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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

AirAsia unveils the future of long-haul air travel at Paris Air Show



AirAsia, the Asia Pacific launch customer for the Airbus A330neo, today unveiled the first of its new generation long-haul fleet at the Paris International Air Show.

The aircraft will be based at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport in Thailand, facilitating growth and network expansion plans to key markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea.

The aircraft unveiling was attended by AirAsia X Chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO (Airlines) Bo Lingam, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer, Rolls-Royce President Civil Aerospace Chris Cholerton and Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery, alongside invited industry and international media.

AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri said, “This is a significant milestone for the aviation industry - and importantly, for our guests - which will revolutionise the long-haul, value air travel market. AirAsia is thrilled to lead the way once again, as the first airline in Asia Pacific to operate the technologically advanced, new generation A330neo aircraft.

“With 66 aircraft on direct order and 2 on lease, the A330neo is the future of our long-haul operations delivering an enhanced guest experience including the latest design features and new modifications to make medium - long haul value air travel more comfortable than ever.

“Guests will be able to see and feel the difference with more personal space, larger cabin bag storage space, ambient mood lighting throughout, power sockets in every seat and the quietest cabin in its class.”

Buranasiri added: “AirAsia X continues to focus on delivering the best value fares for medium- to long-haul air travel. The arrival of the A330neo increases our ability to bring new destinations into play. Direct flights to Europe and the US are now possible, and we are working on many exciting network and product plans to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by this aircraft’s extended range and significant cost efficiencies, which will be announced in due course.”

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer said, “Operational efficiency, latest product innovations and growth are core to AirAsia… and to the A330neo too! As the newest, lowest seat mile cost mid-size widebody, the A330neo will bring a step change in fuel efficiency, and its increased range will open new opportunities for AirAsia X Thailand’s long-haul network expansion.”

Rolls-Royce President Civil Aerospace Chris Cholerton said, “Today is a special day for the Rolls-Royce team. We are thrilled to see the A330neo unveiled at the Paris Air Show with the AirAsia livery. We are excited to see the aircraft grace the skies in Asia. The Trent 7000 is critical to the delivery of the 14% improvement in fuel burn reduction per seat of the A330neo, compared to its predecessor the Trent 700, which is a key factor in this aircraft’s success.”

The AirAsia A330neo unveiled today will be available for viewing at the Airbus static display from 17-19 June 2019 and will be open to Paris Air Show visitors and media between 9.00am and 10.00am. The aircraft will enter service in Bangkok early next month.

Sri Lankan Travel Advisory Lowered



The Australian Travel Advisory for Sri Lanka has officially been lowered yesterday from a Level 3 (Reconsider your need to travel) to a Level 2 (Exercise a high degree of caution), indicating that the country is progressing towards a state of normalcy and whilst still cautious with high levels of security in place. The lowering follows the UK’s lifting of its travel ban last week, with the German, Swiss and Austrian governments relaxing their advice against Sri Lankan travel the week prior.

“Tourism is the most significant part of our economy, supporting one in 10 families in Sri Lanka, so the relaxation of the advisory is excellent news. We have a close connection with Australia as one of our fastest growing inbound markets and look forward to welcoming visitors back with open arms. We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support over the past month.” said Malik Fernando, Owner of tour company Resplendent Ceylon

With one in 10 families relying on tourism to make a living, it is a vital part of the country’s economy so the warning’s reduction is a welcome note as the country is dependent on the likes of Australians to visit.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Where are Australian travellers heading to next?



As the globetrotting habits of Australian travellers continue to evolve - from venturing to far-flung destinations such as Rwanda or Costa Rica, to visiting destinations based on how “Instagram friendly” they appear – keeping up with Australian travellers is no easy feat.

Australia’s premier luxury travel advisors, the Goldman Group, who turn travel dreams into reality, affirm that the Australian traveller is seeking unconventional destinations, in lesser-known and remote parts of the world. Increasingly among Australian travellers, the perfect getaway is no longer a city escape or a flop and drop holiday, but discovering new and unique experiences.

So, where to next? According to Anthony and David Goldman, joint managing directors of the Goldman Group, Australian travellers are heading to the following remote locations…

The Caribbean has become popular in recent months with increasing numbers jetting to Cuba and Costa Rica, thanks largely to the new US stopover cities of Houston and Dallas. Qantas now flies direct to Dallas and United Airlines flies direct to Houston from Sydney, both in under 16 hours, making Caribbean destinations much more accessible to Australian travellers. As the Caribbean island continues to court tourists, Cuba is expected to welcome a record high of five million visitors in 2019 alone.[1]

Venturing further south, and boasting a coastline on both the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is the ultimate nature-based holiday, with a backdrop of rugged rainforests, diverse wildlife, beaches, hot springs and volcanos to discover.

Adventure trips to pristine destinations such as the Galapagos Islands, Iceland, and Antarctica are also trending, with active experiences high on the bucket list of Australian travellers.  A multitude of cruise lines have made it more accessible than ever to get to these previously remote areas of the globe, contributing to the surge in popularity.

The desire for authenticity and cultural interactions is also driving Australian travellers to places such as Morocco, a popular European destination over the warmer months. The north African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea is a heaving melting pot of Berber, Arabian, and European cultural influences. From souks (marketplaces) where fragrant and colourful bags of spices beckon, to cultural tours that answer all your Lawrence of Arabia fantasies, the country offers an off-the-beaten-path experience with every turn.

Travelling in pursuit of memories and experiences, Australian travellers are increasingly heading to the landlocked East African country of Rwanda. Known as “the land of a thousand hills”, Rwanda is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity and incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, rainforests and sweeping plains. The extraordinarily beautiful country is home to more than one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas and remains one of the best places in the world to see both mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in their natural habitat. In late 2019, Singita will open Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House on the border of Volcanoes National Park, where visitors can come face to face with the forest’s gentle giants - selfie with a gorilla anyone?

Anthony Goldman
Social media and the rise of the selfie has made a significant impact on the way Australians travel, according to Anthony Goldman.

“The Goldman Group Australian Luxury Traveller 2019 Report revealed that more than one third of Aussie travellers enjoy posting about their holidays online, and get holiday inspiration from social media feeds. Notably, it’s Instagram fuelling the travel appetites of Australians, and with the hashtag #holiday obtaining 124 million mentions on Instagram alone – you can see why.”

“Many of our client’s message us directly on Instagram and ask to book hotels featured in our posts, or ask about the destinations visited by our travel advisors. In turn, we have witnessed hotels around the world strive to be the most photogenic and Instagrammable accommodation providers in 2019,” says Anthony Goldman.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Massive turnout for 51st IPW in Anaheim

U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow
More than 6,000 attendees from over 70 countries gathered in Anaheim, CA, June 1-5 for this year’s IPW—the travel industry's premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the U.S.

IPW gathers travel professionals—including U.S. destinations, hotels, attractions, sports teams and transportation companies, and international tour operators, buyers and wholesalers from around the world—to meet in one place to help bring the world to America.

At this year’s IPW, there were 110,000 prescheduled business appointments between suppliers and buyers, which is estimated to result in $5.5 billion in future international travel to the U.S. over the next three years. This has been revised upward from the $4.7 billion in future international travel to the U.S. estimated in past years.

Additionally, more than 500 members of the media attended IPW. These journalists covered the event itself, and also met with business and destination leaders to generate stories encouraging travel to the U.S.



While IPW is only a few short days, its impact will be felt in Anaheim and the Orange County region for years to come. According to Rockport Analytics, hosting IPW is anticipated to bring hundreds of thousands of additional international visitors to Anaheim and the Orange County region over the next three years, generating a significant local economic impact.

This is the 10th time IPW has been held in California and the second time it has been held in Anaheim since the city last hosted in 2007.

“IPW brings the world to America and presents travel buyers, suppliers and media the phenomenal opportunity to connect under one roof,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “We are thrilled to once again bring IPW to Anaheim, and we are so grateful for the work of Visit Anaheim and Visit California to help us produce this important event.”

The 52nd IPW will be held in Las Vegas from May 30-June 3, 2020.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Plan Your Vivid Sydney Visits – Don't Miss Any of the Colour and Creativity


Vivid Sydney Lights On is just one day away, and the final touches are in progress as dozens of light art installations and projections are completed across the city.

From 6pm tomorrow evening, Sydney will shine bright and guests are reminded to plan their visit to make the most of the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said there were great options for all people including families, youth, the elderly and people with disability.

“Vivid Sydney is incredibly popular and last year 2.25 million people attended across the 23 days and nights of the festival,” Mr Ayres said.
“With guests of all demographics, nationalities and abilities visiting Sydney for this event, it's important that everyone is considerate and enjoys the sense of community throughout the CBD and nearby precincts.

“Vivid Sydney is on every night from May 24 to June 15, and we encourage visitors to be mindful of popularity on weekends. Some people may consider coming to the city Monday to Wednesday nights for a more relaxed atmosphere, while others could choose to visit Taronga Zoo, Chatswood and Luna Park north of the Harbour for family-friendly activities with parking available.

“Visiting over several days is another great option, and all planning should start via the Vivid Sydney website for transport details, road closures and highlights across the program.”

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said public transport was the best way to get to Vivid Sydney.
“There are 5,000 additional public transport services available to visitors during Vivid Sydney to help get guests to and from the festival,” Mr Constance said.

“Police, Transport and event organisers work side-by-side to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible so attendees can travel safely to and from Vivid Sydney precincts.”

For more information visit: www.vividsydney.com





Traveloscopy | 

Queensland and Uber Partner to Launch scUber, the World's First Rideshare Submarine on the Great Barrier Reef



From 27 May - 18 June, riders can experience this incredible underwater world exclusively through the Uber app.

scUber will showcase the world's largest living structure as a biodiverse playground, rich in marine life and offering remarkable underwater experiences.

The launch will support the ongoing protection and conservation of the world's largest coral reef system through Uber's partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.
Heron Island, Queensland Australia – 23 May, 2019: Queensland, Australia, in partnership with Uber, today announces the launch of scUber( http://www.scuberqueensland.com/), the world's first rideshare submarine experience, coming to the Great Barrier Reef on Monday 27 May.

This once-in-a-lifetime experience will offer riders an unfiltered lens to Australia's underwater icon. For a limited time only, scUber riders will gain exclusive access to the world's largest ecosystem, renowned as a biodiverse playground, rich in marine life and offering remarkable underwater experiences.

From 27 May, scUber will be available for a limited number of riders to request through the Uber app and riders will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the exquisite beauty of the Great Barrier Reef – all without the need for a snorkeling mask or a diving license!

Tourism and Events Queensland's Chief Executive Officer, Leanne Coddington, commented on the significance of Queensland's partnership with Uber in helping put the spotlight back on the reef.

“In late 2018, consumer research identified that exploring the Great Barrier Reef in a submarine was the most desired future travel experience sought by visitors. scUber makes this wish a reality and reaffirms Queensland tourism's commitment to providing locals and visitors alike with truly remarkable ways to explore nature's wonderland.

“We're thrilled to partner with Uber to showcase the beauty of the reef through this innovative experience. In addition, we're giving several adventure seeking travellers from around the globe, the chance to win a scUber experience for two as part of a global travel competition launched today.”

Susan Anderson, Regional General Manager of Uber, Australia and New Zealand, commented on the importance of this innovative first for the Reef: “Uber is committed to harnessing the power of technology for good. We are proud to partner with Queensland to help showcase the Reef to the world with the launch of scUber.”

“At Uber, we believe good things happen when people move - whether that's by getting people from A to B in their city, or by making dreams come true experiencing the world's greatest natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef,” Mrs Anderson said.

“We're looking forward to seeing how visitors to the Great Barrier Reef embrace this new form of movement and become advocates of the Reef for years to come.”

The scUber experience will be available starting on Heron Island, off the coast of Gladstone in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region from May 27, before moving to Agincourt Reef off the coast of Port Douglas in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef region from June 9. Availability is strictly limited.

The scUber experience will cost $3,000 AUD for two riders and includes:

Pickup from your location with the Uber app;
Return scenic helicopter ride to either Heron Island (for riders requesting from Gladstone) or the Quicksilver Cruises pontoon off the coast of Port Douglas (for riders requesting from Cairns, Port Douglas and Palm Cove);
One hour ride in a scUber submarine;
Return trip back to your original pickup address with Uber.
To celebrate the launch, Queensland and Uber are offering this exceptional bucket-list experience to one lucky winner and a friend from each of the following countries: USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, New Zealand and Australia. To enter the competition, go to scUberQueensland.com and explain in 25 words or less why you should experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef with scUber. Terms and conditions apply.

Today also marks the beginning of Uber's partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. The organisation is committed to engaging the world in the protection and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef and reefs all over the world, using tech, data and a collaborative approach to conservation.

Uber's partnership with Citizens will focus on supporting several initiatives including their Reef Tracks program and the Great Reef Census through a financial and resource investment program. Find out more about the partnership here.

Please see here a suite of video, audio and visual assets for usage, along with details of spokespeople available for interview.

For more information on scUber, the consumer competition and partnership between Queensland and Uber, visit: www.scUberQueensland.com.

How to request your scUber ride?

scUber rides are charged at $1,500 AUD per person with a minimum cost of $3,000 AUD per ride, and include scenic helicopter transfers to and from mainland Queensland. The scUber ride is an hour in duration and is bookable via the Uber app. Availability is not guaranteed.

About the Great Barrier Reef

Greater than 69 million football fields in size, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest and longest coral reef system and is home to 600 different types of coral (one third of the world's coral species), approximately 1,625 species of fish and more than 1,000 islands. Tourism to the Great Barrier Reef is significant, with almost three million tourists visiting the World Heritage Area every year. Around 80 per cent of all tourism activity occurs within 7 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef marine park.




Traveloscopy | 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

You can stay in the Men in Black: International Headquarters



 Just in time for the release of Men in Black™: International, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, have teamed up with Sony Pictures to present an out-of-this-world place to stay - recreating the movie’s London based Headquarters.

Following in the footsteps of the new duo of galaxy defenders - Agent H and Agent M, lucky guests of this exclusive stay will be able to heroically prepare, equip and guard themselves (and the universe) against any extraterrestrial mayhem during their stay… Just don’t forget to pack your neuralyzer!

Available exclusively on Booking.com and accommodating up to two guests per night, those lucky enough to book this unique stay will enjoy a fully immersive Men in Black experience and an exclusive look at the original set pieces used in the move.

From the agent check-in area, to the main hall of the HQ (including a recreation of the all-seeing eye, which features prominently in the movie), to the undercover agent’s bedroom, the space has been inspired by the futuristic world of the Men in Black.




The guest experience:

●      In true Men in Black fashion, the entrance of the recreated HQ is barely recognisable from the street

●      Once guests have identified this grand, traditional building as the HQ, they will enter an industrial space with just a subtle identifier in the centre

●      Upon confirmation they are the newest Men in Black ‘agent’, and once fitted with their black suit and sunglasses, as befits all true Men in Black agents, the doorway will slide open to reveal the first of many interstellar experiences

●      Through the doorway guests enter a pristine white and mirrored check room where they receive their initial agent and accommodation inductions

●      Following this, guests will finally be able to enter the impressive Men in Black HQ, where their experience as an agent will take a lot of unexpected turns…


Pepijn Rijvers, Senior Vice President of Accommodation at Booking.com says: “We know that travellers are inspired by what they see in movies when planning their vacations, so we are very excited to collaborate with Sony Pictures, to recreate the Men in Black Headquarters in London.


“With over 750 Million guest arrivals in alternative accommodations, we’ve been connecting travellers with the most diverse range of incredible places to stay for decades and the Men in Black HQ is no exception and is sure to be one of the most out-of-this-world places to stay this summer.”

Andre Seddoh, Vice President International Marketing Partnerships Sony Pictures says: “We are always looking to be innovative and entertain people all over the world, so we are delighted to be working with Booking.com. The collaboration has enabled us to offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to stay in a recreation of the London MIB HQ and extend the hidden universe of Men in Black™: International from the big screen and into the real world”

Book your stay at Men in Black HQ:

Travellers who want to take advantage of this opportunity must be quick as only two nights are available for booking. The Men in Black HQ will open bookings for its 30th May stay on 21st May at 10 a.m. GMT, with the stay for 31st May being released at 10 a.m. GMT on the 23rd May. Priced at just £99 per night, this once-in-a-lifetime experience can be booked by visiting the Booking.com listing here: www.booking.com/hotel/gb/men-in-black-international-headquarters.en-gb.html


Friday, May 17, 2019

SeaLink Launches Kangaroo Island Self-Drive Packages



There is no better way to explore magnificent Kangaroo Island than with one of SeaLink's self-drive KI short break packages. Discover the island at your own leisurely pace, its amazing sights, food and wine, beaches, wildlife and landscapes and soak up experiences of a lifetime.

Switzerland Tourism Asks Visitors to Take A Hike


Go Classic, Go Wild or Go Soft

Switzerland Tourism has launched their 2019 Summer Campaign, which encourages visitors to take a hike. Literally.

A continuation of the tourism boards' overarching 'Nature Wants You Back' campaign, which kicked off in 2017, this year's hiking theme aims to showcase the 65,000km of trails on offer around the country.

Known for its pristine natural assets of majestic snow-capped mountains, glassy lakes, waterfalls, verdant valleys and moors, Switzerland also has the densest network of hiking trails, all of which are clearly marked by 50,000 signposts and way-markers, thanks to the work of 1,500 volunteers who help to set up and maintain these signage.

With about half of Aussie visitors to Switzerland embarking on at least one hike during their stay, the tourism board reports that 85% of these hikes are independently arranged.

The three key hiking trails in this year's campaign, where travellers and hikers can go classic, go wild or go soft are the Via Alpina, the Alpine Passes Trail and the Jura Crest Trail.

The Via Alpina is the classic among the long-distance hikes in Switzerland. Crossing 14 of the most beautiful alpine passes, it leads through the northern Alps of Switzerland (Vaduz – Montreux, via six cantons), where hikers can experience the picture-postcard scenery first hand.

The Alpine Passes Trail is challenging and wild, with a promise to deliver an amazing experience in the great outdoors. Connecting Chur with Lake Geneva via some of the most stunning passes in the Graubünden and Valais Alps, this trail is ideal for long-distance hikers, where they will enjoy endless pristine nature, views of 4,000m peaks and classic mountain huts,

Gentle and relatively unknown to non-Swiss hikers, the Jura Crest Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in Switzerland. Connecting Zurich and Geneva via the Jura mountains, the untouched landscape and tranquil appeal of the remoteness and glorious views make this easy graded hike a local favourite.

For more information on hiking in Switzerland, visit www.MySwitzerland.com/hiking


Help UTracks Build a Forest

UTracks, Australia's leading active European specialist is planting a tree for every booking on its Austrian Lakes and Dachstein Circuit walking itineraries.

"With World Environment Day happening on 05 June and National Tree Day on 28 July, it is a timely reminder that travellers can painlessly contribute to the greening of our planet," UTracks General Manager, Kate Baker said. "It's a great way for our travellers to make a positive impact on the region."

UTracks, in partnership with the Salzkammergut Tourism body and the Austrian Federal Forest Authority, will plant a tree in the stunning Weißenbachtal Valley for each booking on the Austrian Lakes Walk and Dachstein Circuit  walks.

Each planted tree will be tagged with the booking number, photographed and the photo included in the clients documents.

"We're also encouraging travellers on the Austrian Lakes Walk trip to visit their tree during their hike," Ms Baker continued.

The self guided eight day walks in the UNESCO World Heritage listed area of Salzkammergut are available daily until mid October.

Austrian Lakes Walk - departs daily from Bad Ischl, priced from $1150 per person.

https://www.utracks.com/WIA

The Salzkammergut alpine region of Austria encompasses 76 crystal clear lakes, the Dachstein Glacier, lush summer meadows and impressive rock faces up to 3000 vertical metres high. During this inspiring walk, there is ample time to appreciate the natural beauty of the region and the alpine villages of wooden chalets decorated with colourful window boxes while at night you will enjoy the warm hospitality of your hosts.

Dachstein Circuit - departs daily from 1 July to 30 September from Gosau, priced from $2290 per person.

https://www.utracks.com/DCT

South east of Salzburg is the Dachstein massif, a lime stone mountain containing some of the largest caves in Austria. The walk is typified by its series of peaks over 2500m, glaciers and sharp descents to the valley floor. Take in the awesome views of ice fields and alpine meadows, limestone peaks and dramatic lakes as you trek this exhilarating circuit. At night you stay in atmospheric mountain hotels interspersed with nights in mountain huts high up on the central massif.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Why Aussie travellers dislike group touring


A national survey of 1,000 travellers has revealed what puts Aussies off when it comes to large group tours abroad.

The survey, commissioned as part of Intrepid's Adventure Travel Index, asked consumers to rank what deters them about large group tours from a list of common complaints. At the top of the list was feeling like they're part of mass tourism - proving travellers are seeking out more personal and bespoke experiences. The second biggest concern with group touring was only visiting places where the leaders get a commission, followed by a fear of having a lack of free time.

Travellers also said group tours wouldn't allow them to experience a destination like a local and they were deterred by 'cookie cutter' experiences with nothing unique on the itinerary.

Luckily for Intrepid Travel, these concerns don't translate to their small group tours. To answer why size matters so much, CEO James Thornton said: "Small group tours are based around 16 or less people guided by a local and visiting places on and off the tourist trail. The itineraries take the guesswork and lengthy planning out of it, but allow for free time to explore a place. In small groups, the tour leader has the opportunity to ad lib and share what's unique about his or her home country."

He went on to say that Intrepid would hate for sceptics of touring to lump us in the same category as all group tours.

"Small group tours address what's wrong with mass tourism by minimising the impact on the local environment. At Intrepid, we use only local tour leaders meaning out travellers can immerse themselves completely in their chosen destination, and our specially designed itineraries go to places that large groups, and cruise ships, simply can't access."

Art Macao - five month festival kicks off in June

MACAO is set to stage its largest array of art exhibitions as part of its year-long 20th-anniversary celebrations as a Special Administrative Region of China (SAR).



The five-month festival - Art Macao – will officially begin in June with a host of public venues and integrated resorts unveiling internationally recognised exhibits.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Vital travel trends revealed in Intrepid's second Adventure Travel Index

SECOND ANNUAL INTREPID ADVENTURE TRAVEL INDEX REVEALS NEW RESEARCH
  • Intrepid claim ‘undertourism is the new overtourism’ releasing new density ratios and a ‘health check’ for destinations
  • Emerging destinations predicted as Tajikistan, Papua New Guinea and Iran
  • Australia’s first ‘Travel Wellness Index’ revealed as active trips captivate travellers

PNG children welcome visitors (R Eime)

Intrepid Travel has released their second annual Adventure Travel Index sharing new research, expert opinions and industry insight with all Australians.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Tsunami of cancellations for Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan jets

Analysis by ForwardKeys, which forecasts future travel patterns by analysing over 17 million flight booking transactions a day, reveals that a tidal wave of cancellations has hit Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the horrendous terror attacks of Easter Sunday.

In the three days immediately after the bombings, cancellations of existing bookings surged 86.2% whilst new bookings fell away. In Sri Lanka’s most important source markets, more people cancelled existing flights than made bookings on the equivalent day last year. In order of size, that comprises India, China, the UK, Australia, Germany and France. Forward bookings for July and August, which had been running 2.6% ahead of last year, as of 20th April, fell to 0.3% behind as of 23rd April.

Prior to the Easter Sunday atrocities, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was showing healthy growth. Flight bookings to Sri Lanka in 2019 (1st Jan to 20th April) were 3.4% up on the same period in 2018. The tourism highlights were Russia, Australia and China, which showed visitor increases of 45.7%, 19.0% and 16.8% respectively.

Jameson Wong, Director, Business Development, APAC, ForwardKeys
Jameson Wong, Director,
Business Development,
APAC, ForwardKeys
Jameson Wong, Director, Business Development, APAC, ForwardKeys, said: “What Sri Lanka has suffered is just horrendous and our hearts go out to all the victims, their families and the people of Sri Lanka.” He continued: “At the moment, it is really too early to predict what the effect on tourism to Sri Lanka will be, as the initial wave of cancellations affects trips planned in the very near term. If we look back at past terrorist atrocities, it is interesting to note how different the impacts can be. In the wake of the bloody siege at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi, bookings suffered a similar collapse in the immediate aftermath; however, within less than two weeks, international arrivals returned to growth. By comparison, it has taken more than three years to see a Tunisian tourism recovery following the massacre on the beach in Sousse in 2015. We will keep the situation under review."

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Tasmanian Luxury - Prospect House Private Hotel $5 million renovation


Premium boutique country escape defines a new level of hospitality and service in Richmond, SE Tasmania



Prospect House Private Hotel, one of Tasmania’s oldest and most elegant country house hotels, is now welcoming guests after new owners, John and Libby Pooley, invested more than $5m in refurbishing and upgrading the historic property they bought in 2017.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort opens LAVA, its signature seafood and grill restaurant


The newly opened LAVA restaurant, within the InterContinental® Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, Vietnam is the resort's signature seafood and grill restaurant, serving the freshest seafood sourced from local fishermen each day, and ultra-premium cuts of Australian meat. The restaurant's namesake derives from the striking blue lava stone bar, located in the heart of the restaurant and its interior features fossilised coral and bamboo décor.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

TripAdvisor reveals world's top travel destinations



Gold Coast Stays at #2; London Crowned #1 Destination in the World

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, today announced Sydney as the winner of its Travellers’ Choice® awards for Destinations in Australia and South Pacific.

The Gold Coast and Melbourne took second and third spot respectively on the Australia list whilst London is the top destination in the world for 2019.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Heart of the Noosa Food & Wine Festival


The Festival Village is the heart of Noosa Food & Wine and the place to be on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May. Located in the Noosa Lions Park with the beautiful Noosa waterways as a backdrop there will be live cooking demonstrations, masterclasses, great food and drinks, live music and so much more across the weekend. Read on to find out what's new and what's returning to the heart of Noosa Food & Wine!

Turon Gates Pitches Six New Riverside Glamping Tents


Leading NSW bush retreat Turon Gates has added six new riverside, self-catering glamping tents to its 6000-acre Blue Mountains property.



The spacious new 50 sqm tents feature sophisticated neutral-toned teak and canvas interiors and combine rustic quality and functionality to stunning effect. It's a beautiful place in the wild for grownups.

Adventure in style.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Six Senses Yao Noi Reintroduces ‘The View’ - Southeast Asia’s Ultimate Romantic Villa


YAO NOI, Thailand – The View, a newly revamped premium one-bedroom villa at Six Senses Yao Noi is now welcoming guests. Ideal for couples, especially honeymooners and those celebrating a special occasion, it provides an abode of comfort, exclusivity and space with a touch of fun and quirky elements.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Milford Sound cruise aboard Milford Haven





The wonders of Milford Sound draw visitors from around the world, with a cruise on the crystal-clear waters of the fiord a tourism ‘must-do’.

While the fiord hasn’t changed for hundreds of years, one thing has – a cruise experience that goes above and beyond, from a company that’s gaining a reputation for thinking ‘outside the box’ in everything it does.

137 Pillars House - a New Era of Elegance



The award-winning 137 Pillars House is a stunning 30 suite boutique hotel with a rich colonial past; built around the original colonial teak homestead which dates back to the late 1800s. It is located in a leafy residential enclave a few minutes’ walk from the historical Wat Gate Temple, Ping River and boutique shopping area. The hotel is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).

137 Pillars House opened in March 2012 and in conjunction with the 7th-anniversary celebrations, have revealed a new era of elegance following a refurbishment which took place over the past 9 months.

In addition to being returned to its original condition and maintaining the integrity of the colonial elegance of the property when it first opened, highlights of the refurbishment include the unveiling of a new suite category, softscape and landscape improvements, renovated perimeter and garden walls, new gym equipment with digital connectivity and enhancements to the Spa. The newly launched boutique offers a range of elegant artisan jewellery, unique handmade wooden home accessories and local silk textiles, together with gifts and souvenirs.

Suites now offer guests even more spacious comfort with the removal of the large television cabinets. Sleek new larger televisions are free standing.



Later this year the hotel’s dining experience will be further refined with the existing Palette Restaurant being transformed into a new dining concept.

Named as a tribute to a former occupant of the original teak homestead and a manager of the Borneo Company, three 85 sqm David Fleming Macfie Suites provide a luxurious haven and spacious living area for a family of up to four or a couple wanting additional air-conditioned living space with an al fresco conservatory. The King bedroom suites include a customized divan that provides comfortable seating during the day and converts to a bed at night. The adjoining spacious tropical vintage-tiled conservatories have the option of being enclosed and air-conditioned or open-air and are furnished with a plush daybed that can sleep a fourth person. All suites feature large walk-in closets, en-suite bathrooms with Victorian freestanding claw foot bathtubs and separate indoor and outdoor showers, the signature 137 Pillars rattan planter’s rocking chair and cane shades for privacy.

Local artisans were employed to restore the unique ‘Poon Tam’ walls throughout the property, using an ancient technique similar to that used in Thai temples where the colour is incorporated into the plaster.

“Our focus and purpose was to renew our suites to their original splendour, while adding thoughtful embellishments that appeal to today’s definition of luxury; namely space where we stripped out some larger pieces of furniture, meaningful technology with the addition of USB sockets, Vifa Bluetooth sound systems) and residential touches including elegant Lucite magazine racks, freeing up surfaces for guest needs and personal drinks consoles. The project was rather like polishing the diamond – with design inspired by the rich heritage and history of the property and a lush tropical landscape, with a striking palette chosen to soothe the senses, while paying attention to precision and simplicity and a sense of place,” said Anne Arrowsmith, General Manager.

Rates at 137 Pillars House start from THB 15,000 (USD 465) per night, inclusive of breakfast and are subject to applicable service charge and government taxes.

Website: www.137pillarschiangmai.com

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Moment at Lake Eyre with APT


Over recent months, rainfall in the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia has led to an influx of water into the usually dry and barren inland sea, transforming Lake Eyre into a desert oasis, flourishing with life. Due to its remote location and unpredictable nature, this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime moment to experience.

To take in the beauty of this natural phenomenon APT has released a new seven-day Lake Eyre and Flinders Ranges journey. Travel in complete comfort aboard a custom-built 4WD vehicle and stay in a range of hand-picked accommodation, including two nights in luxury safari-style tents at the Wilpena Pound Resort.

Covering thousands of hectares, Lake Eyre takes on a pink hue as it floods, thanks to the developing presence of algae, while freshwater fish and a vast array of bird life, including white pelicans, begin to thrive. See this natural masterpiece spring to life with Poached-egg Daisies and Sturt Desert Peas in full bloom.

APT's seven-day Lake Eyre and Flinders Ranges trip includes all meals, the services of an expert Driver-Guide, and a range of APT Signature Experiences, including a scenic flight over Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre. Walk on the dazzling salt flats of Lake Eyre South, traverse the iconic Oodnadatta Track and become immersed in the incredible scenery of the Flinders Ranges.

Prices start at $3,995 per person twin share, including savings of up to $500 per person, with multiple departures running from the 29th of March until late May.

To find out more about joining APT on this once-in-a-lifetime journey, call 1300 196 420 or visit  https://www.aptouring.com.au/trips/australia/sa/gole7

apttravelgroup.com

Monday, February 18, 2019

Macau Festival lineup for 2019



MACAO is gearing up for a busy yet fruitful 2019 with the calendar filled with a mix of festivals and events to commemorate the Asian centre’s 20th anniversary as a special administrative region (SAR) OF THE People’s Republic of China.

Much of the limelight will be on Macao’s billing as a member of the elite global list of UNESCO Creative Cities for Gastronomy.

After launching the Chinese New Year of the Pig celebrations (February 5-10) with a vibrant parade and equally spectacular display of fireworks, the former Portuguese territory and its 650,000 residents are preparing for a year-long program with plenty of signature and traditional festivals, and culinary events to whet the appetite.

Heading the tourism campaigns through 2019 is Macao’s lovable mascot, Mak Mak, the creation of young local Tou Chon Wai. Mak Mak is a black-faced spoonbill native to Macao, her headwear inspired by the historic Guia Lighthouse, once the highest point of the former Portuguese territory.

Among a host of events for 2019 are:

· A-Ma Festival, where homage is paid to Macao's most popular deity, the Goddess of Seafarers (April 27);

· 30th Macao Arts Festival, various locations (May 4 – June 2);

· Procession of Our Lady of Fatima (May 13);

· Macao International Dragon Boat Races and Festival (June 1,2 and 7);

· 19th Macao Lotus Flower Festival (June 3-16);

· 2019 Wushu Masters Challenge, martial arts contest (August 1-4);

· Mid-Autumn Festival (September 13);

· The 30th Macao Fireworks Display Contest, with additional day bringing together a record 12 countries (between September 7 and October 5);

· 33rd Macao International Music Festival, various locations (October 4 – November 3).


Following on last year’s success, Macao will once again host the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants promotion (March 25-26) complete with dining experiences, lectures, a chefs’ feast and a ritzy gala awards ceremony.

Drawing on the theme of ‘Vital Ingredients’, the opening event at the Wynn Palace Cotai will see leading chefs from the region discuss ideas around sustainability, sourcing, over-consumption and related issues facing cooks, restaurateurs and diners.

From April 26-28, Macao will host its 7th Macao International Travel Industry Expo (MITE) at The Venetian Macao, this year’s exhibition seeing a further increase in the number of booths.

In late September, Macao will celebrate World Tourism Day with an array of colourful activities while, in October, it will host the Global Tourism Economy Forum.

Food for thought later in the year is the 19th Macau Food Festival, the overwhelming aroma of dishes enough to wake the taste buds as guests wandering between the lakeside street stalls from November 8-24.

Traditionally, December is a busy month and 2019 will be no exception when the city’s stages the 9th Macau Shopping Festival, the ever-appealing Macao Light Festival, the giant Macao International Parade and the 4th International Film Festival and Awards – Macao (IFFAM), complete with its red-carpet ceremonies and galaxies of star celebrities.

To wind up the eventful year, sports fans will be treated to action aplenty at the 66th Macau Grand Prix and the Macao International Marathon while lovers of fireworks will prepare for a colourful evening on December 20 to commemorate the 20th year since the establishment of the Macao Administrative Region.

Not forgetting the traditional New Year fireworks on December 31.

“There’s little doubt, Macao knows how to party,” said Helen Wong, general manager of the Macao Government Tourism Office (Australia and New Zealand). “The number of festivals and events on the calendar is overwhelming.

“Being recognised by UNESCO for its gastronomy is one of the countless highlights in a city which has always been renowned for having one of the world’s earliest forms of fusion food,” she said.

“The story of Macanese cuisine is just as enticing as the taste of the food itself.”

Details: Macao Government Tourism Office, go to www.visitmacao.com.au (Australia) or www.visitmacao.co.nz

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Virgin Atlantic new service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv


Virgin Atlantic is delighted to announce it will be launching flights between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv, Israel with the first flight taking place on 25th September 2019.

Flying daily between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport, the five hour flight will operate on an Airbus A330-300 aircraft boasting Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class, Premium and Economy Light, Classic and Delight offering.

Offering over 180,000 seats each year, the new service will offer seamless connections and a consistent long haul onboard experience for those customers connecting from Tel Aviv seamlessly via London Heathrow to destinations throughout North America across both the Virgin Atlantic and Delta networks including New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

As well as flying customers, Virgin Atlantic will offer 20 tonnes of cargo capacity on each flight. This fast cargo service will offer new opportunities for companies looking to export and import goods such as fresh produce and high tech products between Israel and prime markets in the UK and US.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO commented: "2019 marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company. Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us - Israel's economy is booming and as one of the world's leading tech hubs we're anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK. We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Tel Aviv market, using the strength of our trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers from Tel Aviv a wide range of US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco."

"I'm also thrilled to introduce this new destination to our leisure customers and I know it's somewhere they'll love to visit. Renowned for its cultural sites and with UNESCO recognised architecture, Tel Aviv also boasts beautiful beaches, a buzzing artistic and nightlife scene, incredible food and is a great base to explore the tourist destinations of the region including the iconic historical city of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and the Dead Sea".

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: "The entry of one of the world's leading airlines into Israel is another expression of confidence in the Israel tourism product. The revolution that we have implemented in the Ministry of Tourism in recent years is bearing fruit with record-breaking numbers of incoming tourism to Israel. The new flights will be integrated with the marketing campaign in Europe, which highlights Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I am convinced that, with the entry of Virgin Atlantic into Israel, we will see continued growth in incoming tourism from the UK."

Sharon E. Bershadsky, Director, IGTO for the UK and Ireland: "We're thrilled with the launch of the new flights and Virgin Atlantic's confidence in the Israeli product. The 'Two Sunny Cities, One Break' campaign has been very successful in showcasing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and we're proud of our continued commitment to working with the travel trade industry. The IGTO has been working with Virgin Atlantic to showcase the business and tourism potential of launching this new route and we looking forward to working together in order to promote Israel as a leading tourist destination."

2019 signifies a year of growth for Virgin Atlantic as the airline focuses on delivering irresistible, effortless and great value experiences that customers love. In 2019, Virgin Atlantic will welcome the first four of 12 Airbus A350-1000 to its fleet which not only boasts a totally redesigned on board experience for customers but will help transform the fleet into one of the quietest and most fuel efficient in the sky.

The airline also looks forward to becoming the founding member of a new, $13 billion transatlantic joint venture with over 300 daily transatlantic flights and 96 non-stop destinations, alongside Delta, Air France and KLM as well as launching new services from London Heathrow to Las Vegas and Manchester to Los Angeles.

Virgin Atlantic and the Israel Government Tourist Office worked closely together in the planning phase of this new service, with the IGTO UK office showcasing Israel's business and tourism potential. Virgin Atlantic looks forward to continued collaboration to promote Israel as a leading tourist destination.

Flights to Tel Aviv are on sale from 25th February. For further information contact www.virginatlantic.com or call 0844 2092 770.

Friday, February 15, 2019

AmaMagna a New Era in River Cruising


APT (in partnership with AmaWaterways), Australia's most trusted cruise and touring specialist, is proud to announce the delivery of its brand new European river ship, AmaMagna, debuting on the Danube in May 2019.

At nearly twice the width of traditional European river ships, the innovative and forward-thinking design, combines the grandeur of ocean liners expansive space and facilities, with the intimacy of river cruising.

At 22 metres wide, the AmaMagna was specifically designed to sail the Danube, Europe's second largest river that connects the shores of ten countries from Germany to Romania. Thanks to its larger than normal locks, the Danube allows the unique grand design of this industry-first vessel.

Another first for river cruising, the AmaMagna's ten engine system allows a more tailored approach to fuel consumption, using more power when going against the current or lowering cruising speed as they wish, reducing the environmental footprint considerably. LED Lighting; insulated windows reducing heating and cooling; power locks to plug into a port's power supply instead of running generators; a new freshwater storage system to reduce chemical usage; a solar heating system; and a water purification plant with more than 420 tons of water on board are all features of the  environmentally conscious new design.

Despite the extravagant size, guest capacity will only increase by 20% to a maximum of 196 guests, allowing for larger suites ranging from 205 sq. ft., to the 710 sq. ft. Owners Suite. With the majority of suites featuring step-out balconies and additional inclusions such as internet; entertainment on demand, including music and movies; marble bathrooms; luxury bath products and robes.

The luxury of space also allows for grand public spaces and amenities, including five bars; four unique dining venues (the Main Restaurant, Chef's Table, Jimmy's Wine Bar Restaurant and the Al Fresco Restaurant); two massage rooms in the Zen Wellness Studio; a pop-up elevator to the Sun Deck for accessibility to all levels; and the one and only Water Sports Platform on the river.

Active travellers will also enjoy the walking track and large heated pool on the expansive sun deck. While the rooftop pop-up bar, sun lounges and Al Fresco Restaurant provide the perfect place to sit back with a drink in hand and watch the world pass by.

Experience a new era in river cruising on the AmaMagna with APT, sailing from Munich to Bucharest, the Majestic Danube, 15-day cruise departs 14 June 2020.

Prices start from $11,995 per person, twin share. Book before 30 April 2019, to take advantage of the 'Fly for $495' Superdeal offer.

For further information please call 1300 196 420 or visit www.aptouring.com.au




Ryan Reynolds to narrate British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest documentary

#ExploreCanada #Canada

Ryan Reynolds to narrate British Columbia documentary GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST, a visually stunning journey to one of the last wild places on earth

The Kermode bear, also known as the spirit bear, is a rare subspecies of the American black bear living in the Central and North Coast regions of British Columbia, Canada. It is the official provincial mammal of British Columbia.

Spirit Bear Entertainment and MacGillivray Freeman Films have announced celebrity
A-Lister Ryan Reynolds is the confirmed narrator of Great Bear Rainforest set in one of the planet’s most exquisite and secluded wilderness locations in British Columbia, Canada.

The worldwide premiere will be released in select IMAX and Giant Screen Theatres in the Northern Hemisphere on 15 February 2019. Dates for release in Australia are anticipated to be in the latter half of 2019 and early 2020 in Melbourne and Sydney.

Hidden from the outside world, British Columbia - Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest is home to an immense array of wildlife, including the fabled all-white Spirit Bear—the rarest bear on earth—and the indigenous First Nations, who have provided stewardship of the forest for millennia. Great Bear Rainforest is the first time this wildlife-rich world will be experienced in IMAX and giant screen theatres.

“We can’t think of a more perfect fit for this project than Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds,” says director Ian McAllister, who is also Canadian and has lived and worked in the Great Bear Rainforest for 30 years. “Ryan is a wonderful representative for the ongoing conservation of this globally significant rainforest which is part of his Canadian heritage and we are thrilled he will be our narrator.”

“I want my children to know there is still an area in this world that has remained wild and will remain that way, because of the long history of stewardship shown by indigenous people,” says Ryan Reynolds. “I hope this film inspires the younger generation that there is hope for the future if we all work together and take care of our planet’s remaining wild places.”

For more information about the movie, to view the trailer and behind the scenes footage visit: http://greatbearrainforestfilm.com

Ryan Reynolds is the star and producer of Fox’s hit Deadpool franchise. He is currently shooting Michael Bay's 6 Underground for Netflix and will soon be heard as the voice of ‘Detective Pikachu’ in Legendary/Warner Bros Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. He is currently working on a slate of films as a producer through his company Maximum Effort.

Great Bear Rainforest is a Spirit Bear Entertainment film presented by Seaspan and directed by Ian McAllister, produced by Jeff Turner and executive produced by Kyle Washington and Byron Horner. The film is distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films. Great Bear Rainforest will be released in select IMAX and giant screen theatres beginning February 15, 2019. The film will be accompanied by a companion book written by Ian McAllister and Alex Van Tol and published by Orca Book Publishers.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Airbus to cease A380 production in 2021

Airbus A380 first arrival into Sydney in 2005 (Roderick Eime)

Source: Airbus

Following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies, Emirates is reducing its A380 orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft. Emirates will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years. As a consequence and given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380 in 2021.

Emirates has also decided to continue growing with Airbus’ newest generation, flexible widebody aircraft, ordering 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

“As a result of this decision we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. “The consequences of this decision are largely embedded in our 2018 full year results”.

All Nippon Airways has ordered three A380s, each with a special livery depicting sea turtles native to Hawaii (Airbus)

“The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide. But, keep in mind that A380s will still roam the skies for many years to come and Airbus will, of course, continue to fully support the A380 operators,” Tom Enders added.

“The A380 is Emirates’ flagship and has contributed to the airline’s success for more than ten years. As much as we regret the airline’s position, selecting the A330neo and A350 for its future growth is a great endorsement of our very competitive widebody aircraft family,” said Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO. “Going forward, we are fully committed to delivering on the longstanding confidence Emirates is placing in Airbus.”

Airbus will start discussions with its social partners in the next few weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years. However, the ongoing A320 ramp-up and the new widebody order from Emirates Airline will offer a significant number of internal mobility opportunities.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas Joins IHG



Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is bursting with news: it has become part of the IHG family of brands. (IHG®) (InterContinental Hotels Group) is one of the world’s leading global hotel companies with a growing number of luxury brands including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Regent Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

IHG purchased the award-winning hospitality and wellness company from private equity fund Pegasus Capital Advisors for USD 300 million. The sale includes the management of 16 hotels and resorts, 37 spas and sister companies Evason and Raison d’Etre. Following the acquisition, Six Senses is now expected to grow to 60 hotels within the next 10 years.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hayman Island prepares to welcome guests to Australia’s most iconic island resort from 1 July


Reservations are available now for guests to immerse themselves in Australia's most iconic island resort with bookings live for 1 July

The most anticipated hotel opening of 2019 is almost here. Reservations are now open, and the excitement is building as Hayman Island by InterContinental prepares to welcome guests to Australia's most iconic island resort from 1 July.

Located on a pristine 400-hectare private island, the 166-room luxury resort has undergone a spectacular, multi-million-dollar refurbishment to ensure guests will experience a truly immersive stay in one of the world's most unique and iconic destinations.

Managed by InterContinental Hotels Group® (IHG), one of the world's leading hotel companies, the resort will introduce a fresh concept of immersive luxury to travellers, offering a truly unique stay experience for those who will touch-down on Hayman's unforgettable shores. It will feature new, world-class restaurants and bars alongside a plethora of bespoke experiences for guests including a new spa and unrivalled meetings and event spaces.

Nestled in the world-renowned surrounds of the Whitsundays, Hayman Island by InterContinental will invite guests to enjoy stunning on-island experiences and all the private oasis has to offer: from secluded beach coves and jet ski adventures, to iconic seaplane rides boasting breath-taking views of the Great Barrier Reef. Hayman Island by InterContinental is guaranteed to have something to suit all travellers, from the adventurer to the luxuriously laid back.

Mark Eletr, Resort Manager at Hayman Island by InterContinental says: "Opening our unique paradise in the Whitsundays to the world under InterContinental's trusted brand is a true privilege. Hayman Island continues to capture the hearts of domestic and international travellers and we are thrilled to announce that on 1 July our doors will open and a new chapter of immersive luxury awaits".

The resort has announced that five innovative dining experiences will be revealed for guests to enjoy and experience on-island, inspired by fresh Queensland flavours with a contemporary menu design. From poolside, luxurious fare to to exciting and bold evening dining, the new offerings will delight and surprise guests, catering to a range of ages and lifestyles.

The room configurations will encompass 166 stylish accommodation options across three distinct wings, spanning from luxurious suites and beachfront villas to lagoon and poolside rooms. The newly built Beach House is an exquisite addition to the accommodation selection, offering guests a private slice of Hayman heaven with three suites and multiple private pools. In addition to the hotel, a new collection of once-in-a-lifetime, luxury private residences will be available to rent for those who want to experience a more private piece of paradise on Hayman Island. Perched on the hilltops of the island overlooking its iconic bay the stunning properties, whilst being fully private, will also have full access to all the resort has to offer, ensuring each guest is fully immersed into island life.

Hayman Island by InterContinental will also be a meetings and events paradise, offering exceptional meetings and events options in its idyllic Whitsundays location. For corporate events there is a selection of stunning indoor and outdoor spaces that can house meetings for 10 to 300 delegates. For weddings, Hayman Island has an on-island chapel and bespoke experiences will be crafted utilising the property's stunning ceremony and reception locations.

Completing the immersive on-island experience is a brand-new luxury spa with 13 treatment rooms, an all-new resort boutique, world-class kids club and state-of-the-art fitness centre.

Located on the northernmost point in the Whitsunday Islands, Hayman Island by InterContinental is accessible via either luxury vessel, helicopter or seaplane.

#ImmerseIntoHayman

 @intercontinentalhaymanisland

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Asia Pacific Travel Marketing Services Becomes Linkd Tourism


 
Asia Pacific Travel Marketing Services (APTMS), well known for sales and marketing representation in Australia and New Zealand, reveals its new trading name, Linkd Tourism, as part of a company rebrand.

Following extensive market research, it became evident that the name APTMS no longer best represented the services or personality of the company, spurring the creation of a new brand that incorporated what it does within the name, linking tourism products and destinations to the Australian and New Zealand market, reaching the target audience for each of its partners.

Owner and Managing Director, Kylee Kay, purchased the company in 2009, and in the last decade has led the business from a sales and reservations office primarily for touring product, to a full service representation agency for a mix of travel brands, whilst successfully retaining its long-term clients, such as Alamo Rent A Car, which has been a partner for more than 30 years.

As the team has evolved, further experience in destination representation has shaped the direction of the company and in 2018 the agency landed its first destination client, Colorado Tourism Office. The appointment followed Managing Director, Kylee Kay, completing a two-year term as President of the Visit USA tourism body. A new office was also opened in the Surry Hills area of New South Wales at the end of December, solidifying Linkd Tourism's expanding Sydney-based team. The new year also signalled a relocation of the company's existing head office in Burleigh Heads.

A new website, www.linkdtourism.com, is now live, which sees a complete refresh of the previous APTMS website to become more user friendly and optimised for mobile. The website retains its agent log in portal which previously set the representation agency apart from its competitors, with a full suite of training materials and webinar content for its range of clients.

Managing Director of Linkd Tourism, Kylee Kay, commented "I'm extremely proud to have seen the company develop and grow over its 32 years in business, introducing new and exciting partners to the Australia and New Zealand markets, whilst retaining long-standing relationships from its inception. Following recent expansion, including a new office in Sydney, DMC Sales and PR divisions, as well as the addition of destination partners to our portfolio, now is the time to ensure our brand is aligned as we continue to build our service offering and client base."

For further information, please visit www.linkdtourism.com or call the team on +61 7 55 686 700.

New office addresses as below:

New South Wales

Suite 204, Level 2 61 Marlborough Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Australia

Queensland

Suite 1 19-21 Park Avenue
Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
Australia

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Intprepid's Top 10 Cycling adventures around the world



Say goodbye to your everyday cycling routines and bring your lycra on an adventure of a lifetime, to discover the world in a unique way. Intrepid Travel has seen a 55 per cent increase in cycling trip bookings demonstrating how travel can play a role in encouraging people to go outside of their comfort zones and challenge themselves.

To help adventurous travellers find their next challenging route, Frank Cheshire at Intrepid Travel has put together his top 10 cycling locations around the globe. Frank is a self-confessed cycling junkie and is addicted to the thrill of two wheeled adventures.

Frank's top ten places around the world for a cycling adventure:

Colombia is a cycling-mad destination and any country that closes its capital city's main streets every Sunday for 'Ciclovia de Bogata' - where over two million cyclists, or 30 per cent of the city's population, can enjoy traffic free riding. Prices for this eight day cycling adventure to Colombia start from $2,825*.

Camino de Santiago is a network of pilgrims in the northwest of Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of Saint James are buried. While most pilgrims slog it out on foot the path is growing popular with cyclists and the thrill peaks on the final hill where you'll see the towering steeples of the Santiago de Compestella Cathedral in the near distance. Prices for this eight day cycling adventure to Camino de Santiago start from $2,635*.

Iceland is known for its scenery and there's no better way to experience it than on two wheels. You will feel dwarfed by the majestic beauty of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier where the lake glistens with diamond-like mini icebergs. Intrepid also take cycling groups out to the Glacier Lagoon at Jokulsarlon and Game of Thrones scenery. Prices for this nine day cycling adventure to Iceland start from $5,950*.

The Balkans include some of Europe's best landscapes spread over three countries. A pit-stop in the charming town of Mostar includes a stop at Stari Most (Old Bridge). Park the bike, grab a coffee and cake at a nearby cafe, and marvel at as locals dive almost 100 feet into the River Neretva below. This is a tradition for local boys, who are said to have a lifetime of bad luck if they do not complete the jump in order to become a man. Prices for this eight day cycling adventure to the Balkans start from $1,790*.

Japan is set to be one of the hottest destinations for 2019 and a great way to experience it is by cycling through the laid back and rustic Noto Peninsula. Its quiet roads, rugged coastlines, rice paddies, endless farmland and sleepy coastal fishing villages are the perfect antidote to the frenetic buzz of Japan's neon city of Tokyo. Prices for this 11 day cycling adventure to Japan start from $5,150*.

New Zealand's South Island has some of the finest 'rail trail' cycling routes in the world and few are better than the spectacular Otago Central Rail Trail. It's the oldest rail trail in New Zealand and the locals have voted 'New Zealand's Favourite Ride' for last two years in a row. Prices for this eight day cycling adventure to New Zealand start from $3,000*.

Eastern Cuba is where cyclists can explore a seldom-visited paradise not far from Varadero's popular beaches – the Yumuri Valley. Tucked behind the hills that line the province's northern edges, a bike tour of the Yumuri Valley will reveal a stunning mix of rolling pastures, fields of palm trees, small forests and agricultural plots. This is a genuine insight into Cuba away from the tourist crowds. Prices for this eight day cycling adventure to Eastern Cuba start from $1,550*.

Northern Vietnam and the ride to Mai Chao has you cycling through some of the country's most remarkable views including limestone karst peaks rising out of serene rice paddies. This is a ride when the end is almost as spectacular as the ride itself. The peaceful and friendly village of Mai Chau is situated in a valley surrounded by verdant green mountains and is famed for its breathtaking scenery. Prices for this eight day cycling adventure to Northern Vietnam start from $1,250*.

Kerala is state on India's tropical Malabar Coast and is a dream to cycle, from cooler climes of the hilly Western Ghats to the buzzing port town of Kochi. A highlight is the ride from Trivandrum to Varkala with Kerala on your right and nothing but long stretches of sand, palm trees and the Arabian Sea on your left. Best of all, Varkala has some of the most pristine beaches in India. Prices for this eight day cycling adventure to Kerala start from $1,290*.

Costa Rica's shores of Lake Fortuna, in the shadow of Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano, is a must do in this area of stunning natural beauty. In between pedalling, you can check out Costa Rica's reggae bars and even take a chocolate tour. Prices for this eight day cycling adventure to Costa Rica start from $1,905*.

Intrepid's 2019 Cycling Brochure is out now. For more information on cycling adventures, head to https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au


*Prices per adult twin-share.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places