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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!
The River Lounge – NEW- 2 hour sessions $75 per ticket: The Festival Village's newest space, The River Lounge will be bringing some of Australia's best chefs and producers together to create good vibes, delicious bites and hand-curated cocktails.  Available only at Noosa Food & Wine for one time only, there will be collaborations like you've never seen before, from Paul Carmichael with Four Pillars right through to Sum Yung Guys with Stone & Wood.  
The Drinks Lab – NEW - 30 minute sessions $45 per ticket: Another exciting addition for the Festival Village, The Drinks Lab is bringing together some of our nation's best mixologists, wine connoisseurs and spirit gurus to create a series of alcohol inspired masterclasses. The best in the business will be spilling all of their secrets and tricks of the trade from artisan gin, right through to authentic sake.  
Live Cooking Demonstrations: The Main Stage will feature cooking demonstrations across Saturday and Sunday from celebrity chefs including: Matt Moran, Paul Carmichael, Alessandro Pavoni, Giovanni Pilu, Alastair McLeod, Kirsten Tibballs, Anna Polyviou and others. Noosa's own Matt Golinksi and Matt Sinclair will also be cooking up a storm and crowd favourite, Matt Preston returns again with demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday.
Taste of Noosais where you will find some of Noosa's best restaurants dishing up great food across the weekend. Restaurants include Bombetta, El Capitano, Café Le Monde, Embassy XO, Sum Yung Guys, Providore on Hastings, Peregian Beach Hotel, Padre Coffee, View by Matt Golinski, Acruri at RACV Noosa Resort, Village Bicycle, Zachary's and Fiona's Fancies.
The Craft Beer & Cider Corner returns this year with crowd favourites Stone & Wood working alongside some of Noosa's best craft brewers including Land & Sea, Heads of Noosa and Boiling Pot. Brouhaha and Diablo Ginger Beer will also be joining the party.
Wanting to meet some great local and visiting producers? The Providore on Hastings Pavilion is the place to be where you will find Amrita Park Mead, Big Heart Bamboo, CC's Kitchen, Cobram Estate, Cooloola Berries, Hum Honey, Kenilworth Dairies, Kokopod Chocolate Australia, Lindols Macadamias, Salumi Australia, Slow Food Noosa, The Fermentary, The Pumpkin House, Ugly Duck Preserves, Barenuts, Woombye Cheese Co. and other producers.
Olsson's Salts Masterclasses - 30 minute sessions $35 per ticket: Olsson's Salts are returning again with their intimate range of masterclasses from some of Australia's best chefs, producers and winemakers. These sessions will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and learn from chefs and producers themselves, second only to being personally invited into their workshops and kitchens. These exclusive masterclasses are a ticketed item and are only accessible with Festival Village tickets.
Festival Inclusions:
Entry to the Festival Village includes your Noosa Food & Wine Festival stemless poly-carb wine glass, complimentary glass of Dal Zotto Prosecco, live cooking demonstrations, access to the Chef's Skills Table, access to Taste of Noosa Restaurants,entryto the Providore on Hastings Pavilion, entry to the Craft Beer & Cider Corner, live music from 3pm and more!
The Essentials:
  • The Festival Village will open Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May from 10am – 8pm
  • The Festival Village is an all-weather event
  • Getting to the Festival is easy thanks to the complimentary shuttle bus running between the Noosa Transit Centre, The J in Noosa Junction and the Festival Village in Noosa Lions Park on Saturday and Sunday
  • The Festival is a cashless event so bring your debit card, credit card or phone and tap and go!
  • Book now and save or pay $41 at the gate on the day
  • $1 from every entry to the Festival Village will support 'Trees for Tourism' supportingNoosa & District Landcare's rehabilitation initiatives, in particular the Noosa Trail Network Revegetation Project. Your contribution as part of the Festival Village ticket price will help provide shade trees for walkers, assist with erosion and improve the habitat for local wildlife species.
For the full program and to purchase event tickets visit  www.noosafoodandwine.com.au
The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the Noosa Food & Wine Festival which features on the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar. Queensland, just the place to experience Australia's best live events.



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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.

Furnishings include a sumptuous four-poster bed plus daybed and lounge area, elegant contemporary bathroom (with a tempting bath for two), kitchenette with Nespresso coffee machine and a Danish wood burner stove for cosy nights.

Turn on or turn off at Turon



A welcome gift of local wine and honey, complimentary toiletries, and an in-tent selection of magazines, books and board games, create an instantly chillaxed vibe.

All Turon's glamping tents have a large outdoor deck with comfy day loungers and overlook the clear trout stream running through the property. The tents are fully insulated and have window coverings that unroll for extra breeze and views - the perfect recipe for a romantic night under the Turon stars.

Kirsten Lunoe of Turon Gates says, “We are excited to bring couples' glamping to the Blue Mountains and believe it will appeal to those looking for a unique experience within easy reach of Sydney.

“Our new glamping tents offer urban escapees a unique outdoor experience in an authentic bush setting. A scenic road trip of about three hours from Sydney immerses you in the great outdoors, where you'll be sharing the 'hood with kangaroos, wombats, platypus and echidnas.

“Our guests love that they can choose to go bush horse riding or have an in-tent massage. Bush walks, canoeing or just chilling out are also popular at Turon. If guests then want to venture out and explore local happenings, Katoomba, Mudgee, Bathurst and Lithgow are within easy reach, but the magic of Turon tends to stop the urge to venture elsewhere,” adds Kirsten.



The new offering at Turon Gates includes The Pavilion, a unique event glamping tent accommodating up to 100 seated or 150 standing guests for special gatherings, corporate & wellness retreats.

In keeping with its commitment to all things sustainable, Turon Gates is solar powered. If you'd rather not do a digital detox, Wi-Fi is available around the glamping site to keep you connected and able to share your Turon experience.

For more information about Turon Gates including accommodation options, prices and availability visit:https://www.turongates.com/

A few facts…
  • Glamping prices are from $231 per night.
  • Dogs are welcome in the cabins at Turon but sadly not in these flash tents!
  • The tents are self-catering.



Traveloscopy | 

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.

Say hello to the new-look Milford Haven from Go Orange.

Guests on board enjoy a top-notch experience on the most unique boat around - a perfect marriage of design, art and outstanding hospitality.

From velvet-soft seating in jewel-like shades to café-style booths, eye-catching artwork, chilled music (this is a largely commentary-free zone), and an AstroTurf top deck with wooden bench seating, outdoor bar and beanbags – this is a cruise boat like no other.

For Go Orange, fast gaining a reputation as a nimble innovator challenging long-held ways of doing business, their unique approach to a boat refit is not unexpected.

General Manager Luke Taylor says their aim was to “surprise and delight” passengers when they stepped on board.

“The concept was born from a desire to be different,” he says.

“We want people to chill out, relax, and enjoy the uniqueness of the Haven and what it has to offer just as much as the scenery outside.

“Our passenger numbers are limited to 200, even though our capacity is for double, to showcase one of the best places on earth, without the crowds.

“We’ve been able to create more open spaces and seating areas that actually face the windows, as well as significantly improving how people move around the boat.

“Everything that was obstructing the top deck view has been cleared to create Milford Sound’s only full 360-degree viewing area with comfortable, practical seating and AstroTurf, which everyone loves!”

Brought in to spearhead the refit were the owners and designers of Queenstown hospitality hot-spot Yonder.

Emily and Gary Livesey both originally have engineering backgrounds, but Emily admits Luke’s decision to choose them for the job rather than a marine engineer was intriguing and terrifying at the same time.

“If he had chosen anyone else he would have got boat-category furniture and material and a boat that looked like all the others,” she says.

“He said he wanted a fresh set of eyes and different design features which was so refreshing. It gave us the confidence to design rich and luxurious-looking curved seating that felt like you were in a lounge, a relaxed restaurant style and feel to the whole boat, and engaging pieces of art and photography from Kiwi artists.

“The devil is in the detail, right down to the white trim around the windows and the grey wool with diamond stitching on the café booth seating, which has been raised so people get a better view than they did before.

“The wooden seating on the top deck, with its two levels, is a great bit of fun but very practical, so people can sit comfortably with a drink or some lunch and no-one gets a bad view.”

Highlights on board include a green wall lit with ‘Go Beyond’ neon lighting, evocative framed images from photographer Troy Tanner, vintage-style prints from Lisa Nicole-Moes and Kiwiana prints by Glenn Jones.

The hospitality is an experience like no other in Milford Sound with barista made coffee, tasty delights from Queenstown’s Empanada Kitchen and Plant B, and an exclusively brewed Haven XPA from Canyon Food & Brew Co

More: https://www.goorange.co.nz/en/experiences/go-cruise/milford-sound-cruise/


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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Banyan Tree garners 241 global awards in 2018


Celebrating the year that was, in 2018 Banyan Tree Group were awarded 241 global award for their branding and exceptional experiences as a leading hospitality leader.

An international operator and developer of premium resorts, hotels, residences, spas, golf and integrated resorts, Banyan Tree continues to lead the luxury travel category, having won 117 international benchmark awards including:

·       Travel+Leisure US World's Best Awards 2018 Top 20 Hotel Brands in the World
·       DestinAsian 13th Readers' Choice Awards 2018 Best Hotel Brands for Leisure
·       Beijing News The Best Hotel Brand 2017.

The wide spread achievement across Banyan Tree's portfolio recognises the uniqueness and spirit of adventure found at each location. Banyan Tree began building retreats of rest and rejuvenation, championing the ethos of "Embracing the Environment, Empowering People". Their approach to sustainability means each building is built in harmony with nature, contributing to the growth and development of the community.

As a pioneer in sustainability, the Group was named Shanghai Morning Post Tourism Awards 2017 Best Social Responsibility Brand.

Offering a deep sense of place, across all locations, Banyan Tree highlights and infuses the uniqueness of the locale through design and build, guests' and associates' experiences to sustainability impacts.

With this in mind, Banyan Tree resorts were also awarded:

·       Top 50 Hotels of China for the new design-savvy Dhawa Jinshanling
·       Voyage Travel Awards 2018 Best Overseas Hotel  for Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay
·       Travel+Leisure US World's Best Awards 2018 - Top 10 Resort Hotels in Mexico for Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués
·       DestinAsian 13th Readers' Choice Awards 2018 Best Hotel in Macau for Banyan Tree Macau

Inspired by the romance of travel, Banyan Tree will continue to increase its global presence and foray into unique exotic destinations across the Europe, Asia-Pacific, Oceania and other regions.

Banyan Tree Spa is well loved for its art of touch and luxurious spa experiences by skilful therapists. Some of the awards it received include:

·       The 2018 TTG Travel Hall of Fame - Best Spa Operator for the 4th year since induction.
·       13th China Hotel Starlight Awards 2017 Best Spa Operator of China for the 10th consecutive year.
·       Shanghai Morning Post Tourism Awards 2017 Best Spa Brand for the 6th consecutive year.

Ms Ho Ren Yung, Vice President, Brand HQ of Banyan Tree Holdings said, "We value the importance of accreditations bestowed by the industry partners and our guests, which spur us to continually raise the bar in providing exemplary products and services. I would like to thank our guests and business partners for the ever-strong support and our associates, our pillar of success, for the dedication in delivering exceptional experiences and pioneering sustainability which Banyan Tree is synonymously known for."

"Sustainability has been ingrained as part of our corporate DNA from the very beginning and it is one of the key areas that we are truly proud of. Celebrating our Group's 25th Anniversary in 2019, these award recognitions reinforce our passion and commitment to grow our brands globally. We aspire to journey our guests to more exciting destinations around the world and foster our ongoing commitment towards driving sustainability for a better world," added Ms Ho.

With 26 successful signings of new hotel agreements for its four brands during 2018 there are now 48 hotels in operation with 7 new hotels slated to open in 2019.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Australia's Most Welcoming Places


Today Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, is honouring its accommodation partners who consistently deliver great customer experiences with a prestigious Guest Review Award. For the seventh annual edition of the popular awards, 759,845 properties across 219 countries and territories are being given an award, with 3,394 properties receiving awards in Australia.

Based on the share of properties receiving an award in 2018, for the first time ever, Booking.com has revealed the most welcoming places in Australia according to customer reviews.

Most welcoming places in Australia

The top 10 most welcoming destinations in Australia include*:
  1. Bendigo, Victoria (71 winners)
  2. Hervey Bay, Queensland (65 winners)
  3. Halls Gap, Victoria (61 winners)
  4. Ballarat, Victoria (67 winners)
  5. Townsville, Queensland (71 winners)
  6. Hobart, Tasmania (154 winners)
  7. Launceston, Tasmania (70 winners)
  8. Margaret River Town, Western Australia (88 winners)
  9. Warnambool, Victoria (65 winners)
  10. Canberra, ACT (84 winners)

This is especially relevant for nearly two thirds of Aussie travellers (69%) that say friendly and interesting locals are one of their top considerations when selecting a destination for their next trip.**

When it comes to the most welcoming types of properties, globally the winners were all from the alternative accommodation segment, which highlights the ongoing traveller appreciation for unique stay experiences, including Bed and Breakfasts, ApartHotels, Motels, Apartments and Holiday Homes.***

Apartments and unique places to stay remain firm traveller favourites

For the second year in a row, apartments were the top-awarded accommodation type, making up more than a third (36%) of the award-winning properties globally in 2018. In fact, while hotels came in as the second-awarded accommodation type, nearly three quarters (73%) of all the winning properties are homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, including everything from boats and igloos to homestays and country houses.

The ongoing appreciation and interest from global travellers to experience a wide variety of unique stay experiences is also reflected in recent research by Booking.com which asked 21,000 travelers across 29 countries about their travel habits – this highlighted that more than a third of Aussie travellers (33%) would prefer to stay in a vacation rental (holiday home or apartment) over a hotel in 2019.

In addition, almost 17% said that they would consider listing their own home on a travel accommodation site over the coming year. With over a third of Australians also wanting to stay in an accommodation type they’ve never experienced before in 2019, the consumer demand in this segment is growing.

“No matter the type, size or location of the property, what we see from our customers is that they value a human connection when they travel, whether it’s some extra attention to detail or a truly individualized approach to service,” said Olivier Grémillon, Vice President at Booking.com.

“With these awards, we celebrate and thank all of the amazing accommodation providers who create special travel experiences for our customers on a daily basis.”

A SELECTION OF OUTSTANDING PROPERTIES IN AUSTRALIA RECEIVING A 2018 AWARD

Grand Hotel and Apartments, Townsville, QLD
Avenue Hotel, Canberra, ACT
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, TAS
Somerset on the Pier, Hobart, TAS
Vintages Accommodation, Margaret River Town, WA
Hervey Bay Colonial Lodge, Hervey Bay, QLD
Salamander Bay Bed and Breakfast, Salamander Bay, NSW
Southview Guest House, Wollongong, NSW
The Playford Adelaide – Mgallery by Sofitel, Adelaide, SA
Best Western Olde Maritime Motor Inn, Warrnambool, VIC


To be recognized with an award, properties had to have an average review score of 8.0 or higher based on at least 5 reviews as of 11:59pm (CET) on October 31, 2018. Only customers that have actually stayed at an accommodation can leave a review of their experience on Booking.com. After they have checked out of the property, they are invited to rate their accommodation experience against six categories: cleanliness, comfort, location, facilities, staff and value for money. As these reviews are never edited or adjusted in any way, travelers can reference them for an authentic account of what the real guest experience is like at every place to stay on Booking.com.

*Cities were sorted by the total share of 2018 Guest Review Award winners when compared to the total amount of eligible properties in that city. Cities also had to have an above average amount of winners to be included on this list (60 award recipients or higher)

**This is defined as the percentage of respondents who rated this aspect a 7 out of 10 or higher. Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 53,492 respondents across 31 markets. In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place between October 16 and November 12, 2018.

***Accommodation types were sorted by the total share of 2018 Guest Review Award winners when compared to the total amount of eligible properties globally in each property type.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Sydney Secures Tennis ATP Cup Finals



Sydney has secured the finals matches of a major new global event to launch the tennis season, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Cup, hailing a new era in men's tennis to commence from 2020.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the NSW Government had won the hosting rights for the ATP Cup finals matches until 2022 and would also host group matches alongside other Australian cities.

"Our city offers excellent facilities, first class hospitality and has a proud track record of hosting major tennis events," Mr Marshall said.

"This is another coup for our State, not only for athletes and sporting fans but the wider NSW community who are set to win from the estimated $36.5 million injection into our local economy.

"I'm proud of NSW's exceptional capability to host blockbuster events that are lucrative, entertaining and ensure we're the envy of our interstate rivals.

"We're building a world-class calendar of events to drive tourism across NSW and put more heads on hotel beds, diners in our restaurants and shoppers in our boutiques."

Following the recent announcement that Ken Rosewall Arena (pic above) at the Olympic Tennis Centre will receive a $50.5 million upgrade, Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government is committed to working with Tennis Australia and Tennis NSW to deliver an outstanding event.

"The NSW Government has made a commitment to bid for 10 World Cups for the next decade and we're well on our way to reaching our goal only six months after embarking on our ambitious target," Mr Ayres said.

"Tennis continues to form the cornerstone of our country's sporting landscape, capturing the hearts and minds of sport fans each summer and attracting international spectators to our locally-hosted matches.

"I look forward to welcoming tennis greats to our State for the ATP Cup group and finals matches that will no doubt provide a sensational showcase of sport and opportunity for NSW to shine on the world stage."

Tennis Australia Chief Executive Officer Craig Tiley said, "With more than 100 players from 24 nations vying for $22 million in prize money and 750 ATP ranking points, the ATP Cup will help us launch the global tennis season every January in Australia."

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Banyan Tree Bangkok marks two decades of fun, fitness and social goodwill

20th annual stair step footrace to benefit infants and nursing mothers

Banyan Tree Bangkok proudly announces the Vertical Marathon 2019, its perennial running event to benefit worthy causes and representing one of the city's most distinguished and challenging charity athletic events.

Scheduled for Sunday 10 March 2019, the Vertical Marathon features a 61-floor stairway course that rises more than 1,000 steps through the 5-Star Banyan Tree Bangkok Hotel. The once-a-year race attracts dozens of devoted competitors—young, older, experienced and not—whose collective dash to the top ends at the award-winning Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar, the rooftop dining venue renowned as one of Southeast Asia's highest-altitude outdoor restaurants. For those not wanting to run the 61 floors can enter as a team of two or four people and share the fun.

Registration fee for the Vertical Marathon 2019 is Baht 400 per runner, which includes an official event T-shirt, while those who succeed in summiting the nearly 200-metre tower on North Sathon Road will receive a commemorative medallion in recognition of their achievement.

All proceeds from the event go to the Thai Red Cross HIV Formula Feeding Fund under the patronage of Her Royal Highness, Princess Soamsawali. The fund provides essential infant formula for babies of HIV afflicted mothers.

Runners who think they have what it takes to meet this uniquely demanding physical challenge may register online at http://www.gotorace.com/event/vertical-marathon-2019 or at the front desk in the lobby at Banyan Tree Bangkok, now through 1 March 2019, or for further information call 02 679 1200, or visit banyantree.com

To support persons who are living with HIV, runners are asked to wear a red ribbon and take a selfie at the event, then public-post on Facebook with the hashtag: #RedVM2019. One lucky-draw winner will receive a gift voucher for set-menu 3 course dinner for two from Vertigo restaurant. (Winner will be notified by 20 March 2019.



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