Travel Agents

The Big Fat Agent Wrap

Hannah Edensor

From the week that brought you “too fat” flight attendants, Qantas’ new seat selections, and Tony Abbott in his speedos, comes the Friday Agent Wrap.

Sort out all your last minute agent news before the weekend, catch up on the famil gossip, and score yourself an incentive or two while you’re at it.

It’s finally Friday, so roll on into the weekend, glass of bubbly in hand.

Chile Earthquake Update

Tragically, the Chile Earthquake has now claimed 11 lives, World Journeys have heard from their operators in Chile this morning, who report that despite the magnitude of yesterday’s earthquake, client travel arrangements have not been affected.

Santiago and its surrounds, San Pedro de Atacama, Puerto Varas and Patagonia are fully operative, with hotels and tourist services being unaffected.

Chile’s connectivity by air and land is running normally and Santiago airport is fully operative, but some flights may be delayed or rescheduled in the short term. Read the latest update on the earthquake here.


TravelManagers get up to date

TM train

TravelManagers understands that its ongoing success partly relies upon its personal travel managers (PTMs) having regular access to the best possible product training.

Sydney-based personal travel managers were among the latest to benefit from this approach, participating in two days of airline-focused product training that was organised by TravelManagers’ NSW Business Partnership Manager, Julie Anderson.

The training took place over two days and was supported by nine airlines: Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Emirates, Finnair, Thai Airways, Etihad, Qantas and United Airlines.

“Over the course of two days, we covered all nine airlines pretty comprehensively: everything from on-board product to schedules and fares, and even picked up some unique hints on how to differentiate stopovers,” Anderson says.


Sydney embraces a hint of Taiwan

TTB - Guests with dancers

Earlier this week, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB) launched its series of trade promotional roadshows at The Westin Sydney, attracting close to 100 travel agents, suppliers and media guests.

Guests gained insights on Taiwan’s upcoming developments, tips on tailoring Taiwan’s unique offerings to suit various travel budgets, and a first-hand experience of the cultural beauty of Taiwan through an Aboriginal dance performance.

Sydney marked the first stop in a series of four annual Roadshows to showcase Taiwan to the Australian travel trade industry players this month, including Melbourne and Brisbane as well.


Helloworld pops up by the planes

pop up kiosk 3

Travellers departing from Sydney International Airport are responding well to’s brand new Pop-Up kiosk which was launched earlier this month.

The self-service kiosk is located at Pier B, which contains Qantas, British Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines. This airline base represents approximately 50% of the departures out of Sydney International Airport and means that the kiosk is visible to approximately 262,000 travellers per month.

The kiosk boasts stunning digital artwork both on tablets and in large display format, and features the latest Orbitz software solution. helloworld is trialling the kiosk for an initial three months.


Intrepid’s new sailing trips

Intrepid Travel has added two brand-new trips to its popular range of Sailing Adventures in Europe with a cruise down the peaceful Canal du Midi in southern France and a journey through the waters around Sardinia and Corsica.

The Canal du Midi is from $1995 per person with the first departure on 9 May 2016. Sardinia and Corsica Sailing Adventure is from $1795 per person with the first departure on 21 May 2016.

Intrepid is currently offering 15% off these trips as part of the Europe earlybird offer. Book by 31 October 2015 and travel between 1 April and 30 September 2016.


STA Agents see the real Fiji


Swimming with manta rays and reef sharks, sipping kava with villagers and taking part in the Vinaka Fiji volunteering program were just some of the ‘real deal’ Fiji experiences for a group of Australia STA agents recently.

The top sellers for Awesome Adventures Fiji and Virgin Australia got to know the remote, but highly accessible, Yasawa island group first hand in a packed famil schedule that allowed plenty of opportunity to learn about the stunningly beautiful islands and the culture of the people living there.

The STA Agents also learnt about traditional Fijian cuisine in a cooking class with the coconut and lime marinated fish dish, kokoda, featuring.


Pictured L-R: Front row – Richard Carrick, Awesome Adventures; Shirley Mai, Sydney University; Lili Perez, George Street; Elizabeth Croft, Sunshine Coast; Tessa Ball, Selina McGowan and Miri Sau, Awesome Adventures. Back row – Kaila Zeeman, Lygon; Cory Scott, Bondi; Allyce Balderston, Central Melbourne; Asha Thomson, Myer Centre; Christine Voon, Monash Clayton; Isabella Hazelman, Marion.


Bunnik fresh tours for 2016

Bunnik Tours have just launched their 2016 program for Cruise & Tour including itineraries covering South & Central America and Europe.

The 2016 Cruise & Tour program features a line-up of 13 fantastic cruise & tour itineraries, exploring the highlights of South & Central America and Europe.

Eight new itineraries are also featured in the 2016 program. In Europe, these include a tour of Norway and the Baltics, along with cruises along the Mediterranean coastline packaged with popular small group tours of Italy, Morocco or Croatia.

Clients will receive a $250pp Early Bird saving when booked on the European 2016 program before December 18, 2015 and booked on the South & Central American program before 22 January, 2016.


Local Life Tours with Infinity


In August Buffalo Tours launched “Local Life Tours”. These are small group tours that get the traveller up close and personal with the locals for an honest and authentic experience. Infinity now has a number of these tours loaded and ready to sell.

“Local Life Tours” are low impact, support local businesses and have a maximum of 8 passengers per tour. All guides are Buffalo Tours employees. These tours seek to engage the senses and often involve food.

Infinity Holidays has a number of these tours loaded across a variety of destinations in South East Asia.


Emirates Melbourne Cup visits Perth

Emirates Melb Cup and Blake Garvey

The Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy symbolises the height of racing success and last week the people of Perth were given the opportunity to get up close with the coveted trophy.

Travel and Sports Australia hosted the 18 carat gold Melbourne Cup during a function at their new Mount Lawley location on Tuesday, 8 September.

Approximately 70 guests attended and heard from 1994 Melbourne Cup winning jockey Wayne Harris, where he discussed the feeling of crossing the line first and how be mentally prepared for the race.

As an official tourism operator of the Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival for more than 15 years and sending hundreds of satisfied customers to Melbourne every year, Travel and Sports Australia were delighted to be part of the 13th annual Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour.

The $175,000 trophy visited Perth on the 8th and 9th of September – one of 33 stops on the tour across Australia, New Zealand and for the first time, Malaysia, before returning to Flemington in preparation for the race that stops the nation.


Hong Kong gets involved in #helloworldRELAY


On Sunday 27th September, Hong Kong will join up to 60 countries around the globe to participate in the Helloword Global Instagram Relay.  In each destination, the lead influencer will post 12 images- (1 per hour of daylight), in their location.

During the day, each influencer will host an instameet with up to 10 other grammers to join them in their destination. Our lead instagramer- fellow  Australian and Hong Kong resident, Geneva Vanderzeil, blogger and lifestyle guru of @apairandaspare fame, will take us on special journey to some of her favourite parts of Hong Kong, taking in the best places to shop, eat, explore and enjoy the stunning views across Victoria Harbour.

Geneva’s amazing day will culminate in an extraordinary instameet gathering where she will catch up with other influential Hong Kong instagramers to experience the Fire Show and the Tai Hung Fire Dragon Dance as part of the Mid Autumn Festival celebrations in Victoria Park.


Cosmos unveils Europe 2016

CEU16 cover

Cosmos has unveiled its 2016 program of European tours, introducing new itineraries in Spain, France, Italy and Germany as well as savings of up to $1144 per couple.

The new Cosmos Europe 2016 brochure offers more than 60 top-value holidays throughout Europe. Tours range from eight to 29 days including seven priced from less than $1000 per person.

On sale now, the 2016 Cosmos Europe tours are available with a choice of discounts when booked by December 1, 2015, each of which can be combined for added savings.


Palm Cove serves up reef feast

Reef Feast Launch 2015LR

Chefs will be dishing up tasting plates featuring local produce and home brewers will be battling for beer awards as an array of entertainment is served up at Palm Cove’s Reef Feast on October 8-11.

Tourism Palm Cove President Francetta Bridle said the annual Reef Feast held alongside Palm Cove’s palm-fringed beach would celebrate Tropical North Queensland’s lifestyle and unique regional produce with nine events over four days encompassing food, wine, beer, fashion, art and music.

“Cairns Airport is presenting Reef Feast in 2015 as part of the Tropical Queensland Export Exchange, an initiative of the Airport, in collaboration with Cairns Regional Council and Trade and Investment Queensland, to grow the profile of Tropical North Queensland’s produce and create international trade opportunities.

“The Exchange involves 50 visiting media from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists who will attend Reef Feast which we hope will result in an international profile next year.”

Bridle said Reef Feast had become a much anticipated event on the Tropical North Queensland events calendar with more than 11,000 people attending last year.


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