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Saturday, February 25, 2017

4 Reasons Why Tassie Is Australia's Top Tourism Destination

It seems folk just can't get enough of Tassie. Not that long ago it was hard to find a good coffee across Bass Strait. Now we've got a premier walk that takes you along the world's edge. We're turning heads at national awards. Millennials are chattering Tassie escapes, racing to get here first. There's even a touch of rush-hour traffic in our capital. And by the way, there's some mighty fine coffee here.

Last night, on the national stage, Tasmania humbly accepted gold across five categories at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards. Not only that, Tasmania collected seven silver, two bronze and The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel was inducted into the Hall of Fame. What's more, Tassie picked up the most awards out of every state. Such is Tasmania's allure that Roy Morgan Research has just delivered hard evidence. Hobart now outranks Perth and Brisbane as a capital city holiday destination Australians want to visit. Come Monday, Tasmania is quietly hoping that the film Lion will bring home an Oscar.  

Tourism Tasmania's CEO John Fitzgerald said "Tasmania has had another fantastic year for tourism and our popularity shows no signs of letting up as a record number of Australian and overseas visitors discover the people, the produce, the places, the stories and the experiences that make Tasmania such an exciting travel destination”

“I am really excited that we could back up our last two award-winning years with another outstanding performance at this year's Australian Tourism Awards. It reconfirms the quality of Tasmania's tourism and hospitality businesses and the amazing holiday experiences they provide for our visitors - the kind of experiences that our visitors keep returning for and talk about with their friends and family members long afterwards,” he said.

Here's a look at why Tasmania tops the list of great Australian tourism experiences. But don't take our word for it, you be the judge.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sydney's newest hotel brand – Veriu Hotels & Suites

Veriu Broadway to open in April 2017

Sydney is set to welcome a new hotel brand – Veriu Hotels & Suites – with the opening of a 64-room serviced apartment hotel, Veriu Broadway, in April 2017.  The hotel is part of a pipeline of five hotels set to open under the Veriu brand by the end of 2018.

Veriu Broadway is an $18 million conversion of a former warehouse space offering self-contained studios, each over 40 square metres, and one and two bedroom split level apartments.  Ideally located close to the International Convention Centre, the hotel will provide 24-hour reception with staff trained as local area guides plus on-site food & beverage in keeping with the precinct's contemporary café and bar offerings.  

Veriu Hotels is a fresh new bespoke hotel brand on the Sydney landscape created by property and hospitality specialists Alex Thorpe and Rhys Williams.  Having successfully developed a long stay accommodation business, Furnished Property, in 2002, Thorpe and Williams have now moved into the hotel space to create a portfolio of hotels with a diverse mix of heritage and new developments, all located in Sydney's thriving city fringe locations.

"We have been providing long stay style self-contained accommodation for 16 years under Furnished Property, where we developed a passion for sharing 'local'. We created Veriu because we saw no reason why a hotel brand can't provide that authentic local experience backed up by traditional hotel services, excellent customer service and attention to detail in rooms," says Veriu Director, Rhys Williams.

Veriu Broadway will be the marquee hotel for the brand following its first foray into the market with the successful opening of Veriu Camperdown – a new build all-suite hotel which opened in March 2016.

"Camperdown was our first test and it was amazing to bring the brand to life in such a vibrant area. You only need to look at places like Deus Cafe and Camperdown Commons to see what local business can deliver and we want accommodation to be a part of this," says Williams.

The current network is complemented by a pipeline of hotel developments to take place under the Veriu brand by the end of 2018, including:

Veriu Randwick (35 rooms) opening April 2017

Veriu Central (110 rooms) opening early 2018

Veriu Green Square (142 rooms) opening late 2018

Veriu specialises in operating sites with 20-120 rooms in CBD and city fringe areas with capacity to go larger if the location is right.

"Having some flagship CBD sites supported by a number of smaller satellite local properties in the city fringe is central to our strategy.  We make it happen in areas and buildings where the global brands may be less interested," says Veriu Director, Alex Thorpe.

To date the Veriu model has focused on Lease agreements but both Thorpe and Williams believe one of their strengths is their ability to adapt to all types of development models including potential for franchise or managed hotel agreements in the future.  The group is also open to placing its own equity in development joint ventures with selected capital partners operated by Veriu.  One such partner is ASX listed property funds manager Folkstone Group, which will launch a fund in March to raise $22.5 million of third-party capital to finance the 142-room Green Square hotel development in conjunction with Veriu, slated for a 2018 opening.

In celebration of individuality, Veriu have created a bespoke collection of hotels and suites, each with its own distinct personality and style. All different – and yet all the same in their commitment to providing true and genuine service, a superb location and at the end of the day, a great night's sleep.

"We have seen Sydney emerge as a city of villages and we want to share the uniqueness of Sydney's diversity through the Veriu brand in areas like Camperdown, Broadway, Green Square and Surry Hills. These villages really excite us for the leisure market but equally corporates want these bespoke experiences."

With an authentic local experiences paramount to the Veriu ethos, guests will also receive complimentary drinks and snacks from local area operators and local artists are also engaged to incorporate designs based on the genuine character of the building and neighbourhood.

"Beyond this, we want our guests to move freely through our properties so we have developed a unique concept called "Veriu Connect".  This allows any Veriu guest to drop into one of our other locations, flash a room card and have a complimentary locally sourced drink and ask the concierge about the best places to explore.  You could cover the best of Sydney just by visiting the Veriu network of properties," says Williams.

Guests will be able to discover their surroundings with use of the hotel's complimentary 'explorer bicycles' – a service that will be offered in all future Veriu hotels.  Other complimentary offerings common to all Veriu properties include a welcome drink, WiFi and in-room tunes via Smart TV technology.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Nanuku named as one of South Pacific's top 25 hotels

Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji has once again been recognised for its superior service receiving a much coveted TripAdviser 'Travelers Choice' award.

Based on reviews and opinions received from literally millions of international travellers, this latest accolade recognises the Pacific Harbour-based resort as being among the top 25 hotels – both large and small - in the South Pacific for its luxury and service elements.

The award builds on a TripAdvisor 'Certificate of Excellence for Superior Service', Nanuku received in 2016.

The resort is again in the running to win a much sought-after 'Best Dining Experience' title at this year's 'Fiji Excellence in Tourism' awards for the second time having won the prestigious award in 2016.

Paying tribute to the Nanuku team for the efforts they go to in ensuring the resort continues to receive these accolades, a delighted Director of Sales & Marketing, Shashita Nand said after client recognition, industry acknowledgement was highly appreciated.

"We are extremely honored to have received this accolade," Ms Nand said.,

"Being recognized as one of the top 25 hotels in the South Pacific is  huge recognition when you take into account the number of luxury resorts and properties in the region these days."

For further information visit

Regent Seven Seas Cruises - New 2018-19 Cruises

Set forth on a luxurious journey of a lifetime with Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The world's most inclusive luxury cruise line today announced its April 2018 through to April 2019 voyage collection, comprising 113 alluring itineraries aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, and the newly launched Seven Seas Explorer. These four ships will call at some of the most fascinating destinations in the world, among which are 28 maiden ports and 23 breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage sites. Guests will immerse themselves in cultures, cuisines and traditions with the line's free unlimited shore excursions on all voyages and through included three-night, pre- or post-cruise land programmes on Asia and Africa sailings. Throughout, each staff and crew member delivers exceptional, personalised service to every guest, for which Regent Seven Seas Cruises is world renowned.

World's Most Luxurious Ship Returns to Europe and Inaugurates Africa Voyages

Launched in July 2016 and recognised as the most luxurious ship ever built™, Seven Seas Explorer returns to Europe for a second consecutive summer season in May 2018. The ship will sail throughout the Mediterranean, North and Baltic Seas on 7- to 12-night voyages and make maiden calls at Portimao, Portugal; Lysekil, Sweden; and Bodo and Haugesund, Norway.

Seven Seas Explorer then commences its maiden Africa season on two epic voyages that showcase the continent's west coast, a 24-night, Lisbon (Portugal)-to-Cape Town (South Africa) itinerary, followed by a 15-night, round-trip New Year's voyage. The ship then heads west to South America for its vibrant rhythms, colours and cultures as it rounds the horn to Los Angeles via the western coast.

Chic Mediterranean and Authentic Caribbean

Seven Seas Voyager will also sail the Mediterranean in summer 2018, with many 7-night itineraries that include calls at some of the region's most chic destinations, as well as maiden calls at Korcula and Hvar, Croatia; Saint-Raphael, France; Lipari, Sicily, Italy. The ship will winter in the Caribbean, alternating 7- to 12-night, Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, which travellers can combine to immerse themselves in the region. New Caribbean ports-of-call for the line are picturesque Port Antonio, Jamaica, as well as Charlestown, Nevis, the birthplace of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Remote Wonders of the Pacific and Australia

Seven Seas Mariner will offer a variety of adventures throughout the Pacific, starting with Alaska in summer 2018. The ship then charts the South Pacific to Asia and Australia, presenting the grand cities and historic, cultural landmarks of the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia, and calling at Broome, and Oarai, Japan, for the first time. From Sydney, travellers can join Seven Seas Mariner on the Grand Aussie Adventure, a new 36-night circumnavigation of the continent, sailing Dec. 15, 2018.

Grand Arctic, Canada and New England, and the World

Regent Seven Seas Cruises' most intimate ship, Seven Seas Navigator, will offer three very distinct programmes, starting with an 89-night, Grand Arctic Splendour voyage that begins and ends in New York. The Grand Artic Splendour voyage is comprised of six sailings that call at 63 non-repeating destinations in Canada and New England, Greenland and Iceland, North and Baltic Seas, as well as into the Arctic Circle to reach the White Sea. On this adventure, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, and Archangel, Russia, will be maiden ports.

The ship will then sail a range of unforgettable Canada and New England cruises between New York and Montréal to showcase the autumn foliage and exciting cities of Quebec and the Northeast U.S.

To kick off 2019, Seven Seas Navigator will embark on Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 13th World Cruise, an epic 131-night adventure that calls at 62 unique ports across the Hawaii Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, Asia and the Mediterranean. Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 2019 World Cruise is comprised of seven distinct itineraries, calling at 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and making maiden calls at Kingfisher Bay (Fraser Island), Australia; Makassar (Sulawesi), Indonesia; and Puerto Princesa, Philippines.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world's most inclusive luxury cruise line with a four-ship fleet that visits more than 425 destinations around the globe. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is currently undergoing a US$125 million fleet wide enhancement programme that will elevate the level of elegance found throughout the fleet to the standard set by Seven Seas Explorer, which entered service on July 20, 2016, and has since been recognised as the most luxurious ship ever built™. A leader in luxury cruising, the line's fares include all-suite accommodation, free unlimited shore excursions, free unlimited WIFI, highly personalised service, free unlimited beverages including fine wine and premium spirits, free specialty restaurants,  free pre-paid gratuities and a 1-night pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in concierge-level suites and higher.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises' new 2018/19 voyages are now open for reservations. For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises or specific itineraries, please contact a professional travel agent; visit; or call 1300 455 200 (Australia) or 0800 625 692 (New Zealand).


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

TripAdvisor reveals top hotels across Australia

Pinetrees Lodge of Lord Howe Island is #1 in Australia;

TripAdvisor®, the travel planning and booking site, today announced the winners of its Travellers’ Choice® for Hotels awards. Travellers’ Choice award winners were determined based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide.

In the 15th year of the awards, TripAdvisor has highlighted the world’s top 7, 607 properties in 109 countries and eight regions worldwide, in the categories of Top Hotels Overall, Luxury, Bargain, Small, Service, B&Bs and Inns, Romance and Family.

“From island resorts, traditional guest houses to heritage hotels, the Travellers’ Choice Hotel Awards highlights the fantastic array of accommodation across Australia and the world for travellers to enjoy”, said Joanne Kershaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “The hallmarks of Travellers’ Choice hotels winners are remarkable service, value and quality. Travellers looking to be inspired with amazing hotels to visit in 2017 should start with these award winners when researching and booking their next holiday on TripAdvisor.”

Australian winner Luke Hanson, co-owner of Pinetrees Lodge said, “We are absolutely delighted to have been named number 1 on TripAdvisor! For a small lodge on Lord Howe Island, we’re mixing it with some serious hotels. While they have an edge on us with pillow menus, lap pools, 24 hour room service and on-demand movies, we have the Lord Howe Island Lagoon, world-class adventure activities, an organic market garden, sensational food and a love for genuine service. It’s TripAdvisor that helps to get our name and reputation out there!”

Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Hotels across Australia:

1.       Pinetrees Lodge – Lord Howe Island – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $929 per night. Most affordable month to visit: September ($796)
Located on the Lord Howe Lagoon, Pinetrees Lodge is one of Australia’s oldest family businesses. Sixth generation owner Dani Rourke and her husband Luke Hanson, run the largest of the traditional guest houses on Lord Howe, which has provided families, couples, and adventurers with a unique ‘sand between your toes’ holiday since the 1890s.  According to TripAdvisor users, the lodge is widely acknowledged for “excellent food”, “exceptional” service and relaxing spa treatments. Travellers can also discover world-class diving, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, walks and relaxation on one of Australia’s most beautiful islands.
·         Three reasons to book Pinetrees Lodge: Family-friendly lodge, first-class efficient staff, variety of outdoor activities.

2.       Ovolo Woolloomooloo – Sydney, New South Wales – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $368 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($280)
Stretched along the longest timber-piled wharf in the world, the hotel is situated over the picturesque Sydney Harbour. Ovolo Woolloomooloo features contemporary design elements and furnishings that complement the original fixtures of a heritage building. Each of the 100 rooms and suites tell a unique Australian story through a series of art pieces infused into the interior design features. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Can’t speak more highly of this little jewel. We had a loft room which was extremely spacious. The staff treated you like family and the "Free Stuff" included - Free Breakfast, Free Happy Hour and Free Mini Bar. So central yet out of the hustle and bustle.”

· Three reasons to book Ovolo Woolloomooloo: Superb location, free mini-bar, unique design features

“TripAdvisor reviews are crucial to us here at Ovolo Woolloomooloo so we can continue to offer the best experience for each and every guest,” said Adam Taloni, General Manager, Ovolo Woolloomooloo. “We are thrilled to see that we have entered the awards for the first time this year and within the top two! A fantastic accolade to start off 2017 for our hotel and all our team members.”

3.       Park Hyatt Sydney – Sydney, New South Wales – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $951 per night. Most affordable month to visit: June ($848)
The Park Hyatt Sydney is not only located on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours but is also between the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The hotel’s architecture, art and design reflect the Australian landscape. Other highlights of the property include floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to private balconies in all their 155 guestrooms, 24-hour butler service and a day spa with rooftop pool and sundeck. “Wonderful hotel and view with fantastic staff. Always receive wonderful service and attention with the highest details. Highly recommended. Always attentive and attending to all your needs. Always my first and only choice when visiting Sydney” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.

· Three reasons to book Park Hyatt Sydney: Harbour front views, proximity to good local restaurants, 24 hour butler service

4.       Qualia Resort – Hamilton Island – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $1,143 per night. Most affordable month to visit: February ($1,010)
Qualia Resort lies at the northern tip of Hamilton Island, in a private hideaway that can only be accessed by guests of the resort. Each of Qualia’s 60 light-filled pavilions faces the water, as well as being surrounded by lush tropical bush land. Everything in the resort has been carefully designed and considered, to make each travellers trip one of pure relaxation and sensory indulgence.  One TripAdvisor reviewer said, “Qualia Resort is one of those properties that has great customer service, great food and a great property. You are made to feel like a king and a queen while you are there. The staff are extremely professional towards their work and treat everybody as an individual.” 

· Three reasons to book Qualia Resort: Unique and blissful spa treatments, fine dining, location and atmosphere.

5.       Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour – Darling Harbour, Sydney – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $259 per night. Most affordable month to visit: July ($224)
Only a stone’s throw away from Darling Harbour and designed with Instagrammers in mind, any traveller who stays at the Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour will find plenty of photo opportunities at every corner. Guests can enjoy “comfy beds”, complimentary in-room snacks and breakfast. “This hotel focuses entirely on user experience. I was blown away with the attention to detail from the hip decorations to the inclusion of an Apple TV in every room. This is what every hotel should be like. Thanks for an awesome stay!” said one TripAdvisor reviewer.  

· Three reasons to book Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour: Avant garde design, free happy-hour and mini bar, central location

6.       East Hotel – Canberra – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $194 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($170)
Situated between the vibrant hubs of Kingston and Manuka in Canberra's prestigious "Inner South", East is an ideal base for a visit to the capital. If you want to explore the area like a local, cruiser bikes are available complimentary for guests. The hotel also is located in close proximity to restaurants, bars and supermarkets. One TripAdvisor reviewer noted, “Great hotel in a fantastic location. Beds were so comfy, rooms were large and clean, the hotel was within walking or riding distance to restaurants and bars. Being able to borrow bikes was excellent”.

· Three reasons to book East Hotel: Cruiser bikes, complimentary lollies and fruit, ideal location for exploring Canberra

7.       Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments – Kununurra, Western Australia – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $209 per night. Most affordable month to visit: December ($185)
Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments is located amongst beautiful tropical gardens and provides an ideal relaxing environment for a stay in Kununurra. These self-catering apartments offer quality and comfort and are acknowledged as “new, spacious and well appointed” by TripAdvisor users. One reviewer noted that “the apartments have separate living and sleeping areas, kitchen facilities and they have a nice feel. Beds and pillows were comfortable. Definitely the best option in Kununurra.”

· Three reasons to book the Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments: Free Foxtel- including movie channels, complimentary airport transfers, private tropical outdoor shower.

8.       Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort – Cairns, Queensland – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $130 per night. Most affordable month to visit: March ($108)
Spread across 28 acres of tropical greenery, Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort caters to a variety of travellers and holiday makers with accommodation, camping and caravan options. There are also a variety of activities available for children and the young-at-heart including SPLASH waterpark, an adventure playground and numerous pools and spas. One TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “If you have children and are looking for a place to stay for a family holiday, this is the place for you! Plenty of entertainment for all the children - jumping pillows, pools and the famous waterpark. We have stayed here on multiple occasions and it has always been consistently excellent”.

· Three reasons to book the Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort: Family-friendly, complimentary chocolates, outdoor cinema

9.       Primus Hotel Sydney – Sydney, New South Wales – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $283 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($235)
Primus Hotel is a heritage hotel, offering guests a stay in what used to be the Sydney Water Board headquarters. Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD and in a 1930s Art Deco building, there are hints of history throughout the hotel, with Sydney Water’s insignia on the floor of the lobby entrance and the original bubblers left dotted throughout. Primus also features a signature rooftop pool and bar that is loved by guests from all over the world. “Put simply this is my new go to hotel is Sydney. Truly opulent with magnificent fit out throughout the entire hotel. The reception is a superbly old world fit out. The rooms are spectacular with awesome beds and a superior bathroom. Great gym with free weights and to-die-for pool and open bar area. A must stay” noted one TripAdvisor reviewer

· Three reasons to book Primus Hotel Sydney: Rooftop pool, centrally located, historical building

10.   Big4 Beacon Resort – Queenscliff, Victoria – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $143 per night. Most affordable month to visit: June ($123).
Big4 Beacon Resort offers a range of luxury cabins, villas and caravans for guests who want the vibe of the Aussie camping ground but without the camping. Located 90 minutes from the Melbourne CBD, the resort offers a day-spa, mountain bike hires for the neighbouring trails and a children’s clubhouse. “Our family has been staying at the Beacon for 28 years and we enjoy our stay more and more each time. Staff are friendly and helpful and we utilise all of the park facilities, even the Mud Day Spa was amazing and to top off our holiday we had a 6pm checkout. With an awesome beach just a short walk across the road our holiday is complete,” noted one TripAdvisor reviewer.

· Three reasons to book Big4 Beacon Resort: Health and Wellbeing packages, free supervised kids activity program, family-friendly

BIG, HUGE, MEGA Waterslide park for the Whitsundays


BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is thrilled to announce they are building one of Australia's largest resort waterslide parks, with a choice of 13 different twisting and turning water slides to take kids on a whole new adventure.


Designed for young families, there will be a fabulous choice of slides with different speeds, heights and lengths. The massive overall area of the waterslide park will be equivalent to an Olympic swimming pool and features mini slides including a frog and an octopus, tipping bucket, water features for toddlers and a 300mm deep splash pool.


Owner Greg McKinnon says, "my kids and I have been visiting water parks for years and I wanted to design a children's paradise for the Whitsundays. We've had great fun putting all the elements together. The slides come off two-metre-high elevated platforms, which are linked by bridges, and range in length from 17 metres to 23.2 metres. We have themed the colours of the waterslide park around the beautiful corals of the Great Barrier Reef."


With a perfect sub-tropical climate, families will be able to keep their cool and enjoy the entertainment all year round. The height and speed of the slides are designed for maximum enjoyment for young children. Parents will have peace of mind that their children are happily playing in a safe environment with their holiday buddies. The beauty of this new waterslide park facility is that all in-house guests will automatically receive complimentary admission.


BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is set amidst 26 acres of tropical gardens and already has a 32 metre lagoon style pool with two water slides and fountains along with a host of other facilities including two giant jumping pillows, 18-hole mini golf, outdoor cinema, tennis court, pedal carts and an Animal Park. It is a favourite destination even for local families who can't go past all there is on offer.


Construction of the waterslide park has now begun with the stone pitched boundary wall underway, with the entire project expected to be completed by April. The design and construction has been undertaken by a Townsville company, TQ Aquatics, who also built the existing lagoon style resort pool at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort.


Go to or phone 1300 640 587 if you would like more information on how to splash out on your next family holiday!



Thailand Projects Another Increase in Tourism Revenue for 2017

Thailand's appeal as a quality leisure destination continues to increase with tourism revenue for 2017 expected to exceed 2016's record US$46 billion, itself a 12% increase on 2015. The nation has enjoyed considerable growth from the European market, up almost 10 per cent in 2016, with visitors from the Americas increasing by over 13 per cent.

According to TAT Sydney Director, Rujiras Chatchalermkit; “With a continued marketing focus on immersive experiences such as wellness retreats, culinary experiences, eco-tourism and agro-tourism, TAT aims to move from the nation's previous appeal as a budget destination for young full moon party-goers, instead focussing on the increasing global demand for high-end quality tourism product. This focus on quality tourism has seen a move from simply counting visitor numbers to measuring tourism revenue.”

While the death of Thailand's much beloved king caused a temporary pause in the nation's year-round festivities, it's business as usual for most of Thailand's nightlife, festivals and events with only a slight drop in tourism numbers experienced over the short period in which festivities were cancelled out of respect for a nation's mourning.

Festivities have resumed however, with the first big event of the year about to take place. The Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF) returns to Bangkok's Lumpini Park to highlight the fun and fascinating attractions that can be enjoyed by tourists travelling in the kingdom. The Festival, which coincides with Chinese New Year 2017, will be held during 25-29 January, 2017, and is expected to attract over 650,000 visitors with 90 per cent of these visitors predicted to travel in Thailand in 2017. These trips could generate up to 400 million Baht in revenue.

The King's death has however, brought world attention to the many great achievements during his reign, and growing interest in the nation's Royal Projects, which fits well with TAT's focus for 2017 on promoting Creative Tourism through the Unique Thai Local Experiences to create memorable and invaluable holiday experience for tourists.

During his reign, the much-loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej initiated many Royal Projects around the country with an aim to look after Thailand's poorest people, share the country's wealth, and look after Thailand's natural resources.

“These Royal Projects offer tourists a new way of experiencing Thailand and of making a real grassroots connection with the kingdom's diverse people. All the Royal Projects welcome visitors, be it for a few hours or several days, and there is a diverse range of things to do. You could find yourself learning how to make a unique local dish, releasing fish into the Thai seas, feeding cattle or teaching the village children before spending a night under the roof of a local family. It's an experience many visitors will cherish years to come.”

Many major airlines service direct and indirect flights to Thailand, with over 60 direct flights and over 800 indirect flights departing Australia each week for Bangkok or Phuket.

“This capacity makes it easy and flexible for Australian travellers to plan their holiday to Thailand, even during peak holiday periods, another reason the destination remains one of Australia's favourites.”

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