Bisignani declared.“It breaches international obligations. It is a thinly disguised tax grab that does nothing for the environment. If anything, it is counter productive as it limits airlines’ ability to buy newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft.”
As a unifying force, the environment is hard to beat. It’s what Americans call a “motherhood and apple pie” issue – something that virtually everybody agrees on. Most people agree global warming is happening. Nobody denies that humans are damaging the environment – particularly in rapidly industrialising regions of the world. While opinions differ on how to fix the damage, media stories and images of melting icecaps and shrinking rainforests fill many people with a desire to cut their carbon emissions and do as much as possible to help. Travellers, as well, prefer environmentally friendly tourism products and services – at least, many say they do. How much extra they will pay to slash their carbon emissions is another issue. Research shows that people’s desire to embrace greener alternatives tends to dissipate in the face of economics. A survey of British travellers released in November 2007 showed that 54 per cent admitted to feeling guilty, on environmental grounds, when they boarded an aircraft. Yet 93 per cent said they had never changed their holiday destination in order to reduce damage to the environment. The finding is unlikely to surprise John Koldowski, who directs the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Strategic Intelligence Centre in Bangkok. “People think it’s a great idea to do something to minimise our ecological footprint, but when it comes down to the price point, there seems to be a bit of reticence,” Koldowski says.“Carbonoffsetting programs that you can opt into or out have been tried at a number of airports around the world, but the pickup rate has been very small. While everyone believes it’s a good idea, the
The European Union is looking at carbon offset programs for travel, which Koldowski suggests may eventually take legislative force “and will obviously be passed back down to the consumer. But we have found through long experience that people generally don’t mind paying a tax for a service, provided they know where their money is going and can see the obvious benefits.” As an example, Koldowski cites the $4 reef tax charged by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to help preserve the reef. “Number one, it’s not too exorbitant; number two, it’s transparent; and number three, you can actually see where it’s going. There’s a lot of concern at the moment about various so-called green taxes that are being levied, for example, in the UK. Nobody seems to know where the money has gone. Has it gone into consolidated revenue or what?” Down at the coalface, travel agents and tour operators report unprecedented concern among customers about green issues. Travellers want to know a company’s stance on the environment and how it is minimising environmental impact. Most hotels now wash only the towels that guests leave on the floor, rather than washing the clean ones as well. That was one of the first initiatives. Backpacker lodges and motels encourage guests to turn off lights and taps. YHA hostels carry posters telling
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is rising fast for travel companies, says Australian Tourism Export Council managing director Matt Hingerty.
While younger travellers are concerned about the environment, older travellers with more money may be in a better position to choose environmentally sensitive options. Penny Brand, sales and marketing director with Nomads World Hotels, reports that in discussion groups of backpackers at the company’s properties, 18-to-28-year-olds said they were concerned about green issues and offsetting carbon – “yet they also said that it wasn’t an influencing factor in what they decided to do”.Cost was a more important factor, Brand said. Older, cooler and more affluent travellers, the so-called “flashpacker” market, typically aged between 25 and 40, were more likely to be influenced by green concerns. Flashpackers blend adventurous travel with fine dining, good wine and comfortable, low-key, eco-friendly accommodation.
“It’s not so much a consumer issue yet and the distribution system is, if anything, a little ahead of the market on it,” Hingerty comments.“Wholesalers are telling inbound tourism operators: ‘Your product has to be green – or we can’t sell it.’”
A new, green drift is rippling through the travel industry and elsewhere in the corporate world. Airlines are beginning to offer passengers the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions their flights produce. Virgin Blue, British Airways and Jetstar do so. (Jetstar’s carbon fee varies by length of route but is generally under two dollars – yet only about 10 per cent of passengers elect to pay it.) Qantas is introducing a similar program. Air New Zealand is working with Boeing and Rolls Royce to test aviation biofuels, capable of reducing greenhouse gases, in the second half of 2008. More companies are appointing corporate social responsibility executives. This field (often shortened to CSR) is now seen as so vital that some specialist consultancy companies devote themselves to it entirely. Environmental issues are at the CSR forefront, with responsible companies refusing to taint themselves by dealing with enterprises perceived as environmentally destructive. The trend is apparent in the travel industry, where image is crucial. Holidays are like dreams – nobody wants to encounter a monster. Tourism moves one sixth of the world population equivalent every year. The importance of environmental accreditation
Europe’s biggest travel group, Tui Travel, warned its suppliers a few weeks ago that it would pull out of destinations and withdraw from hotels that failed to comply with its strict environmental standards. Tui’s managing director for UK and Ireland, Dermot Blastland, gave hotels five years to bring themselves up to scratch environmentally. “We will not feature hotels that do not comply,” he said. Tui provides holidays for 30 million people a year and Blastland expects other companies to follow its lead, as customer demand drives a move to more sustainable travel. Hingerty sums it up:“Commercially, not just from a branding point of view, having environmental accreditation that is substantial and independently accredited and respected, is going to be a critical part of your business, in the same way as public liability and professional indemnity endurance.” Tramada Systems, an independently owned travel technology company based in Sydney, is well down the track on the issue. It has developed a relationship with respected carbon neutral and green power service provider Climate Friendly. This allows the travel management companies Tramada works with, and their clients, to have the “carbon footprint” of their travel listed on their itineraries. A report is produced so the companies can offset the carbon. Climate Friendly’s renewable energy credits meet exacting standards, such as The Gold Standard, Kyoto mechanisms and Australian GreenPower requirements. Every credit purchased is sourced to a specific project, including wind farms in South Australia, northern China and Turkey. Climate Friendly clients include Westpac, Beaurepaires and other well-known companies.
“The world’s major companies and brands are moving this way,” says Climate Friendly business consultant Phil Smith.“Leisure travellers are demanding these things as well.” Some travel alternatives are more ecofriendly than others. Australia offers an impressive array of eco-resorts, including Kingfisher Bay on World heritage-listed Fraser Island, which attracts 145,000 guests each year with minimal disruption to the environment. Kingfisher Bay holds Advanced Ecotourism Certifications from Ecotourism Australia for its tours and accommodation and has won many ecotourism awards. Cycling holidays are about as ecologically correct as it’s possible to be. They are also highly economical and enormous fun. Cycling organisations throughout Australia run organised trips, with semi-trailers carting camping equipment from one site to another – often showgrounds – as participants pedal. Upscale versions exist as well, with cyclists staying in lodges rather than tents. Cyclists riding Victoria’s rail trails (former railway tracks) spend over $250 a day, so it’s not necessarily an ultra-budget option. “There’s no doubt that the interest in bike riding has been driven in part by environmental concerns and the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of it – along with personal health and the fact that it’s a lot of fun to ride a bicycle like that,” comments Bicycle New South Wales chief executive, Alex Unwin.“There is much growth in active, adventure and eco-tourism pursuits.” While consumers may choose greener options, they will keep travelling for as long as they can afford it. As 17th-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal observed, all of mankind’s problems stem from a basic inability to sit quietly in a room alone. Mankind is unlikely to start doing that. In the meantime, the travel industry is well advised to adopt a green approach and be prepared to explain it. Many of today’s travellers are well versed in the subject and will want to know. Australia is now a country with a minister for climate change and water – Labor senator Penny Wong – indicating that the importance of the environment is unlikely to wane.
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Mr McCracken: “The point is, that we, as a community, have only just got our heads around the science of climate change, and now any forward-thinking business needs to be re-engineering their business in response to climate change.” “We need to show solidarity,” said Mr Flynn, “Industry groups such as PATA are only as strong as the depth of their membership, and they have got to back us in what we are trying to do. “We have got to get behind this massive issue, to sow and share ideas, to share successes and failures.
When it comes to climate change accreditation, Alistair Smith discovers that everybody’s doing it.
“We cannot look the world in the eye and claim to be the leading nature-based tourism destination if we are not participating in a meaningful climate change response.” These were the words of Alastair McCracken, general manager of Couran Cove Resort and Chairman of Ecotourism Australia, shortly after Ecotourism’s national conference, during which he launched a new travel industry scheme to tackle climate change issues.
warming and climate change are issues to be tackled by Government and the major industries that create polluting emissions, experts we spoke to said the travel industry, in particular, should be facing up to the challenge at all levels. “The real challenge with most climate change issues is that they are bigger than most people’s lives,” says Peter David, vice president sales for EC3 Global, a company that operates a sustainability certification process called Green Globe.‘They say, Oh my God, how can I do anything about that?’” “But research over the last few years has shown climate change comes up as the No 1 or No 2 issue with consumers.”
Mr McCracken said bluntly that the travel industry’s response so far to climate change had been “pathetic”.
As Mr Flynn says,“”We are already pitching to the next generation of travellers, and these guys are a lot more savvy than we are, so we have make sure we are fulfilling the expectations of consumers, the people who are actually taking your tours.
“We have several shining lights, like Intrepid or Virgin Blue, and they are shining lights, but the fact that you can list them on one hand is itself a sadness, not something to celebrate.”
“Every company should be looking at, call it your carbon footprint. But basically it’s really just smartening yourself up to be more environmentally aware, and to do something accordingly.
Chris Flynn, PATA’s Pacific Regional Director, told ATX:“This is the biggest question that’s ever been posed of this industry..”
“We should demonstrate that we are taking the environment seriously, putting our money where our mouth is. We have got to get our heads around it a bit better, and then lead by example.”
While many people think that global
“There’s a great deal of knowledge out there and you don’t have to change radically your whole business environment to make a difference.” Ecotourism’s new Climate Change Certification Scheme is being developed for use right across the industry by businesses such as tour operators, travel agents, attractions, and hotels. It will give participants a way of measuring their carbon footprint, measuring their emissions and taking real on-the-ground action to modify their operations, mitigate their outputs,“and adapt to a post-carbon world. It is being developed in conjunction with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, a Federal Government entity, and South Australian Tourism, a State Government body. Ecotourism Australia says it is the first climate change program specific to the travel industry to be developed anywhere in the world. Initially, a number of operators in South Australia and the Great Barrier Reef will participate in an intensive pilot programme. The results will then be released to the industry in March next year for review and consultation, and will be launched as a fully operation certification scheme in May. The Green Globe program operates over a broad range of industries, but includes businesses in the tourism sector. The program calculates carbon emissions
atx: doityourself for a business, benchmarks them against similar operations. “That allows people to then understand where they are at, and then they can start looking at how they can manage changes to their performance.” Mr David said that the question of the impact of long haul flights – a major issue for travellers from the UK and Europe particularly – is “a big one that always gets raised in strategy sessions about Australia maintaining its attractiveness for international groups.” He said several local convention centres were working on being certified by Green Globe as a method of countering the problem.“They can go out looking for an international conference and say that their conference operational facilities are committed to carbon neutrality, and that they’ve engaged sustainable programs to work in this manner.” In the meantime, for anyone considering taking action themselves, the first thing to do, according to Mr McCracken, is to make the change to “green power”. “That is the smallest and most impactful change that people can make,” he said.“Any operator claiming to be green who has not yet shifted to buying their power from alternative sources simply isn’t trying. “Secondly, we should be looking at areas of reducing consumption, and recycling or re-using wherever possible, and encouraging customers to minimise power consumption. “None of this comes at a loss of comfort, luxury or style. To think that a move to green is a move away from luxury and style is absolute rubbish.” Mr McCracken admits that there are financial implications, but says the question that needs to be asked is “What is the cost of NOT doing it?” However, he added,“I believe that in every case, consumption reduction and greenhouse gas mitigation strategies reduce operating costs, not increase them, over the mid to long term. There’s no doubt of that.” Having taken steps in response to climate change, businesses then need to let their customers know they have done so. “One of the points I’d like to make is that we are now entering a very dangerous period, because every business has somehow managed to find a way to put ‘eco’, ‘green’ or ‘low impact’ into their marketing,” said Mr McCracken. “So the consumer needs an understanding of what’s real and what’s not, and this certification scheme will give them that comfort.”
what people are already doing As an example of what travel-related businesses are already doing, The Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens hotel in Melbourne has converted the Hummer it uses for airport transfers from diesel to bio-fuel. The same hotel claims it became the first in Australia to produce a carbon neutral room, when in late June it began allowing guests to pay $3 that the hotel then invests in carbon credits. It has also swung to green power, reduced power consumption by 70%, reduced land fill by 70% and saved 22% on water consumption. There’s a separate rubbish collection on every floor, to allow for recycling. GlobeNet Travel, a 15-consultant Brisbane travel agency, this year launched a new dedicated cruise operation, Clean Cruising, and estimates the emissions for any cruise itinerary before planting trees to offset these emissions. Said General Manager Dan Russell:“We didn’t feel we should leave it all up to the principles, but felt we had a responsibility to get involved in delivering solutions to the travelling public.” Qantas offers passengers the option to buy carbon offsets, based on the average price of greenhouse gas abatements per tonne of emissions. Typically it amounts to $2.56 Melbourne to Sydney, or $9.56 on a TransTasman flight. British Airways has a similar scheme, and there’s also a link to a carbon calculator, which can calculate the exact emissions generated by a flight and the additional cost of offsetting the impact. The money goes to an organisation called Climate Care to invest in sustainable energy projects that tackle global warming by reducing carbon dioxide levels. In India, for example, a Climate Care project sees schools using stoves that run on renewable energy briquettes made from crop waste rather than liquid petroleum gas. Accor Hotels across the region have taken a wide range of actions: • Sydney Olympic Parks Park hotels removed every central light from the corridors, which actually softened the look in the corridors, but saved on the energy of 120 lights. • Novotel Wellington puts a sticker on newspapers asking guests to return them to reception for recycling. • Novotel Barossa Valley, set in 30 hectares of land, reduced its water usage by 76 per cent in four years, and reduced natural
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gas consumption simply by covering heated swimming pools at night to maintain temperature. • In some hotels a special timer has been trialled that alerts guests having a shower when four minutes is up. • Novotel Lake Crackenback, in the Snowy Mountains, installed an effluent treatment system which will reduce fresh water usage for irrigation by 70 per cent. Pressure reducing shower heads results in a 25-30 per cent reduction of water usage. Seven hundred normal light bulbs were replaced with energy saving types, meaning a 30-40 per cent saving in power for lighting, and timers and light sensors are being used in public areas for lighting. • The new All Seasons Eco Resort at Phillip Island established a wetland as part of the stormwater management system, 75,000 trees have been planted, and a water treatment system enables recycled water to be used in toilets. Accor Vice President Australia, Simon McGrath, said “When we design, build, replace or upgrade anything these days we ask whether there is a better way to do it from an environmental point of view. We appreciate that staying at hotels for many people is a luxury …but there are simple ways of balancing the desire to indulge and being conscious of the needs of the environment.” At Stamfords Hotel and Resorts, which have adopted a “Go Green” policy, Annette MacAndrew, Group Director Sales and Marketing, said “Reducing our environmental impact is very important to us, but we wanted to ensure it didn’t sacrifice guest comfort. In fact, we’ve found that our new initiative actually improved a lot of our facilities.” Falls Creek Ski Resort is purchasing green energy for chairlifts and has been benchmarked by Green Globe. It switched to high-tech, energy efficient, automated snow guns, and installed extra snow fences that help retain the natural and man-made snow cover, and is trialing bio diesel for its village transport.
Bob East a stella career Over the past twenty years, Bob East has developed a passion for tourism and hotels. Earlier studies in education, business and an MBA failed to lure Bob from his first love of hotels, quality service and team building. As Chief Executive Officer of the Stella Hospitality Group, Australia’s second largest hotel chain, Bob has command of over 140 properties throughout Australia and New Zealand. “We have a unique opportunity in this country to develop a truly world standard reputation for authentic and heartfelt service, quality hotels and sensational destinations”,he said. “Our cities and leisure regions are thriving. “As an industry there has never been a better time to invest in our product, training and exposure to emerging markets”. The Stella Hospitality Group formed over a three year period with the acquisitions of Peppers Leisure, Breakfree, Outrigger Australia, Pacific International, S8, Saville Hotel Group and the Sunleisure organisation. The group has also completed a purchase of the Protea Hotel group in South Africa, boasting 126 hotels throughout 13 African nations and London. “As an organisation we have expanded rapidly. With this expansion comes tremendous opportunity. We have been able to attract the very best people in our industry and with each purchase we have held firm to our belief that best practice prevails. By amalgamating each business we have created what we believe to be the best systems, processes and service standards.” Bob claims that his first initiative was to create a value system and philosophy that determined the company’s approach to decision making. “This value system ensured we remained loyal to the
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guests and their needs as we structured the business”, he said. “Our guiding principles were categorised as sustainable and ethical business practices, team empowerment, stakeholder alignment, brand integrity and best practise for our guests.” The Stella Hospitality Group has continued to expand beyond the major acquisition period with one hotel added to the portfolio each month. The room stock for the entire portfolio can be managed centrally. This ability is a key success factor for the Group in managing the distribution channels. The Stella group also owns travel brands under the Stella Travel Services arm with over 2100 travel agencies and wholesale divisions under key brands such as Harvey World Travel, Travelscene American Express, Gullivers and many more. In the past 12 months the Stella Hospitality Group has executed the largest system rollout in the Australian hotel sector. “By amalgamating over 140 properties into a central database we have an unprecedented opportunity to distribute our rooms via the Web, to travel agents, wholesalers and direct consumers in a seamless manner”. The Stella group has significantly improved profit throughout the last two years. With over 3500 staff the business has experienced not only financial success but tremendous change. “By far, our team is most excited about the culture and the dynamics we are building from within the group”, says Bob. “The teams understand that we own the brands and we make the decisions based on our guests’ needs. “There is a genuine feeling of ownership throughout the group and we are creating unparalleled opportunities for our staff to advance. “Most importantly there is an element of fun. “If we maintain that we will prosper”.
tourism cogs turn for online advertising Tourism companies big and small can now generate revenue by distributing advertising on their websites. A new online joint venture between Cogs Media, Full Circle Media and SComms Media is set to raise the bar in efficiency and scale for online advertisers. The new online ad network will be called Cogs Media and was created by David Mallam, managing director of Cogs Media, Neil Fox and Brian Gallagher from Full Circle Media and SComms Media’s Rob Sampson and Michael Baker. Backed by the innovative COGS digital online platform, the new network will allow agencies and advertisers to create and manage online campaigns themselves, creating complete transparency for advertisers. Cogs Media boasts it can collate thousands of sites for advertisers, rather than the “30 or 40” available to them when booking through other networks. “A network of sites means that smaller niche operators, like attractions, tours and boutique accomodation can now derive revenue by carrying advertising banners on their websites, and this is attractive to advertisers because of the targeted audience they reach. As part of the Cogs Media network, sites will have access to more advertising dollars by virtue of being part of multiple categories, which is another feature of Cogs Media that differentiates us from all the rest,” Mallam said. An advertiser wanting to book placements across a number of tourism sites, for example, will be able to place ads in all sites in that category, or choose to go for a custom demographic or network. This, will allow
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advertisers to achieve their required audience reach more quickly and efficiently. Publishers (tourism website owners) will be able to access information on live ad campaigns, and agencies will reap the benefits of having one point of administration through which they are able to do all their online buying directly. Mallam said:“If you talk to the agency principals, they are spending a disproportionate amount of time buying the ad networks’ end of the market. Where traditional online ad networks trade across multiple platforms with different pricing structures and accounting systems, value and transparency for the advertiser are compromised.” One of Cog Media’s key benefits, he said, would be the scale it offers advertisers – enabling them to hit the right level of impressions at the right price. “We know the technology works,” he said.“Now we’re going out and finding as many like minded businesses who want to communicate with a new set of eyeballs and do things a little differently.” Online advertising in Australia hit $1.2 billion for the year ending 30 June 2007 and is the fastest growing advertising medium. In the same period, general display advertising online reached $335 million – up 35% year-on-year.
top of the class QANTAS launches premium economy cabin Qantas revealed in July 2007, the new Premium Economy cabin and seating to be offered progressively on its international Boeing 747-400 aircraft from April 2008 and on its fleet of new A380 being delivered from August 2008. Qantas Executive General Manager John Borghetti said the airline’s Premium Economy cabin would appeal to Economy travellers seeking more space, comfort and an enhanced level of service. “The Premium Economy seat was designed by Marc Newson – the designer of our award winning Skybed sleeper seat – and manufactured by Recaro, which makes seats for luxury auto brands such as Aston Martin, Audi and Porsche,” Mr Borghetti said. “The seats offer extra width and recline, more legroom, and an in-arm digital wide screen television monitor, as well as laptop power connection. “Premium Economy will also include a self-service bar offering a selection of refreshments throughout the flight, in addition to the regular choice of meals designed by Neil Perry’s Rockpool Group, premium wines, superior tableware and soft furnishings.” Mr Borghetti said other key features of Premium Economy included: • the world’s best Premium Economy recline and leg room – nine inch seat recline and up to 42 inch seat pitch;
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• • • • • • •
extra wide, 19.5 inch seat width; ergonomic cushioning; larger, in-arm touch screen video monitor; multiport jack with USB (A380 only) and RJ45 ports; a six-way adjustable headrest; an integrated leg rest with fold-out footrest; and a wide centre console with a fixed cocktail table and in-arm meal table. “Premium Economy customers will also have a dedicated check-in area,” Mr Borghetti said. He said the Premium Economy cabin would be available gradually on B747 services to London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg from April 2008 with further routes being added following the introduction of A380 aircraft. Premium Economy will be located on the main deck of B747 aircraft with 32 seats in a two-four-two configuration. On the A380, the cabin will be located on the upper deck with 32 seats in a two-three-two configuration.
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