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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Blue Mountains Scenic World Chinese New Year campaign



Scenic World to give Chinese New Year gift to lucky couple

Australia's most visited privately-owned tourist attraction will celebrate Chinese New Year by giving away a holiday to the Blue Mountains for two lucky people from anywhere in China.

The family-owned Scenic World overlooking the world-famous Three Sisters landmark at Katoomba is home to the world's steepest passenger train, the highest and largest cablecars in Australia, the longest boardwalk in Australia. They have teamed up with Chinese-based travel company U-Tour to produce a social media competition on WeChat and Weibo to deliver the ultimate present to herald in the New Year.

U-Tour is the number 4 travel agency in the whole of China, is the most active and has the largest social media following.

The prize promotion is an innovative undertaking for an individual business and reflects the success of Scenic World which last year invested $30 million in a new railway and train and other upgrades.

Scenic World brother and sister Joint Managing Directors Anthea and David Hammon said: ``China is now our biggest inbound market, in this financial year alone we have seen our FIT Chinese visitation increase by 90%, so we want Chinese tourists to know that they are welcome and well catered for at Scenic World.

``We are lucky to have grown up  in this beautiful part of the world, and thrilled to partner with U-Tour to offer two people from China the experience of Scenic World and the Blue Mountains World Heritage-listed area as our special guests.''

 Scenic World has become a favourite stop for tourists visiting Australia from China, so much so that many of the attraction's expert guides greet Chinese guests in several of the main Chinese dialects.

Visitors to Scenic World can experience the thrill of the world's steepest passenger train, featuring brand new state-of-the-art technology and shiny red in colour.
 
Suspended 270m above the ground in Australia's highest skyway, they can peek through partially-glassed floor at the ancient valley below and across at a cascading waterfall and unspoiled wilderness stretching beyond the horizon.
 
Guests can wander through pristine rainforest along the longest elevated boardwalk in the Southern Hemisphere; and glide between the cliff top and the forest floor in the yellow aerial cable car, the steepest in the Southern Hemisphere.
 
To be in the running to win this amazing holiday, people simply download the fun Scenic World Blue Mountains Exploration game from U-Tour's WeChat or Scenic World's Weibo page and enjoy a guided trail through the Blue Mountains.
 
Play your way through to level 10 to automatically go into the draw. There will be three major games (1: collect as many bottles of fresh air as you can, 2: answer five questions about Scenic World, 3: re-Tweet the game to your friends and invite them to compete as many as possible).
 
The fortunate winner will receive two return flights from anywhere in China, a tour of the Blue Mountains, tickets to Scenic World and two night's accommodation at the luxurious, recently re-opened Hydro Majestic Blue Mountains.
 
Yu Zhu, U-Tour's Australia and New Zealand Manager said "As the Year of the Sheep is approaching, we are delighted to collaborate with Scenic World to launch this innovative campaign. It is an interactive game app based on China's most popular mobile social app "Wechat", and promotes the eco-friendly travel concept.

The gamification design caters for the preferences of Chinese Internet users and we are excited to promote the natural beauty of Scenic World's environment to Chinese travel enthusiasts"

A visit to Scenic World is a Chinese New Year reward even for those who don't win.
 
-        Together with China Union Pay, Scenic World will offer a 20% discount storewide in the Scenic World retail store when using their China Union Pay until February 28.
 
-        Visitors will receive a special Chinese New Year gift (choose between rejuvenating Placenta Cream or a cute plush koala toy) when they spend $25 or more in the store.
 
-        A special lion dance performance will bring good luck and fortune to Scenic World visitors on Tuesday, February 17.
 
-        Enjoy freshly steamed dumplings from the pop up dumpling kitchen from February 17-22.

The ultimate Scenic World experience, including unlimited rides on the Railway, Skyway, Cableway and Walkway, costs $35 adult; $18 per child (4-13yrs), $88  family (2 adults, 5 children), $32 concession.

View the campaign on U-Tour website;

http://bj.utourworld.com/zhuanti/lanshan/lanshan.htm?shouye_HD4

or Scenic World's Weibo page;

http://www.weibo.com/australiablue
 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Four Seasons Bangkok to become flagship Anantara



Minor Hotel Group (MHG), operator of 120 hotels and resorts across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa, has announced that it is set to reflag one of its owned properties, the Four Seasons Bangkok, to its luxury Anantara brand.Located in prestigious Rajadamri in central Bangkok’s Siam district, Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel & Spa will join the brand’s Thailand portfolio on 1 March 2015. Minor Hotel Group will make a significant investment to enhance the hotel.

Strategically located in the heart of central Bangkok, opposite the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, the hotel is within close proximity to the main business, nightlife and shopping districts, Lumphini Park, and many of the city’s key cultural attractions, providing the ideal base for the business or leisure traveller.

Facilities at the 354-key hotel, which has become a preferred destination for luxury travellers, include seven restaurants and bars, a spa, a gym and an outdoor swimming pool. For business guests, extensive meeting and event rooms offer flexibility for large and small events, with the ballroom seating 400 for a dinner dance and 550 in theatre style.


The General Manager of Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel & Spa will be Ms Titiya Chooto, who is currently General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai and before that was Hotel Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, hence bringing considerable experience and knowledge of the property with her to the new role.

For William Heinecke, CEO and Chairman of Minor International, the rebrand of this prestigious hotel is the culmination of a life-long dream to operate a flagship property in the heart of the Thai capital. Anantara was founded by Mr. Heinecke and was launched in 2001 as part of a long term strategy for MHG to develop its own brand offering discerning travellers unique experiences of indigenous luxury in some of the world’s most enchanting destinations. Since the brand’s launch it has now grown to a portfolio of over 30 highly acclaimed properties in eight countries, with a strong future pipeline of over ten hotels and resorts.

Built in 1978, the property launched as a Peninsula hotel prior to being sold to Regent Hotels in 1982. Four Seasons assumed management of the hotel following its acquisition of Regent Hotels in 1992. The Regent Bangkok was owned by Rajdamri Plc, which Minor Hotel Group acquired 100% of in 2001. The hotel was then rebranded as Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok in 2003. Over the past 22 years, the property has become an integral part of the community, hosting a Cancer Care Charity Fun Run every year and most recently the 15th Annual World Gourmet Festival, both in association with the Thai Red Cross in support of local causes.

Lobby
Minor Hotel Group and Four Seasons will continue to work together for years to come to provide a premier luxury hotel experience in Thailand to discerning travellers at three award-winning resorts; Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, and Four Seasons Resort Tented Camp Golden Triangle.

William E. Heinecke commented, “Owning this prestigious hotel in the heart of Bangkok and working with the fantastic team during its time as Four Seasons Bangkok has been an amazing journey. I am looking forward to continuing the journey in the next stage of this property’s life as Anantara Siam”.

Dillip Rajakarier, Chief Executive Officer of Minor Hotel Group, added, “Minor Hotel Group is excited to make the announcement of the transition of this prestigious property in central Bangkok to our core luxury Anantara brand. The property will make a superb addition to the brand’s portfolio. We also look forward to continuing the journey with the team of Associates who have ensured the success of the hotel over the last 22 years and who will be an integral part of Anantara Siam Bangkok moving forward”.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Queensland iconic train, Sunlander, to retire after 60 years

Robyn Williams and Jennifer Purse will ring in the new year aboard the Sunlander during its final journey from Brisbane to Cairns and back. (ABC News: Patrick Williams)
Queensland's Sunlander train will start the final run of its 61-year history from Brisbane on Sunday.

The train will depart for Cairns from Brisbane's Roma Street station on its 36-hour journey.

It is estimated over 3.5 million people have travelled on the Sunlander since the service began in 1953.

Assistant Minister for Public Transport Steve Minnikin said the Sunlander had a special place in the hearts of travellers from across the country and overseas.

"There have been couples who have spent their honeymoon on the train more than 50 years ago and people who have grown up on the train travelling up and down the coast to see their families," Mr Minnikin said.

Travellers on the train's final journey will celebrate New Year's Eve on board.

The Sunlander is being replaced by a new fleet, with the third and final Spirit of Queensland train to complete the $200 million investment.

The new trains cut the journey by several hours and include on-demand movies and music.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fiji Airways new ATR 72-600 for Fiji Link


Fiji Airways, Fiji's National Airline, today received its latest ATR72-600 aircraft for its domestic subsidiary Fiji Link. The aircraft arrived at the Fiji Airways Hangar in Nadi, Fiji after a ferry journey from Toulouse, France.

The planned acquisition was announced by Fiji Airways in January and will contribute to the fulfilment of the airline's strategic growth and Five Year Master Plan. The master plan is designed to grow Fiji Airway's capacity in the Pacific islands' region by 86.6%.

Equipped with the latest in aviation safety and technology, as well as award-winning ergonomic cabin design and functionality, the new 600 series aircraft will offer greater passenger capacity, connectivity in the region.

Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO Stefan Pichler: "These are exciting times for us. The ATR 72-600 will help bring about enhanced connectivity in our regional network through the development of routes. It will also complement our current regional schedules operated by the 72-600, like Apia (Samoa) and Port Vila (Vanuatu) flights.

The aircraft, which was handed over to Fiji Link General Manager Shaenaz Voss last Wednesday in Toulouse is on lease from Ireland-based Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC).

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tourism boost with weaker Australian dollar - NTA


#australia

LOWER AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR A POSITIVE FOR TOURISM

The Survey of Tourist Accommodation for the year ending June 2014, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, shows some mixed results, according to the industry body the National Tourism Alliance (NTA).

The Survey measures activity in 4,200 accommodation properties across Australia.

“In the year ending June 2014, the figures show that while average occupancy of rooms across the country was slightly down on the previous year, the average room rate charged saw a slight increase,” said NTA CEO Juliana Payne. “The lower occupancy probably reflects a slowdown of activity in the resource States.”

“There is still a huge amount of activity going on in the accommodation sector, with well over 53.5 million room nights occupied nationally, generating nearly $9 billion in room revenue,” Ms Payne “Hotels drive a lot of economic activity: they are big buyers of local goods and services, and they employ hundreds of thousands of people”, Ms Payne said.

"With the Australian dollar coming down, It's important that the industry is placed to take advantage of that; Australia needs to increase its marketing efforts nationally and internationally to attract the visitors who spend money and create jobs here.”

Friday, December 19, 2014

New Etihad Crew Uniforms by Ettore Bilotta


Italian Haute Couturier Ettore Bilotta and multi-award winning photographer Norman Jean Roy unveil new Etihad Airways uniforms.

Created by Ettore Bilotta at his atelier in Milan, the new uniform exudes a classic elegance seldom seen in the aisles of modern airliners, and cleverly merges dramatic elements of old world haute couture from 1960s Paris and Rome, with the more contemporary fashions evident on the runways of London, New York, Milan and Tokyo.

The brief given to Bilotta by the airline was for a design which would represent timeless sophistication, glamour and elegance. The designer has succeeded in realising the airline's aspiration to reimagine flying by creating clothing which captures the understated style and innovation of Etihad Airways.

Key points about the new uniforms:

· Made from 100 per cent Italian wool, the uniforms feature an intricate jacquard design

· Uniquely, approximately 30 per cent of the outfits were handmade or hand-stitched

· The design merges dramatic elements of old world haute couture from 1960s Paris and Rome, with the more contemporary fashions evident on the runways

· A warm chocolate brown has been chosen as the base colour for the uniform, with a deep purple accent for cabin crew and lounge teams, and a burnt orange accent for ground crews and Special Services teams

· Hats worn by the crew are now more aerodynamic and 'retro', inspired by the iconic stars of the Hollywood Silver Screen and the sweeping formations of the Emirati desert sand dunes

· Bilotta has also taken the unusual step of breaking up the main primary shades by introducing all the secondary colours as accents on blouses and accessories

Norman Jean Roy, whose prolific career includes work for leading publications such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, leading fashion brands and Hollywood studios, was commissioned by the airline to capture a breath-taking set of images of the new collection. The photo-shoot took place on the majestic sand dunes of Abu Dhabi's Liwa desert and on location at the exclusive Qasr al Sarab desert resort.

Etihad Airways has also collaborated with leading make up experts MAC to provide their products for crew use at the airline's 'Style & Image Suites' at its Training Academy and its recently opened Innovation Training Academy.

Helen Wong's Tours China Vietnam Brochure


Asian holiday specialist Helen Wong's Tours has unveiled a new-look brochure for 2015-2016 aimed at appealing to a wider audience of Australian travellers.

The refreshingly modern 92-page brochure combines value journeys to China with those in Vietnam and feature a series of photographs taken by Australia's highly acclaimed panoramic photographer Ken Duncan on his two recent journeys with Helen Wong's Tours.

“Every image paints a thousand words,” said founder and managing director Helen Wong.

“We wanted to give our new brochure a modern look, to appeal to a wider audience, so we went about revamping and redesigning it with inspirational photographs, to further highlight the countries' history, traditions, cultures and overall beauty,” she said.

“Furthermore, we have renamed our group tours to Valued Journeys, to emphasise that each trip is an experience. Our premium group tours have been renamed Premium Journeys.”

The latest program is filled with exciting itineraries and city information.

Continuing on its success, the pioneering travel specialist has once again offered an inviting list “Helen's Choice” inclusions into its China program (bonuses which are built into the itineraries at no extra cost). These inclusions amount to $345 per person on a 12-day China Discovery Journey.

Helen urges retail travel agents and consumers to compare the number of inclusions with those of other wholesalers before making a decision on a booking.

Another stand-out feature is that Helen Wong's Tours offers guaranteed accommodation in the programs.

“As a company, Helen Wong's Tours is now into its 28th year, we are very proud to offer you yet again a fascinating variety of journeys which will surely have you impressed from the moment you book. “It's the experience of a holiday in China and Vietnam which makes the destinations so significant and much sought-after.”

Also, when cruising along Yangtze River in China, the company includes exclusive amenity packages of valued added inclusions – worth $160.

Other exciting highlights of the Helen Wong's Tours' 2015-2016 program include:
  • 'Loyalty Rewards Program' – when you travel with Helen Wong's Tours, you will be gain automatic access to our exciting Loyalty Rewards Program and a range of exclusive offers
  • QR codes which, once scanned by a Smart Phone, captures the destinations on a video.
“Book one of our exciting holidays and we look forward to taking travellers on a journey filled with fond memories and special moments,” said Helen. “Browse through the brochure and you will find a journey to suit your taste and budget - in an inclusive price.”

Details: Phone 1300 788328, (02) 9267 7833, www.helenwongstours.com.


Traveloscopy | 

Port Arthur Penitentiary reopens

Guided tour of the Penitentiary at the Port Arthur Historic Site
(Credit: PAHSMA - Simon Birch)
The Port Arthur Penitentiary will once again be accessible to visitors come the morning of Saturday 20 December. The large scale conservation project at Port Arthur’s Penitentiary, to ensure its survival for future generations, has meant that visitors have not been able to enter the ruin since January 2014. It is with significant pride and delight that the project team unveil the revitalised and now structurally sound ruin to community and visitors. It showcases this iconic structure in a way never before seen.

The completed project allows visitors to engage with the layers of remaining, original fabric in new ways. Previously inaccessible areas are now open to visitors revealing original window joinery, remnant glazing and plastered finishes.

New interpretative features include the footprint of the Musteryard at the front of the building, a timber floor that reflects the original corridors and a glass walkway which affords previously unattainable views of the interior of the building. The fabric of the original cell floor has been laid bare and is complemented by interpretative installation at the opposite end of the building, outlining where the original cells once stood.

PAHSMA Conservation Manager, Lucy Burke-Smith says “We are proud to showcase the project to visitors this summer. The project is another example of conservation practice of an international standard, as befitting this World Heritage Listed Site.”

The multidisciplinary design team, headed by HPA Projects of Sydney, employed progressive design solutions which were capably executed by locally based Managing Contractors, Hansen Yuncken and a team of committed subcontractors. “You don’t achieve quality outcomes such as this without consultants and contractors who genuinely engage with the place and its significance. Everyone involved has made a significant contribution to the conservation of this historic structure and should be commended for their efforts.” said Ms Lucy Burke-Smith.

The ‘new’ Penitentiary, together with the other summer and activities and offerings, makes the Port Arthur Historic Site a ‘must see’ destination this holiday season.

www.portarthur.org.au

More than four and half metres of snow at Niseko


"Its been a wild couple of days here in Niseko and pretty much all of Hokkaido with an intense blizzard raging," said SkiJapan.com's snow reporter Rod White.

"This morning, the chronic conditions have abated where we have snow falling vertically instead of horizontal and winds have backed off on the mountain where we should see most lifts running today offering truly amazing skiing and riding conditions.  

The resort mountain base pack, especially upper mountain will have seen a massive drift transformation over the last 2-3 days and a further 30-40cm from base to top.

"Currently we have ambient temps at base of minus 4c with 10c below zero at top. Its still coming down steadily as this report goes to post with jet stream in from the NW at calm -5k down low with variable gusts from 15-30k up high. Chill factor is around 20 under so best layer up and carry that mask and maybe that snorkel. Back country and the gates to heaven should be opening very soon.

"A milder head to the front followed by super cold temps on Sunday Monday with steady snow to keep dropping for about a week....again ! How good is this.

"Today will be epic so no faffing - Head up and get amongst some of the best snow on the planet. As always, Please Ride Wisely."

Footnote: The Australian skiers and boarders currently at Niseko are experiencing what this group of connected ski areas is renowned for. Sure will be a very White Christmas!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Boathouse Daylesford is Open for Business

The iconic Boathouse Daylesford is open for business again following months of refurbishments from new owners Wayne Cross and Chris Malden.




Daylesford's newest destination café is sure to be popular for visitors and locals alike this summer. The venue has capacity for around 70 diners seated inside and an additional 50 outside on the waterfront deck overlooking picturesque Lake Daylesford.

The café is open 7 days from 8am, ideal for early morning walkers and joggers. The menu offers all day breakfast, lunch and shared plates into the early evening. Its seasonally inspired menu, developed by head chef Christian Reuther (the previous owner of EGO Catering, Daylesford), offers authentic paddock to plate dining in relaxed and picture perfect surrounds. Evening functions are also catered for by appointment.

Fresh produce will be sourced from the owner's Vale Hill farm in nearby Smeaton, with a range of other ingredients sourced locally including pork from Farmer's Larder, Harcourt apple cider, Holy Goat cheeses and vegetables from Mount Franklin Organics.

“The Boathouse will feature menus based on high quality, fresh seasonal produce” says Chef Reuther. Think sourdough toast with our own jam, Vale Hill lamb kofta with walnut tarator lemon and bitter greens or our own crumpets with roasted pear, Istra bacon and maple syrup. We will also offer house baked cakes and pastries along with our own sparkling mineral water, fabulous coffee and local teas.”

Owner Chris Malden says he is delighted to be finally opening the doors of the new establishment which has its walls adorned with work from artist David Bromley and an eight metre rowing skiff suspended from the ceiling of the main dining area.

“It has been an intense process with tight deadlines, but we made it and couldn't be happier with the result. I think visitors will be overwhelmed with what has been created, not only with the café interior, but also the amazing menu that has been prepared.”

The striking floor to ceiling mural from David Bromley sets the tone of the café . “Finding historical images that document the area's past, blowing them up and collaging them on the wall has been one of the signature approaches to this fit out, says the artist.

“We hope that when people are in the Boathouse they feel at one with the magnificent natural surrounds that epitomises this wonderful area,” says Bromley.

The Boathouse offers full table service where people can sit down to eat on the deck or in the large interior dining area. The takeaway menu, which offers a selection of gourmet items using the freshest local ingredients, has been specifically designed so people can enjoy picnics around the lake and enjoy the natural environment.

Staff have been recruited from Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and surrounding villages with the team led by Manager Travis Melotte, a former local tourism operator with over 25 years' experience in hospitality. The café prides itself on providing personalised customer service and a welcoming environment for locals, families and visitors. Furry friends are not forgotten, 'dog parking' at the outdoor seating area is also available.

The Boathouse Daylesford is open 7 days per week from 8am – 5pm.
Evening functions by appointment.
www.boathousedaylesford.com.au
boathouse@spacountry.com.au
03 5348 2199

Traveloscopy | 

Lonely Planet Ranks Tasmania among Top Five Best Regions to Visit in the World

Like a juicy, low hanging apple, this summer Tasmania is ripe for the picking. Lonely Planet, the authority on all things global travel, has ranked Tasmania as one of the top five best regions to visit, in the whole world. The whole, wide world. Wild and dramatic, cultured and quirky, isolated and accessible, the world is ready to check out the diversity of what Tasmania is offering up, and may even come back for a second bite. Get ready to have a taste for yourself.

Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - 26 December 2014 to 1 January 2015

Renowned as one of the world's most prestigious and difficult sailing competitions, the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race enters its 70th year in 2014. Get up close to all the sensational super-maxis, competitive middle classes and of course, the quirky small boats coming up the rear. The unpredictability makes this race one of the wildest in the world – join in the festivities on the finish line at Hobart's Sullivan's Cove where the sailors roll in to an incredible reception.

www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

The Falls Music & Arts Festival 2014 - 29 December 2014 to 1 January 2015

It's hard to imagine a more picturesque setting for a world-class music festival than Marion Bay, an hour's drive from Hobart. Add to that a stellar lineup that includes The Temper Trap, Vance Joy, Jamie XX, John Butler Trio and Salt 'n' Pepa. The fun kicks off on 29 December and revellers will party on until the wee hours of 1 January. Music goers can grab a tent, pack a picnic and get out there. Or hire a teepee for up to six people to really bliss out.

www.marionbay.fallsfestival.com.au

The Taste of Tasmania - 28 December 2014 to 3 January 2014

The annual Taste of Tasmania festival is on again with 70 of our finest food, wine, beer and cider producers and restauranteurs under one roof on Hobart's waterfront at Princes Wharf No 1 and the adjoining Salamanca and Parliament House Lawns. Join a themed tour ($25pp) with a local food and wine expert, book a seat for the NYE spectacular overlooking the freshly docked Sydney to Hobart yachts or pull up a seat at the Tasting Table ($15-$35pp) to hear from our best winemakers and brewers.

www.thetasteoftasmania.com.au

Cygnet Folk Festival - 9 to 11 January 2015

The small town of Cygnet, an hour from Hobart, hosts their 33rd annual folk festival over three days every January, welcoming local and international musicians and fans to the close-knit village. The Cygnet population - usually 1000 - swells to five times its size during the festival. This year catch award-winning Danish band Afenginn (defined as Bastard-ethno with a melancholic Nordic sigh and a dash of ecstatic madness!) and Celtic folk virtuoso Tim Edey from the UK. Get hands on in folk, ethno, world, roots and acoustic music workshops as well as dance and poetry.

www.cygnetfolkfestival.org

MONA FOMA - 15 to 18 January 2015

MONA FOMA
Copyright: Tourism Tasmania & MONA

MONA FOMA (Museum of Old and New Art, Festival of Music and Art) rolls into Hobart this January, unleashing a four-day carnival of culture. Curated by former Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie, the program spans music, theatre, dance, installation art and parties - in some cases all at once. The MOFO line-ups patch the infamous next to the unheard-of, fostering surprising collaborations that just work. This year's event includes performances by New York post-punk rockers Swans, a floating performance on the Derwent River from Alvin Curran, Brechtian cabaret punk Amanda Palmer with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Dan Deacon with his Baltimore dance beats, indie pop outfit Zammuto (with guest Gotye), and more. Plus the doors of the festival club, Faux Mo, open for the usual Bacchanalian nightclub mayhem.

www.mofo.net.au

MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival - 6 to 9 February 2015

Australian Wooden Boat Festival
Copyright: Tourism Tasmania & Laki Agnonostis
The biennial Australian Wooden Boat Festival sails into Hobart in February for a huge four-day celebration of maritime culture and expert craftsmanship. 500 boats of all shapes, sizes and wood grains are on show in an amazing display of seaside colour and design, and local gourmet food, live music, demonstrations and displays. Catch the opening Parade of Sail which sets the scene for a wonderful weekend on the waterfront.

www.australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au

Festivale - 13 to 15 February 2015

Since 1988, Launceston's Festivale has transformed historic City Park into a three-day party celebrating regional produce, music, beer, cider, whisky,cool-climate wine and master and cooking classes. Originally a showcase of the city's rich multi-cultural community, the event has grown into a quality gourmet fixture, showcasing Tasmania's finest food and beverage producers. Roving performers and live bands make it a party for the thousands of visitors tasting their way through over 70 stalls. Full program is released end December, 2014.

www.festivale.com.au

National Penny Farthing Championship - 21 February 2015

Antique bike enthusiasts roll into Evandale from around the globe to attend the penny farthing race day each February - the most competitive Penny Farthing event in the world. The historical main street is the perfect circuit for the tweed-garbed competitors atop their brakeless, 1.5-metre-high bicycles. It's as dangerous as it is competitive, culminating in the break-neck National Penny Farthing Championship race. Away from the track check out the Evandale Village Fair, enjoy the Penny Farthing Food Fest in Pioneer Park or enjoy a traditional pub meal in the leafy beer garden of the Clarendon Arms Hotel.

www.evandalevillagefair.com

For a full and up-to-date listing of Tasmanian events, and information on travelling to Tasmania, visit the Discover Tasmania website www.discovertasmania.com.au.

Travel to Tasmania
Travellers can fly to Tasmania on Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas, Qantaslink, Tigerair, Sharp Airlines or Rex Airlines, or take the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Port Melbourne (VIC) to Devonport (TAS).

Traveloscopy | 

Festival Illuminates Canberra

Enlighten will breathe light, colour and movement into Canberra after dark as the event returns in spectacular style for its fifth year.

Enlighten's signature architectural projections will transform the grand buildings of the national capital's Parliamentary Triangle from Friday 27 February to Saturday 7 March.

Enlighten will breathe light, colour and movement into Canberra after dark.

On the festival's showcase nights – Friday 27 February, Saturday 28 February, Friday 6 March and Saturday 7 March – the Parliamentary Triangle will be transformed into a vibrant and bold performance precinct with free entertainment set against a backdrop of stunning architectural projections that shine a light on some of Australia's most iconic attractions.

A selection of Canberra's cultural institutions within the Parliamentary Triangle will open their doors after dark, allowing exclusive access to a fascinating selection of collections, exhibitions and galleries.

Each night the whole family can experience a range of free and ticketed events as 12 of the capital's finest cultural institutions offer up a creative program of events encompassing comedy, dining, art, music and a host of surprising experiences.

This year's program also sees the exciting addition of the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets, creating a bustling atmosphere in the heart of the event with an array of authentic Asian eats, themed bars and live music.

As the lights go on across the Parliamentary Triangle, visitors will tuck into fun, authentic Asian eats, from dumplings to dosa, pad Thai to gyoza. For 10 nights from Friday 27 February to Sunday 8 March, the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets will see up to 25 hawker style food stalls operating in the Enlighten precinct between Reconciliation Place and Commonwealth Place, including the hugely popular Gelato Messina.

The markets will showcase the essence of the Canberra region food and wine experience within Enlighten's vibrant event hub which features roving performers and bars and a backdrop of iconic national attractions with spectacular architectural light projections and surprising after dark events and experiences.

As the first autumn leaves begin to fall, let Enlighten surprise you with unique celebration of culture and creativity to mark the International Year of Light.

For more information, visit enlightencanberra.com.

Traveloscopy | 

Free WiFi Available in TFE Hotels in Australia and New Zealand

Guests checking into any TFE hotel in Australia and New Zealand from 1 January 2015 will have access to free* WiFi.

It means being connected will be easier for guests staying at Adina Apartment Hotels, Medina Serviced Apartments, Rendezvous Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels and Hotel Kurrajong Canberra, who will be offered free WiFi on check-in.

“We understand the need to stay connected when travelling and this will be welcome news for all our guests who stay at one of our 70 hotels,” said Rachel Argaman, CEO TFE Hotels.

TFE CEO Rachel Argaman

“Our guests are able to take advantage of our convenient locations and friendly service, in their home away from home they all want to be able to stay in touch, offering 100MB of free WiFi at high speed enables them to do just that.

“We are delighted to be able to offer this WiFi service so they can stay connected easily,” Ms Argaman added. Most guests need to use their tablets, smartphones and laptops and the goal for TFE Hotels is to provide WiFi to ensure their guests are always able to connect. Up to 100mbs data will be offered free, per 24 hours, per room, beyond which additional data is available for only $9.95 for the remainder of the 24 hours and up to 4 devices per room can connect.

About TFE Hotels
A joint venture between Toga Group and Far East Hospitality Holdings, TFE Hotels (Toga Far East Hotels) is a leading hotel operator across Australia, NZ and Europe.

Combining the strength of two international hospitality businesses, TFE Hotels will continue to pursue growth opportunities, with the potential for greater operational efficiencies worldwide.

TFE Hotels currently operates nearly 70 strategically located hotels across Australia, New Zealand and Europe. TFE Hotels' brands include: Adina Apartment Hotels, Medina Serviced Apartments, Rendezvous Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels and Hotel Kurrajong Canberra.

These brands represent over 9,000 apartments and hotel rooms which vary in price, location and design to meet a range of different accommodation needs. For more information, visit: tfehotels.com.
  • Adina Apartment Hotels in 26 locations (Australia and Europe). Other locations coming soon include Adina Apartment Hotel Mascot (2015), Adina Apartment Hotel Royal Randwick Racecourse (2016) and Adina Apartment Hotel Frankfurt Messe (2016).
  • Medina Serviced Apartments in five locations (Australia).
  • Vibe Hotels in seven locations (Australia). Other locations coming soon include Vibe Hotel & Conference Centre Marysville (2015) and Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport (2015).
  • Travelodge Hotels in 17 locations (Australia & New Zealand). Soon to be 18 with the opening of Travelodge Mascot (2016).
  • Rendezvous Hotels in 11 locations (Australia & New Zealand).
  • Hotel Kurrajong Canberra (Australia) re-opened in December 2014.
* Editor's comment: Based on average usage, one might expect to be able to view 15 minutes of YouTube, 2 hours of online gaming or send about 100 emails with light (or no) attachments. Up- or downloading of multiple images (for Instagram, Facebook or websites) will deplete the quota in under an hour.

Traveloscopy | 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dusit Thani Maldives Wins World Luxury Hotel Award 2014

Dusit Thani Maldives has won the Luxury Water Villa Resort category at the eighth annual World Luxury Hotel Awards 2014, held at The Bay Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa.

Established in 2006, the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards celebrates excellence in the luxury hotel sector and rewards establishments who deliver and uphold the standards of international luxury. Over 1,000 hotels from 145 countries were nominated to participate in the awards this year.

Infinity Pool 

The results are based upon online voting by international tour operators, travel agents and hotel guests on a country and global basis. Entrants are judged on service delivery and effective management, and each nominated property was provided with a dedicated voting page on the awards' website.

According to Thanos Lionsatos, Director of Sales and Marketing “It is a matter of immense pride to have received this honour from the World Luxury Hotel Awards. This is a testimony to the fact that we strive for excellence in catering to the needs of the discerning luxury market. This latest accolade encourages us to bring even more innovation to the guest experience here at the resort.”

With a unique combination of beach and lagoon access, all Water Villas at Dusit Thani Maldives provide an unmatched luxurious escape. The villas hang on stilts, allowing for breathtaking, uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean.

Water Villa with Pool

Located on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll – the Maldives' first ever UNESCO biosphere reserve -- Dusit Thani Maldives blends gracious Thai hospitality with the unparalleled luxury setting of the Maldives. The luxury island resort comprises 94 villas encircled by white sandy beaches, a stunning 360 degree house reef and a turquoise lagoon.

Guests can dive and snorkel, swim in the Maldives' largest infinity swimming pool or indulge in a serene treatment at one of Devarana Spa's treetop treatment pods. The sensory pleasures of dining are well-catered for, including at the signature Benjarong restaurant, where fine over-water dining is paired with authentic Thai cuisine.


Dusit Thani Maldives website http://www.dusit.com/dusit-thani/en/maldives.html

Facebook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/DusitThaniMaldives

Twitter Page https://twitter.com/DusitThaniMV
About Dusit Thani Maldives

Located on breath taking Mudhdhoo Island, a mere thirty five minutes away from capital Malé, this resort opened in 2012 and offers 26 Beach Villas, 10 Beach Villas with Pool, 29 Water Villas with Pool, 20 Ocean Villas with Pool, 2 Ocean Pavilions, 2 Beach Residences and 5 Family Beach Villas with Pool.

The resort features a 750 sqm swimming pool — the largest in the Maldives — signature Thai restaurant Benjarong, Devarana Spa with six treetop treatment pods nestled in the heart of a coconut grove, tennis courts and a marine biologist to help educate on the diverse marine life surrounding the island located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Traveloscopy | 

Canberra's New Luxury Accommodation Jamala Wildlife Lodge Opens for Visitors

Experience Canberra like never before with an ultimate animal encounter at the National Zoo & Aquarium's new luxury accommodation.

The National Zoo & Aquarium's much anticipated Jamala Wildlife Lodge will host its first visitors on Friday, 19 December.
The Jamala Wildlife Lodge at the National Zoo & Aquarium, Canberra

Just 10 minutes from the centre of Canberra, Australia's only combined zoo and aquarium will offer visitors an all-inclusive luxury lodge experience with behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters. Bathe while a bear grazes on the other side of the window, relax on your lounge while looking into the face of a lion, feed the giraffes or get ready for dinner while sharks swim by.

National Zoo & Aquarium founder and owner Richard Tindale said visitors get a chance to relax in five-star African-inspired accommodation hubs while experiencing close encounters with the resident wildlife.

“The aim here is to try and get people immersed in the world of wildlife in a luxurious and fairly unique surrounding,” he said.

Three accommodation precincts are available, each with their own wildlife experience. Choose from one of seven luxurious rooms inside the main Ushaka lodge, which boasts a shark tank and a private pool and spa.

There are also six unique Giraffe treehouse suites nestled into a reserve overlooking the Molonglo River, where you can mingle with the resident animals and hand feed the neighbouring giraffe.

The brave at heart can stay in one of the five exclusive Jungle Bungalow suites adjoining different animal enclosures, including lions, bears or cheetahs. Centimetres of glass separates you from these magnificent creatures whether you are in bed, relaxing in your lounge or having a dip in the bath.

The Jamala Wildlife Lodge experience includes two exclusive tours for lodge guests designed to allow guests the opportunity to meet as many animals as possible, including lions, tigers, cheetahs, brown bears, sun bears, otters, meerkats and rhinos.

Guests also share an exclusive dining experience with pre-dinner drinks served on the terrace, where you may meet snow leopards, before sitting down to enjoy a three-course dinner party-style menu in the Jamala Cave dining room with the animal in residence, ensuring a memorable night for everyone.

The combination of opulent surroundings, incredible animal encounters and gourmet cuisine alongside Jamala's five-star hospitality ensures that all guests partake in a once in a lifetime experience during their stay. This uniquely intimate experience is offered by only a handful of zoos around the world.

Find out more about the Jamala Wildlife Lodge at the National Zoo & Aquarium at http://www.nationalzoo.com.au/jamalawildlifelodge.htm.

Enjoy the Christmas Holidays at Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney

Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney shines this holiday period with almost $10,000 of decorations beautifully decorated by SHACK homewares and furniture store.



"The atmosphere at the hotel during the Christmas period is absolutely contagious - from the guests through to the staff, we all thoroughly enjoy ourselves and welcome everyone to join us at Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney." said General Manager, Mr Peter Tudehope. “SHACK have been responsible for decorating Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney for the fourth consecutive year, their brief is simple, capture our hotel philosophy of giving and caring encompassing our 'Yes I Can!' attitude.”

Mr Tudehope continued, “Guests who chose to stay over the holiday period with us will enjoy a complimentary amenity on Christmas Eve which embodies the spirit of Christmas and a time of togetherness.”

Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney decorations feature over 22 Christmas trees, 15 reindeer and 25 cherry blossoms and many other festive displays throughout the hotel harnessing the Christmas spirit. SHACK are suppliers of quality homewares and furniture in Sydney with stores at Chatswood Chase, Home HQ Artarmon and Moore Park SupaCenta.

Continuing with the Christmas spirit families will be able to enjoy a special curated Christmas dinner designed by Executive Chef Oswin Ribeiro. Guests enjoy a complimentary welcome glass of sparkling and a festive start of zucchini flower stuffed with goat cheese on cranberry coulis and a choice of entree, main and dessert.

Bistro Fax Restaurant will be open from 5.30pm for Christmas dinner, $95 per adult, $45 for children aged 4-12 years.

For more information or to make a booking please phone + 61 2 8214 0000.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Travellers with Raw Wildlife Encounters giving back to the communities they visit

Raw Wildlife Encounters (RWE) first venture into Cambodia was a huge hit for RAW travellers whose focus was on immersing themselves into the local culture, and giving their time back to local charities.



RWE's twelve day Free the Bears & Ancient Temples tour is a small group multi-day tour that takes travellers away from the everyday tour focus, and offers them an opportunity to share in the lives of the bears and people whose life work is to protect the bears of Asia.

In the first week of this tour, travellers volunteer their time to work at the Free the Bears Sanctuary, which is an Australian based organization dedicated to protecting the lives of bears. During this week travellers learn more about the plight of the Asiatic Black Bear and the Sun Bears in the region, as well as assist their carers in providing the bears their daily needs.

In the second week, travellers delve further into the history of Cambodia with our partners at Journey Within Our Community guiding them through the temples of Angkor, and connecting them with communities who live here through their work in community development.

RWE's first trip to Cambodia was popular with solo female travellers, all wanting to give back into the community they were visiting.

“We wanted to be able to provide our travellers with a unique view of this part of Cambodia,” says Jessica McKelson, Raw Wildlife Encounters' Managing Director. “For them to walk away with a feeling of achievement, beyond that of the normal everyday traveller.

RWE expects to see further interest in this type of travel in 2015, as more people are seeing the benefits in giving back, rather than just visiting a destination on the surface.

The Free the Bears & Ancient Temple tours is from $2,595 per twin and its' next departure date is the 28th September, 2015.

For more information see www.rawildlife.com.au/tours

Traveloscopy | 

New Destination Guide for Australia's Christmas Island

Nature lovers from all over the world are flocking to Christmas Island, and it's nothing to do with imminent arrival of a certain big man in a red suit.

The mass migration of millions of endemic red land crabs has turned the Indian Ocean island into the set of a real-life Discovery Channel documentary.

Crabs cross the road safely under a purpose-built grid.
Copyright: Christmas Island Tourism Association

Described by naturalist Sir David Attenborough as one of the most spectacular annual migrations on the planet, this extraordinary natural phenomena will climax on Thursday (18 December), when on the outgoing high tide, millions of the female red crabs will simultaneously spawn (drop their eggs in the sea).

“Witnessing this spectacle is on the bucket list for nature-lovers from all corners of the globe and those who have made the pilgrimage here this year will join international television crews at the best vantage spots, atop cliff tops and on the beaches,” says Linda Cash of the Christmas Island Tourism Association.

“After the female crabs do their joyous jiggle and release billions of eggs in the sea they will return to their burrows high in the jungle, a journey which could take a week or more” remarks Ms Cash.

The crabs are biologically programmed to take the most direct route back to their burrow which means absolutely nothing gets in their way. “They turn the island's parks, golf course (where there's a penalty stroke should your ball accidentally hit one) and beaches into a moving crimson carpet,” elaborates Ms Cash.

However, the biggest challenge for the crabs during their migration isn't to wow camera-toting tourists, rather the much more critical task of safely crossing the roads.

“In recent years the community has made a great effort to reduce to number of crabs killed on the roads,” says Ms Cash, who adds “there's a real appreciation of the importance of the crabs to both our fragile island ecosystem and our nature-based tourism industry.”

“The local radio station broadcasts special 'crab bulletins' to advise islanders of the crabs' latest movements and roads where numbers are thickest are closed,” explains Ms Cash, who adds, “dedicated rangers from the Christmas Island National Park have even rolled-out kilometres of crab fences along the side of roads to funnel crabs through a network of grids (and bridges) which allow crabs to pass safely under (or over) the roads.”

Even the school bus stops short of the school to avoid the high numbers of crabs that march through the school grounds, where special crab boards have been installed on doors and windows to stop the crabs scuttling through the classrooms and interrupting lessons.

To help those crabs which still make it onto the roads, many locals also travel with a rake or broom in their car, so they can gently rake or sweep crabs (which if undertaken with care doesn't harm the crab) out of danger.

“Some islanders are even planning to clear a special landing zone of the crabs on Christmas Eve just for Santa's sleigh,” reveals Ms Cash, who adds, “we are in close consultation with Airservices Australia about the precise time for Santa's arrival to ensure than that no crabs are injured when Santa touches down on his favourite island.”

To coincide with this year's spawning spectacular, the Christmas Island Tourism Association has launched a new Destination Guide. The free 40-page booklet, crammed with stunning photography, is a must-read for anyone contemplating a visit to the tropical island.

Ms Cash points out that Christmas Island isn't just about the crabs, “the guide showcases our other natural wonders including our unique seabirds, stunning marine life (you can swim and snorkel with whale sharks) along with a smorgasbord of cultural experiences you won't find in other parts of Australia.”

For a copy of the new Christmas Island Destination Guide: www.christmas.net.au/destination-guide.html

For updates on the mass migration of the red crabs: www.christmas.net.au www.facebook.com/ChristmasIslandTourism and www.twitter.com/citourism

For updates on Santa's flight path: www.airservicesaustralia.com/santa

Did You Know? Christmas Island was given its name by Captain Mynors of the British ship Royal Mary who discovered it on 25 December 1643.

Traveloscopy | 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Brand USA Reauthorized

Travel Leaders Applaud Bipartisan Effort to Extend Travel Promotion Program in Omnibus Bill

WASHINGTON (December 13, 2014)—The U.S. travel community today thanked and congratulated Congress for passing a spending bill that renews Brand USA, America's public-private travel promotion partnership.

The Capital

"It's not every day that Congress makes a policy move that makes abundant sense and has demonstrable value for every region and demographic of this country. Renewing Brand USA is one such thing," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "The overwhelming majority that passed reauthorization in the House, coupled with the unanimous vote that passed it out of the Senate Commerce Committee, are a ringing bipartisan endorsement of Brand USA's mission and effectiveness. The tens of thousands of jobs it creates, the zero cost to federal taxpayers, the fact that it helps our trade balance by bringing huge amounts of foreign currency to the U.S., the contribution it makes to reducing the deficit by millions—Brand USA is simply a policy that works."

In only its third year of existence, Brand USA's economic impact through attracting international visitors is already enormous. In 2013, the program drew more than 1.1 million additional visitors to the United States, generating $3.4 billion in additional visitor spending and $1 billion in federal, local and state tax revenues. Returning $47 on every $1 spent on promotion, the program supported nearly 53,000 new U.S. jobs.

A recent study by Oxford Economics further confirmed Brand USA's economic impact by revealing the consequences of a future without the program. Over the ensuing five-year period, 2016-2020, America would have lost nearly $54 billion in total business sales, $27.6 billion in value-added (GDP) and $53.8 billion in personal income. Rather than supporting new jobs, the U.S. economy would have instead created 53,000 fewer jobs.

Said Dow: "The travel community gives great thanks to Reps. Gus Bilirakis and Peter Welch, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Roy Blunt along with Senate Major Leader Harry Reid for leading the effort to reauthorize Brand USA. Further, committee leaders in the Senate and the House, including Reps. Fred Upton, Henry Waxman, Lee Terry, Jan Schakowsky, Hal Rogers, Nita Lowey, Sam Farr and Sens. John Thune, John Rockefeller, Brian Schatz, Tim Scott, Barbara Mikulski and Richard Shelby, have our deep appreciation for their steadfast leadership."

Click here to see how Brand USA is working for small and large destinations nationwide.

Garuda Indonesia Receives Skytrax's 5-Star Rating

Garuda Indonesia, the airline of Indonesia, has been named the newest member of the exclusive group of 5-Star Airlines by Skytrax, the world's leading airline and airport review specialists. The exclusive, top-tier 5-star rating is only awarded to airlines achieving the highest quality performance, and importantly, this focuses on the airline's ability to deliver this on a consistent basis. Garuda Indonesia today becomes the seventh airlines earned the prestigious award, joining Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines.



President and CEO of Garuda Indonesia Emirsyah Satar commented that being named a 5-star airline by Skytrax marks another milestone as a firm recognition of the ongoing transformation, which the airline's has continued to make over the recent years, not only in terms of services, but also throughout all aspects of the company.

“It is certainly an honour for all of us at Garuda Indonesia, and the achievement becomes even more meaningful as we are now reaching towards the completion of our “Quantum Leap” journey. For the past years, we have been striving persistently to provide a world-class travelling experience for our passengers and I believe that this accomplishment will serve as further inspiration for us to remain committed and improve even better. Furthermore, we take great pride in establishing our home country more firmly on the international stage by receiving this prestigious recognition,” he continued.

Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax said, "This is recognition of the major turnaround in quality standards at Garuda Indonesia, reflecting the hard work by the airline in recent years, and we delighted to confirm that they are now meeting the 5-Star Airline. This rating is based on an all-round assessment of the product and service, on board and at the airport. We place a lot of importance on the fact that the majority of customers travel in Economy and it is the quality and consistency of those standards that contribute greatly to Garuda securing 5-Stars. Consistency of an airline's product and service is a major part of the 5-Star rating, with Garuda's long haul fleet now offering Business Class flat-bed seating and 32-34 inch seat pitch in Economy Class. Customers can also experience the new First and Business Class 5-Star service concept rolled out across the Boeing 777-300ER fleet." 



This 5-Star Airline rating also takes account of planned airport and service changes in 2015, when Garuda will transfer to the new Terminal 3 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, its home base hub. This will provide a new home for Garuda Indonesia and SkyTeam member airlines, improving the travel experience through enhanced transfers and airport service, together with improved and expanded premium passenger facilities.

A 5-star airline rating represents "ultimate" quality recognition and approval, which is only awarded to airlines that achieve an exceptional front-line quality performance. The 5-star airline rating recognizes airlines at the forefront of product innovation that sets quality benchmarks and trends that are often followed by other carriers. The airline rating systems assess the standard of an airline's product and service delivery quality, using more than 800 assessment categories, applied across both the on board and airport environments.

On the ground, airline website/online operations, ticketing, check-in, security, lounges, boarding, departures, transfer, arrivals, and branding are all assessed, with prime importance given to all "touch points" involved in final service delivery to the customer. Onboard assessment includes a detailed assessment across all areas of on board product, staff service techniques and efficiency, and associated aspects of staff service.

As Garuda Indonesia strives to continue its transformation program, the airline's performance is increasingly being recognized at international level. Garuda Indonesia proceeded to receive a new coveted accolade as airline with “The World's Best Cabin Crew 2014” from Skytrax at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014.

Previously, Garuda Indonesia was also awarded “The World's Best Economy Class” in 2013, "The World's Best Regional Airline" in 2012, and "The World's Most Improved Airline" in 2010, also by Skytrax. Moreover, during the “Passenger Choice Award 2013” held in September 2013 in Anaheim, California, USA, and organized by “Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)”, Garuda Indonesia was chosen as the “Best in Region: Asia and Australasia”.

Traveloscopy | 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Opening of Hong Kong Observation Wheel


HONG KONG OBSERVATION WHEEL OFFERS A TRULY UNIQUE VIEW OF THE CITY

Swiss AEX has announced the opening of the 60-metre Hong Kong Observation Wheel which showcases stunning day and night views of Hong Kong's spectacular harbour. The Observation Wheel is located in the Central harbourfront on Hong Kong Island and has 42 luxury gondolas, including one special VIP gondola, with each gondola able to accommodate eight seated passengers.

Each gondola is equipped with high-tech safety and super-fast HKT Wi-Fi communication systems allowing passengers to take selfies and share images with their social networks.  It is estimated that the Observation Wheel will offer one million passengers a year both day and night panoramic views of Hong Kong in world-class style and comfort (the gondolas will offer air-conditioning during summer and heating in winter).

Visitors will be able to ride the Hong Kong Observation Wheel between 11am - 11pm throughout the year for the 15 – 20 minute journey. Tickets for the Observation Wheel are HK$100 (approximately AUD16) for adults and HK$70 (approximately AUD11) for persons with a disability, children under 12 years, full-time students and senior citizens.

For further information visit www.hkow.hk

Photo caption: Swiss AEX announces the opening of the Hong Kong Observation Wheel.

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ibis Styles The Entrance Opens Christmas Day

Be the first to experience the brand new ibis Styles The Entrance when doors swing open on Christmas Day. The much-anticipated new build hotel is offering industry rates from $109 for a queen standard room inclusive of continental breakfast.



The new build 52-room hotel is ideally located on the NSW Central Coast's most iconic beachside destination with uninterrupted views over Tuggerah Lakes and just a few minutes' drive from the town centre of The Entrance.

It is directly linked to the historic diggers@theentrance, which offers several dining, conference and recreational facilities including The Pavilion Events Centre, state-of-the-art gym, indoor children playcentre and live music every Friday & Saturday night, that has earned its reputation as one of Central Coast's most prestigious venues.

The pre-opening special for the industry is valid for stays from 1 January 2015 to 28 Feburary 2015. A hot breakfast upgrade is also available for an additional $7 per person at Bites Restaurant. A travel industry ID must be provided on check in. Room rates are subject to availability and terms and conditions apply.

To make a reservation, visit http://accorasiapacificpartners.com/istheentrance

Just an hour's drive north of Sydney, the Central Coast is a destination that has a distinctive change of place and pace. With beautiful coastlines, golden beaches, alluring lakes and pristine National Parks, it is perfect for a short or long break getaway.

Ibis Styles The Entrance is the perfect location to experience the beautiful Central Coast, with nearby activities including Scuba Dive HMAS Adelaide, Australian Reptile Park, Pelican Feeding, National Parks and Paddle Boats.

Ibis Styles The Entrance is located at 315 The Entrance Road, The Entrance, NSW. For more information, visit http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-9304-ibis-styles-the-entrance-opening-december-2014/index.shtml.

Traveloscopy | 

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