Brand USA’s Five Badge Fun Competition Heats Up in Final Days
Brand USA Australia is calling out for further entrants as it approaches the final days of its popular trade incentive, Five Badge Fun, which is ending this Sunday 1 October. The incentive launched to celebrate the introduction of five new specialist badges on its official training site, the USA Discovery Program.
Agents have been competing for a two night Mystery Flights package for two people, which is a short stay travel package to an unknown destination within Australia. The prize includes return economy airfares, two nights at a four star hotel and airport transfers.
For those agents who haven’t entered yet, they should head to the USA Discovery Program and complete all of the five new badges to gain an entry. The incentive is only open to travel trade representatives in New Zealand who are registered users on the Discovery Program. New users must first complete the Regional Expert Badge in order to enter.
Club Med Travel Agent Survey Winners Announced
Club Med would like to congratulate the five lucky Travel Agents, each winning a $100 voucher for completing Club Med’s annual Travel Agent Survey. A total of 470 Australian Agents completed the 66 question survey within the two week survey period.
The 2017 Club Med Travel Agent Survey winners are:
- Monique Cook from Helloworld Mornington Cruise and Travel (VIC)
- Scott Docherty from Flight Centre Miranda (NSW)
- Kirsten Ault from Flying Colours Travel (VIC)
- Rachael Pearce from Ract Helloworld Devonport (TAS)
- Cassandra Zayonce from TravelManagers (QLD)
From the survey, Club Med are proud to say that 74 per cent of travel agents position Club Med as Premium offer and 97 per cent think that all-inclusive is the best feature of Club Med Resorts, 74 per cent that activities is the best feature and 70 per cent the Kids club.
Avis Scholarship 2017 applications now open
This year’s Avis Travel Agent Scholarship are looking for Australian and New Zealand travel agents who are finding new or novel ways to deliver a memorable customer service – whether through the imaginative use of social media and technology, or the introduction of a new twist on a familiar form of customer engagement.
The prize package includes the option of travelling to the United States, Europe or Asia. As part of the trip, agents will get to hear from some of the travel industry’s most visionary leaders when they attend a Phocuswright conference.
To take part agents have until 9 October 2017 to register and answer a series of online questions on their approach to customer service innovation. Finalists are announced on 26 October 2017, and will receive return flights to Sydney and accommodation on 13 November to attend a judging session and a presentation dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. In addition, all finalists will receive two tickets to the 2018 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards Gala Dinner (including return flights and overnight accommodation), and a personal Behavioural Profile and a consultation session with a Polonious Business Coach.
An official Japan Travel App has launched
Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) have launched the Japan Official Travel App, a new app for overseas tourists in Japan.
The free app aims to make travelling in Japan hassle-free for visitors, and provides everything from tourist information, public transport route guidance and free Wi-Fi spot and ATM locations to hospitals, safety alerts for natural disasters, restaurants and luggage forwarding and storage locations.
The app is available for both iOS and Android, and supports English, Korean and Chinese.
EAsia’s new travel website is now live
Easia Travel is a destination management company specialising in tailor-made individual tours, group tours, incentive tours, as well as soft adventure tours in South East Asia. They work exclusively with the travel trade including wholesale and retail agents.
Easia Travel has now have updated their brand image to show how they intend to “Make Asia Easy For You” and bring more amazing experiences to your travellers.
Easia Travel was awarded “DMC acting for Sustainable Tourism” thanks to their long-term commitment in favour of social initiatives.
India’s celebrity chef, Ranveer hosts a series of talks in Sydney
One of India’s best-known food personalities, Ranveer is in Sydney currently producing a series on the contemporary food scene in this country. He was speaking to guests at an event hosted jointly by Indian Link and India Tourism Sydney.
Ranveer is currently the executive chef of Novotel Mumbai, but is better known as a TV chef, food writer and blogger. A former judge on MasterChef India, he has a massive social media following, with 1.5 million Twitter followers, some 500,000 Facebook followers and 83,000 Instagram fans. Which makes him a celebrity in the ranks of film stars and cricketing heroes.
“In Australia what I like most is the way you have adopted ‘Farm to Fork’. You are recognising the importance of knowing the farmer and trusting the farmer. Another trend, which is quite similar to ours, is the serious movement towards rediscovering native Australian food,” Ranveer said.
“I’ve just come off a cook with Indigenous chef Mark Olive and it is simply heart-warming to see the way in which native ingredients are being embraced by mainstream restaurants here.”
Ranveer got together with Varun Gujral, chef of Manjit’s at the Wharf and one of the most exciting young chefs in the city. Together, they dished up a drool-worthy tuna tartare with achari spices and charcoal jelly cubes, and even made a veggo version with watermelon.
Kwande Game Reserve in South Africa grows its Specialist Guides
The Kwandwe Private Game Reserve on South Africa’s Eastern Cape has grown the number of its safari guiding team to offer guests a diverse range of specialised activities, who will be available at any time during their stay, included in their stay.
With flexibility at the core of the guest experience, Kwandwe’s guests are invited to choose between a number of different wildlife viewing activities each day hosted by personable guides who reveal the wonders of Kwandwe’s vast wilderness by open topped 4×4, on foot or by boat.
Specialists in Walking, Birding and Photographic Safaris as well as Fishing, guides encourage guests to spend as much time out of the vehicle as in. They can choose a thrilling Big Five bush walk, enjoy a slow safari, pausing to learn about the reserve’s impressive biodiversity as well as the more difficult to encounter and observe insects, bird and wildlife.
All-inclusive prices start from approx. AU$750 per person staying at either Great Fish River Lodge or Ecca Lodge including all meals, drinks and a flexible choice of daily activities lead by expert guides.
Lido named as finalist in NSW premier Business Awards program
Hotel booking and payment solutions provider, The Lido Group, is in the running to win one of NSW’s premier business awards after being named as Western Sydney’s ‘Business of the Year’.
Lido is now a finalist in the 2017 NSW Business Chamber’s Business Awards, which recognise and reward companies whose “passion, determination, innovation and success inspire other businesses and business people”.
“One of our core values is ‘don’t collect customers, create partnerships’, and with that in mind I would also like to thank all of our customers and business partners for their ongoing support and encouragement,” The Lido Group Chief Executive Steve Mackenzie said.
The NSW Business Chamber’s Business Awards will be presented in November at a State Gala Dinner at the International Convention Centre Sydney.
Discount on 2018 Himalayan expeditions from Extreme Bike Tours
Adventure seekers can travel across the towering peaks and stunning valleys of the Himalayas on the classic Royal Enfield motorbike. with Extreme Bike Tours’ re-launch of a new Himalayan expedition in northern India in 2018. To mark the launch, Extreme Bike Tours is offering a saving of US$435 on the 16-day tour starting 7 July, 2018, for bookings made by 31 October, 2017.
Boasting the world’s highest peaks, the Himalayas offer spectacular vistas and exhilarating riding. Extreme Bike Tours is offering the unique thrill of journeying deep into the Himalayan mountains on the classic Royal Enfield 500cc Bullet motorcycle, tailored to handle the rough and winding roads of the Himalayas.
The 16-day tour will include 12 days of riding and is open to licensed motorcycle riders from US$3915, including the 10 per cent discount if booked by 31 October 2017. The fare includes accommodation, meals, fuel and local. Mention the offer when enquiring online with Extreme Bike Tours.
European Travel Expos completed
Last weekend saw the final event of 3 European Travel Expos held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Each Expo featured a range of European Tourist Bureaux, along with a wide range of independent destination specialists promoting travel to Europe in 2018.
The events were open to the public and agents alike, and were deemed a great success for all involved with great feedback from all exhibitors and attendees.
Pictured at the Melbourne event from left to right is Marie McEnally, Tourism Ireland; Birgit Weingartner, Switzerland Tourism; Sonia Holt, Visit Flanders; Traute Tuckfeld, German National Tourism Office; Christina Zarnhofer, Austrian National Tourist Office; Emanuale Attanasia, Italian State Tourist Board; Kristen Angus, Visit Britain.
European bike trend revolutionises active travel
Electric bikes are set to revolutionise the active travel industry in the next decade, according to UTracks, Australia’s European active holiday specialists.
The trend has explored in Europe, with e-bike sales on the continent more than doubling from 600,000 in 2010 to 1.35 million in 2016. A 2016 report from Navigant Research has predicted that eventually e-bike sales will account for one in three bikes sold in Europe, and forecasted that globally, e-bike sales will increase by 54.7 per cent over the next nine years.
UTracks will now offer electric bikes on 80 percent of its 187 cycling itineraries across the European continent in 2018 – a huge jump from 2015.
As part of its Early Bird Deals, UTracks is offering 10% off a huge range of its 2018 European cycling itineraries. The offer applies to itineraries priced under $2000 per person for new bookings made between 25 September and 20 October 2017.
A new luxury rail range is taking off with agents
International Rail launched a ‘Luxury Rail Collection’ program earlier this month, including a dedicated team of luxury consultants. The most popular products at this early stage are the Rocky Mountaineer and The Belmond Rail packages, such as The Royal Scotsman, this was expected due to the Australian agents being better educated on these products said Hume.
“Although these types of products generally take a while to gather momentum, we have seen a significant increase in enquiries and bookings for both our European and Canadian Luxury train packages since the creation of our luxury collection program,” Managing director Jonathan Hume said.
Agents still have the chance to make three deposited bookings per agency on any of the luxury rail products by Friday 7 December to receive a $250 voucher and for home based agents make just two deposited bookings and receive a $150 Dan Murphy voucher.
Spain and Portugal on sale with Tempo
Huge savings can be had when booking Spain and Portugal next month with Tempo Holidays. From the 1 October to the 30 November 2017 travellers can save a huge A$645//$685 per couple. Spain is a vibrant destination where culture and cuisine meet festivals and flamenco, while Portugal combines the best of the past and present. Discover both of these incredible destinations.
A range of coach tours are on sale including Spain & Portugal from Barcelona, Andalucía & Barcelona and the North of Spain. Spain & Portugal from Barcelona includes 11 nights in superior accommodation, breakfast daily and a morning sightseeing tour of Lisbon. Prices start from A$4495//NZ$4800 per couple and is valid for travel on 13 May, 10 June, 9 September and 7 October 2018.
Travelmarvel Offer Early-Bird Double-Deal for Vietnam and Cambodia
Travelmarvel are offering a special early-bird double-deal, fly free plus two free nights when booking any tour over 12 days. The brochure features Travelmarvel’s popular Mekong River cruise along with extensions to Japan, China, Myanmar and more such as the Essential Vietnam and Cambodia 12-day trip.
The journey concludes in the bustling Ho Chi Minh City with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This unmissable adventure starts at $3,995pp twin share, including fly free offers plus an additional two free night accommodation.
The seven-night cruise aboard Travelmarvel’s RV La Marguerite, is the perfect way to witness life along the Mekong. The premium river ship features elegant suites, an on-board restaurant, pool and spacious Sun Deck. From Mekong cruising to Japan rail journeys and more, the new brochure has something for everyone. Book by 3 November to take advantage of early-bird offers.
Travel Counsellors’ luxury famil in Los Cabos.
Travel Counsellors Australia with partners American Airlines and Gate 7, hosted a group of 10 Travel Agents on a six-Day trip around Mexican Riviera. The trip included flights from Australia with American Airlines, 3 nights at The Cape by Thompson Hotels and two nights at the luxurious One & Only Palmilla.
From check-in, onwards, American Airlines provided a fantastic flight experience with the on-board service being a stand-out. Kylie organized everyone a spare seat and one lucky Travel Counsellors flew in total luxury with a complimentary upgrade to First Class. First on the itinerary was The Cape, an incredible property located on a pristine strip of beach just outside of Cabo San Lucas. A a full day tour was spent of Cabo San Lucas with a visit to Todos Santos – home to the famous Hotel California. They stayed at the One&Only Palmilla, with stunning grounds, elegant rooms and dedicated butlers.
With a pool of 150 Travel Counsellors, the possibility of going on one of these spectacular trips is not out of reach thanks to trusted relationship they have with reputable suppliers and the support Travel Counsellors Head Office.
MW Tours’ famil in the Philippines
MW Tours hosted famil to Palawan & Manila, exploring the pristine and stunning islands of El Nido. Picture taken sailing through the famous big Lagoon known for its crystal clears waters, an ideal paradise at its best in the Philippines.
On the Right from front: Elle Willmott (MW Tours BDM), Wendy Edwards (helloworld Travel Belconnen), Kerri O’sullivan (Travel Partners Newcastle), Maxine Langley (helloworld Travel Nambucca Heads), Kelly Ayers (MTA Travel), Jenny Pursehouse (Wauchope Travel).
On the Left from front: Sandra Bucknell (Getaway Travel & Cruise), Abbey Barnier (italktravel Warners Bay), Vicki Johnston (Travel Menai Metro), Marla Cummings (Travel Emporium), Fiona Thorrington (The Cruise & Travel Authority Central Coast).
Get involved in a PR writing workshop in Melbourne & Sydney
Learn all about what Australia’s top travel editors want in press releases and story pitches, the right format, tone and style do they prefer, and How they want images, and much more in a half-day writing workshop. It is designed for travel PR and marketing professionals that includes feedback from 30 of Australia’s leading travel editors (including Traveller, Escape, The Australian, GQ & Vogue).
Taught by award-winning travel writer Rob McFarland, the workshop also includes a detailed post-course review of a press release or story pitch. Courses cost $399 and are limited to 10 participants.
When: Fri 3 Nov 2017 – 8:30am to 12:30pm
Where: Vibe Savoy Hotel, 630 Little Collins St, Melbourne (map)
When: Fri 10 Nov 2017 – 8:30am to 12:30pm
Where: Vibe Hotel Sydney, 111 Goulburn St, Sydney (map)
Insider Journeys’ latest agent trip
Insider Journeys recently took a group of agents on an eight-night trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.
The group experienced the hustle and bustle of Saigon and Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam, whilst taking in the sights of Cambodia on a luxury river cruise along the Mekong on Heritage Line’s Jayavarman Cruise.
From left to right is Lara Worthy, Balgownie World Travel; Lauren Bloch, Helloworld Travel Merimbula; Antoinette Stokell, Helloworld Travel Morwell; Mandy Finlayson, WOW Travel; Olivia Glover, Helloworld Travel Ringwood; Kristy Fyfe, Insider Journeys; Ruby Smith, Phil Hoffmann Travel Glenelg; Beth Sternbeck, Helloworld Travel Green Hills; Helen Kiloh, Sylvania Travel & Cruise; Nicole Rappel, Helloworld Travel Waurn Ponds.
Top agents enjoy an Arabian-themed night out with Excite Holidays!
Excite Holidays in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, recently held two exclusive agent dinner events to celebrate their latest campaign, Abu Dhabi: One City. Endless Possibilities.
Two groups of 25 top-selling agents across Melbourne and Sydney were invited to spend an evening enjoying authentic Arabian dishes, whilst hearing all about the exciting destination that is Abu Dhabi. Jennifer Gaskin, the Country Manager from the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority was in attendance at both events, and had the pleasure of announcing the imminent opening of the highly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi, as well as talking about the incredible transformation of Saadiyat Island and a variety of must-see Abu Dhabi destinations.
The dinners were held to celebrate the recent partnership between Abu Dhabi and Excite Holidays, and even though the campaign has now wrapped up, the curated itineraries are still available for agents to access at engage.exciteholidays.com/abudhabi.
TTC Weekly deals
Iberia and beyond
Contiki continues to offer millennials three buckets worth of airfare savings, where they can save either $700, $500 or $300 off their European airfare, depending on which summer 2018/19 adventure they choose to embark on. These savings are combinable with the current 10% Early Payment Discount, valid until 14 December 2017. Travellers can save from $445 off the 21-day Iberian Peninsula & Morocco trip that encompasses the tantalising Spain, Portugal & Morocco and they will also save an additional $700 off their flights. From strolling Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter to uncovering intricately tiled mosques in Casablanca and unfathomably fresh seafood in Lisbon. This tour is a maze of culture, cuteness & colourful experiences. Priced from $4,001*per person (including discount) and available for travel between 30 April 2018 – 24 September 2018. For more information visit www.contiki.com or phone 1300 266 845. *Conditions Apply
The Good Life
Secure a Trafalgar guided holiday for you clients along with a fully transparent air deal where guests can Fly for $699 return to Europe and Britain, when they book select 2018 Europe and Britain departures before 2 November 2017 (now including their Autumn, Winter and Spring offerings). Guests can discover the Best of France over 13-days on an exploration of Paris, Lyon, Avignon, Monaco, Bordeaux, Arles and more. Travellers will learn to experience the Good Life on a 17th century farm not so far off the famous Chateau de Villandry where they will meet Beatrice, their host for the evening, and savour the tastes of rural French cuisine during a Be My Guest experience with her family. Priced from $4,225 per person, twin share PLUS Fly for $699, reflective of departure dates available between24 June– 19 August 2018 (Other departures available for alternate price). For more information or a further selection of Trafalgar’s authentic, fun and effortless guided holidays visit www.trafalgar.com or call Trafalgar on 1800 002 006(toll-free).*conditions apply
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection continues to offer The Ultimate 2018 Air Offer for guests to Fly Free return to Europe economy class or upgrade to Business Class from $4,599 when they book a 2018 European voyage before 30th September. Travellers can combine this air offer with the 16- day European Jewels river cruise & tour from Budapest to Amsterdam. For those wishing to discover the full spectrum of European culture, history, fine food and wine, art and architecture, this river cruise passing through The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary will leave them with a collection of jewels, memories and new friendships. Including 13-days of captivating escorted excursions, a 15-night river cruise in a Riverview stateroom onboard the regal River Queen, all meals and beverages unlimited onboard and more! Priced from $10,399 pp twin-share (including economy class airfare) or from $14,998 pp with a Business Class airfare, departing 20 June 2018 (other 2018 departures available, price may vary). For more information call 1300 780 231 or visit uniworld.com .
In celebration of AAT Kings new and refreshing 2018 Australia brochure, your clients can now discover more of their own backyard and take advantage of AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys 10% Early Bird Offer when they book any 2018 Australian guided holiday of immersive journey before 27 November 2017 (subject to availability. Guests can save $305 off Inspiring Journey’s 5-day Kakadu’s Ancient Secrets boutique holiday, travelling from Darwin, through Mary River, Kakadu and Katherine Gorge. Here they will cruise Kakadu’s vast, bird-rich wetlands and witness the mystery of its ancient rock-art, transported to another place and time. This package includes an experienced Travel Director & Driver Guide, boutique accommodation, group sizes of no more than 20 guests and travel in luxury coach, airport transfers, and more! Priced from $2,745 (including early payment discount) and available on select departures between 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019 (subject to availability). For more information or to book call 1300 556 100 or visit aatkings.com. Conditions Apply *
Take advantage of Insight Vacations incredible air deal – fly for just $599* return to Europe when you book any 2018 Europe and Britain escorted journey before 2 November 2017. Guests can combine this air offer with the 16-day Country Roads of Italy journey from Rome through Pompeii, Capri, Perugia, San Gimginano, Cinque Terre, Verona to Venice. Between the major cities, your clients will find little-known gems like Orvieto, Assisi and Perugia, Tuscan hill towns, gastronomic icons, a formidable abbey and Italy’s finest stretch of coastline. Priced from $6,574 per person twin share (including return flights to Europe) price reflective of departure on 3 August 2018 (other departures available for alternate price, subject to availability). For full terms and conditions visit insightvacations.com or call 1300 727 767.
Off the Beaten Track
Travellers can save up to 15% off Busabout ‘s European Hop-on Hop-off passes, Adventures, Sailing and Festivals, as well as their Scotland, Ireland and winter offerings when they book before 21 December 2017. Your clients can explore the untouched wonders of Eastern Europe on Busabout’s new and improved 15-day Ultimate Eastern Adventure where they can save up to 12% off! Travellers will explore the pristine Bucegi Mountains of Romania, gaze up at the beautiful churches of Bulgaria, and party until late with the welcoming people of Serbia. They’ll go beyond the cliches, venture off the beaten track, and discover one of the most charming areas of Europe. Priced from $1,486 per person twin share (including discount) including a Busabout guide and driver, 14 nights’ hotel accommodation (twin and triple share rooms), 14 breakfasts, entrance into Bran Fortress and Rasnov Fortress and more! Available on 2018 departures. To book quote promocode EB1. For more information and a range of other Europe and Asia trips on sale visit http://www.busabout.com/ or call 1300 287 226