Wholesalers

Big Fat Wholesaler Wrap

We’re not ones to brag, but we did something unusual today, we got out of bed on time. To celebrate here’s a knock-your-socks-off Wholesaler Wrap.

Leezair launches Collaborative Wishlists 

Today, Leezair announced the launch of its Collaborative Wishlists function, providing groups of people with an easy way to plan adventures and experiences together. You can collaborate to organise a special occasion or brainstorm ideas for a group trip.

There’s no limit to how many wishlists you can make. For example, you can have wishlists for a trip to Hamilton Island, a friend’s birthday and a girls’ weekend to the Hunter Valley.

Leezair can also make more suggestions of what to do based on users’ wishlists.

Leezair initially developed wishlists for individual users, so they could collate their dream experiences and plan activities for upcoming adventures. At this time, users could share their multiple wishlists with friends on Facebook – a feature which has been enjoyed by nearly all of their users.

Now, Leezair has responded to the need for a platform that allows people to plan experiences together, not just individually. Its new Collaborative Wishlists feature allows groups to do just that.

Bentours extend sale on popular 2018 coach tours

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Bentours, the Scandinavian Specialists, have extended the sale on 14 of their exclusive and guaranteed coach tours in preparation for their biggest year of specials yet – as they celebrate their 40 years of travel anniversary through 2018!

Until the 30 November, take advantage of the flexibility provided with coach tour modules and enjoy the added bonus of incredible savings of up to A$500 per person.

Included in this deal is Bentours Scenes of the North which has nine modules, starting from six to 22 day itineraries. Travelling on the 22 day package, this comprehensive itinerary will open your eyes to the diverse delights of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia and Russia.

This tour includes guaranteed fjord view room in Norway, five-star premium hotels in capital cities, arrival and departure transfers and much more. Prices start from A$10,190 per person, now from A$9680 per person.

De-Mystify Peru with World Expeditions – at events around the country 

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Is Peru’s new permit system saving the Inca Trail from being loved to death?  Which are the best treks? What are the best ways to see Machu Picchu without trekking?   When’s the best time to go?  Why are the Choquequirao ruins comparatively unknown – given they are as significant and grand in scale as Machu Picchu?

For answers to these – and all your questions about Peru – join World Expeditions’ Peru guru, Andreas Holland, at one of eight South American Road Show events around the country, designed to help de-mystify Peru. (Andreas has lived in Peru for 30 years and is behind the World Expeditions suite of adventures there).

Visit www.worldexpeditions.com for venues and to book.  Also good to know is that World Expeditions is giving away free Inca Trail permits, valued at between USD$120 – $145, to all 2018 Peru trekking adventures, booked between now and 15 December 2017.  Quote promo code FREEINCA2017 when you book and visit www.worldexpeditions.com for full terms and conditions.

New whale swim and yoga retreat holiday in Tonga

Whale swim - Tonga - photo credit - Grant Thomas

Swimming with wild whales in the languid lagoons of Tonga is a mystical, magical experience but Australian eco-tour operator, Majestic Whale Encounters, will add even more mystique next year with the launch of its new ‘Whale Swim and Yoga Retreat’ package.

The eight-day itinerary in September, 2018, which comes with an earlybird booking saving, will see male and female nature and yoga lovers spend a memorable week at a secluded sanctuary in Tonga flanked by white, palm-lined beaches.

A highlight of the new package will be four days spent swimming with the gentle and playful humpbacks in Tonga’s warm, tropical lagoons. Guests will stay six of the nights at an eco-resort on the ‘off the grid’ island of Ha’apai, where they can choose between glamping-style tents or luxury, wooden fales, which have ocean views along with a personal pathway to the beach.

The whale-watching boat will depart each day from the front of the resort. Guests will have the opportunity to spend four days swimming with the majestic mammals, which stretch 19m long, while maintaining safe, non-invasive guidelines set by the ‘Responsible Whale Watching’ code in Tonga.

Adventure World launches new Exodus Culture and Wildlife collection

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Adventure World has released its 2018/19 Exodus Culture & Wildlife brochure, including 22 new trips, including food adventures, fitness trips and explorations of several ‘up and coming’ destinations.

The worldwide brochure features 209 different itineraries, where travellers can choose from a week of sightseeing in southern Italy or decide to take the road less travelled and experience Sudan’s Western Desert.

New trips in the collection include The Five Stans of the Silk Road, which traverses Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan; Mongolia Golden Eagle Festival, and Amalfi Coast Food Adventure which features tasting local produce in a century-old family farm and a hands-on cooking class on Vesuvius, among others.

Tourism Authority of Thailand announce Amazing Thailand Roadshow and “Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018” 

2017 Sydney Roadshow

Tourism Authority of Thailand, Australia (TAT) will host the next annual “Amazing Thailand Roadshow” between the 30th April and 7th May 2018.

The Roadshow will showcase TAT’s new global marketing concept, “Open to the New Shades of Thailand”, launched recently at World Travel Market 2017 (WTM) London.

The new marketing concept reflects another kind of “Thainess”, that is the well-loved characteristic of Thai people to welcome visitors of all “shades” from all around the world.

The “Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018” campaign has been designed to further strengthen the Thai tourism industry, making it more sustainable, with a focus on quality tourism and the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, maintaining a balance between the economy, society and the environment.

Croatia continues to surge for 2018

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With more than 23 years’ experience, Beyond Travel has cemented themselves in the Australian market as the one-stop-shop for all Croatia travel requirements giving agents the ability to offer clients the most comprehensive selection of holiday options, as produced in the new 2018 Croatia & Beyond brochure.

In addition to the hugely popular small ship coastal cruises in Croatia, the brochure features a 16-page section on escorted touring, plus self-drive tours, exciting island-hopping ferry programs and flexible tailor-made holidays.

New to the brochure is a much sought after Venice to Split package which departs Venice every Wednesday from April to October and suits perfectly for those joining a seven-night cruise departing Split or Opatija on the Saturday. It is priced from only $1030 per person twin share and includes Opatija and the stunning Plitvice Lakes- the oldest and most beautiful National Park in Croatia.

Sabi Sabi Selati Camp Fly-In

Save $1,496 per person – Looking for the ultimate in safari luxury? Here is a discounted offer from Africa experts, Bench Africa on a 3-night stay at Sabi Sabi Selati Camp in the world-famous Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, in South Africa.

The daily safari programme at Selati Camp includes a great blend of wildlife activities, 5-star accommodation, fine-dining and down-time to really soak up the tranquility that a safari in Africa offers up.

Experience 4X4 game drives or, for the more adventurous, you can also head out on foot. With highly trained rangers and trackers you can be assured that your safari experience ranks amongst the best in the world.

The itinerary includes FREE return flights from Johannesburg to Sabi Sands. Also included is three nights’ accommodation, all meals, local drinks and game-viewing activities, as well as return road transfers from the air strip.

Si Holidays launch Waitui brand to celebrate the very best Fiji and South Pacific experiences 

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Si Holidays, Australia’s largest independent wholesale travel company with 21 years experience of sending travellers across the South Pacific, has launched an exciting new Fiji and South Pacific specialist brand called Waitui.

With today’s savvy traveller looking for rich, authentic experiences and a deeper connection to the places they visit, Waitui’s destination specialists have hand-picked a range of exceptional island experiences, from heavenly lagoon cruises, to zip lining adventures through rainforest canopies and the mystical mountains of the South Pacific archipelago.

The new brand name and logo draws reference to the cultural stories and mystical legends across the islands. Waitui, means ‘in Sea’ in Fijian, and the sea is the element that connects the South Pacific as one.

To celebrate the launch of the brand, Waitui has a range of incredible deals for Agents, to some their most popular hotels across the South Pacific.

Alpaca your bags for these eight Peruvian must-sees

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On The Go Tours, the award-winning tour operator specialising in locally-led group tours and tailor-made holidays to worldwide destinations, is taking you to Peru with 11 bespoke tours helping you escape the concrete jungle for the Amazonian rainforest.

To get you into the spirit, On The Go Tours have compiled a list of the 8 must-sees of Peru, both well-known and not, to get you feeling a bit Cuzco crazy.

  1. Machu Picchu – For the cultural traveller
  2. Amazonian Rainforest – For the nature-lover
  3. Andes Mountains – For the adventurer
  4. Colca Canyon – For the geologist
  5. Plaza de Armas, Cuzco – For the refined traveller
  6. Sacred Valley – For the photographer
  7. Lake Titicaca, Puno – For the water lover
  8. Chiclayo – For the historian

Sabi Sabi Selati Camp Fly-In

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Save $1,496 per person – Looking for the ultimate in safari luxury? Here is a discounted offer from Africa experts, Bench Africa on a three-night stay at Sabi Sabi Selati Camp in the world-famous Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, in South Africa. The daily safari programme at Selati Camp includes a great blend of wildlife activities, five-star accommodation, fine-dining and down-time to really soak up the tranquility that a safari in Africa offers up. Experience 4X4 game drives or, for the more adventurous, you can also head out on foot. With highly trained rangers and trackers you can be assured that your safari experience ranks amongst the best in the world

The itinerary includes FREE return flights from Johannesburg to Sabi Sands. Also included is three nights’ accommodation, all meals, local drinks and game-viewing activities, as well as return road transfers from the air strip.

Daily private departures (subject to availability). Price is per person twin share based on travel between 01 May – 30 Jun 18. This special is available for all new bookings. International flights are not included. Conditions apply.

World Expeditions launches NEW 2018-19 Polar Program

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Australian adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions, has launched a new 2018-19 Polar brochure packed with a range of new voyages including two new Canadian Arctic cruises, two new sailing cruises around Svalbard and a Jewel of the Arctic voyage that allows rock climbing in Greenland.

World Expeditions has been offering voyages to the Polar regions of Antarctica, The Arctic and the Russian Far East for more than two decades and offers the most extensive range of voyages in the market.

Other exciting news is that rock climbing is now an optional activity in Greenland on both Jewels of the Arctic 2019 voyages, departing 4 and 17 September, 2019. This is limited to experienced climbers and allows for climbs on granite peaks and glacial remnants in Scoresby Sund (East Greenland). The 14 day trip, which also offers optional kayaking and wonderful opportunities for tundra and glacier walking, costs from AU$9,100 per person.

Whitsundays on show to the world!

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The Whitsundays will be showcased to the country’s top product managers next week and from there, to the world!

Tourism Whitsundays will stage its annual Whitsundays Tourism Exchange next week, providing representatives from key Australian travel companies an opportunity to sample the region’s tourism products and experiences.

Around 36 Whitsunday tourism operators will present the best possible picture of the region to more than 20 Australian product managers from major tourism wholesalers, inbound tour operators and online travel agents, who then share this knowledge with their overseas networks.

There will also be a sunset cruise on board Sundowner Cruises the night before and an evening networking function following the event, which is due to take place at the Palm House, on Wednesday, November 22.

New luxury outback expedition launches in Far North Queensland

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Far North Queensland’s tourism market receives a boost today with the launch of Kinrara Expeditions, a luxury outback adventure catering to domestic and international visitors looking for a way to get off the grid and immerse in an unforgettable experience.

The brainchild of FNQ born and bred, and now Sydneysider Callum O’Brien, Kinrara Expeditions is run on the 70,000-acre cattle station of elder brother Shane and wife Robin.

Providing visitors with access to an extraordinary landscape of huge environmental and cultural significance, Kinrara Expeditions  surrounds Kinrara National Park and is located four hours south west of Cairns.

Kinrara Expeditions is the first of its kind in Queensland, situated on an operational remote cattle station, and created working in close consultation with the traditional owners, local Universities, and Tourism Queensland, it’s a truly unique experience.

Topdeck scraps the food fund!

Topdeck have removed the itemisation of the food fund in their trips so consumers will be given one final price that incorporates the trip costs and food. What this means for consultants is they will now earn commission on the total cost of the trip rather than just the tour price.

Topdeck knows how hard agents work every day and believe they should receive the most commission possible for their efforts. Simplicity, transparency and getting a great return for our travel agents and customers were the most important driving factors when we decided to merge to one total trip cost and scrap the out dated food fund concept.

On average the food fund made up 10-20 per cent of the total trip price, depending on the trip this can become a fairly hefty loss of commission for agents. By incorporating the food fund cost into the overall price, the agents will receive the same 10-20 per cent increase in their commission.

As an example, for last year’s 36 Day European Pioneer itinerary, the trip price was $5175.00AUD plus the food fund which was $1020.00AUD, equalling $6195.00AUD. For the trip the food fund was 16 per cent of the total cost meaning the travel agent missed $142 in commission.

Topdeck want to take care of the agents that live and breathe our brand and we see this as a great way to prove this to them and thank them for their support.

The latest winner in the Million Dollar Fish competition highlights the ‘gold’ swimming within Kakadu’s famed waterways

Cooinda Lodge chef Jack Higgott with his $10,000 Barramundi dish

Jack Higgott, a 19-year-old chef living and working at Cooinda Lodge at Kakadu couldn’t believe his eyes when he reeled in a Barramundi fish that came tagged with a $10,000 prize reward.

Just over a month into season three of the Million Dollar Fish competition, which runs up to February 2018, ten lucky anglers have now matched season one which held the record for ten $10,000 fish reeled in.

The fish didn’t go to waste, with Jack making the most of his culinary skills and turning it into a crispy skinned barra with mango and mint salad.

The Million Dollar Fish competition is a great initiative that has helped boost the NT’s reputation as a brilliant place to stay, play and fish and lure more visitors to the Territory during the wet season from October to February.

Viking launches new Bali cruise extensions 

Dramatic sky over the volcanic peak of Gunung Agung and the rice fields, near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Viking Cruises launches three new Bali cruise extensions to its 17-day Komodo & the Australian Coast and the 13-day Bangkok, Bali & Beyond ocean itineraries in 2018 and 2019.

With Bali being an enduring favourite with Australian and New Zealand travellers, guests can now maximise their holiday and enjoy additional days pre or post their cruise to explore more of Bali’s lush landscape, delicious food and rich culture. The new extensions include the three-day Bali, the four-day Ubud, and the five-day Bali & Yogyakarta.

Viking’s 17-day Komodo & the Australian Coast cruise from Bali to Sydney or vice versa is priced from $7,295 per person. This cruise features eight guided tours in two countries. Pricing includes a saving of $1,000 per couple if booked by 31 December 2017.

The 13-day Bangkok, Bali & Beyond cruise from Bangkok to Bali or vice versa is priced from $6,495 per person. This cruise features seven guided tours in four countries. Pricing includes a saving of $1,000 per couple if booked by 31 December 2017.

Eastern Eurotours launches 2018 Europe Brochure

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Eastern Eurotours has launched its 2018 Europe & the Mediterranean brochure, complete with ‘indulging’ packages, tours and cruises to some of Europe’s best known and most popular destinations, as well as the continent’s most hidden corners.

In a unique twist, the 96 page brochure includes a popular dish from each of the 31 countries covered, such as cepelinai (potato and meat dumplings) from Lithuania, poffertjes (resembling small fluffy pancakes) from the Netherlands or kulen (minced pork sausage) from Croatia.

The brochure has been designed to highlight two of the key attributes of Europe – namely food and culture – throughout.

Mudgee Region Tourism takes home gold at the 2017 NSW Tourism Awards

Mudgee Region Tourism has taken home two awards at the 2017 NSW Tourism Awards last night collecting Gold for Destination Marketing and Silver for Visitor Information Services.

Reflecting the outstanding success of the regions current marketing campaign, ‘Let’s Skip Town Together’, the awards recognised Mudgee Region Tourism as being at the forefront of delivering quality products and experiences in the state.

Two Mudgee businesses were also finalists in their own categories – Abingdon House for Self-Contained Accommodation and Sierra Escape for New Tourism Business.

Managed by the Tourism Industry division of the NSW Business Chamber and supported by the NSW Government via Destination NSW, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses that demonstrate outstanding achievement throughout the year.

Explore Los Cabos with Excite Holidays and WIN!

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In conjunction with Visit Los Cabos and American Airlines, Excite Holidays is thrilled to announce the launch of their new campaign and incentive. Between Monday 20 November – Sunday 3 December, they will showcase to agents the incredible destination that is Mexico’s Los Cabos.

To celebrate, they are offering the top-selling agent during the campaign period the opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Los Cabos. The lucky winner will enjoy a 4-night stay at the luxurious One&Only Palmilla and receive a return flight with American Airlines. PLUS, all agents will receive 500 bonus rewards points for every night booked in Los Cabos during the campaign.

Often referred to as the ‘End of the Earth’, Los Cabos is the epitome of paradise. Convenient and easy to access, Los Cabos is located on the southern tip of Baja California Peninsula and boasts breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez.

From world-class restaurants to adrenaline-pumping adventures, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, unbeatable views and the ultimate in luxury and relaxation, Los Cabos is a must. Whether it’s as a standalone destination, or part of a larger USA getaway, this Mexican paradise has something to offer all travellers.

The first ever offer from U by Uniworld!

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Save 10 per cent on selected summer cruises with U by Uniworld. The offer will be available until 1 Dec 2017, so book fast!

This offer is also combinable with A$60 shipboard credit.

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Destinations

Russia approves controversial COVID-19 vaccine

by Christian Fleetwood

It’s a monumental achievement – one that could mean international travel is closer than ever before, right? Well, we wouldn’t recommend holding your breath.

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Cruise

Royal Caribbean posts $2.3 billion quarterly loss, but 2021 bookings “trending well”

by Huntley Mitchell

With its global cruise operations having been suspended since March, Royal Caribbean’s quarterly results come as no surprise.

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Destinations

“I Blame”, “Coal Village” and “Jumpsuit”: Visit Mexico site accidentally gives literal translations for destinations

Have you done something embarrassing at work recently? Take comfort in knowing it almost definitely wasn’t as bad as this gaffe by whoever is in charge of translating Visit Mexico’s webpage.

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Aviation

Private charter airline offers flights to Antarctica on board Qantas Dreamliner

by Christian Fleetwood

The first couple of flights to the frozen continent are set for a November take-off, with travel agents encouraged to get selling.

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Hotels

Marriott’s RevPAR falls more than 80pc in Q2, but CEO notes “steady signs” of demand returning

by Huntley Mitchell

Here’s yet another serving of dour financial results from a hotel giant, this time with a dash of optimism.

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Cruise

Cruise Wrap: MSC’s Mediterranean return, Silverseas’ new expeditions + MORE

This week’s Cruise Wrap is one of our longest yet, with enough information to fill the Pacific Ocean. Or maybe just the Tasman Sea. It will fill your kitchen sink, at least.

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Travel Agents

Get your skills verified with AFTA’s new Micro Credentials Program

Fancy adding some shiny new credentials, or verifying your existing skills? Here’s a quick and easy way to get there.

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Wholesalers

CATO granted access to utilise ‘Safe Travels’ protocols

Unsure what this good news means for you as a CATO member? All is explained here for you, thanks to Travel Weekly’s copying and pasting of a press release.

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Technology

“Very difficult” second quarter sees Amadeus limp to $324m half-yearly loss

by Huntley Mitchell

Amadeus boss Luis Maroto has been forced to pause the order of a new leather chair and credenza for his office after announcing the company’s half-yearly financials.

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Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Bench Africa’s Bonnie-Sue O’Garey

This week, we went on a virtual safari with Bench Africa’s state manager for NSW and the ACT. And by that, we mean we looked at YouTube videos of elephants while we interviewed her.

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Destinations

Northern Territory’s border measures to remain for “at least” 18 months, says Chief Minister

Were you lining up a Christmas jaunt to the Top End for your clients in the hope that the NT’s border restrictions will be relaxed by then? Well, beware of this deflating news.

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Cruise

Two key players shielded from Ruby Princess inquiry

The special inquiry into Ruby Princess will have to report without being able to question two key federal officers who helped clear the cruise ship.

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