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Friday, August 25, 2017

Macao cleans up after devastating Typhoon Hato

The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is making unreserved efforts to coordinate and handle various tasks in the wake of Typhoon Hato, which took the lives of six, injured more than 150 and left the city with widespread damage.

pic: via SBS

With wind gusts of up to 240km/h compounded by severe tidal conditions, the former Portuguese enclave felt the full fury of the typhoon, the most severe storm to hit the city in more than five decades.

The high tide created massive flooding in low-lying areas, causing a city-wide blackout, water supply stoppages and telecommunication breakdowns.

The disaster relief authorities reported 290 incidents caused by the typhoon, such as falling trees, antenna cables and advertising boards.

It was the first time since 1999 that Macau had hoisted the No. 10 signal, the highest typhoon warning signal, officials said.

MGTO operates its tourist information counters at the Ritz Building, Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, Border Gate, Macau International Airport and Taipa Ferry Terminal as usual to attend to visitors.

Due to various degrees of damage at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and Taipa Ferry Terminal, tour groups to Macao were affected. The MGTO is looking into their situations.

The MGTO has also approached hotel properties for further information on their situations, including their status of water and power supply as well as room reservation.

If visitors have already made their room reservation or are planning to make a reservation in Macao, they are advised to enquire with the respective hotels of their latest situations.

The MGTO has also assigned inspectors to patrol different ports of entry in Macao for prompt awareness of the latest situations.

The tourism body is currently examining and accessing the situations and conditions concerning its upcoming events. If any new arrangement arises, a public notice will be made accordingly.

MGTO advises residents and visitors to pay attention to the situations concerned.

For enquiries, please contact the 24-hour tourism hotline service at 0011 853 28333000.

Long Boat Racing Tradition to win the royal trophy from His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun of 2017


Everyone is invited to the first race of the country, along viewing beautiful royal ceremony boat parade.

TAT invites tourists to experience the Long Boat Racing Tradition for the first race of the country to win the royal trophy from His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkul this September 2017.

The event will be held along with the viewing of the beautiful royal ceremony boat parade, with variety of foods from One Tambon One Product, and the light and sound from the concert on 2nd – 3rd September at Nan River, Wat Tha Luang Royal Monastery, Pichit Province.

This event will be followed by the cultural heritage of the river; the event of Long Boat Racing Tradition to win the royal trophy from His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. There will be a cheering contest for the royal trophy from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. In second race field, there will be five types of boat races - big boats, medium boats, small boats, tiny boats, and united local people boats, including the ceremony of making merit on boats. The event will be held on 16th – 17th September in Phitsanulok Province.

Moreover, TAT also attracts the tourists who are passionate about Thai tradition to be prepared to travel at the ceremony of Akha Swing Tradition in gratitude for Um Sa Yae Goddess who gives moist and abundance for crops and plants at Akha village, Chiang Rai Province. The tourists are welcomed to see the tradition and observe the simple way of life from early August until the end of September. Or if you are interested in the night view of the Northeast, you would enjoy the event of Marvelous Shrimp Marching (Viewing Nam Yuen shrimps and visiting Phu Jong). In this event, ten thousands of shrimps will appear at night at Kaeng Lamduan, Nam Yuen District, Ubon Ratchathani Province. The event will be held from August to September. For those who are fond of golf, do not miss the event of Cha-Am / Hua Hin Golf Festival 2017, offering the best promotion of playing 9 fields in one price. Show your swing on the international standard field at an economical price from August to September at the golf course in Cha Am District, Phetchaburi Province and Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. In addition, the bikers should be ready to firm your body for attending the 16th International Mountain Bike Competition at Bhumibol Dam to win the trophy of honor with a lot of prizes. This event will be held on 26th – 27th August at Bhumibol Dam, Sam Ngao District, Tak Province.

For those who love shopping, be prepared to grab the bags and not miss the program of the 21st Travel around Thailand and around the World. Meet discounted airfares and quality promotions which are guaranteed cheap prices from around the world. The event will be held on 10th – 13th August at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. This will be followed by the activity of Mother's Day to celebrate HM the Queen's Birthday. We will light the candles for celebration altogether on 12th August in Bangkok and around the country. Enjoy your shopping trip again before the end of August in the event of the 44th Thailand International TravelFair offering the packages of traveling in Thailand in economic prices. The event will be held from 31st August to 3rd September at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. Travel to the south of Northeastern region to watch the procession of offerings to the great ancestors in the event of Commemoration to Phraya Krai Phakdi, San Doanta Tradition, venerates the city pillar shrine, and banana show festival. The event will be held on 16th September at Khukhan District, Srisaket Province. Pay respect to the Lord Buddha at the Um Pra Dam Nam Festival. The event will be held on 19th – 23rd September at Petchabura Buddhist Garden, Wat Bote Chana Mara, Petchabun Province. TAT would like to invite tourists to the south for the Tenth Month Merit Making Ceremony of Nakhon(donation of food or charitable donations). This event will be held on 16th – 25th September at Srinagarindra Gardens, Thung Tha Lat, Nakhon Si Thammarat City Hall. And the end of September, attend the event of Narathiwat Ko Lae Boats, Long Boats, and Yor Kong Boats Race to win the royal trophy in front of the Palace. The event will be held on 21st – 25th September at the Royal 50th Anniversary Celebration Throne at the side of Tha Phraya Sai Dam, Narathiwat City Municipality.

For more information at Call Center 1672 and

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida's new Toy Story adventure

In the US Summer of 2018, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will introduce the newest addition to the Disney Parks family: Toy Story Land, a magical new land located in the larger-then-life setting of Andy's backyard.  Located within Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests will think they've been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys from the blockbuster movie Toy Story.

David Clark, Head of Travel and Business Development AU/NZ at The Walt Disney Company, said,

"We're very excited to share our plans for the launch of Toy Story Land next year at Walt Disney World Resort.  This will be a must-see for anyone who is new or who has visited our parks previously.  Guests will be able to step in to discover an amazingly playful way to join their favourite Toy Story characters for fun that never ends!  The new land features two new attractions and also expands on the park's iconic Toy Story Mania attraction, providing guests with more Pixar magic for everyone to enjoy."

The 11-acre new land features two news attractions alongside giant building blocks, game board pieces and the toys and characters of the beloved Toy Story movies.

Two new attractions:

Slinky Dog Dash will be a family coaster attraction that zips, dodges and dashes guests around many turns and drops, stretching Slinky's coils to their limits.

Alien Swirling Saucers is designed to look like a play set Andy received from Pizza Planet.  The famous little green Aliens from the movie will fly around in their flying saucers and try to capture guest's rocket vehicle with the 'claw'.

To book a magical Disney holiday, please contact your local travel agent.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Taste Norfolk Island Food Festival 2017


The Taste Norfolk Island Food Festival will be served up again at the popular Australian holiday destination in 2017 with appetites at the ready for the fourth hosting of this fun event on the culinary calendar.

Taste Norfolk Island is on from 27 November to 1 December again showcasing the best of talented local chefs, cooks, eateries, artisans and primary producers in a host of stunning settings.

Norfolk Island has grown to be a food-lover's destination with fresh fish, succulent beef and pork, fruit and vegetables picked daily, boutique products including artisan cheese, honey, handmade chocolates and a winery plus more on the island's doorstep to offer a true paddock to plate experience.

The local community, which brings forth generations of passion and resourcefulness, will present menus representing an amazing blend of cultures and pass on some of their tips and secrets on the creation of the many and varied dishes to be enjoyed throughout the week-long event.

Festival guests will also sit down to a spectacular Thanksgiving Day Feast celebrating the tradition passed down over generations by the island's Pitcairn and American Whaler ancestors.

Burnt Pine Travel is offering a Taste Norfolk Island Food Festival package featuring a bonus two additional Festival options and a VIP gift bag offering locally produced presents and souvenirs.

The 7-night package is priced per person twin share from $1845 ex-Sydney and $1810 ex-Brisbane and includes:

§  Twin share accommodation
§  Return economy airfare with Air New Zealand including taxes
§  Return airport transfers on island
§  Car hire throughout stay including insurance
§  Welcome cocktail evening
§  Taste Norfolk's Bounty Festival night
§  Thanksgiving Day lunch
§  Sunset Cinema and Little Eat Street
§  VIP gift bag
§  Choice of two of the following complimentary Festival options

-          Norfolk Blue & 100 acre farm walking tour
-          Blue Kingfisher cooking with fresh fish and produce
-          Seriously Chocolate fun chocolate-making class
-          Norfolk Blue gourmet sausage-making class
-          Pods Pickle Factor tour of island home and tasting of local delicacies
-          Culinary Journey cooking in a traditional underground oven
-          The Barn tour of market and kitchen gardens with food tasting

For bookings, contact Burnt Pine Travel on Toll Free 1800 501 128 or

Norfolk Island is long-regarded as a wonderful place to holiday with family and friends or escape with a loved one. In addition to fabulous culinary experiences, countless activities include swimming, fishing, snorkelling, kayaking, surfing, cycling and bushwalking. There are glass bottom boat tours and ocean trips to Phillip Island, and attractions including Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama. A further attraction of historical significance is the World Heritage listed Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area, the oldest of the eleven Australian penal colonies.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Is this for you? The Most Instagrammable Job in the World

What if your job title was "The Most Instagrammable Job in the World"? Sounds like a dream? is making this possible for its next travel specialist. The successful applicant will travel for one year and work in four postcard worthy locations: Iceland, Nepal, Peru, and Italy.

Imagine ticking the Northern Lights, Mount Everest, Machu Picchu and Cinque Terre off your bucket list in 12 months, all whilst being paid.

The exciting role includes developing travel itineraries, creating travel content, recruiting local experts, partnering with local businesses and helping millions of people achieve unforgettable travel experiences. The applicant will also be expected to immerse themselves in the culture and live like a local in the four locations to truly discover what they have to offer, living up to the kimkim ethos.

Those who believe this is the answer to their wanderlust can complete an application form online. Applications close 4th September 2017. is a new marketplace of travel specialists based in destinations all over the world, creating bespoke travel itineraries for travellers who want to explore off the beaten track.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Double Win For Silversea At Virtuoso(R) Awards

Most Innovative Itinerary And Cruise Ambassador Of The Year

Luxury cruise specialist Silversea has been recognised by international luxury travel network Virtuoso®, receiving two awards at the 29th annual Virtuoso Travel Week Conference, which honours the achievements of the network's travel advisor members, agencies and preferred partners. Among Virtuoso's preferred partners, Silversea took the top spot for Most Innovative Itinerary - Cruise, while Mark Conroy, Silversea's Managing Director for the Americas, was awarded Virtuoso Cruise Ambassador of the Year.

"Both Virtuoso and Silversea are committed to excellence in travel," said Conroy. "While I'm personally honoured to be recognized as this year's Virtuoso Cruise Ambassador, it is especially gratifying for our company to receive the award for Most Innovative Itinerary, a testament to Silverseas' focus on delivering outstanding luxury cruise experiences."

The Virtuoso Awards allow travel industry peers to recognise each other's accomplishments. The network's travel providers place votes for agencies and advisors, while agency members vote for their preferred suppliers.

"Silversea demonstrates a superior commitment to product excellence, expert knowledge and outstanding client service, all qualities highly valued by this network," said Albert Herrera, Senior Vice President of global product partnerships for Virtuoso. "These awards place Silversea in a very exclusive category, as Virtuoso's most celebrated partners are recognised as leaders within the industry. Our partners' contributions and close relationships with our advisors enable Virtuoso to maintain its status as the world's most exceptional luxury and experiential travel network."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lonely Planet new Mobile Self-Publishing Content Platform - Trips

#lonelyplanet #travel

Interactive app offers a reimagined way to discover and create travel content

Leading global travel media company Lonely Planet has today announced the launch of Trips by Lonely Planet, a self-publishing content platform offering the modern traveller an enjoyable, easy way to discover and share their experiences. Leveraging its expansive and reliable travel expertise, Lonely Planet has developed a highly immersive mobile platform designed to help adventurous spirits instantly navigate a wealth of curated travel content with an expert lens. Trips is now available free on iOS and will be available on Android later this year.

Trips enables anyone to seamlessly upload photos and videos directly from their phone's photo library and craft stories illustrating each trip. The platform's simple and modern design features the ability to "like" trips, follow others, save favorite stories to one's profile and discover new trips by location or theme, such as wildlife and nature, adventure travel and road trips. In addition, Lonely Planet's team of expert writers and editors frequently curates top recommendations to inspire people's next trip.

"At Lonely Planet, we are proud of our long history of offering the world's best travel content in a variety of ways," said Daniel Houghton, CEO of Lonely Planet. "We understand what the modern traveller wants and have delivered an interactive digital platform that offers an effortless, mobile-first way to document, share and discover remarkable experiences. Trips is simply the next step in growing Lonely Planet as we continue to pioneer the future of travel."

A recent Skift report indicates that 63 percent of consumers look to social channels before booking a vacation. Lonely Planet envisioned a way to leverage its robust catalogue of independent travel content to create a standalone platform that meets the expectations of socially connected travellers. As people continue turn to social media first for recommendations, Trips provides access to the best shared travel experiences anytime, anywhere.

"I have been waiting for a platform that gives me the formatting options and tools I need to accurately express my travel experiences. Trips helps me do this and is now my go-to app for creating high quality content on the move," said Ed Norton, Lonely Planet contributor and professional photographer. "I recommend searching the Discover section, which is a great place to find inspiration as well as themes and ideas for your own stories. Plus, published stories on Trips may be chosen by Lonely Planet's destination experts as featured posts, which is perfect for increasing views of a person's unforgettable travels."

For more 44 years, Lonely Planet has been the leading independent travel content provider. Founded as a guidebook publisher, the company pioneered bringing travel content online by launching as one of the first travel websites. Today, Trips joins a series of digital innovations from Lonely Planet, including a new video platform launched in April (, the redesign of and the Guides app (

For more information on Trips by Lonely Planet, visit
( and Snapchat (@lonely.planet).

Friday, August 4, 2017

New Travelodge 209-room hotel soon for Sydney Airport

Travelodge Hotels is set to open a new 209-room hotel at Sydney Airport with all-day dining and a late night bar, as well as an 800-bay car park, offering the perfect layover for the no-nonsense traveller seeking comfort and convenience at Australia’s busiest airport. TFE Hotels will manage the new hotel, which is being developed by Andary Group and located on O’Riordan Street and King Street in Mascot, only 500m from the terminal entrance. The hotel forms part of the ongoing transformation of Mascot, which is host to a series of new developments, including serviced holiday units and trendy inner city apartment blocks.

Travelodge Hotel Sydney Airport will be the eighteenth hotel under the brand banner in Australia and New Zealand, sharing its Refreshingly Simple promise, offering guests “more of what you want and less of what you don’t”. In convenient locations with smart design, Travelodge Hotels have a down to earth attitude and an honest sense of humour - they are all about the simple pleasures.

In keeping with this brand promise, the new hotel will have comfortable beds, a stylish open lobby and contemporary décor, free Wi-Fi, hearty breakfasts and standard 11am check-out, as well as 24-hour room service and all day dining and a late night bar at T’s Bar & Bistro, ideal for those flying in or out on later flights or adjusting to different time zones. The menus will be prepared with freshness in mind – something sure to appeal to those coming from a long plane journey. Coupled with the outdoor dining space, guests will feel revived in no time. Interconnecting rooms make it a great option for family or group stays.

TFE Hotels CEO Rachel Argaman said the new hotel would aptly meet the increasing volume of business and leisure guests coming in and out of Sydney.

“This exciting new addition to the Sydney hotel scene is part of the broader transformation of airport accommodation in Australia, which is turning airport hotels into appealing and desirable places to spend time as part of any holiday or business journey,” Ms Argaman said. “Travelodge Hotels has a down to earth attitude and an honest sense of humour.

These hotels offer great accommodation in central and convenient locations with a relaxed feel and all the essential comforts that travellers seek today. It makes them ideal places to stay before or after any flight.” 

Richard Andary, Managing Director of Andary Group said the new hotel would immediately ease increased demand for quality accommodation at Sydney’s busy international airport, offering travellers a new option.

“We’re delighted to work with TFE Hotels on this exciting new development which will provide an alternative, quality hotel right on Mascot’s doorstep,” he said.

The hotel has an opening offer of 25% off the fully flexible rate including one buffet breakfast daily for fully pre-paid bookings (non-refundable) for stays between 1 September and 31 October, subject to availability. To book* visit

*Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

First is Flying with British Airways

Since The First Wing opened on 5 April , the new exclusive check-in area for British Airways' First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers at London Heathrow Terminal 5 has welcomed nearly 200,000* travellers through the dedicated security channel leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

That's around 1,800 customers a day transferring through The First Wing from check-in to the lounge. The smoothness and convenience of the innovation has resulted in great customer feedback and has also reduced the number of customers travelling through the normal security search areas, delivering a benefit for all fliers.

Click here to take a tour of the new First Wing:

British Airways is continuing to invest in other improvements to First, including a refresh of its flagship Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5 to be unveiled in October 2017. The lounge, which is exclusively for First customers will receive an updated look and feel, as well as improvements to the terrace area.

Additionally new Liberty London amenity kits will take to the skies at the end of July. The kits feature prints from Liberty's vintage textile archive. The ladies' version features an eye-catching print called 'Indiana' flower pattern in a range of blues, while the male amenity kits showcases a more understated black and grey paisley design called 'Arundel'.

The gentlemen's amenity kits features Refinery's revitalizing moisturizer, lip balm, deodorant stick and shave gel as well as a razor, brush and comb, toothbrush/toothpaste, eye mask, socks, ear plugs and pen. The ladies' kit includes Aromatherapy Associates triple rose renewing moisturiser, hydrating hand lotion, renewing cleanser and deodorant stick, along with a lip balm, cotton wool pads, toothbrush/toothpaste, hairbrush and pen.

Alex Cruz, British Airways' chairman and CEO, said: "We know that our First customers are used to the very best in life and have very exacting standards. They rightly expect every part of their journey with us to cater to their needs, so we've focused on areas that we know matter to them. First Wing enables them to maximise their time, whisking them from kerb to lounge through the fast track security channel. And we've paid attention to the details that make a difference on board too, through elements such as the updated Liberty amenity kits and the ability to pre-order a preferred meal.

"From the feedback we've received from our First fliers, these changes are making a real difference to their experience, driving great customer reaction and there's more to come with the revamped Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5, due to be unveiled this October." Cruz added.

For further information on First customers can visit

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Vibrant and Chic ibis styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai adds colour to the city’s Old Quarter

Vibrant and Chic ibis styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai adds colour to the city's Old Quarter

Combining vintage design with creative elements of the ibis Styles brand spirit

Travellers visiting Bangkok's postcard-perfect old city, will be delighted that ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai has come to Rambuttri Road, it was easily accessible by foot or bicycle in the old days.

The original Viengtai Hotel opened its doors in 1953 and was the first hotel in the Banglampu-Khaosan area which then became the start of a rich hospitality district that prevails to this day. The aim of the hotel then was to create a home-away-from-home for tourists visiting the capital as modern accommodations catering to the travellers were scarce. The hotel has since been refurbished and underwent a rebranding facelift under ibis Styles.

"Khaosan Road is a strategic area in Bangkok best known as a centre of backpacking travellers," says Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels, Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia. "Packed along this long road are countless budget guesthouses and mid-range hotels – and we are pleased that ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai is the first international hotel in the area. As a flagship ibis Styles hotel, the property offers travellers an all-inclusive bed and breakfast with spaciousness and comfort."

With a unique blend of vintage charm that intertwines Bangkok's rich historical heritage, the hotel features 215 contemporary guest rooms that are furnished with the innovative and revolutionary Sweet BedTM concept by ibis that align density points of the body with plumped fluffy pillows and super-comfy duvet for a restful night's sleep.

Foodies staying at the hotel can relish in a selection of local and international menu choices at Streats Café or enjoy freshly made French pastries at Streats Bakery. A selection of meat skewers and ala minute dishes are available at Streats Bar, an open concept grill-bar that also serves a range of signature cocktails and house-pours.

Outdoor facilities include a pool, kids club, and bike rentals. For social events and business meetings, the hotel has two meeting rooms that can cater up to 200 guests.

General Manager Pierre-Yves Viou said, "Located in the heart of the capital's cultural old town, ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai offers travellers a home-away-from-home in the quaint and vibrant district of Khaosan.  Featuring some of the best bars, clubs and eats in town, Khaosan offers a welcome respite for travellers looking for a quick weekend getaway."

Enjoy a weekend stay at THB 2,530 nett per night with breakfast for two when you book from now until 31 Oct 2017.

For reservations, please email or call 66 2 2805434. For more information, please visit |

The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places