Legoland Malaysia, a 76-acre park in Kota Iskandar, Johor is the first park of its kind in Asia. It has already sold more than 35,000 annual passes and has more than 40 rides, shows and attractions. The centrepiece is MINILAND, where Asian landmarks have been recreated using more than 30 million LEGO bricks. It's an interactive world on a scale of 1:20, where people, trains and aeroplanes come to life at the touch of a button.

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Recycled Amenity Kits
After six months of research and design, Virgin Atlantic has revealed a stylish new amenity kit made of 100% recycled material for its Upper Class and Premium Economy passengers. Using this technology, the airline estimates almost 4 million plastic bottles could be recycled each year with a 90% lower carbon footprint than nylon.

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IKEA Hotels

Furniture retailer IKEA is looking to open a 100 budget 'design' hotel chain across Europe. Inter IKEA, who owns the intellectual rights of IKEA will operate the properties in conjunction with an established hotel-chain operator. The first two hotels are expected to open in Germany in 2014 with 100 properties earmarked for locations across Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Britain and Poland. Known for its ready-to-assemble furnishings, IKEA is the world's largest furniture retailer who drew 655 million customers to its 287 stores in 2011.

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Wheel Map
A new iphone application has been developed which allows people with limited mobility to check their cell phones or computers to see which restaurants, cafes, and other stores provide easy access for wheelchair, walker, crutches or cane users. Anyone can contribute and tag a location as well as leave comments for others to read. The application is already in use in Germany and aims to expand worldwide.

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35 Million Directors

The Canadian Tourism Commission recently reached out to Canadians through its 35 Million Directors project to help create a new video to inspire more travellers from around the world to choose Canada for their vacation. Canadians were encouraged to upload videos or images of experiences from coast to coast to a new website. The Commission will now select the best entries to mix with professional directors to create a grassroots two-minute video advertisement to inspire travellers from around the world to visit Canada.

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G Adventures Social Revolution
When any company is forced to change the name that they have traded under for 22 years, it can often spell disaster. However founder of G Adventures (formerly Gap Adventures), Bruce Poon Tip, saw it as an opportunity to move the company to a whole new level.

G Adventures set about creating a revolution through social media. The company's award-winning "You'll Never Forget It" campaign became a viral sensation, inspiring people around the world to become part of the community of 'travellers' rather than 'tourists'. Bruce will speak at The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference on Monday 15 October and his presentation will be accompanied by a significant local announcement which industry professionals will not want to miss!

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Australia's Timeless North

Australia's Timeless North Steering Committee has successfully attracted funding via a TQUAL Strategic Tourism Investment Grant and Tourism NT to develop an Experience Development Action Plan for Australia's Timeless North National Landscape which includes Kakadu, Nitmiluk, Mary River and Garig Gunak Barlu National Parks, West Arnhem Land and the towns of Katherine and Jabiru. The plans are due for completion by April 2013 and will identify a small number of new or significantly enhanced visitor experiences and investment opportunities.

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Hotel developers sought for Elizabeth Quay

The Western Australian Government has called for expressions of interest for the first land release at Elizabeth Quay. Two sites adjacent to Barrack Square will establish the eastern peninsula of the quay and offer a land area of more than 6,800sqm for a mix of retail, residential and short-stay accommodation. The sites have the potential to deliver a world-class hotel for Perth and 400 new hotel rooms in the heart of the CBD. Expressions of interest close 25 October 2012.

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New Hilton for Karratha
A new Hilton hotel development proposal has been announced for Karratha. The proposed hotel will be seven-storeys with 144 four-star rooms, 20 executive apartments, restaurant and meeting / function rooms. The hotel will be branded as a 'Doubletree Hotel' and is Hilton's first venture into a regional setting in the southern hemisphere. The development is expected to help ease accommodation shortages in Karratha and develop the tourism industry in the Pilbara region. Detailed planning and design for the hotel is progressing with construction due to commence in early 2013 for completion mid-2014.

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Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference
Ecotourism Australia’s Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference is now less than four weeks away and this year the program has attracted some of the world's leading players in ecotourism. Over three blockbuster days, sixty speakers will come together with representatives from across the global tourism industry to discuss the key opportunities for ecotourism in the Asia-Pacific region now and beyond to 2020.

The Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be held at the Pullman Reef Hotel, Cairns, Queensland from 15-17 October 2012.

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Image: supplied
Responsible Business

InterContinental Hotels and Resorts across Australasia recently embarked on a program of activities in partnership with National Geographic to help protect and preserve unique and cultural heritage sites as part of this year's Responsible Business Week. In 2011, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts around the world dedicated more than 10,000 hours to Responsible Business Week activities including cleaning local beaches, historical villages and monuments, as well as restoration projects at national parks.

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100% Middle-Earth
New Zealand's scenic landscape is the backdrop for the country's latest 100% Pure New Zealand international campaign. The 100% Middle-earth television and cinema commercial launched by Tourism New Zealand shows that film locations used for the latest movie The Hobbit are real places that visitors can enjoy. Following the release of The Lord of the Rings in 2001, international visitor arrivals into Wellington increased 50 percent in 10 years with film tours and the Weta Cave the most popular activities.

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Destination Sustainability Index

The Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index which analyses sustainability performance across 16 cities and 5 countries, has been launched. The index measures and benchmarks the commitment and performance of local government, destination infrastructure and the meetings industry. Over 50 organisations including Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Destination Marketing Organizations, Venues and Agencies have signed the Scandinavia Sustainable Meetings Accord launched in March 2012. The Accord outlines 10 specific actions, which aim to advance sustainable development within the meetings and events industry.
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The New World of Tourism


Image: Destination NSW
The NSW Government’s target is to double overnight visitor expenditure (in nominal terms) in NSW by 2020. Achieving this target will require a very high rate of growth over the next eight years and a new report provided to the NSW government has provided a series of recommendations for a whole of government approach to tourism management. The Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia Conference (SEGRA) will hold a workshop on Thursday 22 November at the Crown Plaza Terrigal on the Central Coast of NSW to explore the implications of the Visitor Economy Taskforce Report on the NSW Tourism Strategy and provide insight for national tourism stakeholders from all levels involved in regional tourism.

Further information: download flyer or visit

Flyer Survey
The results of the 2012 Flyer Survey have been published by FlightView that highlight the performance of the air travel industry when it comes to providing mobile services for travellers. Over 2600 passengers were polled about their habits, preferences and desires for mobile technology and connectivity within airports. Findings show the demand and desirability of mobile services is increasing with a need for improvements in areas providing passengers with basic information and connectivity.

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State of the Business Events Industry Report

The Business Events Council of Australia has released the second annual State of the Business Events industry Report that provides an overview of how Australia's business events sector performed in 2011. The report analyses a series of industry Key Performance Indicators to gauge the health of the industry including Australia's world ranking as a business events destination, international and domestic business statistics, as well as convention bureau bids, wins and losses.

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Unlocking Tourism
The Victorian Government has released its response to the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission report Unlocking Victorian Tourism. The report focussed on regulatory barriers to development of the tourism industry. It found that tourism development faces particular challenges from current planning regulation as it often occurs away from normal development areas and in or close to areas of high natural beauty.


Image: Tourism Victoria

Workforce Development Project
Tourism businesses facing labour and skills pressures from the resources boom will be offered direct support through a new $8.5 million workforce development project. The Tourism and Hospitality Skills and Workforce Development Project aims to ensure trained and skilled workers can provide the high quality of service required in a competitive tourism market.

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Tourism Pathways
Tourism Pathways is an online diagnostic tool that provides tourism operators with access to more than 100 Queensland business support programs. Users can search by keywords, selecting one of five program categories or by using the Tourism Program Selector.

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Savannah Guides School

Image: twitter
The upcoming Savannah Guides School 1-4 November 2012 will be based at Nitmiluk National Park, 29kms from Katherine and themed "Working Together – Savannah Guides Partnerships". There will be a strong focus on links between tourism, indigenous guides and National Parks. Everyone is welcome!

Further information or download a flyer

Tourism for Tomorrow
IEntries for the 2013 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are now open. The awards, one of the world's highest accolades in the travel industry are aimed at recognising best practice in sustainable tourism within the industry worldwide. Categories include the Destination Stewardship Award, Conservation Award, Community Benefit Award and the Global Tourism Business Award. Winners and finalists receive international media exposure and are recognised by a panel of internationally acclaimed sustainable tourism judges at the 13th WTTC Global Summit. Applications close 26 November 2012.

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Take Your Business To The Next Level

CFO Advisory advises 100's of businesses how to boost their profit and sort their cash flow. They are offering a lunch seminar in Sydney, 9 October 2012. At the seminar attendees will hear from 5 successful business owners including Matt Jensen, founder of Herringbone and MJ Bale (suitors of the Socceroos, Waratahs and the Australian Turf Club).

The program will include:

  • How Matt Jensen created two $20m+ businesses in less than 5 years
  • How to utilise mobile and web design technology to deliver a killer website
  • 5 simple strategies to improve your sales and bottom line
  • How to double your productivity immediately, and
  • How to reduce your bookkeeping costs by 50%.

Image: Supplied
Numbers are limited to 40 so register now to avoid missing out!
Register to this free event at
Global Travel Outlook Conference

The Global Travel Outlook Conference will be held from 25 to 26 October 2012 in Chicago, USA. Organised by the Travel and Tourism Research Association the conference caters to travel-industry professionals who are interested in learning more about travel trends combined with expert analysis and strategic forecasting to drive marketing decisions. It will also include insights from key industry leaders from the US, Canada, Europe and around the world on a range of including digital marketing and social media.

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World Responsible Tourism Day
The WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is on 7 November 2012 at ExCeL London in association with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. The aim of World Responsible Tourism Day is to educate, motivate and inspire the industry to carry out year-round responsible tourism activity under the themes wildlife and conservation, accessibility, child protection and volunteering.

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Image: Tourism Queensland