Welcome to the hot or not travel news of the week, detailing the highs and lows of this weeks headlines.
by Milly Stilinovic
WHAT WAS HOT?
1. Our sunny coast lures a surge of international visitors
The Sunshine Coast is reportedly continuing its strong tourism recovery with solid growth in international arrivals up 1.8% for 12 months to June 30, compared with 2012-13 results.
The Coast reports an 8% growth in overall visitor nights and a substantial increase of 23.1% in international visitor expenditure to $214.5 million compared with the previous year.
The star international performer was the New Zealand market, which grew by 8.4% to establish it as the region’s number one international source market.
This aspiring growth has been considered the by-product of New Zealanders seeking out warmer weather.
2. Tok Tok experiences record-breaking crowds
|Pictured: Linda Kalpoi, General Manager of Vanuatu Tourism Office|
Tok Tok, Vanuatu Tourism Office’s annual tourism and trade show took place between the 26th and 30th of Ausgust. This year, its 11th, attracted record numbers to Port Vila, deeming the event a success.
Spear-heading the event was Linda Kalpoi, General Manager of Vanuatu Tourism Office and, for the second time round, The Commissioner General for the World Expo.
“Tok Tok means ‘talk’ so a perfect name for our business networking event,” she says.
Kalpoi hopes that the event will trigger a growth in the amount of product being promoted abroad, a renewal in commitment and passion from key stakeholders, along with building a stronger relationship between buyers and sellers.
“We want to reinforce that Vanuatu is more than one island,” she says.
3. Australia rated a ‘cheapie’ for bargain air travel
Berlin based travel search website, GoEuro, conducted a global transportation survey of 51 countries that examined the average price to travel per 100 kilometres.
While us locals think Australia rates high on the pricey airfare stakes, our sunburnt country came in as the fourth cheapest country in the world (when it comes to airfares).
First place was landed by India, whose travel market is subject to fierce competition and drastic undercutting.
WHAT WAS NOT?
1.Tax hikes in Rome sees operators up in arms
Travellers to Rome can expect to pay higher room taxes after the Italian Government approved the hike a few weeks ago, leaving tour operators in the lurch to absorb charges.
Tour operators were only given a month’s notice and were unable to pass on charges to travellers who have already booked packages.
Visitors staying in a five-star hotel will pay €7 per person per night on top of their room rate, up from €3. For those staying in a four-star hotel the figure is now €6 (up from €3); those in three-star accommodation will now be charged €4 (up from €2); travellers in one- and two-star hotels must now pay €3 (up from €2).
The tax will be collected at the end of a hotel stay, and visitors to youth hostels are exempt from the charge, while those in b&b accommodation pay €3.50.
2. Newly state-owned Malaysian Airlines announces 6000 job cuts
While investigators continue the hunt for MH370 and resume their inquiry into the fatal MH17 air crash in eastern Ukraine, Malaysian Airlines has announced it will begin its recovery plan.
The recovery plan has several contingencies. Firstly, the airline will fall under complete state ownership and a new Chief Executive will be announced.
The $1.9 billion (US) plan will also see 6000 workers made redundant, which equates to almost 30% of the company’s entire work force.
Lastly, long haul routes will be discontinued in the hope that the Airline will rekindle its profitability by 2018.
3. Travel restrictions to intensify due to Ebola crisis
The Ebola haemorrhagic fever, that reached epidemic levels in August, has struck Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Guinea.
Now, new travel restrictions are set to be put in place which could limit the amount of medical supplies sent to affected areas – potentially hindering efforts to contain the outbreak.
Already, several countries are barring people from affected regions.
Saudi officials have temporarily banned visas to labourers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as of 1 September.
The trend continues in flight services.
Air France suspended their service to Freetown, along with British Airways who also suspended flights to Monrovia.
The World Health Organisation has appealed for the reversal of flight cancellations. Though, as yet, it has been to no avail.