Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Excite’s award win, Change Makers returns, agents take on India + MORE!

Judging by the length of this Agent Wrap, it’s been a slow week for the trade. Well, slow for a bunch of globe-trotting socialites, that is.

Excite Holidays celebrates growth in US markets with award win 

Excite Holidays has received a 2019 Magellan Award for Online travel services – Travel agent only website in the United States.

The silver win comes less than two years after the business entered the competitive American market and the triumph is a recognition of Excite Holidays’ position among ‘the best in the travel industry’, as well as its commitment to global expansion.

The Magellan Awards honour outstanding design, marketing and services in a broad range of industry segments including hospitality, travel destinations, cruise lines, online travel services, airlines and airports, travel agents and agencies, tour operators and ground transportation.

Change Makers returns for 2020, bigger than before

G Adventures has announced its agent incentive program, Change Makers, is returning for 2020 with even more agents earning their way to the global summit, which has been revealed as India and Nepal from 20 – 26 April 2020.

The Change Makers challenge incentivises agents to focus on changing people’s lives through travel and gives them the opportunity to showcase how they have given back to their own community via a social good submission category. Agents who successfully earn a place at the Change Makers Summit will see firsthand how their work directly impacts local communities in the destinations G Adventures goes.

More than 150 makers of change from the UK & Ireland, continental Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and South Africa will be brought together at the Change Makers Summit which will include members of G Adventures’ team of global purpose specialists and senior leaders from around the world.

To be eligible to earn a space, agents automatically receive one entry per ‘life changed’ (traveller booked). They can also enter via the ‘social good’ submission category, by submitting work they have done that gives back to their local community.

The 2020 Change Makers Challenge is live now and runs until January 31, 2020. Agents can visit www.gadventures.com/changemakers and log into Sherpa, or speak to their regional global purpose specialist for more information.

TIME mentoring program heads across the ditch

Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME) has activated its first international expansion by establishing a presence in New Zealand. TIME’s Kiwi program is being managed by prominent local travel industry figure, Marg Spiro.

At a launch event in Auckland recently, Marg introduced the renowned Australian mentoring program to the New Zealand travel industry.

“We’re thrilled to see TIME establish itself in New Zealand, and we look forward to welcoming the first intake of four participants in Auckland in November,” said Spiro.

On The Go Tours hosts Flight Centre agents in India

On The Go Tours (OTG) recently hosted a group of agents to experience the wonders of India on their Taj Traveller 8-Day Tour.

Over the last year, On The Go Tours have seen a 20 per cent growth in sales for their India tours and it is now one of their top 5 destinations.

The group was hosted by OTG’s Queensland business development manager, Dan Zadow. Over an eight-day itinerary, the group discovered the spectacular sights of India’s famed Golden Triangle.

Aussie agents take on the Danube

Six Australian travel agents enjoyed a seven-day famil on the Danube River last week with Riviera Travel River Cruises. Hosted by Riviera Travel River Cruises’ sales and marketing executive for Australia, Gina Squirrell, the six sailed aboard the five-star river ship, Thomas Hardy, on a round-trip journey from Budapest to Linz via Vienna.

Riviera Travel River Cruises sells it cruises in Australia exclusively through travel agents and is renowned for its choice of supplement-free fares for solo passengers and its affordable fares, with fares for the seven-night Danube cruise available from A$2059 per person, twin-share.

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Destinations

Aussie man in intensive care after mob beating in India

Local police are trying to establish whether the 35-year-old Melbournite was “misbehaving” as locals have alleged.

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Aviation

Passengers stuck for hours after Qantas jet makes emergency landing in NZ military base

by Christian Fleetwood

Passengers claim they were forced to wait in the heat for four hours after their Qantas aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing outside of Wellington.

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Cruise

Man dies after falling from cruise ship balcony

A passenger onboard Carnival Horizon has tragically died after falling from a balcony onto the deck below.

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Cruise

Cruise Wrap: Virgin Voyages reveals second ship, CLIA Awards noms closing soon + MORE!

This week’s Cruise Wrap is largely time-sensitive, so quickly slam your shots – espresso or otherwise – and make the most of a deal or two here.

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Hotels

Hyatt becomes latest hotel multinational to pledge elimination of small plastic bottles

by Christian Fleetwood

After banning single-use plastic straws and drink picks last year, Hyatt has rolled up its sleeves and flexed its sustainability muscles by banning little bottles of shampoo.

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Tourism

KISS teams up with Airbnb to perform very odd concert for Aussie sharks… but none bother to show up

Do you only read Travel Weekly for the weird and wacky stories? Well, this yarn is sure to have you scratching your head in disbelief.

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Destinations

STUDY: These are the top travel destinations for Generation Z

Just when you thought you’d gotten your head around Millennial travellers, Generation Z is here to throw a spanner in the works.

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Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with Pan Pacific Hotels’ Tim Birley

This week, we had a gossip with Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s national business development manager. However, we lost our notes, so got him to fill out our standard interview form instead.

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Destinations

Visit Victoria’s first-ever CEO resigns

Peter Bingeman is already lining up several TV series to binge-watch on Netflix after tendering his resignation as Visit Victoria’s chief.

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Road & Rail

All you need to know about Rocky Mountaineer’s levels of luxury service

by Sponsored by Rocky Mountaineer

Consider yourself a connoisseur of luxury railway travel? Here’s more to add to your repertoire, courtesy of Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer.

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Aviation

Qantas nosedives in most trusted brands list

Qantas has suffered another nosedive in a trust poll, but stayed airworthy despite encountering headwinds. Alight, enough with the airline puns.

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Travel Agents

Travel agency fined $400,000 for targeting and exploiting vulnerable workers

A “recidivist” travel agency has been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Federal Court for exploiting migrant workers.

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