Category Archives: Uncategorized

Legendmate, rebuilding tourism online, a new initiative

Tourism in Australia has experienced a uniquely terrible year. After an onslaught of natural disasters and pandemic lockdowns, it’s vital that we collaborate and innovate in order to optimise recovery efforts and pave the way forward.

Building on the great industry initiatives of Courtney Preo from YHA, I created a web-app to help aggregate operators reopening dates, COVID-safe restrictions and important information as it evolves.

From here Legendmate was born.

Legendmate is the simple platform bringing operators together to show our industry is once again open for business. It’s a directory that is accessible anywhere, anytime and for anyone interested. With over 130 products now listed across 40+ destinations, we deliver clear and up-to-date information on booking amazing Australian experiences throughout the reopening phases.

Our industry is working smarter and harder as we adapt with agility to unique market conditions and a customer base in limited supply.

Why use mobile apps? Why not?

Accessing information through a mobile web browser can be a real pain to navigate. We already use apps for 90% of the functionality on our smart devices. At the end of the day, these apps are simply digital assets to use as a functional tool. These can be simple or complex tools (you get what you pay for), but they all must solve a problem.

‘Touch-free’ is the world’s biggest need right now and it’s not all bad news. With mobile technology advancing exponentially, it’s now cheaper, easier to use and more accessible than ever before.

Besides, what industry is more suited to mobility than tourism? We need to leverage technology to suit our customers and products, not the other way around.

Digital transformation is already fundamentally changing the way we do business and interact with others. As we prepare for the inevitable reopening of Australia, we must also look for innovative ways to improve the travel ecosystem in a traditionally fragmented landscape.

The digital disruptors of tomorrow must find new solutions to capture, earn and retain user attention in the modern, mobile-first world.

Join the initiative

If you’re an operator looking to rise from the ashes of a uniquely shithouse 2020, please submit your products and relevant information via the Legendmate app.

When restrictions change or are lifted, simply submit the new conditions and we will remove the old listing.

Share this platform with other operators, travel agents, friends and family. It is a free grassroots initiative that is designed solely to help Australian tourism.

For all the Aussies looking to (finally) explore your own backyard, now is the time to go and support local business!

Legendmate app – https://legendmate.glideapp.io/

Save to your home screen: Open link in Safari, tap the Share button and ‘Add to Home Screen’.

If you have any questions or comments please reach out: adam.vandermeer89@gmail.com

Looking forward to better days with you all.

ED: Another great initiative in the youth sector.

Source: Legendmate

Sourced by Mike Barrow

Help those on temporary visas – getup.org.au

The Morrison government has just given over 2 million people on temporary visas an impossible decision –chip away at your retirement savings, or get out of the country.1

These are our neighbours, friends and family. The local chef who lost his job, the elderly Indian grandparents who came to look after their newborn grandson and can’t return home, the Danish couple expecting their first baby and the thousands of New Zealand families struggling to make ends meet.2

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the Government is creating a situation where millions of people are stuck here with no way to leave, and no support.

We can’t let this continue. Everyone needs to be supported through this crisis – regardless of where they’re from or how long they’ve been here.

Right now, the Morrison Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis is under the microscope. With policy changes and backflips happening almost daily, now is the time to build the pressure ten-fold. 

Together, we need to send a clear message that the community will not tolerate a government that turns its back on people in a time of crisis. 

Can you add your name and demand full access to Medicare, income support and an amnesty on visa renewals for everyone on temporary visas NOW?

Countries like Portugal are paving the way by granting all migrants full citizen rights through the pandemic, while the UK has extended all visas until June 1.6,7

Meanwhile in Australia, most people on temporary visas can’t access JobKeeper, JobSeeker or Medicare. Many are now unable to afford rent, or are skipping meals due to financial hardship. Some can lean on family and friends, but many can’t and are at risk of becoming homeless.1

On top of all this, many people are stuck in the country with their visas about to lapse, and no way to get home as flights disappear, prices skyrocket and borders close. 

In the midst of a public health crisis, the government’s message is clear – that your worth is determined by your visa status.

We can’t let them get away with this. In a time where people are coming together, to support each other through this crisis, we must make sure that no one is left behind. 

Can you add your name and call for full access to income support, Medicare and a visa amnesty for temporary migrants?

We need a fair system that looks after everyone during this pandemic. Let’s take a stand together and urge the government to support all communities, irrespective of visa status. 

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, everyone deserves to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads and their families safe. 

In solidarity, 

Renaire, Anisha and Naz for the GetUp team 

Sourced by Mike Barrow

Adventium Delayed Payments – Does it affect you?

A small group of the executives from Adventure Queensland (AQ), Backpackers Operators NSW (BOA NSW) & Adventure Tourism Victoria (ATV) have been catching up to discuss the concerns of members as well as wider implications in relation to the recent communication from Adventium.

We are in unprecedented times & the situation that many of us find ourselves in would never been imagined.

AQ have reached out & had conversations with Adventium on behalf of members. We will continue to engage with them & come back to members & the industry as a whole along with our industry partners in BOA, ATV & BYTAP.

After so many we affected from the extended bushfire season, the effects of COVID-19 have/will take incredible tolls in our business & personal lives.

AQ have send a email to effected members & we encourage affected non-members to reach out to us too. info@adventurequeensland.com.au

Source: Industry Legends Facebook

Sourced by Mike Barrow

Australia’s first glass bridge unveiled at Cobbold Gorge in outback Queensland

Cobbold Gorge in the Gulf Savannah region of north-west Queensland is now home to Australia’s first ever bridge constructed with an entirely glass surface.

Key points:

  • A glass bridge has been constructed across the Cobbold Gorge at a cost of $600,000
  • The 9.5-metre long bridge has a glass bottom deck that is 4.5-centimetres thick
  • Due to the remote location of the gorge a heavy-lift helicopter was needed for the bridge’s installation

The gorge, which is on private land, is about 900 metres long and in some places is only 2m wide — evidence that labelled it the state’s youngest gorge.

The glass bridge, which cost operators and the State Government about $600,000, was unveiled in front of 75 people on Saturday with traditional ceremonies and a ribbon cutting.

Operations manager Hudson Fox said it was the first time there had been a bridge across the gorge and he hoped it made it easier for people to experience its natural beauty. Prior to us opening the bridge there were some difficult spots that some people struggled with,” he said.

“It’s making that sandstone country a lot more accessible so more people can actually come up and see the country for what it is.”

An image looking down on a glass-bottomed suspended bridge above a gorge, with a snake resting on it.

PHOTO: Cobbald Gorge’s first visitor was a little slippery, but seemingly not afraid of heights. (Supplied: Tourism Events Queensland)

Mr Fox said the 19-metre-high bridge provided visitors with 360-degree views of the gorge.

“Both of the sides of the escarpments have now been bridged by this amazing bridge and it gives you just a whole new focal point for the area,” he said.

“You can stand on the bridge right above the gorge.”

Specialist helicopter assists installation

Mr Fox said there were many logistical challenges with the project, but it only took three days to install the bridge.

“With where it is and how remote it is you couldn’t really get cranes or anything like that in,” he said.

“We actually had to have a heavy-lift helicopter with a maximum load of 1.5 tonnes to lift in beams. They were 1.45t approximately each beam … the ones that actually are the main support structure for the bridge.

“Glass for the bottom layers, it was around 45 millimetres thick, then the side panels are 17.5mm thick. There’s a fair bit of glass there and those bottom panels weigh-in at about 360 kilograms.”

Mr Fox said the deck of the glass bridge was 9.5m in length and presented an exciting challenge for people scared of heights.

“We have a guide that isn’t too keen on heights and he was able to walk across it on the opening as well,” he said.

“He just chose a little spot to look at on the opposite side. He stared at a tree and he walked across.

A drone image of a glass bridge in the middle of the outback, which is suspended above a gorge.

PHOTO: The glass bridge will make it easier for tourists to access and enjoy the sights. (Supplied: Tourism Events Queensland)

“It’s opening up many things; not just the other side of the escarpment but also people could come out and conquer their fears.”

Mr Fox said the unique bridge added to the list of tourist sites in the region. “We’ve got so many spectacular tourism attractions here already and this is just another … jewel in the crown.”

“It’s going to bring so many more people in. It’s just that other thing that’s on the bucket list.”

Tourism drawcard will benefit region

Tourism and Events Queensland’s, Matt Bron said the Cobbold Gorge team have been leading the way in outback tourism.

“Innovation and new experiences are key to remaining relevant in the travel industry and in the tourism landscape,” he said.

Mr Bron said over time the attraction would help increase tourist numbers in the region. It’s a massive ‘wow’ factor,” he said.

“They’ve done a lot of work out there at Cobbold Gorge over the years including the first outback swim-up pool bar and their big infinity-edge pool.

“To come along and see such world-class facilities and to be able to be involved in them; word-of-mouth spreads, Instagram and pictures spread, and it will certainly be of help to get people into the North.”

Mr Bron said private enterprise and investment in tourism was vital for the future.

“Councils and governments can only do so much,” he said.

“We need to back … our private tourism operators so that they do start to dream a bit and expand their programs and their experiences.

“They’re the ones who ultimately deliver the outcome to the person travelling.”

Source: ABC

Sourced by Mike Barrow

Sustainable camping accommodates and educates tourists one cup of sawdust at a time

The first thing campers like to tell Jodie Lane is that the toilet at the camping ground she manages does not smell.

Key points:

  • Sustainable tourist accommodation options are growing in Western Australia
  • A camping facility in Margaret River includes composting toilets, a worm farm, and grey water showers
  • Owners of the campground say they are helping to educate tourists about sustainable facilities

It is a weird compliment, but an important one.

That is because of the misconception that environmentally-friendly, composting toilets stink.

“The response that I’ve had has been incredibly positive,” she said.

“Campers say it’s clean, it doesn’t smell at all.”

The toilets are just one of the many sustainable facilities at the Fair Harvest campground in Margaret River, in Western Australia’s south-west.

It is located on a permaculture farm and features a worm farm, a large veggie and herb garden, a compost-heated shower, and structures built from timber grown on the property.

No water wasted

The composting toilet saves nine litres of water every time it is used — water-saving amenities were high on Ms Lane’s list when designing the campground.

“We’ve got a 110,000-litre tank and then it goes through the shower system and through a filter system [to become grey water],” she said.

“The grey water feeds all these wonderful new plants that we’ve recently planted.”

The campground opened late last year, but not every visitor so far has been an experienced environmentalist.

“There’s a group of people, of course, who are unfamiliar with these facilities and for them, it’s a bit novel,” Ms Lane said.

A woman standing in an outside kitchen area leaning on a wooden bench.

PHOTO: Jodie Lane says water use was a major factor in the campground’s design. (ABC South West: Kate Stephens)

Tourists hungry for sustainability

Shannon Gordon, who travelled to Margaret River from the Gold Coast, planned to spend just one night but after a week, she was still at the campground.

“I absolutely love it here, it’s so peaceful,” she said. You get the benefit of being able to know that you’re treading lightly on the earth with the same sustainable approach that the farm is taking you on.”

Ms Gordon chose the place for its farm experience and environmental amenities.

“Everything here is done with sustainability in mind and regeneration of the land,” she said.

“I think more and more people are hungry for that.”

A woman standing near signs that have environmental messages near a load of wood logs

PHOTO: Gold Coast visitor Shannon Gordon planned to stay just one night but stayed a week. (ABC South West: Kate Stephens)

Eco-tourism growing in WA

Considering a holiday’s environmental impact is becoming easier with most major airlines allowing passengers to offset their carbon footprint for air travel.

But the number of environmental and sustainable accommodation available is also growing across WA.

There are major eco-resorts at Karijini in the Pilbara and on Rottnest Island off the coast of Fremantle.

The Rottnest resort boasts tents made from sustainable materials and a set-up that “treads lightly” on the environment.

An aerial photo of the Bathurst Lighthouse in front of a series of premium tents at Rottnest Island.

PHOTO: Eco-friendly accommodation is now available at Pinky’s Beach, on Rottnest Island. (ABC News: West Matteeussen)

The state’s Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said these types of sustainable facilities were very popular.

“It [the Rottnest eco-resort] is going very well [with] very high occupancy; [it’s] a very successful initiative [that] only opened last year,” he said.

With pristine white beaches in the south of the state and red dirt in the north, Mr Papalia said WA’s unique landscape was the reason people visited the west.

“Increasingly providers, tourism operators, and hospitality operators are recognising that and are trying to provide suitable accommodation that emphasises our beautiful natural environment,” he said.

Sustainability is take-home message

Ms Lane said she also had seen the interest in sustainable tourism growing.

“I think it’s becoming very popular, whether it’s tours or accommodation or food or whatever it is,” she said.

A sign posted to a pole showing how the compost shower works. There is a pile of woodchips in the background

PHOTO: The campground in Margaret River has signs educating tourists about their facilities. (ABC South West: Kate Stephens)

For Ms Lane, the permaculture farm and campground is not just about providing eco-accommodation, but also about educating tourists.

“We’ve got quite a lot of signage around the place, explaining things,” she said.

“I see families discussing things with their children and saying ‘this is great, we’re going to go home and start a worm farm’ or just looking at different ways we can do things.”

Source: ABC

Sourced by Mike Barrow