Don’t Want to Do Touristy Things with other People! Which is better Tourism or Mining?

sweetlip-fish-the-great-barrier-reef

sweetlip-fish-the-great-barrier-reef

Don’t Want to Do Touristy Things with other People! Which is better Tourism or Mining?

 

I guess a touchy subject depending on which side of the fence you get your pay check.

 

Mining generally produces the raw materials we all need to drive our cars, build our houses and just about every other man made product we consume!

 

I decided to write a little article on these two comparisons!

 

The Great Barrier Reef vs Mining!

 

Sometimes I have travelers come into our travel shop and say ….. I want to visit the Great Barrier Reef but I don’t want to go with other people and I don’t want to go to where the reef is trashed!

 

It’s strange some people have this impression that the reef is trashed.

 

So this got me thinking about tourism, and what are the benefits and downfalls that tourism presents to an area.

 

So people don’t want to go with other people to visit the reef. I guess it’s the herd mentality if there are other people out on a day trip with you this offers a lesser experience. I understand that overcrowding on a day trip will not be a pleasant experience.

 

But visiting the reef on a vessel and system that is made to carry larger amounts of people to offer the same experience is still a better option than mining! Isn’t it?

 

So when I get these questions I start to think about, what if Cairns didn’t have tourism. What if we had heavy industry mining out on the reef to collect the large sums of crude oil and gas sitting under the reefs.

 

Would this be a better option than tourism for our region?

 

I’m not having a go at mining but I’m trying to state the obvious. People, we need to work, run business, earn money, buy a house and raise a family. If 70 – 80% of all business in Cairns is directly affected by tourism is this a good thing?

 

Don’t get me wrong, tourism has large peaks and troughs and with it brings plenty of stress to business owners. But over a one year cycle, tourism is a major generator for the local economy.

 

Tourism helps to maintain and sustain the local environment for future tourist to come and enjoy.

 

Speaking to many reef tour company owners this is our bread and butter. So everybody is in the same boat to preserve and protect, maintain and sustain our beautiful natural environment for future tourists and children to visit.

 

Just another topic in relation to how we consume. There is a saying I remember hearing a shark or reef fish sitting on your plate for dinner earns about $50. Left swimming around out on the reef is worth 200 – 300 thousand dollars in tourists spending money to go out there and take a picture of it in the wild.

 

We do all need to eat, so fishing is a part of our lives but also the conservation of our marine parks for the future tourism dollars to roll is paramount. It’s all about trying to find that balance.

 

A great example of tourism helping an economy is Fiji. Without tourism, many Fijians would not be living the lives they are today. The tourist dollar allows an entire country to grow, prosper and work with the natural environment to sustain it for future tourism business.

 

Tourism allows the preservation of a landscape, allows humans to live there, earn money and also manage and protect it to the best of current human technologies and abilities.

 

If we say let’s forget tourism and go down the heavy industry mining path ….. what future will that bring to our local World Heritage environments?

 

So Cairns having a large scale modern tourism industry, you will find large scale tour boats, pontoons and platforms taking large groups of people to see this amazing part of the world.

 

But just have a think is it better to share your experience with other people, in turn helping to preserve the very thing it is you paid to come and see.

 

Or let’s bag out the tourism industry and bring in the heavy industry sector and see what ends up of our beautiful piece of paradise.

 

 

In Conclusion:

 

So next time your somewhere touristy, think a little bit about the infrastructure behind it and how many local people and families that sustainable approach supports.

 

Tourism is not the bees knees in solving all our commercial, environmental, sustainable options, there is always room for improvement. It is just a much better option than some of the other ways we treat the planet to produce money.

 

What are your thoughts? Let’s continue the discussion below:

 

Clint-Carroll-Avatar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clint Carroll is an adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Greenbuddy.com.au. based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

 

 

India is set to overtake China – ITM15 Bangalore, Indian Travel Mission

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India is set to overtake China - ITM15 Bangalore, Indian Travel Mission

Mitch and Apurva Marda, director of Vibrant Holidays, based in Mumbai.

ITM15 Bangalore, Indian Travel Mission

I have been to my fair share of tourism events and promotions both domestic and international (mainly China), but for my first trade mission in India, held just recently, I was chartering into unknown territory.

India is set to overtake China as the most populous country on the planet, so having the chance to promote a new product to a market of this potential was a very exciting opportunity. However, as I had always been ‘China focused’ due  to my specific expertise, I began to wonder about the possible challenges and differences in business culture I would come across.

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Capturing the laid back and friendly nature of Australia at networking function, Sheraton, Bangalore

I am pleased to say that these worries would prove to be unfounded, as due to the amazing organizational efforts of Tourism Australia, the event was smooth, stress-free and extremely valuable in a business sense.

One thing that struck out the most to me was the quality of the appointments. Almost all of the people I conducted appointments with were either business owners, directors or decision makers of some kind, which as anyone in this game knows is extremely important.

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Appointment Schedules were fast and furious, as seen here

Tourism Australia have been working hard to train agents to be specialists in selling Australia, and now there are currently more than 2,114 travel agents/consultants from 1,462 travel agencies throughout the main markets in India who are qualified Aussie Specialists*.

The ‘ITM15 Bangalore’ was composed of two days of frenzied of appointment schedules in which I showcased Australian skydive product to over 75 agents. However, the real value came in the form of  networking sessions which varied from an informal ‘board shorts and flip-flops’ pool party to a more formal suit and jacket evening. It was at these events where I learnt of the great warmth and welcoming nature of our Indian counterparts. Sometimes, events such as these can be a little stiff and cold, but I have never experienced anything such as the relaxed, fun attitude of this event, which leads to an environment open to discussion and getting to know people.

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Catching up for some well deserved ‘down time’ after the appointments concluded

I have been told that in this market, friends and relationships come first, and the business comes (maybe) after.  If this recent mission is anything to go by, I feel like I have already made friends to last a lifetime and looking to the future, with China and India being two of the biggest economies in the world, I see it as an investment in the long term future to be involved in these massive emerging and dynamic markets!

 

* Source – Tourism Australia

 

(Stay tuned for more on India…)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mitchell Callander is a freelance Chinese marketing consultant specializing in the Asian markets, specifically China, Japan, Korea and India. He speaks fluent mandarin, conversational Japanese and is developing an online social media based channel completely in mandarin, called Strange Rice TV.

Trekking in Henan Province, China

Trekking in Henan Province China
Trekking in Henan Province China

Trekking in Henan Province China

Trekking in Henan Province, China

When most people think about China, the big attractions such as Beijing (Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City), Xian (Terracotta Warriors) and Shanghai are usually first to come to mind. However, China is a huge place with a plethora of diverse and amazing places to visit. If you love getting off the beaten track and challenging yourself to some real cultural experiences there are countless numbers of places which are out there to be discovered.

 

I first moved to China in 2005, and chose the city of Zhengzhou, Henan to live and work. Henan is a centrally located province and one of the most populous in China. The famous Yellow River runs through it, so the area often referred to as the ‘Cradle of Chinese Civilization’.

Trekking-in-Henan-Province-China-02

After living and working in the concrete jungle of Zhengzhou for a few months, I managed to find a trekking club, who organised camping trips to the countryside on the weekends and holidays. Finding this club was definitely a game changer for me and enabled me to experience Chinese culture on a whole new level.

 

Henan province is extremely mountainous, and despite many cities relying on heavy industry, you can easily escape to the rural areas, which are steeped in dramatic scenery and ancient history.

 

Some of my most memorable personal moments include the challenge of communication with my trekking colleagues, none of whom spoke any English (this was to be a big factor in my Chinese level improving), the generous nature of the Chinese, who would constantly be sharing fruits and snacks with each other during the expedition, and climbing out of my tent in the mornings to the crisp mountain air and noodles for breakfast, boiled on gas camp stoves.

 

Trekking through tall, misty mountains and coming across old stone bridges and remote villages was an awe inspiring experience for me, and getting my lungs full of fresh air was just the tonic from the bustling industrial city of Zhengzhou. Also, just spending time with my Chinese trekking club was an experience in itself, as I learned so much about language and culture when travelling and spending time as a Chinese person would.

 

As a born and raised Queenslander, another big difference was the changing seasons. Seeing the beautiful hues of red, yellow and orange of Autumn on the mountainside while following old paths for me was a highlight, as was the snow in winter.

 

I guess the point of this article is to highlight that no matter where you go and what you do, you can always go deeper. Speak to locals, find the people who share similar passions within that country, and you will have experiences and find places which otherwise, you may never have known existed. Not to mention, you will make new friends, connect with people and share cultural experiences beyond that which you may have ever previously expected.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mitchell Callander is a freelance Chinese marketing consultant specializing in the Asian markets, specifically China, Japan, Korea and India. He speaks fluent mandarin, conversational Japanese and is developing an online social media based channel completely in mandarin, called Strange Rice TV.

The Great Social Media of China

No Facebook or Youtube, Just Weibo and Wechat?
No Facebook or Youtube Just Weibo and Wechat!

No Facebook or Youtube Just Weibo and Wechat!

No Facebook or Youtube, Just Weibo and Wechat?

 

Most of us are aware now that the ‘Great Firewall of China” blocks out social networking sites such as Facebook and Youtube (which many of us couldn’t imagine a world without). So, if Chinese aren’t using these, what social media are they using and are they as infatuated with it as we are?

 

The short answer to that question is ‘yes’ – the Chinese are at least as much if not many times more infatuated with social media as we are in the west. As a matter of fact, the first question you will usually here from a Chinese traveller upon arrival will be ”is there free WIFI?’

 

Let us go back a little, to Weibo and Youku. You can think of Weibo as the Chinese version of twitter or facebook. A user can blog using photos and text, subscribe to accounts, follow others, scroll the home page for days – you get the picture. Youku, on the other hand, is basically Chinese Youtube and is used for video sharing.

 

Weibo was HUGE, and amassed a massive number of users. However, such is the speed of change in China, it has already been superseded by an absolute giant of social media. Wechat. Wechat works on a ‘Whatsapp’ principle (and the logo even is a little similar – coincidence, maybe?) of using WIFI to message and text, however it has many functions which make it very appealing. Think of Wechat as a combination of every kind of social media app we have. It has already eclipsed the 350 million user mark.

 

Companies even use ‘public wechat profiles’ which are basically like mini – websites.  These public profiles are not easy for Australian companies to get a hold of, as they need to be registered in China so that content can be monitored (of course). Also, believe it or not,  but wechat QR codes are being used to make payments when shopping, acting as a credit card of sorts!

 

Personally, I was in denial about needing Wechat until I heard a Chinese friend tell me frankly: ‘No Wechat, No Business,’ so I uploaded it immediately.  Since then,  I have realised just how much it is used in doing business in China. If you do business with China and don’t have it, I suggest you download and English version of Wechat yourself from the app store.

 

Just be careful… Once you get started, you may get a Wechat addiction too.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mitchell Callander is a freelance Chinese marketing consultant specializing in the Asian markets, specifically China, Japan, Korea and India. He speaks fluent mandarin, conversational Japanese and is developing an online social media based channel completely in mandarin, called Strange Rice TV.

Australian Tourism Exhange (ATE) Melbourne 2015 – Things I Learnt

ATE Melbourne 2015 - Things I Learnt
ATE-Melbourne-2015

ATE-Melbourne-2015

ATE Melbourne 2015 – Things I Learnt

 

After having recently attended the Australian Tourism Exchange in Melbourne, one big thing that I came away with is that things are changing faster than ever before in the Chinese market.

 

Now that we are settling well into the digital age, and we are seeing the new generation raised in this era starting to travel independently, the game has changed forever.

 

Now, in the past some similarities had been drawn by people in the tourism industry between Chinese and Japan’s trend of development. Since the Japanese started travelling much earlier than the Chinese, many believed that the trend would not only follow the same path, but the same time span.

 

However, what they have failed to take into account is that we are now living in a time where an abundance of information is available at any time, literally by the touch of a finger on a phone. The rate of change that we are seeing in tourism as a result of this is staggering.

 

While only a year ago, some travel agents were resting on their laurels in the hopes that their group business would continue ‘as is’ for the next 5-8 years, they are now having to look outside the box for new ideas, products, itineraries to give them an edge over their competitors.

 

Some agents have reported a big shift in FIT focus as their group to FIT traveller ratio went from 80/20 to 50/50 over less than two years! Agents purely dedicated to the FIT market and adventure activities are popping up, while agents who relied solely on traditional group business are now in catch – up mode.

 

So, what does all this mean for Australian tourism suppliers? Big opportunities! However, it also brings with it great challenges. Our products and marketing have to move and advance with the changing face and requirements of the Chinese when comparing to the rest of the world, or we will simply be left behind.

 

The fact is, that the consumers are driving the demand for change. Change is happening fast.  Tourism Australia has been focussing their Chinese campaigns on the FIT market in anticipation of a doubling of expenditure from this market by 2020, and as the Chinese traveller dares to dig deeper into their travel experience, it opens up a whole new range of opportunity for us to enter the market and get a piece of the action.

 

The only question is, are we ready for it?

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mitchell Callander is a freelance Chinese marketing consultant specializing in the Asian markets, specifically China, Japan, Korea and India. He speaks fluent mandarin, conversational Japanese and is developing an online social media based channel completely in mandarin, called Strange Rice TV.

Barron Waterfalls Full Flood FEB 2015

Kuranda-Barron-Waterfalls-2015


Tropical North Queensland is experiencing the annual Monsoon or raining season, and this year, oh! how the rain came down. The Monsoon season is an annual event up here in Far North Queensland, every year we receive about 3/4 meters of rain!

The above video was taken on Sunday 15th FEB 2015 and just goes to show how much water we received over the weekend.

These large volumes of water attribute to the growth of the World Heritage listed National Parks of Barron George National Park, Cape Tribulation National Park. These rainforests strive on our hot humid damp conditions, along with the rain fall, this helps to sustain the forests during the dry season and into the following year.

The BOOT Show – Düsseldorf remains the largest Water Sports Show in the World!

BOOT-Show-2015

The BOOT Show – Düsseldorf remains the largest Water Sports Show in the World!

 

Earlier this year I found myself joining the Papua New Guinea Divers Association at The BOOT Show – Düsseldorf 2015.

 

Renowned as the largest water sports show in the World, The BOOT Show – Düsseldorf 2015 lived up to its reputation. Its big … I’m really big! According to the official BOOT website a total of 248,600 international visitors came to the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre.

 

Myself representing TUFI Resort in Papua New Guinea, we had the absolute pleasure of meeting allot of fantastic European Dive Wholesalers and thousands of lovely people from Düsseldorf.

 

The people of Düsseldorf turned out in there numbers with allot of specific pre-researched enquirers, a fantastic public response to diving in Papua New Guinea.

 

Read my latest article from my most recent trip Diving in Papua New Guinea.

 

Composing a round up video of the PNG dive team at BOOT 2015, if you have time please watch the short 3 min video above, the sound is not 100% it was filmed on a GoPro. We have since purchased a microphone to help with sound quality in the future.

 

Thank you to the Papua New Guinea Divers Association and The Tourism Promotion Authority for all of there assistance in co-ordination. With out the assistance of these organisations it would be impossible to attend these shows.

 

Also a big thank you to the people of Düsseldorf for making us feel so welcome. We all look forward to attending next years BOOT Show – Düsseldorf 2016!

 

Clint-Carroll-Avatar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clint Carroll is an adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Greenbuddy.com.au. based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

Poseidon – Diving Agincourt Reef – Port Douglas Australia

Posieon-Dive-Port-Douglas

Poseidon – Diving Agincourt Reef – Port Douglas Australia

Port Douglas Australia, what a name for a boat Poseidon. Who was this fella? Well according to Greek methodology he was God of the sea, earthquakes, storms, and horses!

Awesome I like him already, a powerful God of the sea, why not name an awesome dive boat after him Poseidon Snorkel & Dive. Based in Port Douglas Australia Poseidon the boat resides at Marina Mirage. Departing daily at 8:30am in the morning expect a 1hour and 15min journey to arrive on the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs.

Located around 60klm off shore you can expect some of the regions best diving. Large walls, drift diving, and deep bommies that extend all the way to the surface.

Pick your weather make sure Posiedon the God, hasn’t wipped up a storm for you. With nice blue skies and beautiful conditions the dive crew on board Posiedon will have you in and diving your first deepest dive of the day. At around 24 meters what an awesome way to start your day, large beautiful corals, yellow tail barracuda, grey whaler sharks and many Moorish Idols.

With the deep water from the Coral Sea, the Agincourt Reefs are blessed with fantastic visibility, amazing coral growth and beautiful healthy species of reef fish. Its always a please to dive the Agincourt Reefs you never know what will show up.

Poseidon – Diving Agincourt Reef is a beautiful day out, great crew, great lunch and best of all great diving. Spending time out here your appreciation of this area can only grow. Next time you want a great day out diving the Great Barrier Reef, think about Poseidon the reef boat from Port Douglas Australia.

Poseidon – Diving Agincourt Reef – Port Douglas Australia

 

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