News in Brief: Thursday August 1

Garuda Indonesia's five years absence from the Brisbane route ended this morning as a Boeing 737-800 aircraft flew its inaugural service on the Brisbane-Denpasar route.

The daily operation takes the Indonesian carrier's tally of Australian services to 52 per week.


Early-bird registration has opened for the 2013 Australian Tourism Directions Conference, to be held at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday October 29.

Panellists will include Virgin Australia's Judith Crompton, TAA's Tony South and Ronald Vlasic of Kimpton Hotels among others.

Throughout August, places are available for booking at the discounted rate of $250. Click here for more information.


Pete Rawley is the "head honcho" of G Adventures no more, as the adventure travel firm confirmed his departure to pursue fresh opportunities after five years in the role.

Vice president of global commercial development, John Warner, will base himself in Melbourne until a replacement is found.


Youth operator Topdeck has revamped its website to feature a new agent booking system, with further improvements on the cards.

The refreshed site includes improved navigation and search capacilities along with real-time booking availability.

Agents with Topdeck log-in details can now access the dedicated section of the site where they will find offer, forms, selling information and brochure requests. 


South America Travel Centre has released its new brochure, complete with a range of sample itineraries but no prices.

Its aim is to inspire and showcase what is possible, according to managing director Alex Burridge.

"It is intended as a starting point," he said. "As we tailor each itinerary to meet client wishes, it made no sense to offer packages with prices, which effectively limits the options and is contrary to what we do."


Viking River Cruises has partnered with the Australian Maritime Museum in support of the Vikings – Beyond the Legend exhibition which opens in September.


Tony Pedroni has been named the new general manager of the Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort in Thailand, effective immediately.


Emirates has doubled its services to Amsterdam with the addition of a second daily service from December 4 to be operated by Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.

The new service will complement the daily Airbus A380 service which commenced last August, and adds more than 3,700 weekly seats to the route.


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