Travel Agents

Big Fat Agent Wrap

Vanessa Bussoletti

Happy Friday, lovely readers, and to celebrate here’s everything you ever needed to know about agents and travel this week. Enjoy!

Get yourself NTIA tickets!

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is now accepting ticket requests for the 2017 NTIA Gala Dinner which will be held on the 22 July in the Grand Ballroom at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.

The new venue caters for an increased capacity for 1,500 guests and AFTA promises guests extra legroom as they enjoy the spectacular evening that AFTA has planned for all those attending.

AFTA is also pleased to share that the 2017 Gala Dinner will be held on a separate evening to the Flight Centre Global Ball.

Ticket requests for the NTIA Gala Dinner are available from the AFTA website here. You can see all the finalists here.

On The Go Tours goes to China!

Back : Dylan Crisp (FC Sunnybank), Emma Whiting (Infinity International), Hugh Walker ( FC Bribie), Jess Martin ( FC Paddington), Amber Cassidy (FC Beaudesert), Kellie Easterbrook ( FC Q Super Centre), Jess Smith ( FC Koala House), Front Kristie Sorrell ( FC Carins Central), Kat Nitarski ( On The Go Tours), Albert Orangutan (On The Go Tours), Elysse Stephen (FC Toowong), Chloe Mulligan ( FC Willows), Carly Thomas ( FC Cannon Hill),
Back : Dylan Crisp (FC Sunnybank), Emma Whiting (Infinity International), Hugh Walker ( FC Bribie), Jess Martin ( FC Paddington), Amber Cassidy (FC Beaudesert), Kellie Easterbrook ( FC Q Super Centre), Jess Smith ( FC Koala House),
Front Kristie Sorrell ( FC Carins Central), Kat Nitarski ( On The Go Tours), Albert Orangutan (On The Go Tours), Elysse Stephen (FC Toowong), Chloe Mulligan ( FC Willows), Carly Thomas ( FC Cannon Hill),

On The Go Tours recently hosted a group of Australian travel agents in China on a specialised version of their Great Wall & Warriors nine day tour.

With over 1.1 million Chinese visitors arriving in Australia last financial year, and new flight routes between Australia and China continuing to open up, forecasts for outbound travel to China are also looking positive, so there is no better time for operators and agents to increase their product knowledge.

For this agent famil On The Go Tours partnered with Singapore Airlines with flights into Beijing and out of Shanghai.

The group included Queensland representatives from the Flight Centre Travel Group and was hosted by On The Go’s Queensland BDM Kat Nitarski.

The nine-day itinerary was led by On The Go Tours expert local guide Feng and took the group to experience China’s many spectacular cultural attractions. Starting in Beijing the famil group travelled south to finish in Shanghai, taking in the historic city of Xi’an on the way.

This diverse itinerary included everything from iconic bucket list attractions such as; the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden city and the Terracotta Warriors to local experiences such as cycling on the medieval city wall of Xi’an and visiting the canals and gardens of Suzhou, the  ‘Venice of the Orient’.

The Great Migration in May: Secrets of the Serengeti’s Seasons 

Wildebeest Migration Adventure World Lo res

The Great Migration in May is fast approaching. Adventure World offers excellent game viewing for guests to marvel at the massive herds as they migrate across the Serengeti and into the Masai Mara in Kenya, in search of water and grazing.

Adventure World’s African safaris allow guests to experience exceptional wildlife viewing during the Great Migration. The 9-day Migration, Lake and Crater Safari tour will have guests marvelling at the endless plains of the Serengeti, the stunning Great Rift Valley and the wildlife in Ngorongoro Crater. The tour takes guests to the heart of the action while staying at extraordinary properties such as the Bateleur Camp, Lake Manyara Lodge and Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Whereas the brand’s 8-day Simba Safari remains Tanzania’s most popular safari, travelling in 4WD vehicles the safari visits Tanzania’s most exciting game parks most commonly known as the world’s largest zoo.

Americas on Sale with Globus

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Globus is offering travellers to Canada and America even more bang for their buck with a special 10% early booking discount to celebrate the release of its 2018 preview brochure.

Highlights of the 2018 preview offering include:

* Historic Cities of Eastern Canada – nine days exploring Canada’s East Coast visiting Toronto, Niagara Falls, Thousand Islands National Park, Ottawa, Québec and Montréal. Priced from $2555* per person twin share including 10 per cent discount – a saving of up to $284* per person.

* America’s Musical Heritage – 10 days from Nashville to New Orleans, including a visit to Graceland. Priced from $3428* per person twin share including 10 per cent discount – a saving of up to $381* per person.

* Exploring America’s Great Parks – 15 days touring America’s National Parks, including Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, Custer State Park with visits to Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Priced from $4922* per person twin share including 10 per cent discount – a saving of up to $547* per person.

The discount is available for eligible bookings made and deposited by June 20, 2017.

Free Russian visas with Explore Worldwide

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Explore Worldwide are encouraging agents to discover the unique diversity between Russia and the ex-USSR region with free visa’s worth up to A$270//NZ$330 until the 22nd May 2017.   

A popular way to cover a lot in one trip is to visit five fascinating countries and stay in six historic cities of the old Soviet Union in one go – try Explore’s Russia, Belarus and the Baltics adventure. Experience Belarus’s capital Minsk and see the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of 15th-century Mir Castle and Nesvizh Palace. Belarus also has beautiful forests and you can discover the incredible variety of flora and fauna while hiking in Berezinsky National Park. Prices start from A$3133 // NZ$3312. 

Leaving the dark colours of Soviet submarines behind, now imagine Uzbekistan and picture the vibrant sights of the Silk Road. The Uzbek cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand were stop-off points for traders and offer beautiful reminders of days past with their restored turquoise-coloured domes, exotic minarets, attractive mosaics and twisted alleyways. Travel through this remote Central Asian landscape and mingle with the locals in the market of Tashkent on the 12 day small group tour Golden Road to Samarkand adventure. Prices start from A$2046 //NZ$2163. 

For a close-up look of Russia you can journey by bicycle and bus from Moscow to St. Petersburg, exploring the rural landscape dotted with onion-domed Orthodox churches, enormous lakes and forests, as well as the city landmarks. Cycle Russia – Moscow to St. Petersburg uncovers these sights and has prices starting from A$1924//NZ$1941. 

G Adventures announces exclusive trip with The Collective’s Lisa Messenger

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G Adventures has teamed up with multi platform brand, Collective Hub, to release an exclusive trip to Peru, featuring editor-in-chief, Lisa Messenger, Travel with Intent: Amazon to the Andes.

For three days of the 12 day trip, Lisa will talk to travellers about what it means to find their purpose and give them the tools to help them achieve want they want out of business and in life. The bespoke itinerary will include meet and greets, breakout sessions, as well as a Q&A session.

“I, personally, am a strong believer in purpose and finding your ‘why’. Through Collective Hub, I have dedicated 2017 to embracing travel as a key vehicle for making this happen,” said Lisa Messenger.

Travellers will have the opportunity to scan the canopy for wildlife from the comfort of the intimate and exclusive G Lodge Amazon, but to walk the Lares trek through Inca villages, be left in ore at the sight of Machu Picchu, buy local crafts at Sacred Valley markets, and devour seafood in Lima.

For more information or to book email collectivehub@gadventures.com or call 1300 913 496.

Journey to Japan with Insider Journeys’ Private Travel collection

InsiderJourneys_Japan_Front Cover

Insider Journeys has launched its Private Travel collection brochure designed for independent travellers, dedicated to Japan.

The 36-page brochure offers a selection of expertly designed private travel packages with personal guides and exclusive concierge services in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. The brochure also outlines a range of fascinating ½ day and day touring options in Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto, as well as accommodation options such as the luxury 5 star Aman, in Tokyo and the regional centre of Shima.

Tours of note within the brochure include:

  • An 11 day West Japan Experience itinerary from the laneways of cultural Tokyo to the tranquil island of Miyajima, take in some of Japan’s iconic sites and unique, remote experiences including a temple stay in Mt Koya. Highlights of the tour include dining on famous oysters and a glass of chilled white wine on the tranquil island of Miyajima, learn about a monk’s lifestyle with a stay in a Shukubo temple lodge and wander the pathways through the Fushimi Inari, a shrine dedicated to the gods of rice and sake by the Hata family. From $4,510 per person twin share.
  • A new 20 day Japan Encompassed adventure, experience Japan’s urban, cultural and natural sites on a journey spanning its must-sees and hidden gems. Get to know the captivating cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, enjoy unique experiences ranging from encounters with snow monkeys in the mountainous northern Nagano region and Ryokan stays. Discover Naoshima’s sandy beaches, relaxed atmosphere and modern art which is dotted around the island. The package starts from $10,601 per person twin share.
  • The subtropical islands of Okinawa, which lie to the southwest of the Japanese archipelago, are the birthplace of one of the world’s most popular martial arts: Karate. In recognition of this heritage, March 2017 saw the opening of a new Karate Museum on the chain’s largest island. The 6 day Okinawa Island Escape includes all the main sites and an overnight journey on Aka Island, staying in a Minshuku with a local family. From $2,650 per person twin share.

Japan National Tourism Organisation hosts Japan Adventure Travel Mart

Representatives of Japan’s snow and adventure industry will get together at Japan Adventure Travel Mart 2017 in Sydney and Melbourne – an event organised by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

Japan Adventure Travel Mart 2017 brings together delegates from both major and up-and-coming snow resorts as well as outdoor adventure operators to engage with Australian travel agents and ski tour operators on the latest regional trends.

This year JNTO has invited guest speakers for both cities – Scott Adler of Larry Adler Ski & Outdoor for Sydney; and Jacqui Cooper, former Australian Olympic Aerial Skier, for Melbourne – to present on Japan travel as industry experts.

Lucky draw prizes to be won include a round-trip air ticket to Japan.

Japan Adventure Travel Mart 2017 will be held at Hilton Sydney Hotel on 23rd May 2017 and at Langham Melbourne on 25th May 2017.

Travel agents wishing to attend are invited to register by e-mailing japanadventure.syd@gmail.com for Sydney by 16th May and japanadventure.mel@gmail.com for Melbourne by 18th May
with their full name, company name and position.

Tropical North Queensland wows agents

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Australian and New Zealand travel agents have been exploring Tropical North Queensland’s diverse landscapes over the past six days.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said TTNQ partnered with Cairns Airport and Tourism and Events Queensland to bring 57 travel agents to the destination from April 27 to May 3.

They have been shown the diversity of Tropical North Queensland with eight different itineraries; Cairns, Mission Beach, the Atherton Tablelands, Cooktown, the Outback, the Northern Beaches, Kuranda, Port Douglas, Daintree and Cape Tribulation.

Their experiences have been varied; Indigenous culture, the Great Barrier Reef, tropical cuisine, explored the Wet Tropics rainforest and its wildlife, browsed through markets and relaxed into our outdoor lifestyle.

Travel Counsellors experience the magic of New Zealand’s South Island

Hot tub fun

A group of Travel Counsellors recently experienced the epic landscapes, quaint cities, kind hospitality and thriving food and wine scene of New Zealand’s South Island on a familiarisation tour hosted by Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism.

Travelling from April 4 – 8, Melissa Briggs, Rebecca Lipscomb and Chrissie Shah took part in the self-drive itinerary that included a good mix of Christchurch and Canterbury’s well known sites and secret spots in equal measure. From the garden art of Christchurch Botanic Gardens to the stunning vistas of Lake Tekapo and the cool beauty of the Tasman Glacier, this tour showcased New Zealand’s natural beauty at its best.

Apart from soaking up the scenery, relaxing in hot springs and taking in the starry night sky at an observatory, the group also visited some of New Zealand’s premier food and wine destinations including Pegasus Bay Winery and Restaurant, Tin Plate Kitchen & Bar and Twenty Seven Steps in Christchurch.

‘Live Like A Local’ TravelManagers Italian Educational Experience

TravelManagers personal travel managers stop for a photo opportunity while exploring the Camiano Piccolo estate’s accommodation near Montefalco with its expansive gardens and buildings that date back to the 16th century. From back left, Helen Georganas ,Kylie Luttrell, Linda Naake, Sylvia Holland, Antonella Damiano, Lisa Skaltsas, Jennifer Julio (Qatar Airways), local ground operator and Mary Anderson From front left: Carol Scalercio (CIT Holidays), Rosa Frigel and Irena Bryant.
From back left, Helen Georganas ,Kylie Luttrell, Linda Naake, Sylvia Holland, Antonella Damiano, Lisa Skaltsas, Jennifer Julio (Qatar Airways), local ground operator and Mary Anderson From front left: Carol Scalercio (CIT Holidays), Rosa Frigel and Irena Bryant.

TravelManagers exclusive six night Italy educational was hosted by Carol Scalercio from CIT Holidays and Melbourne-based Qatar Airways Sales Executive Jennifer Julio.

Participating personal travel managers were Victoria based Kylie Luttrell, Lisa Skaltsas, Sylvia Holland; New South Wales representatives Antonella Damiano, Irena Bryant, Mary Anderson, Rosa Frigel; Western Australia’s Linda Naake and Helen Georganas from the national partnership office operations team.

TravelManagers attribute the exceptional, strong and effective business relationships with key airline, cruise and wholesale suppliers with providing personal travel managers the ability to experience exclusive educationals, to a variety of worldwide destinations.

New Maldives Newsletter

Maldives Inbound

The Maldives Tourism office in Australia is set to launch “Maldives Inbound”, a monthly newsletter that will include destination guides, news, events, offers and videos. 

Subscribe to Maldives Inbound for a taste of the Sunny Side of Life delivered to your inbox every month.

Bear Rentals: Australian 4X4 Vehicle Hire Built For REAL Off-Road Adventure

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There is now a car hire company that provides the vehicle, gear and equipment to set you on your way through the rugged bushland and along the scenic East Coast of Australia. Introducing Bear Rentals, the answer to real off-road adventure travel in Australia

The Bear Rentals fleet is made up of meticulous, ultra-rugged Land Rover Defender four-wheel-drives (4WD). Suited to both on and off-road adventures, these vehicles are your accommodation too. The entire fleet has been converted into luxury campervans, eliminating the need for pitching a tent day-in and day-out.

Each Bear Rentals 4WD is fitted with the latest in battery technology, meaning that you don’t have to rely on powered sites and that you can venture to more remote areas for longer periods of time.

Every vehicle is also equipped with all of the necessary items that you could ever need on an extended trip away including; fridge, stove, pots and pans, cutlery & crockery, camp chairs as well as bedding and towels, so all you need to pack is your sense of adventure.

Flexible seating and sleeping from two people, there is a Bear Rentals camper to suit every situation. Located in Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Broome, Bear Rentals have a fleet of 22 vehicles primed and ready to tackle all of your Australian travel-based endeavours.

Bear Rental 4WD Camper Hire Starts from $160 per day and are commissionable for agents at a rate of 20 per cent.

For more information or to make a booking visit www.bearrentals.com.au

Helloworld for Business becomes Helloworld Business Travel

In line with recent changes announced by Helloworld Travel Limited it has been confirmed that the corporate arm of the agency network will become Helloworld Business Travel (HWBT).

“Through consultation with the Helloworld Business Council, we identified that the change in name to Helloworld Business Travel was by far the leading choice. Through this and our recent changes in the other networks, we are now more aligned within the industry and this alignment brings with it the strength of the wider Helloworld Travel group for all Helloworld Business Travel members” said David Padman, Head of Associate, Corporate and Affiliate Networks at Helloworld Travel Limited.

Fijian Tourism Expo kicks off

Fiji’s premier tourism industry event – the Fijian Tourism Expo (FTE) – will be on today and tomorrow (4-5 May) at the Denarau Island Convention Centre in Fiji.

FTE is hosted by Tourism Fiji and 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year of the event, where more than 100 of Fiji’s tourism operators will showcase their products and services to international buyers and travel trade media. A record number of 160 international travel buyers and media will attend FTE 2017 – that is, an increase of seven per cent on last year’s attendance.

Buyers and travel trade media attending FTE 2017 are from Fiji’s largest international markets including Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Ukraine, China, Singapore, India, Pakistan and Brazil.

Building on the Fijian Government’s ‘Fijian Made and Buy Fijian Campaign’, FTE 2017 also includes a Fijian Crafts Village where artisans will demonstrate and sell varied Fijian-made arts and crafts. FTE 2017 will also feature live performances by local musicians, cultural groups and artists.

TTC Weekly Deals

Russian Orthodox Christmas

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Save 7.5% on tours from Insight Vacations 2017/18 Seasons brochure when booked and paid in full by 24 August 2017. On the NEW 8-day Easy Pace Russia and Christmas Markets escorted journey guests will save up to $390 per couple. Highlights of this journey includes a high speed train travelling from St. Petersburg to Moscow in just under 4 hours, as well as a Local Expert in Moscow showing guests the wonderful city through a tour of the Red Square and the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral all before walking inside the walls of Kremlin Fortress. Priced from $2,450 per person (including 7.5% early payment discount) departing 17 December 2017 – 7th January 2018 (subject to availability). For full terms and conditions visit insightvacations.com or call 1300 727 767.

Unexpected Cities

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Guests of AAT Kings can receive a discounted return airfare to New Zealand (departing from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth or Brisbane) when they book the 14-day New Zealand Vista guided holiday. Each of New Zealand’s major cities offers up something just a little unexpected. Your clients will wander in search of panoramic city views throughout Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. This package includes an experienced Travel Director & Driver Guide, quality accommodation, travel in luxury coach, airport transfers, and more! Priced from $4,249 with discounted return airfare* departing Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, twin share and available on select departures between 1 October 2017 – 30 September 2018 (subject to availability). For more information or to book call 1300 556 100 or visit aatkings.com *

Wine and Dine

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Book your clients on an 8-day Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux river cruise before 30th June 2017 and they will receive a complimentary stateroom upgrade, PLUS SAVE $1,000 per person on these sailings as part of Uniworld’s You Deserve the Best Upgrade Promotion. Guests will discover the proud legacy of one of the world’s most acclaimed wine regions and enjoy an all-inclusive 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom onboard the elegant River Royale , including all meals and unlimited beverages onboard, 6 days of hosted excursions, services of an experiences Uniworld Cruise Manager and more! Priced from A$4,399 per person twin share (including upgrade and saving) departing on 8 October 2017 (other departures available). For more information call 1300 780 231 or visit uniworld.com

Busabout’s Asian Discount

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Travellers booking with Busabout can SAVE up to 15% off Asian trips when they pay in full between 1st May – 31st of May 2017, quoting the promocode MAYASIA. On the 14-day Vietnam Adventure, travellers can save a total of $223 per person on their adventure from Hanoi, through Mai Chau, Hue to Ho Chi Minh city. Including highlights such as an amazing Nha Trang boat trip, visit to the tranquil rice fields of Mai Chau town and exploring Phong Nha Ke Bang’s Paradise Caves. Priced from $1,316 (including discount) per person, departing between 1 June – 31 December 2017 . Deposit of $100 must be paid at time of booking and full payment due 45 days prior to departure. For more information and a range of other Europe trips on sale visit http://www.busabout.com/ or call 1300 287 226

Ultimate SKI TRIP

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Youth Travellers can save a total of $75 off Contiki’s 7-day Ultimate NZ Ski trip with Contiki’s latest 5% off NZ Ski sale when they book by 22 March 2017. In the ‘Worlds Adventure Capital’ of Queenstown travellers will hit the slopes of the South Island’s dominating Southern Alps, home to New Zealand’s premier ski areas, accompanied by a Ski Rep carving their way on three world renowned ski fields, offering fantastic runs for beginners through to advanced skiers and riders. Priced from $1,440 *per person (discount included) and available for travel between 25 June 2017 – 2 September 2017. For more information visit www.contiki.com or phone 1300 266 845. *Conditions Apply

Peruvian cruise

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Clients who go off the beaten track and cruise the Peruvian Amazon onboard the newly refurbished luxurious Delfin III will SAVE up to 20%on selected 2017 departures when booking with Adventure World before 31 May 2017. On the 4-day Discover the Amazon with Delfin cruisethey will save $484 per person! Only accessible by water, the cruise explores Pacaya Samiria National Reserve located deep within the Amazon rainforest , one of Peru’s most fertile havens for sighting Amazon mammals, birds and plants that thrive among its 5 million acres Priced from $2,420*per person, including 3-nights accommodation onboard Delfin III, meals, excursions with naturalist guides and transfers from Iquitos, Peru. Available for select departure between 21 June – 20 December 2017. For more information and full terms and conditions visit Adventure World at www.adventureworld.com call 1300 363 055 *Conditions Apply 

The Spice route to Singapore

Book your clients on Creative Cruising’s 18-night Spices, Teas & Rubber Trees cruise travelling from Dubai through to Mumbai, Goa, Colombo and Singapore, before 31 May 2017 and they’ll SAVE up to $750* per person off their cruise fare (discount included in the advertised price). This package includes an Economy class airfare from Perth to Dubai (other city departures available), returning  Singapore flying Qantas Airways, 2-night pre-cruise accommodation in Dubai, a 15-night cruise onboard Azamara Journey from Dubai to Singapore, all meals, entertainment, and select beverages onabord, 1-night post cruise accommodation in Singapore, transfers in Singapore and more! Priced from $6,869pp (price ex Perth), cruise departs 24 November 2017 *Conditions apply please visit www.creativecruising.com.au or phone 1300 362 599 for more information.

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