Navigating the waters of visitor stats while avoiding the sharks!

GIFT Interim Director, Associate Professor Sarah Gardiner, presented her views on the future of visitor research statistics in this panel session on Tuesday 25 June 2019 at the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Conference in Melbourne.

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Shed our denial and force change in the most important speck in time

Reflecting on Al Gore’s ‘Climate Crisis’ training, I ponder the meaning of terming it a ‘climate crisis’. According to the Oxford Dictionary a ‘crisis’ is: “A time of intense difficulty or danger or a time when a difficult or important decision must be made”. Put climate and crisis together and we have our climate in an intense and dangerous time where a difficult or important decision must be made. And after attending the training and reiterating what I already knew, we should be feeling panic! Outright panic in a dangerous time where critical decisions need to be made.

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Climate change risk reduction in Tourism

Johanna Schliephack recently represented GIFT at QTIC’s World Environment Day event. She spoke about air pollution and climate change, how it links to tourism and what could be done at operator and destination management level to address it.

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The pros and cons of Airbnb

The rise of AirBNB and other short-stay accommodation options is dividing tourist towns across Australia, with some arguing it creates healthy competition and boosts visitor numbers, while hoteliers demand unregistered holiday homes be shut down.

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How to cut the Gordian knot of decarbonising tourism?

Prof Susanne Becken recently published a paper on “Decarbonising tourism: Mission impossible?” in the journal Tourism Recreation Research. This article provides a brief synopsis of the key arguments made in the paper.

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20/20 insights to research seminar

GIFT members  Dr Ross Westoby, Dr Sam Meng, Dr Elaine Yang and Sima Vaez Eslami, and Nina Dhirasasna presented short, sharp, incisive insights into their research.  20/20 is based on the principles of Pecha Kucha –  a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. … Continue reading


Reflections on the Global Eco Conference 2018

Here are five synopsis and key reflections on the Global Eco Conference, presented by researchers from Griffith University who are involved in diverse research projects related to the Great Barrier Reef: Susanne Becken, Johanna Schliephack, Rawan Nimri, Dung Le and Emily Chan.

Read their reflections here:


Ecotourism: it’s time…

The Global Eco Asia Pacific Tourism Conference “Ecotourism- It’s time…” was recently held across three days in Townsville. The conference provided the chance to hear from academic and leading speakers from the industry on critical issues and sustainable initiatives in different destinations in addition to networking and engagement opportunities. The main message repeated by most of the speakers was that focusing on growth should not be the main target as the world cannot cope with the estimated growth within the tourism industry. In addition, the ongoing discussions were highlighting that the concept of sustainable or ecotourism has been gathering a wider audience. Therefore, ecotourism should be used as a tool to inform different stakeholders, build governmental policies and cross-sector collaborations.

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Tourism: to grow or not to grow? Impressions from the 2018 Global Eco Conference

I was lucky to attend the 26th Annual Global Eco Conference held in Townsville 26-28 November, which brought together a great line up of speakers from industry, government, and academia. Many presentations focused on the tourism conservation nexus and the Great Barrier Reef. In ecotourism, or sustainable tourism, the focus lies on using tourism as a means of generating benefits to its socio-cultural and natural surroundings.

Despite the focus on ecotourism, a surprising large number of presentations eventually came back to the benefits of tourism’s ability to generate income, jobs, development and prosperity; in other words: growth.

 

 

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Small hotelier’s ‘My Green Butler’ wins Banksia Award

Dr. Christopher Warren, a recent alumni of Griffith Institute for Tourism and founder of ‘My Green Butler’ has been awarded the prestigious Banksia Foundation’s 2018 Small Business Award.

Banksia judges chose this entry because it “was outstanding for its great leadership, to take on such a big role and create a big impact despite being only from a small business in tourism. This business is producing a unique product with potential to have a real impact reducing the footprint of accommodation and has strong potential to go global.”

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What’s attracting so many Chinese visitors to Queensland?

They are not particularly keen on relaxing on the beach with a beer. So what is attracting half a million Chinese tourists to Queensland each year? Griffith University tourism expert Dr Sarah Gardiner says Chinese tourists love the pristine beaches and blue skies of Queensland but are not beachgoers in the traditional Aussie sense. “They don’t like going in the sun because they don’t want to get sunburnt and they also don’t particularly like going into the water,” says Gardiner. “They may walk along the beach and dip their toes in the water but many of them can’t swim.”

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Growing coral in the Maldives

To celebrate the World Tourism Day 2018, the team at Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives launched its first ever Coral propagation program at the resort lagoon, with the participation of many in-house guests, business partners and staff.

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A/Prof Kevin Filo visits his alma mater

Associate Professor Kevin Filo recently visited one of his alma maters, the University of Texas at Austin (UT), where he received a Master’s Degree in Education (MEd) in Sport Management in 2004. During his recent visit, he spent time with a longtime mentor of his, Mary Steinhardt, a Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education and a leading researcher on resilience and adapting to stress (pictured). Kevin and Mary discussed their respective research programs, the importance of giving back to your discipline and institution, and how academia has evolved since they first worked together in 2002-04.

Kevin was also able to spend time with faculty from UT’s Sport Management program, Dr Emily Sparvero and Dr Tommy Hunt, to discuss how the program has evolved, the impact of online education, as well as opportunities for research collaboration. It was a productive, insightful, and nostalgic visit.

 

 


Celebrating World Tourism Day with innovative technology

To celebrate World Tourism Day on 27 September, Griffith University showcased some of the innovative work students and staff were doing at GIFT. This year’s theme was, ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation’.

“Technology is increasingly important to tourism, making the guest experience more personalised and relevant, easier to purchase and more enjoyable and fun,” senior lecturer Dr Sarah Gardiner said. “I’m particularly impressed by some of the young Queensland innovators that are leading the way in tourism’s digital transformation globally.”

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Exchanging ideas in Texas

Associate Pofessor Kevin Filo recently visited the Division of Sport Management at Texas A&M University whilst on ASP. During his visit he sat in on an ideas exchange with the Texas A&M Sport Management PhD students, wherein topics such as: the differences in the sport systems in the US versus Australia, the relevance of US professional sport to the Australian market, and the similarities and differences in the PhD experience across US and Australia; were discussed.

 

 

 

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Prof Susanne Becken at the Madrid UNWTO Tourism Fair, 26 June 2018

Why local context matters for ‘smart monitoring’

There is a global shift from a focus on tourism marketing to one of tourism management. Having put considerable resources into catalysing tourism, many destinations are now facing the urgent need to manage the consequences of tourism’s success. 

The shift from marketing to management comes with a different set of performance to assess ‘success’. Whilst in the past, the focus was on top-line indicators, such as visitor arrivals and expenditure, attention has now moved to understanding the impacts at the destination.

 

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Bisate Lodge villas at night, near Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Photographer: Andrea Frazzetta

Can tourism alleviate poverty?

Does tourism help alleviate poverty? Tourism expenditure from international visitors in developing countries can stimulate economic activity, infrastructure development and employment.

Data on the Global Tourism Dashboard show how tourism expenditure from international visitors in developing countries can catalyse the economy.

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Protecting the environment with the help of its users

On Thursday 7 June visiting researcher Anges Lecompte presented a seminar on her research into the different behaviours of visitors to the French tourist destination, the Gavres-Quiberon coastline.

 

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GIFT HDR candidates present to industry

Five GIFT HDR presenters featured at an Industry Research Snapshot seminar with the Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games (DITID) last Wednesday, 23 May at the Southbank campus.

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Cruising through a PhD

A passion for cruising, politics, infrastructure projects and New Zealand evolved into a dream PhD thesis topic for Wendy London. The steady and substantial growth of cruising worldwide means that potential, new and mature cruise destinations are faced with developing or redeveloping their cruise infrastructure.

 

 

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WTTC announcement on climate change action, 18 April 2018, Buenos Aires

Global Travel and Tourism industry commits to climate action – what does it mean?

Last week, at the annual World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in Buenos Aires, the global tourism industry committed to an ambitious climate change agenda, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions using a science-based target approach. Forming a partnership with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to develop a sustainable growth strategy for tourism that sits within the confines of the Paris Agreement is a major and important step. All tourism businesses are encouraged to develop their own climate strategies, targets and actions.

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Rumbles in Paradise – Boracay closed for business

Boracay, voted best island in the world by Conde Nast Traveller readers in 2016, is now a wasteland of sewerage and garbage.  An environmental disaster. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced the popular island will be closed to tourists for six months, labelling the island a “cesspool”.  The island’s drainage system is thought to be at fault, sending untreated sewage directly into the famed turquoise waters. But Duterte has blamed local businesses for contributing to the island’s mounting sewerage problems by dumping waste directly into its previously pristine waters.  “You go into the water, it’s smelly.  Smell of what”  S**t.  Because it all comes out in Boracay.” Mr Duerte said in February. Those businesses, which attracts over two million tourists per year, were put on notice in February. Now that warning has escalated into a closure of the island due to the horrific conditions.

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Study tour groups gain valuable insights

Representatives from the tourism sector in Sri Lanka have completed a study tour as a part of the ‘Sustainable Tourism Development’ Short Course Award program.The group, consisting of 25 tourism practitioners, government officers and university academics, participated in a range of workshops, seminars and site visits. They visited a vast array of tourist locations including the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, Cairns foreshore, Port Douglas, the Temple of Hou Wang and the Daintree Rainforest, gaining knowledge to influence their professional fields and communities.

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GIFT PhD student wins CAUTHE Poster Design competition

Rachel Perkins, a first year PhD student at GIFT has won the The Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) award for best poster design. This year’s  conference  was themed ‘Get Smart; Paradoxes and Possibilities’. Rachel’s submission detailed her research within the Granite Belt region of Queensland, explaining the challenges small tourism operators were facing in collaborating with one another.

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Solo female travelerThe risks of solo female travel and how the industry can help

The rise of solo female travellers across the globe is well documented, with three in four (74%) women now interested in travelling alone. The statistics in Australia are higher than the global average at 81%.This trend is also growing fast in Asia, a region that is less often associated with solo female travel. But having an interest is one thing; whether women will actually undertake the solo holiday is a different story. For a majority of women, safety concerns and the feeling of vulnerability and loneliness have deterred them for pursuing the liberating solo holiday.

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Big DataBig Data and Tourism

The rapid emergence of information and communication technology (ICT) has had a significant impact on people’s daily lives and in turn has provided access to a considerable variety of data and information. The tourism industry is one of the leading sectors that has adapted to the evolving technology and the availability of new data sources which includes credit card transactions, mobility-related data, booking behaviour and, especially, the sharing of experiences.

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Creating Tracks – Indigenous engagement

GIFT’s Associate Professor Michelle Whitford and Associate Professor Lisa Ruhanen from UQ presented at the Creating Tracks in Tourism Industry Day  – the 7th Annual QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Forum.

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Chinese Dream Conference

The Third East West Dialogue on tourism and the Chinese Dream

This dialogue celebrated the China-Australia Year of Tourism and also the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.  The conference was well attended with over 120 delegates, mainly from Australia and China, but also six other countries who offered complementary insights and perspectives.

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Attending Destination Q

Dr Sarah Gardiner, Dr Xin Jin, Dr Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore, Dr Caroline Riot, and Dr Ying Wang recently attended Queensland’s leading tourism industry forum, Destination Q.  Read More

by Griffith Institute for Tourism

 

 

 


Carbon and tourism – where to next?

Prof Susanne Becken makes some observations on the last decade of work on climate change and tourism… Read More

by Griffith Institute for Tourism

 

 

 


PATA – Global insights: 2017 conference

As with its past Global Insights conferences, PATA held the 2017 event once again at the Sky City Grand Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand and brought together tourism academics, industry practitioners and future tourism leaders. The main focus of the conference is on the need for both private and public sector tourism businesses to prepare for an already disruptive and innovative tourism climate…. Read More

by Griffith Institute for Tourism

 


The new tourism trend.  How digitalisation is revolutionising the travel industry

International travel trends used to be driven by marketing spend and visa policies, but a new wave of cross-border cooperation between multinational companies, as well as public and private entities, is transforming global travel experiences…. Read More

by Griffith Institute for Tourism

 


My Green Butler – smart and sustainable tourism accommodation

“How can we invite guests to actively participate to save resources whilst on holiday?” This is the focus of Christopher Warren’s research at Griffith Institute For Tourism. It has been a fascinating PhD with intriguing insights, and a commercial output in the form of My Green Butler Read More

by Griffith Institute for Tourism

 


Rideshare bicycles in China

Smart AND Sustainable?

Coming back from a week in China where smart bicycles take over footpaths and people pay with their smartphone (see here for a recent backlash), I have  been wondering how we can use smart technology to accelerate the move towards more sustainable travel and tourism… Read More

by Griffith Institute for Tourism

 


Eye-tracking technology

GIFT and Mantra Collaborate on Customer Experience Analysis

Researches at Griffith Institute for Tourism collaborated with marketing experts at Mantra Group to analyse the customer experience for visitors to the recently launched MantraHotels.com multi-brand website… Read More

by Griffith Institute for Tourism


Developing sustainable tourism in eastern Indonesia

By 2030, the United Nations World Tourism Organization estimates there will be 535 million international tourists travelling to Asia and the Pacific, a 90 percent increase on 2015. This rapid growth in tourism, coupled with the region’s large population, calls for effective management of tourism development in order to protect communities and tourism resources. … Read More

by Griffith Institute for Tourism


UNWTO Report – Managing growth and sustainable tourism governance in Asia and the Pacific

The United Nations World Tourism Organization and Griffith University released a report at the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu on Friday 15 September 2017 that estimates that by 2030 there will be 535 million international arrivals to Asia and the Pacific, a 90 percent increase on 2015… Read More

by Griffith Institute for Tourism


A national approach to tourism research

If Australia is to stay ahead of the game and strive for the upper bound of the Tourism 2020 targets, industry, government and the research community must work together…Read More


How much carbon does cruise ship tourism emit?

The global cruise ship industry is growing faster than the rest of tourism. For over 20 years, the average annual passenger growth rate has been about 7%…Read More


Exponential Energy Transformation – where is Tourism?

Travel and Tourism is without a doubt one of the most successful and fastest changing industries. In many countries travel has now become such an integral component of life and business that many systems…Read More


Why the environment is more important for the Gold Coast than we think

Visitor numbers to the Gold Coast are increasing – but international tourists are staying shorter and are spending less. Domestic tourism is steady with various ups and downs, depending on the visitor…Read More


The Importance of Technology Enabled Services in the Travel Industry

The recent case of a United Airlines’ passenger being violently removed from a plane grew global attention to customer satisfaction in airlines, with modern technologies…Read More


Partnerships to create innovative tourist experiences – the role of research

All too often, research projects have a tendency to assess the impacts of a tourism development after it had occurred, rather than working with communities… Read More


Is the knowledge gap too wide to innovate sustainable tourist accommodation?

Is the knowledge gap too wide to innovate sustainable tourist accommodation? There is currently insufficient research to assist the transition for tourist accommodation to become… Read More


 Sustainable Tourism for Development: Launch of a Global Tourism Dashboard

The United Nations (UN) has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. 2017 offers an opportunity to raise global awareness… Read More


DestinationQ: Industry partnership between the Queensland Government and the tourism sector

DestinationQ is the peak tourism industry partnership between the Queensland Government and the tourism sector. A forum is organised once a year and its current… Read More


Working together for sustainable tourism

The recent International Symposium on Sustainable Tourism held in Marrakech under the auspices of the UN Climate Change COP22 was an impressive demonstration of how the fight against global warming has the power to summon…Read More


The Next Stage of Sustainable Tourism – Measurement

Tourism is often associated with the positive impacts it brings to local communities and destinations. The Sustainable Tourism movement is now several decades old, and the aspiration is that all tourism eventually contributes to sustainable development…Read More