Destinations

Destination Wrap: Curate your Zoom chat with Tourism Australia, win some Mumm bubbly with Atout France + MORE

As the weeks roll on, more and more destinations are turning digital to keep the travel dream alive. Try these ones on for size.

Los Angeles showcases golden hour with new digital campaign

Experience beautiful LA sunsets from home, courtesy of LA Tourism (iStock.com/Xavier Arnau)

The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is shining a light on Hollywood’s fabled ‘golden hour’.

In photography, golden hour is known as the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset where light and colour are both softer and redder than when the sun is at its zenith.

As of Thursday, travellers are now welcome to (virtually) witness the city’s magical pre-sunset colours thanks to a daily live stream of sunsets from Venice Beach.

Los Angeles Tourism will livestream the sunset from Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach beginning at:

  • Los Angeles: 6:30 pm
  • Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch: 1:35pm
  • Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane/Canberra: 11:35am
  • Adelaide/Darwin: 11:05am
  • Perth: 9:35am
  • Singapore/Kuala Lumpur/Manila: 9:35am
  • Jakarta/Bangkok: 8:35am.

Weekly, Los Angeles Tourism will also present interactive golden hour experiences with artists, musicians, chefs, mixologists, photographers and other magic makers hosted by @discoverLA on Instagram, Facebook and Zoom.

Win a dozen Mumm Champagne Magnums with Atout France

These may be difficult times, but Atout France remains all hands-on deck to transport Australian travel agents to France from the comfort of their homes.

There’s no reason why self-isolation has to mean the attractions France have to offer need to go unseen, which is why Atout France is organising the event, ‘a Magic Mumm Movie Moment’, for agents to have a chance to win 12 Mumm Magnums of Champagne between 15–26 April 2020.

For your chance to win, simply watch the romantic comedy, Under the Eiffel Tower (2018), on Netflix at home, and answer some questions about France and the movie by 26 April.

For more information, click here.

Curate your Zoom chats with a taste of Australia

Hansons Peak, Tasmania: Show your pride, and keep the spirit of travel alive with a new background from Tourism Australia (supplied)

Tourism Australia has released 13 stunning backdrops for travel agents to use in Zoom meetings to keep the spirit of travel alive, and get inspired to travel across Australia even in the new world of virtual catch-ups.

For your next virtual chat, place yourself among the dazzling sights of Canberra’s Floriade festival; start your first call of the day with a peaceful sunrise from the Cape Byron Lighthouse, or impress your Zoom buddies with the powerful presence of Uluru.

The choice is yours.

Click here to learn more and download the backgrounds for free for yourself.

Zermatt illuminates Matterhorn mountain with messages of hope

The Swiss Alps’ Matterhorn mountain is being illuminated with messages of support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nations’ flags and the messages #stayhome, #hope and images of a heart have been projected on the mountain, which borders Switzerland and Italy, as part of a campaign by Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter.

The Matterhorn is found in the mountain village of Zermatt, which has taken to posting frequent updates of the mountain’s façade on social media. As of today, the most recent projection was a message of support amid the COVID-19 pandemic for China (as pictured above).

To stay up-to-date, click here.

Disney World furloughs 43,000 workers

iStock.com/Manakin

Walt Disney World in Florida has officially furloughed around 43,000 of its workers, following its closure last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company and a union coalition representing the workers said.

The furloughs, which began on Sunday (local time), were reportedly part of an agreement between Disney World and the Service Trades Council Union, a collection of six unions representing the 43,000 workers at the theme park resort in Florida.

Only 200 union workers deemed essential will stay on the job, according to multiple reports, with some of those temporarily stood-down including international contract workers.

According to Eric Clinton, president of Unite Here Local 362, a furlough generally would have an end date, but in this case it does not because of the uncertainties about the COVID-19 pandemic will end, as reported by the Australian Financial Review.

Explore Seattle from your sofa

iStock.com/bosenok

For these times where travel is not possible, the Port of Seattle is bringing travellers ways to connect with the Emerald City.

For more of an immersive way of experiencing Seattle without being there, try one of the city’s top virtual tours at the Museum of Flight, the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium or the Seattle Art Museum.

 Take a virtual trip around NSW

Resident llama at Word of Mouth Wines, Canobolas (Destination NSW).

Destination NSW’s consumer travel website, VisitNSW.com, has a new suite of still and video Zoom-ready assets available for consumers to download to make their conferencing calls a little more fun.

The Zoom background collection was curated to inspire wanderlust in the dreaming phase of the travel planning cycle, with NSW backgrounds curated around three key themes: native animals, sunrise and sunset, and spectacular scenery.

Whether that means curating your chat with a snap of Word of Mouth Wines’ resident llama (as pictured above), adoring a Sydney Harbour Sunset, or admiring the Walls of China at Mungo National Park, the choice is yours.

For more information, click here.

Las Vegas’ AREA15 introduces video series to encourage relaxation during quarantine

Flickr.com/Laurent Velazquez

Las Vegas-based experiential retail and entertainment complex AREA15 has introduced a series of guided meditation videos to encourage relaxation and amusement during quarantine.

The first video in the series takes viewers on a celestial journey with the quirky Atlas Haverford, who guides listeners on a playful going-to-sleep meditation into outer space. Each tongue-in-cheek video takes on a different theme designed to offer levity and fun during social distancing.

In the second video, Elvis Presley—ukulele in hand—joins Atlas Haverford to sing a bedtime song with a familiar tune.

The next video in the series will be released on AREA15’s Facebook and Instagram pages in the next week.

Register for Washington, DC webinars

Destination DC is calling on travel agents to register for its upcoming destination webinar, with the organisation also giving you an opportunity to win one of two Destination DC backpacks, just by attending one of the webinar sessions.

With limited places left, the second session will occur at 10am (AEST) on Wednesday, 22 April. To register, click here.

Travel agents will be able to join the webinars from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device. The software is user friendly and doesn’t need any software installed.

By participating in the webinars agents will earn additional points on their Sell Your Way to the USA tally sheets that count towards qualifying for a spot on one of the FAMS, scheduled for late 2020.

For additional points, agents can also complete the American Airlines and Qantas Learning Bite.

Zoom into a room with a gorgeous Irish view

iStock.com/Mlenny

Are you, like so many of us, spending your days on Zoom? But wishing you were experiencing the spray of the Atlantic Ocean along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way or cosying up in an Irish pub?

The real deal will have to wait for now, but Zoom and other video-conferencing apps, allow you to upload a picture as your background, transporting you into a gorgeous landscape.

With that in mind, why not show off Ireland’s well-known sites, like the Cliffs of Moher (pictured above), Kylemore Abbey, the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge or a pint of the brown stuff (Guinness)?

New Memphis in May dates announced

Beale Street, Memphis (iStock.com/Sean Pavone)

Already looking ahead with positivity, Memphis in May has announced new dates for its postponed 2020 festival, with the event projected to take place in October this year.

The Memphis in May board of directors announced the new dates this week.

“Realizing the importance of these events to not only our patrons, but also the area economy in these unprecedented times, [we] made the decision to move forward with the festival events despite a projected $2 million loss for fiscal year 2020,” the board said in a statement.

Stay at home and connect with Scottish locals

Our kilt wearer of the day is Matthew McConaughey! He is, unfortunately, wearing the kilt backwards, but we admire his individuality. The bandana definitely completes the look. #meninkilts

Posted by Away From The Ordinary on Sunday, 19 April 2020

During this challenging time, luxury Scottish experience providers Away From The Ordinary are encouraging future travellers to stay at home by offering direct access to some of Scotland’s most talented characters, by video call.

For anyone who inquires about booking a customized visit to Scotland in 2021, Away From The Ordinary will connect the potential visitor with a genuine Scottish local, who they are likely to meet during their actual visit to Scotland.

These include Lord Bruce, the lineal descendant of Robert the Bruce; award winning musician and bagpipe maker, featured multiple times on the BBC, Malin Lewis; Outlander author Diana Gabaldon’s Highland guide, Hugh Allison, and Jenny & Verity, a private chef and forager team.

The team at Away From The Ordinary is also keeping its social media feeds light and funny, with its latest post taking the piss out of a young Matthew McConaughey for wearing a kilt backwards (as pictured above).

Discover Queensland launches #StayHome challenge to inspire virtual travel

The first week of April saw Discover Queensland launch its #DiscoverQueenslandChallenge generating over 2000 instant registrations.

Designed to inspire travel dreaming while adhering to the new world of social distancing and isolation, the eight-week challenge takes contestants across the Sunshine State, virtually.

Social engagement is the key in the competition of skill, with contestants asked to participate in daily challenges posted to the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Discover Queensland is rewarding each week’s most creative and consistent responses with weekly prizes that range from a 12-month Multi-City Entertainment Membership to two nights in the Gold Coast Hinterland at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, to enjoy when it is safe to travel once again.

The ninth week of the challenge will see the weekly winners battle it out against each other to win one of the three major prizes on offer including a five-star tropical escape and a theme park holiday.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights releases two new virtual tours

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has released two new virtual tours: ‘A View from the Top’ and ‘A Canadian Journey’.

In the 10-minute ‘A View from the Top’ tour, travellers follow a museum guide the 7th-floor Inspiring Change gallery.

You’ll see a tree that has been covered in crocheted squares of yarn by African and Canadian grandmothers, music-listening stations and a ‘Join the Conversation’ station where visitors leave their own inspiring messages.

Then, travel up the glass elevator to the Israel Asper Tower of Hope observation platform for panoramic views of Winnipeg.

In the 20-minute ‘A Canadian Journey’ tour, travellers follow a museum guide through two galleries on the Museum’s second level – Indigenous Perspectives and Canadian Journeys.

You’ll see the 360-degree ‘basket’ theatre, adorned with 13 spirit panels inspired by the visions of Indigenous youth, an 800-year-old moccasin print and the glowing alabaster rampways.

You’ll also join the guide on the ‘Lights of Inclusion’ floor projection, then hear about Canadian human rights defender Viola Desmond at the exhibit devoted to her story.

Featured image: Lucky Bay, Western Australia (Tourism Australia)

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