Travel Agents

Big Fat Agent Wrap

It’s Friday the 13th, so check out this extra spooky Agent Wrap. To be honest there’s nothing creepy about it, but give it a read it anyway.

Flinders Island, Australia’s best-kept travel secret announces rebrand and tourism push

Today, Flinders Island unveils a full rebrand—with a new logo, website and campaign video—designed to develop its potential as an unmissable part of local and international itineraries. Flinders Island—a tiny gem in a cluster of islands dotted across Bass Strait, northeast of mainland Tasmania—is as close as any destination gets to an untouched natural paradise.
It’s close, because, well … dotted between those crystalline waters and clean sands and rugged wetlands is a buzzing world of regionally gathered-and-grown food, wine and coffee, and a warm community of locals eager to welcome new faces. But travellers, unaware of the island’s postcard-worthy scenery and foodie reputation, have long overlooked it. (Each year, there are some 6,000 visitors).
The new, nimble branding gets straight to the heart of Flinders Island; it feels laidback, salt-of-the-earth and refreshingly direct. None of this is an accident, of course—Sydney advertising agency JimJam plucked its references straight from Flinders’ bountiful sources: those 900 cheerful locals and their daily backdrop, which spans remarkable mountainous terrains and pretty, wildflower-filled bushland.
To bolster tourism efforts, the Tasmanian Liberal Government has partnered with the community to identify key infrastructure projects and strategies, investing up to $50,000 into the island’s visitor economy. They’re focused on signage that encourages curious visitors to tiptoe that little bit further, and a research initiative examining island accommodation.

NYC’s Carousels

Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

NYC offers carousels in all five boroughs—each with a different spin on the ride. From the aquatic-themed SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park, to the Bug Carousel at the Bronx Zoo, endless family fun awaits this fall in NYC. Below, a look at our eleven favourites around NYC:
       Jane’s Carousel; Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO
       Prospect Park Carousel; Prospect Park
       B&B Carousell; Luna Park; Coney Island 
       Bug Carousel; Bronx Zoo
       Friedsam Memorial Carousel; Central Park, Midtown
       Le Carrousel; Bryant Park, Midtown
       Pier 62 Carousel; Hudson River Park, Chelsea
       SeaGlass Carousel; Battery Park, The Battery
       Forest Park Carousel; Forest Park
       Flushing Meadows Carousel; Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
       The Carousel for All Children; Willowbrook Park
Gate 7 retains Brand USA and expands US portfolio
Tourism marketing agency, Gate 7, has successfully retained the account representing the national marketing organisation for the United States, Brand USA. Gate 7 has signed a contract after a competitive pitching process which will see the agency continue to deliver all Australian and New Zealand marketing activity for Brand USA in the years ahead.
Gate 7 has also evolved its collective of state and city-based tourism boards in the U.S., adding Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau to its roster of retainer clients, and working with Travel South, Choose Chicago and Tennessee Tourism & Memphis Travel on a range of projects.

Back by POPULAR DEMAND… Southern India Health Retreat

This Southern India Health Retreat begins in one of the most idyllic states of India, Kerala. Cruise the serene waterways and the lakes of Kerala in a luxury houseboat. See for yourself this culturally rich, colourful and timeless part of India.
Relax and rejuvenate at the world’s first Ayurveda Resort – Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort for seven nights.  Here you can enjoy daily Ayurveda therapy, yoga and meditation.
This rejuvenation package delivers outstanding value for money with flights from Australia included.   This indulgent Ayurveda resort experience also includes all meals and 6 days of rejuvenation and body purification therapy.
This package is $3,695 per person twin share for 12 Days.

Mint announced as new AICS payment partner

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is pleased to announce that Mint Payments Limited (ASX: MNW) has become an approved AFTA Insolvency Chargeback Scheme (AICS) payment provider.
AICS is currently providing protection to hundreds of ATAS travel agents since its launch in September 2017 and securing Mint Payments as the Scheme’s newest payment partner is another strategic milestone.
Mint has a network of banking partners, enabling Mint to easily on-board ATAS accredited travel agencies and transition them onto Mint. Mint also currently offers a seamless integrated payment solution through mid-office systems such as Tramada and TravelPartner, as well as other travel software leaders like OTALabs. Mint’s integration with these travel partners enables travel agents to take payments directly from the mid office, eliminating keying errors, improving reconciliation and overall efficiencies.

World Expeditions Travel Group Acquires New Zealand’s leading self-guided cycling tour operator

In a move designed to cement its position as a major player in the New Zealand cycle scene, Australia’s leading adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions Travel Group has acquired a majority shareholding in Trail Journeys, one of New Zealand’s best known self-guided cycle tour operators.
Trail Journeys provides expert advice, a fleet of more than 400 quality bikes for hire, passengers’ luggage transfer, accommodation and transfer service, as well as storage services on the Otago Central Rail Trail, the Roxburgh Gorge Trail and on the Clutha Gold Trail.
With bases in Clyde and Middlemarch, at either end of New Zealand’s famous Otago Central Rail Trail, Trail Journeys is well resourced to grow the business as demand for this world-class cycling trail continues to increase.

Two free nights at Beqa Lagoon Resort Fiji

For a limited time Beqa Lagoon Resort, Fiji’s best kept tropical island secret is offering guests two free nights accommodation with any five paid nights stay. From as little as USD$979 per person twin share, guests will be treated to seven nights accommodation in a Lagoon View Bure, including two free nights accommdation, return airport and boat transfers, daily full breakfast, a tantilizing one course lunch and a sumptuous three course dinner daily. Simply book, travel, indulge and fall in love with Beqa.

There’s so much more to Beqa Island Resort than sand, sun and cocktails. Surrounded by one of the world’s largest and most spectacular reefs, Beqa Island is steeped in traditional Fijian culture and beauty and is voted one of the top 1000 places to experience in this lifetime. Spending time on Beqa will unintentionally thrust you in to the beauty and culture of the land.

Featuring 25 Fijian style villas known as Bures, spread out amidst the lush grounds and beachfront setting, all bures are beautifully appointed with traditional island décor and provide all the modern conveniences while still keeping their relaxed Fiji charm. Home to Fiji’s legendary Firewalkers, guests are privy to a traditional fire walking ceremony and the opportunity to hike to the mystical waterfalls where this tradition was born nearly 300 years ago.

Agents enjoy Bunnik Peru with Bunnik

Bunnik Tours recently hosted a 13-day famil for eight lucky agents to experience the many sides of incredible Peru, flying LATAM Airlines. The group landed in Lima then travelled south to the white city of Arequipa. They discovered the volcanic scenery of the spectacular Colca Canyon, where they were lucky enough to get great photos of llamas and alpacas.
It was then across to majestic Lake Titicaca, home to the amazing floating reed Uros Islands. Their journey continued to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco and through the magical Sacred Valley to spectacular Machu Picchu. No tour to Peru would be complete without an adventure in the Amazon Jungle and the group experienced two different properties in the Puerto Maldonado region. They were lucky enough to spot capybara and the famous giant river otters on Oxbow Lake

ANNOUNCING! The Wu Dynasty Famil!

Announced last night – at Wendy Wu Tours’ first brochure launch event in Sydney – The Wu Dynasty Famil will take 30 lucky agents to explore Bucket List China in June 2018.

From the legendary Great Wall, to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Terracotta Warriors, and even the endearing giant pandas of Chengdu, travel agents around Australia will share in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. There’s even some top-secret “priceless” experiences along the way, that only a fortunate few joining this famil will be able to take part in!

If you’re a long-time booker, and confident selling the product, simply make as many bookings as you can and the top 10 sellers in terms of revenue will secure their spot. Keep an eye out for the leader boards during the coming months, to see if you’re one of our top sellers.

If you’re new to Wendy Wu Tours, or you’re just getting started, never fear! Every Wendy Wu Tours booking that you make, valued at over $2,900pp, will put you into the draw to win one of 20 places, drawn at random. The more you book, the more chances you get to win! Chosen at random will be a huge 20 winners, so get booking today!

Excite Holidays celebrates birthday and launch into US market!


Last​ ​Thursday​ ​evening,​ ​Excite​ ​Holidays​ ​celebrated​ ​its​ ​15th​ ​birthday​ ​by​ ​throwing​ ​a​ ​party​ ​to remember!

Attended​ ​by​ ​150​ ​members​ ​of​ ​staff,​ ​trade​ ​media,​ ​partners​ ​and​ ​key​ ​suppliers,​ ​the​ ​celebration​ ​was a​ ​huge​ ​success.​ ​With​ ​red​ ​and​ ​white​ ​balloons​ ​covering​ ​the​ ​ceiling​ ​to​ ​endless​ ​platters, customised​ ​lollipops,​ ​gift​ ​bags​ ​galore​ ​and​ ​an​ ​impressive​ ​cake​ ​acting​ ​as​ ​the​ ​main​ ​centrepiece, the​ ​celebration​ ​coincided​ ​with​ ​the​ ​official​ ​launch​ ​of​ ​the​ ​company’s​ ​brand​ ​spanking​ ​new​ ​Sydney city​ ​office​ ​and​ ​the​ ​announcement​ ​of​ ​their​ ​highly​ ​anticipated​ ​launch​ ​into​ ​the​ ​US​ ​market.

Founders​ ​Nic​ ​Stavropoulos​ ​and​ ​George​ ​Papaioannou​ ​were​ ​in​ ​attendance​ ​to​ ​cut​ ​the​ ​ceremonial ribbon​ ​and​ ​officially​ ​mark​ ​the​ ​opening​ ​of​ ​the​ ​new​ ​office​ ​space.​ ​Nic​ ​and​ ​George​ ​thanked​ ​all​ ​those who​ ​have​ ​supported​ ​and​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​support​ ​their​ ​vision​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​innovate​ ​and​ ​disrupt​ ​the travel​ ​industry.​ ​They​ ​also​ ​gave​ ​a​ ​yet​ ​heartfelt​ ​speech​ ​detailing​ ​their​ ​triumphs​ ​over​ ​the​ ​last​ ​15 years,​ ​from​ ​Excite’s​ ​beginnings​ ​in​ ​a​ ​one-bedroom​ ​apartment​ ​in​ ​Brighton​ ​Le-Sands​ ​to​ ​now​ ​being a​ ​global​ ​brand​ ​with​ ​offices​ ​in​ ​Sydney,​ ​Athens,​ ​Bangkok​ ​and​ ​soon,​ ​the​ ​USA.

Big savings on East Asian Odyssey


Savings of more than $4600 per couple and a free full day tour of the Great Wall in Beijing are available from for last minute bookings on a 28-day voyage aboard Ovation of the Seas if you book before October 30.
The now reduced $4699 package includes one way flight from Sydney to Beijing, with all taxes and charges, airport transfers and a two night stay at the Hotel Beijing NUO before the voyage, which commences on October 7, 2018.
The cruise sector includes all meals and entertainment and includes port calls to Okinawa in Japan, Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila and Boracay in The Philippines, Singapore (overnight), Fremantle, Adelaide and Hobart before arriving in Sydney on November 2.

Qatar Airways Increases Frequencies to Eastern Europe and the Nordics


Qatar Airways has doubled its frequencies to a number of destinations in Eastern Europe and the Nordics, following a significant increase in passenger demand to the popular destinations of Prague, Warsaw and Helsinki.

Commencing mid-December, the award-winning airline will introduce an extra daily flight on each of the routes to meet the growing inbound and outbound travel demand by adding an Airbus A320 service, offering an additional 132 daily seats in both directions.

The frequency increases, the latest in a number of such upgrades across the Qatar Airways route network, come just eight weeks after the airline launched its direct service to Prague, Czech Republic, on its first anniversary of scheduled service to Helsinki, Finland, and more than a year since the daily service to Warsaw, Poland was upgraded to a wide-body Airbus A330 service.

 Innstant Travel and APG USA Announce Strategic Partnership 

Innstant Travel, a global provider of travel and technology solutions, and APG, the leading network for Airline Distribution and Financial Services, have announced a strategic partnership that will enable APG USA to offer the Innstant Online Platform to its local and international clients.
APG agent partners who make bookings via the Innstant Platform will now have access to over 300,000 properties worldwide, 65,000 plus attraction, sports, concert and theatre tickets and 33,000 car hire and transfers.
Additionally, the online platform provides many unique features including dynamic package technology, a price drop notification tool, hotel cancellation protection, unique search and compare features, business analytics and much more.

Scenic Releases New 2018/2019 Australia Brochure 

Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory, Australia

Scenic has unveiled a variety of great savings to encourage Australians to visit their beautiful backyard in 2018 and 2019.

Released in conjunction with Scenic’s new Australia brochure, the offers include savings of up to $1350 per couple.

The Endless Wonders of Australia 2018/2019 brochure features 14 itineraries ranging in length from seven to 23 days, across Western Australia and the Northern Territory, Tasmania, South Australia and Norfolk Island.

All Scenic tours feature accommodation at the finest hotels available, such as new itinerary inclusion Cicada Lodge Katherine; included Scenic Freechoice sightseeing and exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences, the services of an expert, hand-picked tour director and knowledgeable local guides; return airport transfers, all tipping and gratuities.

Canada for the returning traveller inspires new collections

AW Canada Alaska High Arctic 2018

Adventure World has launched its 2018/19 dedicated Canada, Alaska & High Arctic brochure with an increased array of the ‘less explored’ options to cater for the second or third time returning traveller.
In addition to Adventure Worlds diverse portfolio of rustic mountain lodge retreats the company has contracted an array of coastal and ‘floating’ lodge accommodation options for 2018.
In perennial favourite British Columbia Adventure World has incorporated a range of ‘Horse Pack Safari’ ranch programs which caters to all equestrian experience levels and in Alaska their ‘Great Alaskan Grizzly Encounter’ sees clients  traversing the Katmai Coast on a beautifully restored crab fishing boat observing Grizzlies.
New for the High Arctic sees Adventure World offering its first land-based trips in Greenland where clients explore on-foot whilst staying at a boutique basecamp. Also new is their ‘Arctic Big 5’ safari that features the wildlife of Riding Mountain National Park (buffalo, moose & black bears), combined with the summer Churchill experience of belugas and polar bears.

Insider Journeys is getting Footloose!

IJ FootlooseTours

Insider Journeys is excited to launch the all new Footloose Tours, a new and exclusive program offering an alternate way to tour for independent travellers.

Ideal for those wanting a unique yet flexible experience, Footloose Tours is based around a maximum of 20 passengers. With all essentials included, Footloose Tours also gives travellers the freedom to choose from a range of day tours and dining options in every destination whilst ensuring great value for money.

With expert local English-speaking guides on the ground in each destination, travellers will be introduced to their hometown, showcasing the best of each location and providing an experience that a guidebook simply cannot offer. Guaranteed departures with a minimum of two bookings gives single travellers more freedom in booking solo trips.

And don’t forget you can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Points with every Small Group Tour booking! Earn one Qantas Point per $1 spent on Small Group Tours with Insider Journeys.

2018 major events for Ayers Rock Resort 

Field of Light Uluru

A spectacular line-up of major events is taking place at Ayers Rock Resort throughout 2018. From the globally-acclaimed art installation Field of Light Uluru and the Australian Outback Marathon to the vibrant Tjungu Indigenous Cultural Festival and Uluru Feastival, celebrating native Australian flavours, these special events give yet another dimension to your Uluru experience.
Events are listed below:
Bruce Munro’s Field of Light Uluru: every night until 31 March 2018
Uluru Feastival: 9-10 March 2018
Tjungu Festival: 25-29 April 2018
Uluru Camel Cup: 25-26 May 2018
Uluru Wellness Retreat: 7-13 September 2018
Uluru Astronomy Weekend: 14-16 September 2018

Book now and receive up to $800 per couple in added value

Come explore the Canadian Rockies with an unforgettable rail adventure with Rocky Mountaineer. Aboard our luxurious coach, you’ll make friends from around the world and enjoy regionally inspired cuisine while being surrounded by world-class scenery. Offer expires October 27, 2017.

Applies to qualifying 2018 packages:




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Travel Agents

AFTA updates campaign encouraging members to contact local MPs

Want to give your local MP a piece of your mind but don’t want to get kicked out of their office for shouting profanities? Click here.