Atherton Advisory Travel Law consultants

Laws & legal frameworks

Compliance, Security & Risk Management

Governance, institutions & administrative systems

Policy, planning & development

Trade & regional cooperation

Education, Training & Capacity Building

International Tourism Law Institute

Projects Undertaken

Selected Projects undertaken by Atherton Advisory and its Directors.

24.0 Project name: Implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Development Plan 2003-2004.
Location: Saudi Arabia Client: Supreme Commission for Tourism (SCT)
Position: Senior Advisor, Director of the Laws & Regulations Program.
Time spent:
19 months . Description: Senior Advisor to the SCT for the implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Development Plan and Director of the Laws & Regulations Program which is drafting the laws and regulations required to establish the institutional and regulatory framework for tourism in accordance with the plan.
Services provided (selected):
24.1. As Senior Advisor assisting the SCT to mobilize and introduce the institutional changes, systems, procedures and methods required to establish SCT as an operational national tourism administration using a state of the art private/public partnership approach.
24.2. As Director of the Laws  & Regulations Program, in charge of an in house team of 5 lawyers including three national counterparts  responsible for the legal work across the full range of tourism law subject areas including SCT Statute and provincial tourism organizations, trade associations, tourism development corporations, general tourism law, travel agency laws, tour operator laws, tour guide laws, visa laws, hotel laws (including 5 star hotel classification system), furnished apartment laws, timeshare law,  passenger transport law, consumer protection, health, safety and licensing and quality assurance etc.
24.3. Work on each subject includes a review of existing national laws and regulations, building database,  review of international and other national best practice and recommended model, drafting the law, preparing discussion paper, consultation, preparing policy paper and assisting with enactment.
24.4. Training and capacity buildingduring the work including a comprehensive in house course on International Tourism law covering international and best practice national laws on all subject areas.
See Supreme Commission for Tourism, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

23.0      Project: Uniform Traveller Accommodation Law for Australian States and Territories, 2003
Location: Australia(Sydney)   Client: Inter-Governmental Committee on National Innkeepers Legislation, Australian Government Standing Committee on Tourism (ASCOT)
Position: Consultant    Time spent: 2 months
Services provided:
Researched and prepared discussion paper on international law and best practice on the regulation of hotels and other providers of accommodation to travelers including review of UNIDROIT, IH&RA, WTO and other initiatives, comparative study of OPEC country laws, review of each Australian state and Territory law and recommendations for the uniform law.  Recommendations adopted by the Committee and being incorporated into proposed uniform law. 

22.0     Project name: Sustainable Tourism Development Planning 2000-2002.
Location: Saudi Arabia Client: Supreme Commission for Tourism (SCT)
Senior Advisor, Program Manager. Time spent: 30 months
Description: Senior Advisor to the SCT, the organization established by the Council of Ministers to open up and develop the tourism industry in Saudi Arabia. Program Manager for the Sustainable Tourism Development Plan, considered one of the world's largest projects of its type.
Services provided (selected):

22.1. Program Manager for the Sustainable Tourism Development Project for Saudi Arabia considered one of the largest and most challenging national tourism planning projects ever undertaken.
22.2. Designed and conducted workshops of stakeholders to explain, review and adopt the best practice approach to sustainable tourism development planning.
22.3. Designed and drafted the TOR and settled the terms through a consultation process involving more than 1000 stakeholders.
22.4. Designed and drafted the RFQ, RFP and contracts and managed the selection, shortlisting, evaluation and engagement of numerous international and local consultants and firms in accordance with World Bank guidelines.
22.5. Coordinated and managed specialist internal and external teams of experts across all disciplines comprising more than 100 consultants.
22.6. Managed the data collection, research, best practice, consultation, drafting, review and approval program for each of the 16 technical output reports in the masterplan
22.7. Developed and applied modified MS Project software and systems to track, monitor, manage and report on progress on the project against rigorous resource, budget, time and quality criteria.
22.8. Professional guidance and input into each technical output including particularly tourism planning, organization, laws and regulation.
22.9. Member of the Steering Committee which reviewed and approved each output according to a rigorous QA system. 
22.10.  Senior Advisor to the SCT on key strategic, organizational, technical, legal and policy issues throughout.
Progress: Under the project, the 20 Year Masterplan and the 5 year Action Plan have been completed and approved by the SCT board and are now being implemented.

See Supreme Commission for Tourism, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

21.0     Project name: Strengthening Tourism Planning CAM 3200, 1999-2000.
Location: Cambodia Client: Asian Development Bank / Ministry of Tourism Position: Team Leader,  Time spent: 4 months
Description: Developed the legal framework and designed the standards and quality assurance systems in Cambodia for sustainable international tourism together with a range of other tasks designed to strengthen tourism planning.
Services provided included:
21.1. Laws. Drafted laws on organisation and functions of Ministry, national/ regional tourism plans/policy, regulation of tourism/entertainment sector, licensing and standards for each subsector including hotels, resorts, restaurants, cruise boats, massage parlours, karoake bars, casinos, tour guides. Reviewed other national/international laws affecting sustainable tourism and identified further action required to develop the legal framework.
21.2. Standards. Reviewed industry standards and problems, designed quality assurance system to raise standards including 5 star international hotel classification scheme.
21.3. Industry associations. Undertook measures to strengthen industry associations and assist affiliation with international associations to bring international regulations and codes of practice into force in Cambodia.
21.4. Training. Designed and delivered seminars for industry and government on international tourism law and key issues for emerging destinations like Cambodia. Identified skills required and designed training programs on the laws, standards, hotel classification and quality assurance system.
21.5. Web site. Developed specification, cost estimates, implementation program, revenue earning and cost sharing arrangements. 
21.6. Tourism Development Plan.  Prepared tourism development plan for Preah Vihea, an ancient temple complex located in a former Khmer Rouge battlefield on the Cambodian/ Thai border. The site is attracting many visitors now peace has returned and World Heritage listing is proposed.  Plan includes a strategy for developing infrastructure and facilities for tourism and protection and presentation of the site together with an action plan to secure private sector investment. 
21.7. Official representative offices in foreign countries. Reviewed proposals and Ministry needs and interests, prepared negotiating guidelines and standard agreements for appointing and managing representative offices. 
21.8. Plan for further institutional strengthening. Identified and prioritized areas needing further institutional strengthening and prepared a proposal and action plan.
21.9. Other services. Advised on aviation policy, casino taxing, marketing, regional issues, planning and development, drafted speeches and media releases.
See Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia

20.0 Project name: International Tourism Law: codes, customs, conventions and practice Australia 1995 - present
Location: Australia (Sydney)   Client: International Tourism Law Institute (ITLI) Position: Project Director.   Time spent: 1 year
  Comprehensive collection of the international regulatory materials governing the tourism and travel industry published to provide a valuable research resource for industry, government and academia worldwide. Collection is being further developed and published on line and in print.
Services provided
: Researched, collected, assembled and organised the materials and oversees the research, presentation, publication and education activities.
 See International Tourism Law Institute

19.0 Project name: Education, training, capacity building, governance, 1991-continuing
Location: Australia Client: Various Universities, Training Government & Industry Orgs.
Position: Professor, lecturer, course developer presenter and coordinator.  Time spent: 3 years equivalent
Services provided
: Developed and taught numerous programs in law and regulation particularly business law, land law, transport law, tourism travel and hospitality law.
See now International Tourism Law Institute

18.0 Project name: Hong Kong Trade and Development Council Review, 1999
Location: Australia (Sydney), Hong Kong  Client: HK Trade and Development Council
Position: Team Leader, Oceania Region,  Time spent: 1 month
Services provided
by Trevor Atherton (through PwC) included: Responsible for the Oceania regional office review as part of a global team which undertook a fundamental review of Hong Kong’s inward investment promotion program in the face of the competition which Hong Kong now faces and changing political and economic trends.

17.0 Project name: Arbitration, Mediation, Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution 1991-2004
Location: Australia, Africa, Asia   Client: Various 
 Position: Advisor  Time spent: FT equivalent 24 months
Services provided:
17.1. Mediation and settlement of numerous disputes including SME partnership disputes, building disputes, land title disputes, 1996-2002.
17.2. Negotiation of numerous agreements including joint ventures, tenders, developments, partnerships, joint ventures, shareholder agreements, land ownership, leases, easements, and government approvals, incentives, licences and concessions 1982-2004.
17 .3. Research, teaching and authorship on arbitration, mediation and negotiation particularly in relation to air service agreements, hotel management agreements, tourism development in World Heritage and sensitive areas 1994-2000.

16.0 Project: Traveller Accommodation Providers Act for Queensland, 1996-2000
Location: Australia  (Brisbane, Sydney)   Client: Queensland Government  
Position: Consultant    Time spent: 2 months
Services provided: Researched and prepared discussion paper and recommendations for reform of innkeepers' laws in Queensland. Reviewed and advised on issues raised in consultation and assisted in drafting amendments.   Adopted and enacted into law
Now being considered as a model for a uniform national scheme.

15.0 Project name: Transactions including hotel management agreements, hotel and resort sales, purchase, leases due diligence and project appraisal 1980 -2004
Location:Australia, Asia   Client: Various
   Position: Advisor  Time spent: FT equivalent 48 months
Services provided include:

15.1. Advised and acted for the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia on numerous tourism transactions providing vendors due diligence, tender, appraisal, negotiation and legal documentation. Projects fro 1994-1999 included: Four Seasons Hotel, Angkor; Club Med, Sihanoukville; Meridien Hotel,Angkor; Naga Island Resort, Sihanoukville; Takiev Island Resort, Sihanoukville; Royal Gardens Hotel, Angkor; Chedi Hotel, Angkor; King Gardens Golf Course and Country Club; Sihanoukville development Masterplan; Integrated Resort Masterplan, O Chheu Teal Beach Cambodia; Royal Cambodian Country Club, Phnom Penh; Ecotourism resort, Sihanoukville
15.2 Advised and acted for numerous Australian clients on tourism transactions including vendor and purchaser, due diligence, tender, bids, appraisal, negotiation and legal documentation. Projects include due diligence review and compliance audit on Hyatt Coolum Integrated Resort, Sunshine Coast 1998, vendors due diligence and international tender sale of the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney 1987, developers bid for privatisation and tourism redevelopment of Manly Council carpark including foreign investment approvals, developers strata title, leaseback and hotel management agreement for Sovereign apartment development, Gold Coast 1995.

14.0 Project name: Land title including native title, stratA title and land title for tourism development 1982-2004
Location: Australia, Africa, Asia Client: Various  
Position: Advisor  Time spent: FT equivalent 24 months
Services provided include:
14.1. Strata title conversion and redevelopment on various projects in Queensland and NSW 1982-2004
14.2. Advice to the Cambodian Government on land title system for tourism development including the design and drafting and implementation of a comprehensive development lease system government leases to the private sector and design of a proposed torrens style registered title system for Tourism Development Zones, 1994-1998.
14.3. Expert evidence and submissions to numerous inquiries into native title, atrata title and title for tourism development 1992-2003
14.4. In house training seminars to Baker & McKenzie on native title 1998.
14.5. Advice to various projects on native title including mining, utilities and tourism development projects, leases and licences through Baker & McKenzie, 1998-1989.
14.6. Research, teaching and authorship on land title and native title including development leases, native title, strata title and integrated resort development law, 1994-2000.
14.7. Queensland, Designed and implemented the land title system for the Dolphin Heads integrated resort town project including easements, leases, covenants and strata title. 1982-1990

13.0 Project name: Air transport privatisation, investment, development, law and policy, 1987-2000
Location: Australia, Europe, North America, Asia   Client: Various
 Position: Advisor  Time spent: FT equivalent 12 months
Services provided: include
13.1 Advice to the Ministry of Tourism Cambodia on numerous projects including:  Privatisation of Royal Air Cambodge 1994,  Pochentong International Airport tender Phnom Penh 1995,  Sihanoukville International airport 1994-96,  Siem Reap Airport 1996; Global airport and free trade zone 1995-1996; Aviation open skies & related policies, 1999.
13.2 Advice to Qantas on travel agency including IATA resolutions, GST and contractual arrangements and in house training seminars on aviation law and policy, 1998.
13.3. Expert evidence and submissions to numerous inquiries into air transport, deregulation, privatisation, competition law. 1992-2001.
13.4 Research, teaching and authorship on aviation law and policy including carrier liability, consumer protection, air service agreements, competition law and deregulation 1994-2000.
13.5 Reviewed the arrangements and advised a general sales agent on their rights and responsibilities following the collapse of an international carrier leaving a substantial number of travellers stranded in Europe, 1998.
13.6 Reviewed and advised on the booking conditions and terms and conditions of carriage for an air charter operator between Canada and Australia via Hawaii and New Zealand, 1998.
13.7 Queensland, Co-Chairman of the Local Ownership Committee, which negotiated the acquisition and redevelopment of Mackay Airport by the Mackay Port Authority, 1987-1990

12.0 Project name: Removing regulatory barriers to sustainable tourism development, 1998-1999
Location: Southern Africa (14 countries), Australia, USA Client: World Travel & Tourism Council / World Bank
Position: Project Director,  Time spent: 7 months
Description: WTTC/WB project to remove regulatory barriers and to promote and facilitate foreign investment, privatisation, infrastructure and sustainable development in tourism in emerging market economies in Southern Africa. Services provided:  Comparative study of the regulatory systems and barriers to sustainable tourism development in 14 Southern African countries. The study included a review of the tourism, travel and investment laws of emerging market economies, liaison with key World Bank agencies on grants, loans, guarantees and other assistance required to facilitate projects in developing countries. 
See now SCDC Trade Industry & Investment Review, 2004

11.0 Project name: Hawaii Tourism Authority Competitive Strategic Assessment 1999
Location: Australia (Sydney), New Zealand, Hawaii    Client: Hawaii Tourism Authority
Position: Team Leader (Oceania Region),  Time spent: 2 months
Services provided by Trevor Atherton (through PwC) included: Responsible for the Oceania major market area and competitive destination analysis as part of global team.  Project involved literature review, consultations with industry, data collection and analysis, identification of potential strategic directions. See Hawaii Tourism Authority:

10.0 Project name: Fiji international airport and tourism development project 1999
Location: Australia (Sydney),Fiji Client: Native Land Trust Board
Position: Project Director,  Time spent: 2 months
Services provided
by Trevor Atherton (through PwC) included: Designed and instigated a proposal for major tourism development project for native title lands on an outer island. See existing resort

9.0 Project name: Whitsunday Ecotourism Resort Queensland Australia 1997
Location: Australia (Sydney, Whitsundays)   Client: Geravale Holdings Pty Ltd
Position: Legal and Development Advisor,  Time spent: 1.5 months
Services provided by Trevor Atherton (through Baker & McKenzie) included: Acted for the purchaser and advised on the development concept and authority approvals for a world class ecotourism resort in North Queensland. See WoodwarkBay:

8.0 Project name: Angkor Tourism Development Zone Masterplan, 1995-1997
Location: Cambodia (Siem Reap), Malaysia    Client: Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia
Legal and investment advisor (Project Team Leader)  Time spent: 18 months
Masterplan sponsored by Malaysian public company for a 1000 hectare integrated tourism development zone to serve the Angkor World Heritage Site. 
Services provided handled the negotiations and documentation for the Ministry of Tourism including the MOU, joint venture agreement, land titling, development standards and procedures. Project did not proceed for other reasons.  See now the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the region of Siem Reap:

7.0 Project name:Tourism privatisation and development, Cambodia, 1995-1997
Location: Cambodia   Client:  Ministry of Tourism
Position: Law, Investment and Development Advisor  Time spent: 1 year
Description: Continued the advice and assistance required by the MoT on tourism privatization, investment and development in the transition from communism to a market economy. 
Services provided Advice and assistance on privatisation of the tourism sector and in the identification, appraisal, planning, financing, investment and development of over US$1billion of tourism projects. Dealt with leading investors, developers, operators, managers and consultants from all over the world including all ASEAN countries, negotiated, drafted and implemented agreements between MoT and investors. Projects included award winning grand historic hotel restoration and development projects: see Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor
and Raffles Hotel Le Royal  see:

6.0 Project name : Preliminary Assistance on Tourism Development, Cambodia 1994
Location: Cambodia    Client: UNDP/WTO
Position: Law and Investment Consultant  Time spent: 7 months
Description: UN sponsored program to provide technical assistance on tourism planning and development in the transition from communism to a market economy. 
Services provided:
6.1. Advice and assistance on establishing an investment law, incentives and procedures for tourism development, privatisation, attracting investment, quality assurance  and organising the development of hotels, airports and other tourism facilities.
6.2 Reviewed the regulatory framework for tourism and investment; advised on and drafted laws, policies and procedures for privatization, tourism investment, licensing  and development; assisted the MoT in negotiations with developers and the review, appraisal and documentation of tourism investment and development  projects. See Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia

5.0 Project name: International tender for Naga Island casino resort and international airport,Sihanoukville Cambodia, 1994
Location: Cambodia (Sihanoukville) Client: UNDP/WTO /Ministry of Tourism Position: Project Team Leader  Time spent: 3 months
Services provided
  Very large project for development of new destination comprising an island resort, international airport, sea port and extensive infrastructure.  Work included formulation of the casino policy, design of  commercial terms and incentives of the investment package, international tender documentation including casino law, lease, development agreement and specification, international marketing and promotion, evaluation of bids, recommendation, negotiation and documentation of winning tender.  See Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia

4.0 Project name: International comparative study on tourism carrying capacity and management in World Heritage areas, 1993-1995
Location: Australia, France (Paris) and 30 participating countries  Client: UNEP Position: Environmental/sustainable development specialist  Time spent: 3 months
Services provided:  Conducted an international study of the management of tourism in World Heritage Sites. Tasks included: literature and document reviews, a survey of natural World Heritage Sites, organisation of an international workshop of Site managers and international experts, reports on management approaches to tourism, factors limiting tourism and tourist carrying capacity.  See now Guidelines for Sustainable tourism in Protected Areas:

3.0 Project name: Ecotourism Strategy for Queensland,Australia 1993-4
Location: Australia  (Brisbane)  Client: Queensland Government, Tourism Policy Bureau
Position: Ecotourism specialist  Time spent: 3 months
Services provided
Prepared a discussion paper and advised on developing a strategy for ecotourism for the Queensland including a review of the relevant state, national and international laws and policies on ecotourism, analysis of key issues and opportunities.  See Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2003-2008

2.0 Project name: Dolphin Heads Resort, North Queensland, Australia 1981-1991
Australia (Mackay)  Client: Dolphin Heads Developments Pty Ltd
Position: Managing Director (Project Team Leader)  Time spent: FT equivalent 5 years Services provided Project manager and principal advisor in the planning, financing, development, management and operation of the integrated tourist resort project. (Also known as Whitsunday Waters Resort) See:

1.0 Project name: Regional Tourist Authority corporatisation and turnaround, Queensland Australia 1983-1990
Location:Australia (Mackay, Whitsunday)  Client: Mackay Whitsunday Tourism Council (later Tourism Mackay Inc)
: Chairman  (Project Team Leader)  Time spent: full time equivalent 2 years
One of Queensland’s key regional tourism authorities representing a diverse region comprising 7 local government areas offering World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef islands, rainforest, beaches, tourist resort towns, national parks and the outback on the north Queensland coast 
Services provided
  Reorganised and corporatised the authority introducing proper management and accounting systems.  Developed and implemented a highly successful 5 year strategic plan for tourism in the region in consultation and cooperation with local government, industry and other stakeholders on a public/private partnership basis.  Developed extensive marketing, promotion, tourist information, travel agency, tour operation and souvenir operations to generate revenue, develop product and market the attractions and facilities of the region as a destination. Net assets increased from -$100,000 to +$700,000, turnover grew from zero to over $1m pa. See now Mackay Tourism Limited: and Whitsunday Tourism:

Australian accommodation