Travel Agents

Big Fat Agent Wrap

We played with the office dog for two hours instead of writing articles this morning, so if the quality of the Agent Wrap doesn’t impress you, we apologise.

Qantas Holidays sales & Insider Journeys agents take on Vietnam for the famil of a lifetime!

Qantas Holidays & Insider Journeys Famil on Paradise Elegance

12 lucky Qantas Holidays sales & Insider Journeys agents recently experienced the tastes, culture and history of Vietnam in a week-long Insider Journeys famil.

The group began their Vietnam adventure in Hanoi taking in the sights of the old quarter, visiting local markets and sampling delectable local dishes including a traditional Bun Cha lunch.

Next, they travelled to Tuan Chau Island where Paradise Cruises welcomed them in style before embarking on a luxurious 2-night cruise aboard the newly launched Paradise Elegance.

Sailing through emerald waters of the UNESCO world heritage listed Halong Bay, the group’s itinerary saw the agents visit the famous Cua Van Floating Village and Ti Top Island, participate in a Vietnamese cooking class, and watch the sun set behind the bay before an evening cocktail or two and live music at the Le Piano Bar.

Those who were feeling fresh the next morning took park in some sunrise Tai Chi on the boat’s top deck with the stunning limestone island’s as their backdrop.

Treat yourself and escape to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific flights from $676*

Cathay Pacific has launched an exciting promotion on fares from a variety of Australian ports to Hong Kong, starting from $676* return from Melbourne and $792* return from Sydney. Allowing Aussies to escape winter and visit the hustle and bustle of the global metropolis.

People who’ve left their long weekend plans to the last minute and those considering to take a general holiday later in the year for a celebration or work break will be thrilled. As Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong sale offers the perfect opportunity for people spend their weekend enjoying a city of multi-cultural delights including vibrant temple markets, exquisite modern shopping precincts and an inspiring skyline.

Fares start from just $676* return from Melbourne and $792* return from Sydney and the sale is on offer from yesterday afternoon (8 June) until 16 June 2017 for passengers departing from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide, travelling between 8 June 2017 up until 28 March 2018 (some blackout periods apply).

Passengers can experience Cathay Pacific’s award winning Economy Class which is designed to make the travel journey a comfortable and exciting experience.

On The Go Tours hosts agents in Russia

Infinity @ St Basil's: from left to right - Abbie Duxbury (Infinity PER), Olenka Palac (Infinity BNE), Dylan Lawrey (Infinity SYD), Vicky Colovic (Infinity BNE), Julie Costa (Infinity Sports & Events), Montana Salmon (Infinity MEL)
Infinity @ St Basil’s: from left to right – Abbie Duxbury (Infinity PER), Olenka Palac (Infinity BNE), Dylan Lawrey (Infinity SYD), Vicky Colovic (Infinity BNE), Julie Costa (Infinity Sports & Events), Montana Salmon (Infinity MEL)

On The Go Tours recently hosted a group of Australian travel agents in Russia on a specialised version of their Vodka Shot six day tour.

The group, hosted by On The Go Tours BDM for Victoria and Tasmania, Lisa McCowan, included representatives from Infinity travel agents across Australia.

The six-day itinerary was led by On The Go Tours expert local guide Daria and took the group to experience Russia’s two most spectacular cities, St Petersburg and Moscow.

This cultural journey began in St Petersburg, home to the Hermitage, which houses ones of the biggest and best art collections in the world.

St Petersburg is also home to some of Russia’s most impressive buildings such as St Isaac’s Cathedral, many of which line the city’s main thoroughfare and Nevsky Prospekt, which was planned by Peter the Great. Paying homage to Russia’s royal history, agents visited the Peter & Paul fortress and Cathedral which houses the tombs of the Romanov monarchs and the lavish Catherine Palace.

St Petersburg is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, which offered a truly immersive experience for agents who got the opportunity to enjoy a walking tour of St Petersburg hidden gems, indulge in local cuisine, and visit the Vodka museum to learn more about the history of Russia’s favourite drink.

After hopping on a sleeper train to Moscow, agents were treated to a walking tour of the legendary Red Square, the epitome of Russian power. Sites include the Kremlin, famed GUM department store and the iconic St Basil’s Cathedral.

As well as taking a deep dive into the Kremlin, a complex of gold doomed cathedrals and government buildings, including the tsar bell – the largest bell that never rang, agents holed up in a former top secret soviet cold war bunker. Hidden beneath an ordinary two story building in Moscow, this bunker extends 18 floors below ground level and encompasses 75,000 square foot.

The final night in Moscow included a night coach tour taking in city sights that are hard to reach during the daytime, with a knowledgeable local guide and plenty of vodka!

MTA Members enjoy ‘Seoul-ful’ cultural experience on South Korea study tour

MTA - South Korea Study Tour - June 2017

Taking part in a recent Mandarin World Tours South Korea Study Tour MTA – Mobile Travel Agents’ Grace Wall and Sandy Sirianni were given the opportunity to visit one of the country’s most sacred sites, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bulguksa Temple.

Located in South Korea’s spiritual capital of Gyeongju, the temple dates back to the 5th century and is home to many of the country’s national treasures.

The Members’ seven-day itinerary also included visits to the Baekje Cultural Land, a Korean Historical Theme Park in the South Chungcheong Province, the southern port city of Yeosu, Pusan and Yeonpyeong Ski Resort in Mount Seorak National Park, the venue for the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics games.

Pictured during their visit to Bulguksa Temple, Grace Wall (left) and Sandy Sirianni.

Helloworld Travel Awarded at IPW 

L-R: Christopher Thompson - President and CEO of Brand USA, Mark Brooker - Destination & Procurement Manager, Helloworld Travel Limited, Joe McCormack - GM Procurement, Helloworld Travel Limited, and Roger Dow- President and CEO of US Travel Association.
L-R: Christopher Thompson – President and CEO of Brand USA, Mark Brooker – Destination & Procurement Manager, Helloworld Travel Limited, Joe McCormack – GM Procurement, Helloworld Travel Limited, and Roger Dow- President and CEO of US Travel Association.

Helloworld Travel is delighted to confirm that it has been recognised as one of America’s top travel buyers at the recent Chairman’s Circle Honors Event.

Held at the Washington National Cathedral during the association’s annual IPW conference, this elite awards event, co-hosted by Brand USA, honored international travel buyers including Helloworld Travel for outstanding efforts to bring the world to America. The evening featured entertainment from the Washington National Opera, and was emceed by travel expert and TV host Samantha Brown.

LUXURY GOLD RELEASES NEW USA, CANADA AND SOUTH AMERICA COLLECTION

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Luxury Gold has released its USA, Canada and South America brochure for 2018, taking guests on a journey beyond the ordinary through The Americas.

New for 2018, Luxury Gold is offering a 7-day Indulgence in Costa Rica tour. Guests can visit Costa Rica for the first time with Luxury Gold – offering a chance to witness its spectacular waterfalls, rich fauna and flora and enjoy soothing thermal pools heated by the Arenal Volcano.

Alexandra O’Connor, Managing Director for Insight Vacations & Luxury Gold commented: “We’re excited to expand our Luxury Gold offering into Costa Rica, an ecological mecca and part of the world every traveller should visit. The program is designed to give our guests a range of hands-on experiences to gain a unique perspective on this stunning destination.”

The 2018 release also includes the ever popular Majesty of The Rockies tour. This supreme journey throughout Western Canada and Alaska by road, rail and sea includes an experience on one of the world’s most romantic train journeys on-board the Rocky Mountaineer and travellers can also combine this with a classic cruise on the glacial waters of Alaska.

Luxury Gold takes travellers to the most unique and intriguing destinations while staying in properties renowned for their exceptional style and bringing their destination to life. With guests on the Majesty of the Rockies itinerary staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs, Four Seasons Resort Whistler and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, to name a few.

Early Payment Discounts of 10 per cent per person are available for bookings and payments on the USA, Canada and South America collection before October 26, 2017.

Contours Travel hosts agents on Chile famil

Famil in Chile

Australia’s first and longest-running travel company for Latin America – Contours Travel – hosted eight travel agents on a nine-day famil tour through Chile this month. Highlights included cooking classes, wineries, Santiago, the colourful houses of Valparaiso as well as the Atacama desert – the world’s driest non-polar desert.

The agents flew with LATAM and were able to visit first-hand the hotels and restaurants Contours recommends for travellers and experience the support and services offered by Contours Travel.

The lucky participants included top-selling agents and an extra lucky agent who won the trip after participating in Contours Travel’s regular Latin America webinars for travel agents. To win a spot on Contours Travel’s 2018 agent famil, register for their fortnighty webinars at www.contourstravel.com.au/workshops-webinars

Pictured below in the Rainbow Valley in the Atacama Desert from left to right are: Alan Riedel from Andrew Jones Travel TAS,  Heather Poppelier from Contours Travel,   Peter Scott from Helloworld Belgrave VIC,  Sarah Smith from MTA Travel NSW,   Nicole Reber from Mosman Travel NSW,  Tarnia Boyce from Phil Hoffmann Travel,  Glenelg SA,  Sharron Hungerford from The Travel Agent at Caloundra, QLD,  Vanesa Tihic from Boutique Travel Services NSW and Khushnuma Suntoke from Flight World WA

Save on Limited Edition tours from G Adventures 

Iceland Northern Lights Landscape Local Living-Operator Supplied 2013-IMG4896 Md RGB

Soak in the ethereal beauty of Iceland’s Northern Lights, celebrate Halloween at Bran Castle in Romania or celebrate the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca. These are just a few once-in-a-lifetime experiences available to travellers through G Adventures’ deal on Limited Edition tours this month.

Throughout the month of June, the leading adventure company is offering travellers savings of up to 10 per cent across select Limited Edition itineraries – a perfect opportunity to tick some of the world’s most iconic cultural events off their bucket list.

Discounted offerings include:

‘Hats entertainment’ for MTA trio on Rocky Mountaineer Study Tour

Pictured from left to right, MTA -Mobile Travel Agents’ Tim Rankin, Carla Marno and Sarah Day getting into the mood while visiting Calgary as part of a recent Rocky Mountaineer ‘Learning Journey’ program.
Pictured from left to right, MTA -Mobile Travel Agents’ Tim Rankin, Carla Marno and Sarah Day getting into the mood while visiting Calgary as part of a recent Rocky Mountaineer ‘Learning Journey’ program.

The Rocky Mountaineer ‘Learning Journey’ program has been designed to help agents identify which level of service and tour partner experiences best match the needs of their clients via experiential study tours combining trains, hotel accommodation and partner tour operators.

Travelling aboard the world-famous train from Vancouver to Calgary, the three MTA Members also experienced a Brewster motorhome tour between Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff.

Tour highlights included Rocky Mountaineer ‘Gold Leaf’ and ‘Silver Leaf’ train travel, a ‘Summit Helicopter’ experience and a spectacular scenic ride aboard the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulfur Mountain.

TICK OFF YOUR BIG BUCKET LIST, WITH WENDY WU’S BIG ASIA SALE EXTENSION

From mountains to rivers, some of the planet’s biggest wonders are hidden in Asia’s farthest corners. Happily, Wendy Wu’s Big Asia Sale gives travellers the opportunity to visit many of these unique destinations, and take advantage of saving of up to $500 p.p.

Australian travellers have already saved over $110,000 with this sale, which started on 9 April, and has today been extended for bookings made by 6 July 2017.

China. Save up to $500p.p.

The Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, the Forbidden City. Start ticking off that bucket list on the 18-day Ancient China tour, from $4,560per person twin share. Save $500 per person.

Indochina. Save up to $250p.p.

On the 12-day Vietnam at a Glance tour, you’ll eat Pho like a local in Hanoi, see the sun rise over Karst Mountains in Halong Bay and wander cobblestone streets in romantic Hoi An. Priced from $3,030 per person twin share, it’s a beautiful introduction to Vietnam. Save $250 per person.

Japan. Save up to $200p.p.

From sake in Takayama to tea in Kyoto, Japan’s traditions spellbind the senses. Let all five be mesmerised on the 14-day Discover Japan tour, also visiting Mt. Fuji, Kanazawa and Osaka. From $10,560 per person twin share. Save $200 per person.

India & Sri Lanka. Save up to $300p.p.

A kaleidoscope of colour and spices, the ancient forts of Agra and bazaars of old Delhi await to be explored on the 9-day Golden Triangle tour. The ideal introduction to India’s culture and buzzing energy, this tour can be completed in just over a week, so is the perfect antidote to monotony. Priced from $3,490 per person twin share.  Save $300 per person.

Excite Holidays honoured for contribution to U.S. Travel Industry

CCH2017_ExciteHolidays1

On Saturday 3 June 2017, the U.S. Travel Association and Brand USA honoured representatives from the world’s highest-volume tour operators and buyers of U.S. travel and hospitality services, at its annual Chairman’s Circle Honors (CCH) event in Washington.

Held at the breathtaking Washington National Cathedral during the annual IPW conference, this elite awards event was co-hosted by Brand USA, and honoured international travel buyers for their outstanding efforts and passion in bringing the world to America. International honourees were nominated by the U.S. Travel Association’s Chairman’s Circle-level members, including top U.S. travel businesses and destinations.

Representing Excite Holidays was Matt Owers, Product Contracting Manager and Vanessa Richards, Head of Marketing, who were thrilled to accept the award as a 2017 Chairman’s Circle honouree for outstanding contribution to the U.S. travel industry.

“IPW’s mission is to bring the world to America, and this year’s Chairman’s Circle honourees have excelled in bringing international visitors here to experience all our country has to offer,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow.

The 2017 Chairman’s Circle Honors awards hosted a record number of attendees for the event, including 97 representatives from 61 winning organisations, along with leaders from some of America’s top travel companies and destinations.

Uganda Set To Secure Top Spot For Gorilla Trekking After Rwanda Permit Increase

The Rwanda Development Board recently announced an increase in the price of Gorilla Tracking Permits from US$750 to US$1,500 for all visitors, effective immediately. On hearing the news, leading safari specialist, Acacia Africa was encouraged by comments* from Stephen Asiimwe, CEO of Uganda Tourism Board, after the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) reported that their current tracking charges will be maintained.

Arno Delport, Sales & Marketing Manager at Acacia Africa, comments “The recent increases in gorilla tracking permits by the Rwandan government will inevitably have a knock on effect on tourism in Uganda where the cost of a permit is now substantially less and priced at only USD 600pp. Clearly, the percentage of revenue obtained by the use of the gorilla permits contributes to the primates’ survival, the recent baby boom in Bwindi impenetrable National Park giving hope to conservationists and exciting travellers looking to book this once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience.”

Acacia Africa is discounting 11 of its gorilla focused camping overland trips by 15% in its current Primate Promo, if bookings are made by 30 June. All of the tours feature gorilla viewing in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the prices include transport, camping accommodation, most meals and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight.

SAVE AUD $401pp (15%) 18 day Mountain Gorillas to the Mara from AUD $2,274pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from AUD $860pp + gorilla & chimp permit from AUD $910pp. Offer valid on the following guaranteed departures: 26 August and 16 September. Starts Nairobi – ends Nairobi. Full tour price AUD $2,675pp.

 

Travel with a purpose in Nepal’s Everest region for Your Schoolies Adventure

Student adventure travel specialist World Youth Adventures (WYA) has launched a new 15-day Nepal Schoolies Everest Trek for school leavers looking for a meaningful way to celebrate “schoolies”.

World Youth Adventure’s Brad Atwal says the trek in the Everest region is the perfect adventure for school leavers looking for a unique schoolies experience away from the crazy schoolies’ crowds.

“There is no finer introduction to the delights of trekking in the high Himalaya than this exciting trek to the Base Camp of Ama Dablam, one of the most iconic Himalayan peaks. The route will also provide young trekkers with stunning views of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest,” he said.

Trip highlights include:

  • Stunning views of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain
  • Encounter the legendary Sherpa Culture
  • Meet with Buddhist monks at Thyangboche Monastery
  • Fully porter supported camping based trek with three hearty meals per day prepared by your own cooks
  • Ample acclimatisation and rest days built in
  • Awesome Himalayan mountain flight from Kathmandu to Lukla
  • Time to explore the shops and markets of Kathmandu
  • Kathmandu sightseeing trip

The Nepal Everest Schoolies Trek departs from Kathmandu on 25 November 2017, costs from $2490 per person and will be led by a locally trained guide from World Expeditions, Australia’s most experienced Himalayan trekking operator.

NFS launch new India Brochure 2017/18  

India-Cover-2017-18

South Melbourne-based travel wholesaler Natural Focus Safaris (NFS) has gone to press with their 2017/18 India brochure, with a number of exciting offerings, one of the most significant being the 18 day Tigers and Southern Delights tour escorted by NFS General Manager Anne-Marie Zambelli.

The ever-popular 17 day Taj, Temples and Tigers tour will be reprised, with travellers this year enjoying the option to book or extend an Indian holiday to include a safari in some of the nation’s excellent wildlife parks or to see more of its many historic sites.

Another tour that is sure to appeal is the 9 day Secrets of Nepal itinerary, which explores the most renowned temple complexes in and around Kathmandu, visits the country’s premier wildlife sanctuary and takes you to Pokhara, where some of the finest Himalayan scenery can be found. This journey can be tailored to incorporate a thrilling flight over Mount Everest or a life-changing trek along some of the world’s most breathtaking routes.

Of course, there are a number of great new accommodations on offer from evocative Jamtara Wilderness Camp in Pench National Park (of Jungle Book fame) to the charming Birder’s Inn at the edge of Keoladeo National Park, a bird-watcher’s paradise. In Sri Lanka, choose from exquisitely restored manor houses in enchanting rural or coastal settings to colonial-style planters’ mansions set amid emerald tea estates.

TravelManagers’ Personal Travel Managers Wooed by Favourable Business Model

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After numerous years in a traditional retail travel environment, it was the commission structure and flexibility that TravelManagers’ home-based consulting offered that attracted husband and wife team Ian Long and Shani Driver representative for Bridges in Queensland, to join the company.

“Flexibility, work life balance and limitless financial opportunities were our three key drivers for becoming a home-based personal travel manager and TravelManagers has catered perfectly to all of these needs. Their business model has left us in control of our own destiny and enables us to financially and effectively work within an ever increasing and competitive market.

“We have the flexibility to provide the personal service our clients deserve, yet have the support to help grow our client base locally while having access to competitive prices and commissions,” says Long.

Having the time to really go the extra mile for clients is a key driver for the personal travel managers.

“The commission structure at TravelManagers isn’t capped so the goal posts do not move with the more you earn. This has enabled us to earn a fantastic salary, in fact we do less bookings and earn more. We can now spend more time with our clients providing tailor made itineraries and the service they deserve, we have extra time for our family and time to enjoy the benefits of being a travel professional.

“We now attend famils and are completely comfortable taking the time off to continue to learn about travel, knowing that we are not at all disadvantaged financially,” says Driver.

Nearly three years on and Long and Driver haven’t looked back.

“We were recently sitting having breakfast at Brisbane Airport awaiting to pick up our client returning from a cruise. It was a beautiful day, we were in shorts and t-shirts and took time to reflect back to our previous life. It would have been our usual 8.30am morning meeting being drilled by our team leader on how we were going to make six bookings that day.

“Instead we are in our shorts, having coffee and providing our client with the extra personal service that is so important to us. Although we’ve worked hard to get here, we also appreciate the life that TravelManagers has given us. Without their business model, we would probably still be in those morning meetings!”

TTC Weekly Deals

Brand: Creative Cruising 

Christmas at Sea

In true holiday spirit your clients will receive a reduced cruise fare* when they book Creative Cruising’s 18-night Christmas at Sea cruise before 31 July 2017. Departing Christmas eve, this cruise will travel from Hong Kong through Vietnam and Taiwan.

Including a return economy class airfare to Hong Kong flying Cathay Pacific, 3 nights pre-cruise accommodation in Hong Kong, a 14 –night cruise on-board Celebrity Millennium from Hong Kong return, 1 night post-cruise accommodation in Hong Kong, and more!

Priced from $4,599*pp discount included, departing Perth (other departures available Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne & Adelaide). *Conditions apply. Please visit www.creativecruising.com.au or phone 1300 362 599 for more information.

Brand: AAT Kings

Southern Spectacular

Guests of AAT Kings can continue to save 5% on select 2017-18 New Zealand trips when they book and pay in full before 3 July 2017. Saving up to $420 off per couple on the 10-day Southern Spectacular guided holiday, guests will explore the beauty of the south island and in Hokitika, watch as master carvers create works of art out of the blocks of Pounamu, generically known as the New Zealand ‘greenstone’.

This package includes an experienced Travel Director & Driver Guide, quality accommodation, travel in luxury coach, airport transfers, and more! Priced from $3,606 (including early payment discount), 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 *Conditions Apply.

Brand: Luxury Gold

American Heartland

Luxury Gold has just released a NEW 2018 USA, Canada & South America collection along with an Early Payment Discount of 10% off for those who book select departures before 26 October 2017. Your clients can save up to $1,718 per couple on the 14 day Sumptuous Soul of America luxury tour from Chicago to New Orleans with a  bit of rock ‘n’ roll in between.

Two of life’s greatest pleasures, music and food, are at the forefront on this sensual journey through the American heartland. Priced from $7,736 per person twin share (including early payment discount) available for select departure between 6 May 2018 – 3 October 2018 (subject to availability). For full terms and conditions visit insightvacations.com or call 1300 727 767.

Brand: Uniworld Boutique River Cruises 

Fashion, Food and Wine divine

One month left to book your clients on a carefully selected 2017 voyage with Uniworld’s You Deserve the Best Upgrade promotion by 30th June 2017 where they’ll receive a complimentary stateroom upgrade, PLUS Fly return to Europe from $4,799 in Business Class per person on these sailings.

Guests travelling on Uniworld’s 10-day Gems of Northern Italy from Milan to Venice down the Po River will explore the fashion capital of Milan, and Italy’s culinary capital Bologna where they can take part in a pasta-making workshop! They’ll enjoy 2-nights pre-cruise in a 5 star hotel in Milan, an all-inclusive 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom onboard the River Countess, including all meals and unlimited beverages onboard, 8 days of hosted excursions, services of an experiences Uniworld Cruise Manager and more!

Priced from A$10,799 per person twin share (including upgrade and Business Class airfare) departing on 06 October 2017 (other departures available). For more information call 1300 780 231 or visit uniworld.com

Brand: Busabout

Sail crystal clear Croatian seas with Busabout
Sailors booking with Busabout can SAVE up to 15% off select 2017 departing Busabout Sail and Island Hopper trips when they book before 30 June 2017. Your clients can now SAVE $157 off per person on the 7-night Croatia Island Hopper. They’ll spend a relaxing week on the Dalmatian coast, being spoilt by the captain and cook and contemplating whether to swim, sunbathe or do a bit of sightseeing.

Priced from $887 (including discount), including 7 breakfasts, a choice of classic, standard , or ensuite cabin accommodation, and of course the legendary Busabout crew and captain. Available for select departures between 17 June – 7 October 2017 (subject to availability). For more information and a range of other Europe trips on sale visit http://www.busabout.com/ or call 1300 287 226

Brand: Contiki  

‘Merica!

Travellers can save 10% off the Top 10 USA and Canada 2017 Contiki trips when they book by 30 June 2017. Your clients can save from $563*off the 26-day Grand Southern (ex LA) trip, exploring the likes of California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, with plenty to see before they reach NYC! Crossing over 22 states in 26 days this jam packed trip will take millennials from the Grand Canyon to the sunny feels of the South Beach.

After travelling for over a month the US will start to feel like home. Priced at $5,072*per person (including discount) and available for travel on the 13 July 2017 and 21 December 2017. For more information visit www.contiki.com or phone 1300 266 845. *Conditions Apply

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