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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Eichardt’s Private Hotel New Zealand’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel


Three times a charm for Eichardt's Private Hotel at World Ski Awards

It was once, twice, three times a winner as Eichardt's Private Hotel took out the distinguished title of New Zealand's Best Ski Boutique Hotel at the annual World Ski Awards for the third consecutive year.

Acknowledging exceptional success in the ski tourism industry, the luxury Queenstown hotel was presented the award at a glamourous black tie Gala Ceremony held last night (November 21) in Kitzb├╝hel, Austria.

The event was attended by ski tourism figureheads and market leaders from North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australasia and took into account votes from thousands of ski tourism professionals and members of the public to determine the best of the best across the globe.

Eichardt's Private Hotel owner Andrew Cox praises his team for their unwavering commitment to excellence across all levels of the hotel proposition.

"Queenstown is known as the skiing capital of the Southern Hemisphere so to be awarded three years consecutively as the best choice for premium accommodation is certainly a proud moment.

"Our team works hard to go above and beyond to identify the best in skiing experiences to our guests.  This can mean anything from private boot and board/ski fittings in their suite to heli-skiing on untouched powder, so it's great to see their diligence recognised on the world stage."

World Ski Awards Managing Director Sion Rapson launched the World Ski Awards in 2013 with the aim to drive up standards within the ski industry and reward the organisations that are leaders in their field.

"Each winner can take enormous pride – they have been voted the finest in class against stiff competition," Rapson said.

The hotel is part of the Imperium Collection, a collective of accommodation and dining offers including The Spire Hotel, Eichardt's Private Hotel, Eichardt's Bar, Eichardt's Lakefront Apartments, Eichardt's Residence and No5 Church Lane Restaurant and Bar. The Spire Hotel was recently awarded Oceania and Australasia's best luxury boutique hotel at the World Luxury Hotel Awards, which is the sister ceremony to the World Ski Awards.

Rates at Eichardt's Private Hotel start from NZ$1,250 per night for one-bedroom Apartments and NZ$1,700 for Suites.  In 2016 the hotel will launch a $10,000 per night accommodation package in its new penthouse currently under construction.

Location and rates

Eichardt's is located at 2 Marine Parade, in the centre of the township and 8km from Queenstown airport. 

Airlines including Air New Zealand, Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar fly direct to Queenstown from major ports in Australia and New Zealand.

Eichardt's accommodation starts from NZ$1,250 per night for one-bedroom apartments and NZ$1,700 for Hotel suites.

The hotel is part of the Imperium Collection, a collective of accommodation and dining offers including The Spire Hotel, Eichardt's Private Hotel, Eichardt's Bar, Eichardt's Lakefront Apartments, Eichardt's Residence and No5 Church Lane Restaurant and Bar.

For bookings, phone +64 3 441 0450 or email

For further information visit

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cape Nidhra Hotel Hua Hin voted Southeast Asia’s Best Design Boutique Hotel

Cape Nidhra Hotel Hua Hin has been named 'Southeast Asia's Best Design Boutique Hotel' at the World Boutique Hotel Awards.

With over 300 hotels reviewed by the judges, this prestigious award is a massive recognition for the luxury property further enhancing its positioning as one of Thailand's top boutique hotels.

The judges' evaluation was based on various elements such as design and concept, emotional connection and impact but above all on flair, character and feel.

Set on the legendary Hua Hin Beach in the heart of Thailand's royal seaside resort, Cape Nidhra Hotel Hua Hin offers a range of elegant pool suites featuring distinctive contemporary Asian design.  Member of Small Luxury Hotels, the exclusive 5-star property does not only excel in accommodation but also in personalised service, extensive facilities, tranquil comfort and unrivalled luxury.

All 59 suites are stylish, lavish and modern in design. Suite sizes vary with the smallest category, the Sky Pool Suite, featuring 80 square metres of living space and the hotel's top-end 'flagship' Nidhrarom suite featuring 300 square metres of contemporary sleek living space following an open-flow concept and coming with private butler service.

Hotel facilities include The Rocks Restaurant, On The Rocks bar, a fitness centre, a large swimming pool, Cape Spa and water sports.

While Hua Hin has become one of Thailand's most sought-after locations in recent years, it has still managed to keep the charm of a sustained seaside town appealing to those travellers who are after relaxation and authenticity. Cape Nidhra is only a short walk from the renowned Hua Hin night markets as well as shopping, restaurants and nightlife.

Rex to Commence Services to the Snowy Mountains

Regional Express (Rex), in partnership with Snowy Mountains Airport Corporation Pty Ltd (SMAC), has today announced that it will commence Regular Public Transport (RPT) services between Sydney and the Snowy Mountains (Cooma) in March 2016.

Services will commence from Wednesday 23 March 2016 for the Easter period, with the core schedule of five return services per week commencing from Monday 28 March 2016. Additional services on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays will operate through the ski season.

The Snowy Mountains region has been without RPT air services since mid December 2013 when the prior operator Brindabella Airlines was placed into receivership.

Rex General Manager Network Strategy & Sales, Mr Warrick Lodge said, “Rex is thrilled to re-establish RPT services to the Snowy Mountains in partnership with Snowy Mountains Airport Corporation. We look forward to collaborating with SMAC to offer a quality service for the residents of the Snowy Mountains and for the many visitors to the region during both the winter and summer seasons. The air service is a vital link for the region, and will bring significant socio-economic benefits to the Snowy Mountains.”

“We have worked closely with SMAC to design the schedule and determine the seasonal timings of the service and will work with them and local tourism operators and organisations to promote the services.”

This is not the first time that Rex has operated RPT services to the Snowy Mountains. Rex operated services to the region for three years until the severe worldwide pilot shortage of 2007/08 forced Rex to suspend a number of services across its network. The Regional Express Group formed the Australian Airline Pilot Academy (AAPA), its pilot training facility based in Wagga Wagga, to combat this issue.

Cooma: 16kms Berridale: 17kms Jindabyne: 46kms Adaminaby: 54kms
Skitube: 67kms Perisher Valley: 77kms Thredbo Village: 80kms
Charlotte Pass: 85kms Selwyn Snowfields: 98kms
Chairman of Snowy Mountains Airport Corporation, Kevin Blyton is delighted that Snowy Mountains Airport will again welcome Rex to the region.

“Rex delivered a very reliable and safe service in the past and the resumption of regular year round flights to and from Sydney provides an important link for the people of the Snowy Mountains.”

“We look forward to working with Rex in providing the best possible air service to satisfy the needs of both the business and tourism sectors for many years to come,” he added.

The services will be operated by Rex's fleet of 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft and fares start at $149 each way (plus a booking/services surcharge).

From today, reservations can be made on the web via, by phoning 13 17 13 or through your local travel agent. The confirmed schedule is shown in the Annex.

Regional Express (Rex) is Australia's largest independent regional airline operating a fleet of more than 40 Saab 340 aircraft on some 1,400 weekly flights to 54 destinations throughout New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland. The Rex Group comprises Regional Express, air freight and charter operator Pel-Air Aviation and Dubbo based regional airline Air Link, as well as the pilot academy Australian Airline Pilot Academy.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Qantas Celebrates 95 Years of History and Innovation Unveils “Retro Roo II” Livery on a B737

A newly reconfigured Qantas Boeing 737-800 painted in vintage 1960s livery has been unveiled in Sydney as the national carrier celebrates 95 years of flying.

Retro Roo II (VH-VXQ) has the same livery that featured on Qantas' Boeing 707 jets from 1959 to 1961 – when the flying kangaroo helped revolutionise long-haul travel.

The B707 represented a step-change in aviation and Qantas was the first carrier outside the United States to operate the jet. In 1959, Qantas used it to become the first airline to operate regular passenger jet services across the Pacific Ocean, connecting Sydney and San Francisco.

Qantas was also the first airline to offer a round-the-world jet service with the B707. The flying time was 70 hours compared to 127 hours with the Super Constellation aircraft that the B707 replaced. Today a Qantas flight from Sydney to London stops just once, in Dubai, and takes 21 flying hours.

Welcoming the freshly-painted jet into a hangar with more than 300 employees, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce described the vintage livery as a flying tribute to the airline's history of innovation.

“None of the past 95 years would have been possible without all those who have worked for Qantas with such commitment and passion. Tens of thousands of people have dedicated their whole careers to the national carrier and many who work here today are the third or fourth generation in their family to do so,” he added.

“As we celebrate our 95th birthday today, I hope this livery inspires a sense of pride in what our national airline has achieved during all those years of taking Australians around the world and bringing them safely home again,” said Mr Joyce.

“A large part of the national pride people feel towards the flying kangaroo comes from the fact it has been responsible for so many innovations in global aviation.

“We were the first airline to introduce business class, we have operated record breaking endurance flights throughout our history and we've helped pioneer many breakthroughs in aviation technology.

“Innovation is still at the core of Qantas and we're now looking to a new generation of aircraft with the arrival of Qantas' first B787 Dreamliners in 2017. Like the 707 in 1959, these aircraft are at the cutting edge of aviation and we're really excited about the opportunities they'll open up for our customers.

The arrival of Retro Roo II, which was painted in Townsville, is part of Qantas' 95th birthday celebrations. Events so far have included an Australia-wide Instameet and Qantas' charity flight to Longreach, which raised over $110,000 for drought relief. A gala dinner for over 1,000 people in the airline's A380 hangar in Mascot on Friday rounds out the activities.

Retro Roo II is the second Qantas 737 aircraft in vintage livery. Retro Roo I was launched last November, featuring the livery of 1971-1984, and regularly appears on social media as passengers photograph it at airports across the country.

Earlier this year, Qantas donated its record-breaking B747-400 (VH-OJA) to an aviation museum staffed largely by former Qantas employees. The aircraft was significant for operating the world's longest non-stop flight from London to Sydney in 1989, and is now a big tourism draw for the Illawarra region.

Vision of Qantas' inaugural Boeing 707 service from Sydney to San Francisco in 1959 can be viewed on Qantas YouTube

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New Crowne Plaza for Sydney CBD

IHG expands Sydney CBD presence with signing of Crowne Plaza

160-room Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour to open in 2019

Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world's leading hotel companies, has signed a management agreement with Beijing-based development company, Ausbao Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of BCDH Group, for a new 160-room Crowne Plaza hotel in Sydney's CBD.

Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour is in a key location in close proximity to the new Sydney International Convention Centre and key business and leisure redevelopments in the Darling Quarter and the Barangaroo south precinct.

The new hotel will feature a range of business and meetings facilities including five meeting rooms and a 24-hour business centre. Guests can enjoy food and beverage at the hotel's all-day dining restaurant and unwind at the bar. To keep energised during their stay the fully equipped fitness centre and outdoor pool provide the ideal places to relax.

Matthew Tripolone, Head of Development, Australasia, IHG said: "With the strategic expansion of the Crowne Plaza brand into the Sydney CBD we looked to work with partners who understand our brand, and we're delighted to be working with Ausbao due to their track record of success with hospitality and mixed-use projects.

"Sydney's CBD is undergoing some exciting redevelopment and the location and proposition of the new Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour will make it a leading choice for both business and leisure guests. The hotel will form part of an exciting mixed use development in a strategically important growth corridor within the Sydney CBD."

Jason Gao, Managing Director, Ausbao Pty Ltd said: "Sydney as a meetings and tourism destination continues to show positive growth, and new developments within the city will help support this. It is a great time to be developing an internationally-branded hotel with IHG in the upscale space, especially as Crowne Plaza is globally recognised as a leading business hotel brand and we are confident this is what the location needs. We are pleased to be working with IHG and look forward to welcoming guests to Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour when it opens in 2019."

Crowne Plaza is one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the world with nearly 400 hotels in more than 65 countries worldwide, including 70 hotels across the Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region.

IHG has 25 hotels open across three brands in Australia including: InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza® and Holiday Inn® with a further six properties due to open in the next three to five years.

There are currently 400 Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts across the globe, with a further 84 hotels in the development pipeline.

Odell promoted to regional role with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises, has just announced the expansion of responsibilities to its recently appointed head of Australia & New Zealand, Steve Odell, to also cover the South Pacific and Asia including Japan, India, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Operating from NCLH's new regional headquarters in Sydney, Odell will be "focused on the continued growth of the company's presence in the Asia Pacific region," which he said is "experiencing exponential growth in demand".

"With three market-leading cruise brands, including Norwegian Cruise Line - a leader in freestyle cruising, Oceania Cruises - a leader in the upper-premium cruise segment, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises - a leader in luxury cruising, NCLH is well positioned to respond to this demand and grow its presence in the region," Odell said.

The appointment continues NCLH's expansion of its international leadership team, including Frank Medina as Vice President and Managing Director Latin America, and David Herrera as Senior Vice President and Managing Director China.

More details in next Tuesday's issue of Cruise Weekly.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

AccorHotels to operate new Pullman Trinity Point Resort, Lake Macquarie

AccorHotels appointed to operate new Pullman Trinity Point Resort development 5-star Pullman Trinity Point Resort set to open in late 2017

The NSW tourism industry is set to receive a significant boost following the announcement by AccorHotels and Johnson Property Group that a 5-star Pullman hotel will be built as part of a $388 million integrated resort development at Trinity Point, Lake Macquarie.

Johnson Property Group has appointed AccorHotels to operate the resort under the group’s leading 5-star Pullman brand.

Pullman Trinity Point Resort will be the first new build 5-star resort in the Lake Macquarie area for nearly 10 years, and will adjoin an apartment complex with a combination of 250 hotel rooms, short stay serviced apartments, and private residential apartments.

The Resort will comprise of 65 hotel rooms as well as 150 one, two and three bedroom serviced apartments and feature a business centre, 300 person conference/wedding facilities, a swimming pool, day spa, gymnasium, restaurant and bar, executive lounge, tourist information office and ground level retail outlets. Some of the hotel rooms will feature premium views overlooking Lake Macquarie and a proposed 188-berth marina.

AccorHotels Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath said the Pullman Trinity Point Resort and surrounding masterplanned precinct will be a significant economic contributor and boost for tourism in regional NSW.

“We’re delighted to be opening a new Pullman Resort in partnership with Johnson Property Group which will enhance the regional NSW accommodation offering in the 5-star end of the market. The resort will open up new opportunities for domestic and international travellers to venture outside of Sydney where the hotel market has been considerably constrained. The local economy will also benefit through local employment, supplier partnerships and added expenditure that will come with increased visitors to the region,” Mr McGrath said.

“Pullman Trinity Point Resort will not only offer leisure and business guests a luxurious, waterfront accommodation experience but its location sits within the sweet spot between Sydney, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. We’re confident that the resort will appeal to a number of market segments from weddings to business retreats given its close proximity to Sydney and other regional tourism hubs. Boat and yacht owners will also enjoy arriving to the resort by water access,” Mr McGrath concluded.

Johnson Property Group CEO Keith Johnson said the company was pleased to partner with AccorHotels to deliver a luxury 5-star resort to attract new visitors to Lake Macquarie.

“A major drawcard of the Pullman Trinity Point Resort will be the surrounding lifestyle amenities which we are developing within the precinct, including a 200-seat restaurant with additional outdoor dining, a 300-seat function centre, as well as extensive foreshore boardwalk and stunning seabaths overlooking Lake Macquarie,” Mr Johnson said.

“Lake Macquarie currently attracts over 900,000 visitors every year and the new Pullman Trinity Point Resort and surrounding restaurant, function centre, lifestyle and marina amenities are set to significantly boost tourism in the region,” Mr Johnson concluded.

The construction of the hotel and apartment complex will see the creation of an estimated 3,500 jobs together with ongoing employment in the hospitality, tourism and marina elements of the project. Construction is expected to commence for stage one of the marina in early 2016.

Trinity Point, spanning 23 hectares of prime waterfront land, is situated within the township of Morisset Park, 12 minutes off the M1 Pacific Motorway overlooking Barden’s Bay and the wider Lake Macquarie. For more information, visit

Pullman Trinity Point Resort will complement AccorHotels other properties in the Central Coast and Lakes area including Pullman Magenta Shores Resort and ibis Styles The Entrance.

Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism launch the ‘Come Play’ Summer Campaign

Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association (HVWTA) in partnership with Singleton Council has launched a digital marketing campaign titled, 'Come Play' to attract visitors to the region.

The campaign began this week and will be in market until the end of January, aiming to drive the 'short break' family market to the Hunter Valley and educate them on the wide range of choices for family activities during the summer period.

The 100% digital campaign will use the message 'Come Play' and captures an array of child friendly activities as seen through the eyes of young children.

"Only 45 minutes from Newcastle Beaches and 1.5 hours from Sydney, the Hunter Valley is the perfect family escape for a summer vacation," Chairman of the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association, George Souris said.

"It's important that we are educating the visitor on the extensive variety of things to see and do in Hunter Valley Wine Country, not just for Mum and Dad, but also for the entire family. There is something for everyone, from the Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights spectacular, to Horse Riding through the vines.  We also have the world class Australian Infantry Museum in Singleton, which is designed to educate our younger generation, whilst having fun at the same time."

"From Aqua Golf, Putt Putt, majestic parklands and walking trails, to resorts designed with children's' adventures like Kids Club, Candy Classes and Segway Tours to be enjoyed by families. The Hunter Valley also offers a wide range of experiences for our adult visitors, including wine tasting, golf and spa, just to name a few."

The campaign will target Sydney, Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Greater Hunter Region audiences with a mix of tactical display advertisements, seeded video, social media and database targeting.

HELP SPREAD THE WORD by going on and liking the Hunter Valley Wine Country Facebook page to view the campaign video and all of the content relating to the campaign to ensure maximum reach.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Travelodge Relaunches With Refreshingly Simple Stay

Less Quinoa, More Sausages Anyone?

Last year, Travelodge Hotels – one of Australia’s longest-established and most trusted accommodation brands - began a brand-wide refresh that sought to deliver a new class of hotels for the smart traveller.

Marked with a new campaign launching this month, a refresh across most hotels in Australia and New Zealand, has changed the face of Travelodge Hotels, setting an exciting new precedent for the hotel industry, with a promise to be Refreshingly Simple, and a unique hospitality experience.

It’s a hotel that’s designed just the way you really like it, with a down to earth attitude and an honest sense of humour. A conveniently located hotel that is created for the way we live today, without all the unnecessary extras, but with all the parts that make it a comfortable and practical place to stay, from the hearty new breakfast offering, to the standard 11am check-out time, and the comfortable beds, kitchenettes and reliable showers.

Location is key when it comes to Travelodge Hotels’ brand, and now, not only are you guaranteed to be positioned in some of Australia and New Zealand’s most convenient central locations, you can pay for the stay you want, without all the clutter. With new, stylish touches in-room, open lobbies, and Wi-Fi or internet access throughout, Travelodge Hotels are set up for both business travellers looking to set up office and leisure travellers looking to set up a base away from home.

Complete with a new booking experience, which encourages guests to go online for direct reservations at, there are no booking fees, best rates guaranteed, value-added benefits and earned incentives. Launching with a new look and refreshed offering this month, every Tuesday is also known as Chooseday at Travelodge Hotels. If you book online on on any Tuesday you can select from a number of great extras for free, adding to that ‘just the way you like it’ promise. Whether you’d like 2 for 1 breakfast, unlimited free WiFi, a late check-out or 2 for 1 drinks, Travelodge want to personalise your stay and make it more about you.

TFE Hotels Group Director of Marketing, Emma Fraser said, “At Travelodge, location and comfort has always been top of mind, alongside exceptional service from our hotel team. That level of quality and comfort isn’t going anywhere, but what we know guests want is being prioritised, without taking away the superior value and personal service, which our guests have come to expect, all delivered with a fresh dose of humour.

“We want our guests to feel like they created the space themselves, with more of what they want, and less of the things that seem completely pointless. A shower that is just a shower, without the six-body massage jets that flood the bathroom floor. A breakfast that is just that, a break in the fast - with less quinoa and more sausages. Less fuss, and more of what we actually want. It’s Refreshingly Simple.” With a 40-year heritage in Australia, Travelodge Hotels has consistently met the needs of the savvy business and leisure travellers, looking for comfort, friendly service and excellent value. The refresh program recognises the changing needs of these travellers who want an easy seamless experience that provides value, in a prime location, with an excellent, trusted service and offers the facilities they need.



Monday, November 16, 2015

Kimberley Recognised at Perth Airport Tourism Awards

Accommodation and tourism operators in the Kimberley were recognised at the Perth Airport Western Australian Tourism Awards on Saturday 14 November.

The region was successful in receiving nine gold, eight silver and two bronze medals on the night.

The prestigious Sir David Brand Medal went to Paul King, Managing Director of Seashells, for his contribution to Western Australian tourism.

Brian Lee, based on the Dampier Peninsula 200 km north of Broome, took out the much coveted FACET Golden Guide Award with his tagalong tours, where he shares his country as well as traditional fishing and crabbing methods.

Beaches of Broome were inducted into the Hall of Fame under the backpacker accommodation category.

CEO of Australia’s North West Tourism Glen Chidlow said the awards recognised the outstanding holiday experiences on offer in the region.

“Not only do we have incredible landscapes which attract people from all over the world to the North West, but we have an industry passionate about the region and dedicated to providing the best holiday experience possible - whether its accommodation, tours, or restaurants,” he said.

“It was a clean sweep in the unique accommodation category for the Kimberley, with Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures Horizontal Hotel, Berkeley River Lodge and Faraway Bay taking out gold, silver and bronze, highlighting the extraordinary places to stay in the region.”

“It’s fantastic our members receive accolades and be rewarded for their professionalism and enthusiasm in sharing the highlights of the region with its many visitors.

“The Kimberley is home to many vast, remote and truly spectacular national parks, limestone caves, plunging gorges, incredible waterfalls and world heritage listed geological landmarks. This, combined with the expertise of the tourism operators, produces an unforgettable holiday experience,” said Mr Chidlow.

Perth Airport Western Australian Tourism Awards
Kimberley Winners

Tourist Attractions

Gold – Horizontal Falls Seaplanes Adventures

Silver- Willie Creek Pearls

Festival & Events

Gold - Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism

Silver - Brian Lee Tagalong Tours

Specialised Tourism Services

Gold - Willie Creek Pearls

Business Event Venues

Silver - Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa

Major Tour and/or Transport Operators

Gold - Adams

Silver - Helispirit

Adventure Tourism

Gold - Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventure

Destination Marketing

Gold - Australia’s North West Tourism’s Kimberley Bucket List

Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries

Silver - Matso’s Broome Brewery

Caravan & Holiday Parks

Silver - Kimberleyland Holiday Park

Unique Accommodation

Gold - Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures – The Horizontal Hotel

Silver - Berkeley River Lodge

Bronze - Faraway Bay

Deluxe Accommodation

Gold – Mangrove Hotel

Bronze – Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments

Luxury Accommodation

Gold - Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa

Silver - El Questro Homestead

Hall of Fame

Beaches of Broome

FACET Golden Guide Award

Brian Lee Tagalong Tours

Sir David Brand Medal

Paul King

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Festival time in Macau


IN celebrating its 10th anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage site, historic Macao will soon transform many of its streets into rivers of colour for the popular "Parade through Macao, Latin City" festivities.

To be held on Sunday, December 6, this annual event will also coincide with the 16th anniversary of Macao's handover to China with a focus on "Peace, Love and Cultural Integration".

It will follow in the footsteps of the annual and internationally supported Macao Marathon which will take place earlier on the same day.

The giant parade, which will weave from the steps of the Ruins of St Paul's to Tap Seac Square of this former Portuguese enclave, is one of the major events in the celebration of Macao's handover to China in 1999.

Attracting entries from abroad as well as in Macao, the street procession has become one of the city's trademark events since its inauguration a mere four years ago in 2011.

The 2015 parade will be dedicated to a treasure hunt storyline, participants following clues provided on a map. New colourful decorations and large mystical characters will be featured throughout the route.

The parade's opening ceremony, to take place at 4pm at Largo da Companhia de Jesus, and will be highlighted by performances from talented groups from Latin-speaking countries as well as other countries.

The route will be the same as that used in 2014, culminating with a carnival atmosphere at Tap Seac Square around 5.30pm to celebrate the handover. This year, two ascending seating areas will be set up at the square for the public to better view the performances.

During the parade - at Rua de D. Belchior Carneiro and Rua de Sanches de Miranda - face painting workshops will be set up for additional family fun.

Organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau with the assistance of such bodies as the Macao Government Tourist Office, the parade will further feature a series of related activities, including a photography contest and social media games with prizes.

Details: Macao Government Tourist Office, phone (02) 9264 1488 or

The most annoying airline passengers revealed

77% of Aussies ranked ‘back seat kickers’ as the most aggravating airplane passenger with ‘Inattentive Parents’; the ‘Aromatic, the ‘Boozer’; and the ‘Audio Insensitive’ round out list of top five most offensive air travellers

The brand, today released the results of its Airplane Etiquette Study, which asked Australians to rank the most frustrating behaviours exhibited by the millions of fellow passengers who fly each year.

Topping the list of annoying behaviours were Back Seat Kickers, with 77% of Australians citing this as the most aggravating behaviour of co-passengers. In fact, more than a third of respondents (36%) claim to have experienced major discomfort on a flight due to a passenger kicking their seat from behind. Inattentive Parents - parents who have little or no control over their children - were second on the list of travellers Aussies find to be the most annoying or offensive on airplanes (75%), followed closely by The Aromatic Passenger, classified as someone with poor hygiene or those wearing too much perfume or cologne (61 %).

“Having a pleasant flight largely depends on cooperation from fellow passengers”, said Kelly Cull, Travel Expert, “It doesn’t matter if it’s a short or long flight, as Aussies gear up for the summer holidays, we should remember that a little consideration goes a long way to ensure everyone enjoys their trip.”

The Quiet Zone

The research also found that Australians have a preference for peace and quiet midair, with over a third (38%) strongly agreeing that “small talk is fine”, but they prefer to keep to themselves for most of the flight. A mere 3% agreed to using flights as an “opportunity to meet and talk to new people.”

Two in five (41%) agreed they dread sitting next to fellow passengers who talk too much with the same number of respondents agreeing they fear finding themselves seated near parents travelling with young children and babies. Almost a fifth (18%) would pay extra to be seated in a designated “quiet zone” if the airline offered one.

To Recline or Not

Reclining seats can be a sticking point for travellers. A quarter of Aussies (25%) strongly agree airlines should ban reclining seats entirely, or at least restrict the practice to set times during short-haul flights.

One in four (25%) Aussies don’t recline their seats at all when travelling on long-haul flights, with 40% claiming they have experienced major discomfort due to a passenger reclining their seat in front of them. When asked what would prompt them to recline their seats half of the respondents (52%) say they do so when they plan to sleep, over a fifth (22%) do so after meal service has finished, and 15% recline when the passenger in front of them does, domino-style.

Social Shaming vs. Studied Silence

In the event a fellow passenger noticeably misbehaves, 50% of Aussies would sit quietly and attempt to ignore them while a fifth (20%) would confront the offender directly. A further 13% admit they would surreptitiously record them using their phone’s camera or video and 6% would shame their behaviour by publishing the incident on social media.

Oh, And…

Of the 5% of Aussies that admit to being “intimate” on a plane, men were twice as likely to have got carried away up in the skies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lufthansa, SWISS and Singapore Airlines enter into a full partnership with a joint venture on important lines

The partnership includes many benefits, code-sharing connections, coordinated schedules and joint tariff offers. A new air link between Singapore and Dusseldorf also part of the large-scale agreement.

Lufthansa Group including its subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) signed a partnership agreement of great importance [1], based on which the two groups intend to use aerial important links between all Singapore and Europe as part of a commercial joint venture. Furthermore, flights performed codeshare will be significantly expanded and intensified trade cooperation.

Flights between Singapore and Zurich as well as the links between Singapore and Frankfurt or Munich will be performed to revenue sharing arrangements (that is to say of "revenue sharing"). The new SIA links between Singapore and D├╝sseldorf served from July 2016 will also be governed by such agreements.

The two main airline groups also provide for cooperation in key markets in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. It is thus expected to coordinate flight schedules in order to offer customers more favorable connections between the various air networks. The two groups are also considering joint tariff proposals, adapting corporate programs to enhance the offer for business customers and evaluation of optimization opportunities in the context of existing connections to loyalty programs.

The agreement covers not only Lufthansa, SWISS and SIA, since it also includes Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines subsidiary SIA subsidiary SilkAir.

The codeshare with extensive connections now enable SIA customers to arrive / leave comfortably various locations in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland by taking over twenty lines of code sharing via the "hubs" of Zurich , Frankfurt and Munich. Swiss and Lufthansa for their benefit from codeshare with SIA and its regional subsidiary SilkAir with on other routes in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific. It is planned to add other destinations operated in codeshare.

A number of points of the agreement will be implemented in the coming months, so for example the new code share services. Other items whose entry into force requires the agreement of the supervisory authorities could be implemented gradually during 2016.

"A long-term partnership successful binds us to Singapore Airlines. Now we are strengthening our overall cooperation of two air groups 'premium', global lead compounds, with a new joint venture meets the expectations of the passengers of the two airlines in Europe and Southeast Asia. Together we can now offer air links and even better services to Australia, "said Carsten Spohr, chairman of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. "The partnership with Singapore Airlines completes our global network of joint ventures and is an important part of our Asian strategy. The Lufthansa Group's leading position is consolidated effectively by strategic partnerships in all major markets, "Spohr complete.

"We are delighted to have been able to develop an agreement on this major partnership. It provides the customer with significant benefits through optimized destinations and a greater number of destinations served by code-sharing. We are bound by Lufthansa long-term relationships; Lufthansa is an ideal partner with an excellent network and more the company is strongly customer oriented. The agreement signifies a deepening of relations with the Lufthansa Group as a whole and provides a solid base to exploit opportunities for commercial cooperation ", says Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines. "This is another example of the added value which the customer benefits because of partnerships. Together we can generate benefits that would be impossible to provide if we were alone, "says Goh.

Hunter Valley hotels among the best in Australia


"Hunter Valley Wine Country, right on the doorstep of Australia's gateway Sydney, has gained recognition as a premier destination," Chairman of the Hunter Wine and Tourism Association, George Souris said.

Based on more than 200 million traveller ratings on, Hunter Valley hotels have been ranked amongst the best in Australia.

Two Hunter Valley towns, Rothbury and Lovedale top the New South Wales list for online hotel reputation, with hotels in Rothbury receiving an average rating of 88.13, and the destination ranking 1st in New South Wales and 3rd in Australia.

In New South Wales, Lovedale follows in second place with an 86.78 rating and the destination featuring in the national list in 11th position. Pokolbin and Cessnock also feature among the best in New South Wales, ranking 12th and 22nd in the state, respectively.

Spicers Vineyards Estate is the top rated hotel in the Hunter Valley, featuring in Australia's top 50 list of best rated accommodation and receiving an average user rating of 94.67. The property also ranks 2nd in New South Wales and 8th in Australia and has jumped from second place last year, where it ranked 3rd in the state and 25th in the country.

Although Rothbury and Lovedale performed best based on their online hotel reputation, the majority of hotels in the Hunter Valley's top ten are from Pokolbin. Two hotels from Pokolbin came in first and second place, and the town is the only Hunter Valley destination to have its accommodation featured in the national list of best rated accommodation.

"With growing tourism numbers both from domestic and international sources, the Hunter Valley has a lot to boast about: premium restaurants; a full range of accommodation; spectacular attractions; golf resorts; and the wines and their cellar doors," Mr Souris said.

Trivago is the world's largest online hotel search site, comparing rates from over 900,000 hotels on over 250 booking sites worldwide. Trivago integrates over 200 million hotel ratings and 14 million photos in order to make finding the perfect hotel easier for users.

New airline from China to boost visitor numbers to NSW


More visitors from China are expected to visit New South Wales to enjoy a summer of events, with Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines to begin flights to Sydney next month.

Hainan Airlines will introduce flights between China and Australia, with non-stop services from Xi'an to Sydney on December 24. Xi'an is located in the northwest of China with a regional population of 8.5 million, and is home to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the arrival of Hainan Airlines in Sydney is a huge coup for New South Wales.

"I'm delighted we can confirm another international airline will be flying to Sydney bringing even more visitors to our great state," Mr Ayres said.

"China is NSW's largest inbound tourism market with 526,000 Chinese visitors last financial year - an increase of 24 per cent on the previous year. These visitors spent almost $2 billion in NSW and we look forward to welcoming even more international visitors to our great city and the NSW regions over the summer."

NSW is still the number one destination for international visitors in Australia, with a record 3.3 million international visitors. Mr Ayres said Sydney is the first city in Australia to secure new routes between China and Australia since the expansion of the bilateral arrangements.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said: "We are delighted to be welcoming Hainan Airlines, and this builds on other strong aviation relationships NSW has in this key inbound tourism market.

"Over the coming months, visitors are in for an impressive calendar of sporting, arts, cultural and lifestyle events and entertainment, including Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Turandot, Matilda the Musical, and the NSW Art Gallery's The Greats."

Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said: "We're excited to be welcoming Hainan Airlines to Sydney in December, which will bring more Chinese tourists to Sydney and provide Sydneysiders with a direct flight to the home of the Terracotta Warriors.

"Hainan Airlines will be Sydney Airport's sixth Chinese mainland airline serving destinations across mainland China, making Sydney Airport the world's leading airport for long haul Chinese airlines."

The flights will run until the peak northern winter season in late March 2016, subject to government approval. It will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft with 222 seats.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

2018 Winter Olympics in Korea Initiates 'K-Smile' Campaign

Korea Tourism Organization has embarked on the 'K-Smile' campaign in sync with the promotion of the successful hosting of the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The campaign is a nationwide project involving the assistance of all citizens to spread the spirit of a warm welcome. The campaign will begin in restaurants, shopping malls, accommodation and other places most frequently visited by foreign tourists.

K-smile will operate with the slogan 'Korea smiles and the world smiles back' to greet foreign tourists with warm hospitality whilst in Korea and to increase their enjoyment of the country with the hope of encouraging tourists to return again and again.

Korea is attracting more Australians to its ski resorts in recent years and no doubt the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Korea will draw more interest from skiers, snowboarders and winter enthusiasts.

Korea's best ski resorts are on the east coast of Korea with popular ski resorts like Yongpyong and Alpensia only three hours from the capital city, Seoul by ski shuttle bus. Yongpyong and Alpensia are the main venues for the 2018 Winter Olympics with all venues within thirty minutes of Alpensia Sports Park.

Australians can enjoy ski and snowboard adventures in Korea right now with some great packages being offered ex Australia.

Australia's major ski operator Skimax have been offering reasonable ski packages to Korea for a number of years. Packages of seven night's accommodation plus a six day lift pass start at $969 per person (twin share) in a deluxe room at the Dragon Valley Hotel as well as from $969 per person (twin share) in an ondol room at Dragon Valley Tower condominiums. A quadruple share room is even cheaper starting at $800 per person for seven nights.

Snowscene based in Brisbane who have been around for 30 years have a very reasonable Snobus Group package tour to Korea Jan 24-31, 2016 from $1,950 per person including seven night's accommodation, transfers to Alpensia Ski Resort from Seoul, buffet breakfast daily and five days skiing at four different resorts, as well as an Australia Day BBQ lunch in the snow, Snow Temple Tour, Indoor Waterpark visit and group farewell BBQ dinner. The package does not include return flights from Australia to Korea.

Snowscene is also offering family accommodation in two-bedroom apartments at Alpenisa Ski Resort including five nights accommodation at InterContinental Resort and a 4 day lift pass (quad share) from $795 per person. Snowscene also offer stopovers in Seoul and a wide variety of accommodation at Yonpgyong, Alpensia and Phoenix Park Resorts as well as Welli Hilli Park, Vivaldi Park and Bears Town.

Book your ski package holiday today at Skimax or Snowscene.

Skimax website:

Snowscene website:

To learn more about the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea visit the official website:

Traveloscopy | 

All That's New and Exciting from Australia's Gold Coast - November 2015

In this latest edition of the Gold Coast Tourism Product Update:
• Jupiters Gold Coast celebrates 30 years
• New culture and entertainment precinct opens on 28 November
• Commonwealth Games HQ officially opened
• Gold Coast welcomes new daily services with Qantas and Jetstar
• New Guided Walking Tours
• Gold Coast Restaurants continue to dominate food and wine awards
• Changes at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa
• Gold Coast's coastline announced as eighth World Surfing Reserve
• ...and many more story ideas.

Western Australia dominates 'Australia’s Top 10 Destinations to Experience'


The states of Western Australia and Queensland have dominated an annual consumer poll conducted by leading travel experience provider Experience Oz highlighting Australia's top 10 spots to visit for 2015, with WA's Kimberley region clocking in at #1.

'Australia's Top 10 Destinations to Experience', a major international and domestic poll now in its third year, has revealed the public voted the Western Australian Kimberley Region as the country's top destination for 2015, closely followed by QLD's popular island chain the Whitsundays in second place, and another QLD reef hotspot, Cairns, in third.

The list was dominated by destinations from Western Australia and Queensland, with each landing 4 destinations in the top 10 finalists. Tasmania, New South Wales, and the ACT did not receive any finalists despite several destinations from each state being nominated.

The top 10 list was rounded out by Uluru, NT; Port Douglas, QLD; the Gold Coast, QLD; Ningaloo/Exmouth, WA; and finally Kangaroo Island, SA in the 10th spot from a shortlist of 50 iconic destinations.

A first-time nominee on the list and famous for its rugged diversity of both coastal and outback nature, the Kimberley Region of WA's blend of distinctive rock formations, unique natural phenomena and exotic appeal was enough to capture the imaginations of the voting public.

Western Australia's coastal areas also took centre stage in the poll, with scenic Rottnest Island (#4), Ningaloo Reef (#8) and Margaret River (#9) all examples of destinations that offer waterfront experiences.

In conducting the survey, which ran for two months, Experience Oz received over 5000 votes from a mixed audience of Australian and international respondents.

Tourism Western Australia CEO Stephanie Buckland welcomed the news that four WA destinations had been voted as the best in Australia.

"We're thrilled that Western Australia is home to four of the top 10 destinations," Ms Buckland said.

"The four destinations together show the breadth and depth of the extraordinary experiences WA has to offer.

"One of the world's last true wilderness areas, the Kimberley is home to extraordinary outback experiences including the unique beehive formations of the Bungle Bungle Range in World Heritage Purnululu National Park and the world's only Horizontal Waterfalls at Talbot Bay.  It  is also rich in Aboriginal culture with many Aboriginal tourism experiences on offer."

"Rottnest Island is a truly unique destination. The island is an A class reserve and boasts 63 beaches, some of which are the most pristine and beautiful in the world. It also the only place in the world where you can take part in the phenomenon that is the "quokka selfie". Quokkas are small marsupials found on Rottnest and are reportedly second only to cats when it come to the internet's most clickable animal and the hashtag #quokkaselfie is a big hit on Instagram and Twitter.

"WA's Ningaloo Reef is regarded as one of the best locations in the world to swim with whale sharks these gentle giants – because of the clarity of the water, regularity of the whale sharks and professionalism of the tour operators. Easily accessible from shore, World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is also home to manta rays, sea turtles and dugongs.

"The Margaret River Region is one of the only wine regions in the world where you can also experience beautiful beaches, forests and wildlife.  It is also home to Margaret River Gourmet Escape, which is growing a reputation as being the country's best food and wine festival."

Glen Chidlow, CEO of Australia's North West Tourism, said that the accolade not only reflects the natural attractions of the Kimberley, but is also recognition of the outstanding tourism product on offer in the region.

"Adventure expedition cruising, wilderness resorts and lodges, scenic flights along the Kimberley Aerial Highway, engagement with Aboriginal culture, and outback travels along the iconic Gibb River Road are just some of the experiences available which makes the Kimberley so special," Mr. Chidlow said.

'The Kimberley has amazing waterfalls and gorges, rugged roads with outback towns, and a stunning coastline that attracts travellers from all over the world."

"The operators who share their knowledge with the region's many visitors do an outstanding job in providing a world-class holiday experience," he said.

Poll participants were asked to consider among other factors, the typical "Aussie"-style nature of the destination, its unique natural highlights, the area's cultural, historic and architectural features, the variety of activities on offer, whether it was over-commercialised, and if it was simply considered objectively "beautiful".

With regional destinations rounding out the list, the work of local tourism operators and key influence groups in providing quality imagery played a large role in establishing their appeal to online audiences.

Experience Oz Marketing Manager Matt Hobbs said 'Australia's Top 10 Destinations to Experience' consumer poll was a great opportunity to identify hotspots to visit in Australia from the public point of view, rather than the simply "telling people where to go" approach other similar lists follow.

"This year due to previous demand we expanded the list of nominees to 50 to include more regional destinations in Australia, and a regional spot such as the Kimberley region being voted in at #1 reflects a trend we've seen towards a desire to visit more uncharted parts of the country," Mr. Hobbs said.

"Both Western Australia and Queensland are home to locations that typically fare strongly in these polls – that is, beautiful coastlines and/or elements of the Outback – so the overall results were not entirely surprising.

"The absence of major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne in the finalists is largely due to most voters having either already visited – or currently living – in these cities, and thus turning their eyes further afield for travel adventures," he said.

Interestingly, the gap between the Australian travel aspirations of domestic and international voters was quite large, with a Top 10 for overseas participants that shook out quote differently to Australian voters as Queensland's Gold Coast took out the #1 spot, and Victorian capital Melbourne registered #2.

Please visit to view the full list of 'Australia's Top Ten Destinations to Experience 2015' and read why each spot made the grade.

Australia's Top Ten Destinations to Experience 2015 (TOTAL VOTES):

1. Kimberley Region, WA
2. Whitsundays, QLD
3. Cairns, QLD
4. Rottnest Island, WA
5. Uluru, NT
6. Port Douglas, QLD
7. Gold Coast, QLD
8. Ningaloo, WA
9. Margaret River, WA
10. Kangaroo Island, SA

Australia's Top Ten Destinations to Experience 2015 (DOMESTIC VOTES):

1. Kimberley Region, WA
2. Cairns, QLD
3. Whitsundays, QLD
4. Rottnest Island, WA
5. Port Douglas, QLD
6. Lord Howe Island, NSW
7. Ningaloo, WA
8. Uluru, NT
9. Margaret River, WA
10. Kangaroo Island, SA

Australia's Top Ten Destinations to Experience 2015 (INTERNATIONAL VOTES):

1. Gold Coast, QLD
2. Melbourne, VIC
3. Cairns, QLD
4. Whitsundays, QLD
5. Uluru, NT
6. Kimberley Region, WA
7. Sydney, NSW
8. Great Ocean Road, VIC
9. Adelaide, SA
10. Rottnest Island, WA

Experience Oz offers a comprehensive catalogue of tours, attractions and activities with no booking or credit card fees and unbiased reviews all on a secure online booking site.

Over 3000 products including theme park tickets, attraction tickets, day tours, hot air ballooning, jet boating, whale watching and great dinner and show packages are all on offer at Experience Oz with customers able to skip the queues at most attractions and save valuable holiday time.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

TTNQ awards excellence in tourism


TTNQ awards excellence in tourism

The Cairns Convention Centre and long-serving tourism industry leaders Stephen Gregg and James Dixon were awarded for their contribution to tourism excellence at the Intrust Super Tourism Industry Excellence Cocktail Event last night.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chair Max Shepherd presented the Tropical North Queensland Tourism Honours before about 350 people at a tropical extravaganza at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal featuring themed live food stations by Masterchef guest chef Nick Holloway of Nu Nu Restaurant.

Former Deputy Chair James Dixon was made a Tourism Tropical North Queensland Life Member for his strong commitment to the region as a national board member for the Australian Tourism Export Council and during his 10 years as a director of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, including eight years as Deputy Chairman.

"Working in the tourism industry in Cairns since 1987, James is highly active in marketing Tropical North Queensland through his role as joint Managing Director of successful tour operator, Down Under Tours," Mr Shepherd said.

"James is highly regarded by the tourism industry throughout Australia and recognition through life membership of Tourism Tropical North Queensland is well deserved and well supported."

The Outstanding Contribution by an Individual went to former Chair Stephen Gregg who made his acceptance speech via video.

Stephen's extensive career in the tourism industry has seen him in CEO roles in Tourism Queensland, Macquarie Leisure Operations and North Queensland Airports, and board positions including Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre and Queensland Rail.

Prior to his recent retirement he was Chair of Tourism Events Queensland and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

"Stephen's experience, passion for the tourism industry and drive saw him stand out as a leader within the Australian, Queensland and Tropical North Queensland industries," Mr Shepherd said.

"This region will benefit from his involvement and guidance for many years to come."

The Chair's Award for Excellence went to the Cairns Convention Centre for their strong activity in bringing business to Tropical North Queensland and for achieving ongoing excellence.

Mr Shepherd said the Cairns Convention Centre was recognised internationally, having won multiple awards and being voted the World's Best Congress Centre on two occasions.

"The centre continues to put the spotlight on Cairns by enabling the city to host world-class events such as the G20 Finance Ministers and World Bank Governors meeting, the Pacific Island Forum and the Australian Tourism Exchange 2014," he said.

"The Cairns Convention Centre is central to the business events success for Cairns. Their strong marketing of the centre and the region, and delivery of world leading events ensures Cairns benefits from this high value tourism sector."

Mr Shepherd told the audience they all needed to celebrate their achievements across the past year and congratulate themselves, because the business growth of the past year did not just happen.

"Yes, the fall in the value of the Australian dollar did help, but we would not be where we are without the persistence of TTNQ members in the marketplace during the hard times and in meeting the expectations of our guests at all times," he said.

"It has been a team effort, a team that includes Cairns Airport Ltd, Cairns Regional Council, Tourism Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, and on the ground, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, our members and local tourism organisations."

TTNQ CEO Alex de Waal congratulated the Hall of Fame recipients whose businesses had won their chosen category at the former Tropical North Queensland Tourism Awards for three consecutive years. They are:

·        Cairns Amateurs for Major Festivals & Events

·        Kuranda Visitor Information Centre for Visitor Services & Information

·        Cairns Central YHA for Backpacker Accommodation

·        Villa Marine for Standard Accommodation

·        TAFE North Queensland Tourism Studies for Education & Training

The Intrust Super Tourism Industry Excellence Cocktail Event also celebrated the 30 entries from 26 TTNQ members in the Queensland Tourism Awards.

Mr de Waal expressed a sincere vote of appreciation to the Tourism Award Submission mentors who invested a huge amount of their personal time in reviewing the award submissions and provided one-on-one mentoring for members.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Artistic Licence: QT Sydney unveils latest collaboration with MCA

With its enviable collection of modern art and longstanding relationship with the Museum of Contemporary Art, QT Sydney has long reigned supreme as a stylish hub for Sydney's creative scene. The Design Hotels™ member hotel's crown is showing no sign of slipping with its latest MCA collaboration, supporting Turner-Prize winner Grayson Perry's upcoming exhibition My Pretty Little Art Career with a tailor-made package, destined to bring out the inner-artiste in every single guest.

My Pretty Little Art Career
Leading British artist, Grayson Perry is one of the most influential and original figures of today's contemporary art scene. The self-proclaimed "transvestite potter" is renowned for his witty ceramics, sculptures, drawings, prints, and large-scale tapestries which reflect upon contemporary society, politics, and private life – albeit with a tongue firmly in cheek. Presented as part of the Sydney International Art Series at the MCA, Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career is the first major study of Perry's works in the Southern Hemisphere.

To celebrate Perry's first foray on Australian soil, QT Sydney has created the Grayson Perry Package, which includes two tickets to the exhibition and overnight accommodation in a luxurious QT Deluxe King Room. Inspired by the creative flair of the show, there is also a "design your own stay" element to the package whereby guests can select their own breakfast, dinner and spaQ preferences.

About QT Sydney
The 200-room hotel is set within two of the city's most iconic buildings – the historic Gowings Department Store and heritage-listed State Theatre. While the facades have been restored to their former glory, inside is a stunning mix of original features, curated art installations, eclectic artefacts and quirky design pieces inspired by the retail and theatre history of the buildings. Dramatic LED art walls are framed by restored art deco and baroque details, next to show-stopping spotlights and ornate gilt display cases throughout the hotel.  

Rates from 320 AUD, available from Dec. 10, 2015—Jan. 26, 2016

Image 1: Grayson Perry, Expulsion from Number 8 Eden Close from the series The Vanity of Small Differences, 2012, wool, cotton, acrylic, polyester and silk tapestry, edition of 6 plus 2 Aps, image courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro, London © Grayson Perry

Image 2: Grayson Perry, The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal from the series The Vanity of Small Differences, 2012, wool, cotton, acrylic, polyester and silk tapestry edition of 6 plus 2 Aps, image courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro, London © Grayson Perry

Founded by Claus Sendlinger in 1993, Design Hotels™ offers its members insightful travel industry knowledge, from market trend consultancy to international sales representation. The company has its headquarters in Berlin and branches in London, Barcelona, New York, and Singapore.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Off Road Adventure Safaris - Northern Adventure

Doing The Tip in style

Stylish and discreet accommodation at Jabiru, Mungumby and Lotusbird lodges and at Portland Roads Beach House are features of next year's Cape York 4WD tours released by Off Road Adventure Safaris.

Jabiru is on a lagoon, Mungumby is in a tropical rainforest, Lotusbird is on a billabong and the beach house is on the east coast in a Cape Weymouth community boasting just 10 permanent residents. Guests have two nights at Portland Roads.

The number of stand-alone cabins at the lodges range from five to 10 while the beach house sleeps just eight guests.

Eight departures of the 15-day Northern Adventure trip are scheduled between May and September.

Cape York (as opposed to The Cape York Peninsula) was named by Captain Cook in honour of the Duke of York.  It is properly known as Pajinka and commonly referred to as 'The Tip'.

Over 12 days, in a new custom-designed eight-passenger 4WD, tour owner Mark Essenhigh will guide his guests over some 1500kms of red dirt roads, soft white sandy bush tracks and rocky river beds from Laura to The Tip, following travel on sealed roads from Cairns. He has made the trip 40 times so has sound knowledge of the Cape York country and its people.

National parks, rainforests, wet deserts and savannah grasslands, ranges of The Great Divide, waterfalls and clear swimming holes, wide beaches, shady river crossings, the surviving section of the Overland Telegraph Track, Aboriginal and Torres Strait art, birds and crocodiles, barramundi fishing, mining and WWII sites and 'Toasting The Tip' are some of the trip features.

The tour takes ferries to Thursday Island and back to Horn Island for return flight to Cairns over The Great Barrier Reef.

The tour vehicle travels independent to other tour operators and tagalong 4WD groups and accesses surprise spots as well as sites not accessible to larger 4WD tour vehicles. The 50-km section of the surviving original Overland Telegraph Track is a good example, as are Lockhart-Portland Roads-Iron Range sections and the Five Beaches drive.

As well as the lodges, accommodation is in motels and park cabins. Apart from a roadhouse unit and Portland Road Beach House, all have ensuite bathrooms. Cabins at Punsand Bay, close to The Tip, are on the beach front.

Launching the 2016 program, Mark Essenhigh said May departures show The Cape at its greenest best following the January-April Wet Season. Peak season is June to August when temperatures are coolest. For the September departures this year, top temperature was around 28-30 each day, cooled by the prevailing South East Trades. Only one night guests had to slip on an extra layer.

Off Road Adventure Safaris was purchased in 2010 by Mark and Jody Essenhigh of Hervey Bay. Mark has 30 years experience as a tour operator and guide at Fraser Island, in The Outback, The Top End and Far North Queensland and Jody similar term of experience in business and tourism management.

Their Cape York Northern Adventure is designed for discerning travellers who prefer true small group travelling over 20-passenger tour groups, stylish comfortable accommodation over camping and flexible itineraries over rigid schedules. Half of last year's departures were booked by like-minded groups.

"Cape York, and The Tip, are on their 'Must Do' list," said Mark. "They see it is as soft adventure discovery, they are active, challenging and curious, they want high quality food and interesting accommodation experiences."

"Without exception, our customers see themselves as travellers, rather than tourists, which is why we structure the itinerary to arrive at key sites before or after large tour groups so passengers can fully appreciate the scenery and its solitude. They know it's a 4WD trek, they don't have 4WD skills and from their worldly travels appreciate the surety and value-add offered by an experienced driver-guide."

A "No Rush" philosophy also means the Off Road Adventure Safaris group is last to leave after breakfast, but they always arrive at the night's accommodation in time for sunset drinks. The day's journey is flexible to the needs of passengers. For instance, if the group wishes to linger at a swimming hole in preference to visiting an old mining site further on, so be it, says Mark.

"We're not a stop-watch tour," he said.

Earlybird deals

Off Road Adventure Safaris is adding a complimentary 25-minute helicopter flight over Cape York's tip (normally $200) for 2016 bookings made before December 31, 2015.

A further $300 pre-December 31 booking discount is offered on the May 13 departure. Discount price is $8,495 per person twin share (normal $8,795), which includes choice of local Cairns tours, 12-day road trip, Kuranda VIP Skyrail, return flight to Cairns, accommodation, all meals, tea/coffee breaks, park/guide fees, and ferry and airport transfers. Single supplement is $1,395.

See Northern Adventure departures at , call  07 4128 2049.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

It’s a WILD WORLD with Lonely Planet

Explore the most majestic, mystical and thrilling places on earth with WILD WORLD, Lonely Planet’s thought-provoking new collection of photography from every continent, published this November.

Following the success of Lonely Planet’s 2013 bestseller Beautiful World, WILD WORLD shares some of each continent’s most sublime corners, from the Arctic’s tundra to the great deserts of central Asia; from the world’s largest cave to its wind-whipped mountain peaks. This new book also introduces some of the planet’s quirkier residents and immerses readers in the world’s most extraordinary natural phenomena.

The 198 expertly-chosen, full-colour photographs in WILD WORLD take the armchair traveller to wonderful places, far and wide, and are sure to inspire new journeys off the beaten track.

Australia is featured in 13 of the book’s lavishly-reproduced photographs:

· Beech tree, Tasmania
· Bouncing kangaroos; Cape Le Grand, Western Australia
· Bungle Bungle Range; Purnululu National Park, Western Australia
· Cassowary, Queensland
· Flying foxes, Northern Territory
· Galahs
· Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
· Hill Inlet; Whitsunday Islands National Park, Queensland
· Lightning strike, Queensland
· Portuguese-man-o-war, East Coast Australia
· Twisted tea tree; Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Australia
· Termite tower; East Kimberley, Western Australia
· Wielangta forest; Tasmania

“Curating this book, it was clear that humans have left their mark on almost every inch of the globe, from the rainforests of South America and Africa to the oceans’ reefs,” the book’s Introduction observes. “But, despite all the changes we have wrought upon it, our home still has the power to evoke awe, respect, passion and protectiveness, to comfort and thrill us, to change our lives. Billions of years after it was forged, it’s still a WILD WORLD.”


Published November 2015

256pp // full colour // 355mm x 265mm // hardback


Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World (Paperback Edition)

The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places