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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

New research shows Australians bursting for Pacific bubble

New data from travel platform, Vacaay, reveals Australians are eagerly awaiting the opening of the Pacific Bubble ­– with French Polynesia, Fiji and Cook Islands experiencing a surge in online interest.

To compare the shift in travel intention as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vacaay compared usage from 15 February to 15 March 2020 with the period 15 June to 15 July 2020.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Take a tour of Sydney’s fascinating pandemic history

City of Sydney staff wearing masks to protect themselves from 1919 flu (City of Sydney Archives)

Aligning with the current curiosity for pandemics and epidemics, Renaissance Tours have curated ‘In Sickness and in Health’, a fascinating look into discovering how disease and contagion changed the course of Sydney’s history from the days of colonisation to the present.

Jobkeeper extended until 2021. Extension explained

The Federal Government has announced it will extend the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme beyond the end of the existing JobKeeper scheme on 28 September 2020.  The extension will run up until 28 March 2021. 

The following is a summary of changes to the Jobkeeper scheme, though you can read more detail in this article

In regard to JobKeeper payments, under the extension the $1,500 fortnightly JobKeeper payment will reduce to the following:

Eligibility requirement – employees:
Eligible employees will qualify for the maximum rate or the reduced rate based on the hours they worked during the month of February 2020.  Employees who worked an average of 20 hours per week in the month of February 2020 will be eligible for the maximum rate.

Employer eligibility to receive JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020, businesses will need to meet the basic eligibility tests and an extended decline in turnover test based on actual GST turnover.

Source: Hendersons Financial Planning

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

ATIC: Retention of JobKeeper backs Tourism’s future

ATIC has welcomed the retention of JobKeeper as an investment in a stronger future for one of Australia’s economic pillars and employers – tourism!

But the peak tourism industry body said re-consideration for exemption for seasonal tourism and associated businesses, particularly across Northern Australia, into JobKeeper 2.0, was needed.

ATIC Executive Director Simon Westaway said:
ATIC's Simon Westaway "retention of JobKeeper was an
absolute priority for our heavily impacted tourism industry"

“The Federal Government’s retention of JobKeeper was an absolute priority for our heavily impacted tourism industry, an employer of 1 million Australians, powered by thousands of small businesses. We recognise the significance of the continuing commitment to this valued Program.

“JobKeeper to date has done the job intended enabling sustainable businesses including most tourism enterprises to keep on key workers until the economy and visitor demand recovers.

“JobKeeper 2.0’s 6-month extension provides certainty to keep tourism business doors open because most still await visitor recovery with a firmly closed international border and ongoing domestic border restrictions in place across States and Territories in response to COVID-19.

“Australia’s border constraints remain critical in both tourism’s and our economy’s ability to effectively recover. Today’s announcement cannot mask this obvious ongoing economic impediment which drove our call-out for JobKeeper’s targeted extension.

“ATIC’s positive 5-point plan for JobKeeper’s future has been largely captured and we and our business members will work constructively with Government around its next-phase.

“This includes urgent engagement with Government and the Opposition on the best means to address the exceptional circumstances faced by seasonal tourism businesses, such as across Northern Australia, which didn’t qualify under the first stage of JobKeeper and will again continue to fall outside the Program’s next phase guidelines.

“Their value to Australia’s tourism industry and our diversity of offering is undeniable.

“These businesses’ ability to be eligible and re-considered inside JobKeeper 2.0 or be supported via targeted assistance through the Federal COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund due to their exceptional circumstances will be argued for.”

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The New Normal - Your guide to a post COVID-19 Hunter Valley visit

Remember the days when you eagerly headed up the F1 to the Hunter Valley, a mere two-hour drive from Sydney, boot empty, friends in tow, ready to hit as many wineries as you could in a day and do some serious wine tasting?

Friday, July 3, 2020

Most Australians are already travelling. Are you?

According to a study sponsored by PayPal, 65% of Aussies are already comfortable travelling, but only if they’re staying close to home –

• 96% of Aussies not comfortable to travel broadly overseas

• 2-in-5 Aussies can’t wait to go travelling again and 65% are already comfortable travelling in Australia

• 3-in-5 Aussies had to change, or cancel travel plans due to COVID-19

• Almost 30% would rather stay local and support the Aussie tourism industry – even if they could go overseas

Thursday, July 2, 2020

New 'Road to Recovery Tour' on Kangaroo Island

To aid the recovery of Kangaroo Island in the aftermath of their devastating bushfires, Kangaroo Island Odysseys has launched a new one-night/one-day 'Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour'. The tour operates daily and a special 'Hot Deal' rate of only $599 per person twin share, normally $650 per person twin share, is available for travel from the 5th to the 31st August 2020 including a free breakfast.


Designed in consultation with the company's local tour guides, the KI Odysseys Kangaroo Island 'Road to Recovery Tour' visits the bushfire affected areas at the western end of Kangaroo Island, including Bunker Hill, Remarkable Rocks, Cape du Couedic and Admirals Arch, all in Flinders Chase National Park which re-opened recently only to Certified Tour Operators. The tour also visits the fire damaged areas of Vivonne Bay Beach and Point Ellen at Vivonne Bay and the North Coast of Kangaroo Island.


Out of the ashes witness the amazing regeneration and regrowth of the flora and fauna that is bringing a whole new sense of beauty and life to the island. See tree trunks and roots shoot with buds, and ash beds now full of nutrients which have greatly enhanced the proliferation of seedling germination.  With the once dense scrub now gone, see for the first-time hills and terrain that has been hidden for years and now show an incredible heat produced mosaic pattern on the landscape. 


The island's iconic wildlife has not been forgotten with the tour visiting Seal Bay Conservation Park for a guided beach walk amongst wild Australian Sealions. The tour also includes a delicious lunch in a bushland location and an afternoon tea at Snellings Beach. Visit beautiful Stokes Bay in the afternoon to spot kangaroos, koalas and possibly Australia's rarest cockatoo, the Glossy Black Cockatoo. Throughout the day guests will enjoy many opportunities for unique wildlife and native vegetation regeneration photography. 


The KI Odysseys 'Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour' offers a personalised small group touring experience, with guests travelling in luxury touring vehicles that will still allow for social distancing to be implemented. Each small group is accompanied by a local KI tour guide who is passionate about the island and who has their own personal story to tell.


Arrive on Kangaroo Island late afternoon and enjoy overnight accommodation at the Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge, at scenic American River in a Superior King Bayview Room or upgrade to a Deluxe Studio Waterview.  Spend the following day touring the island before returning to Adelaide that night.


The KI Odysseys 'Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour's' 'Hot Deal' rate starts from only $599 per person, twin share from Cape Jervis including breakfast. Upgrade for an extra $25 per person to deluxe accommodation.


The hot deal rate includes return SeaLink ferry transfers from Cape Jervis, shuttle transfers from the ferry to accommodation, overnight accommodation at the Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge in a Superior Bayview Room, free breakfast, Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour, all entrance fees, guided tours, special permits, and a delicious lunch.


The 'Hot Deal' rate departing from Adelaide and including coach transfers from Adelaide is $624 per person, twin share, normally $698 per person twin share.


The Hot Deal is available for travel until 31 August 2020.


Car parking at Cape Jervis is available at the local council car parking area or book secure parking with SeaLink.


From September 2020, the 'Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour' will be priced from $650 per person, twin share from Cape Jervis, or with coach transfers included from Adelaide for $698 per person, twin share, but will not include breakfast. All other inclusions remain the same.


For a full tour itinerary and further information visit:

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Tailor's Expedition Kangaroo Island

Australia’s premier luxury and five-star experiential travel company The Tailor has launched a five-day immersive Kangaroo Island itinerary, welcoming guests behind the veil of the iconic island with a hands-on, fully-hosted experience for travellers seeking the combination of nature’s calming solitude alongside genuine human connections and enterprises.

The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places