Destination Wrap: New industry toolkits for NSW, Abu Dhabi’s Specialist Program success + MORE

Sunrise aerial of Cabarita Headland in New South Wales, Australia. Beautiful sunrise light with waves on white sand beach. One of many favourite backpacker stop on road trip holiday.

It’s been a big last few days of destination-related news. Get up to scratch here with your favourite source.

Here’s how to get involved in the ‘Love NSW’ campaign

Destination NSW has unveiled two new industry toolkits to help NSW tourism businesses get involved in the state’s “tourism recovery” campaign, ‘Now’s The Time To Love NSW’.

The toolkits, developed by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, contain logos, key messaging, imagery and video assets that operators and travel agents can use to promote their business in step with the state-wide campaign.

Download the Now’s The Time To Love NSW toolkit for industry or travel agents now, or view the industry fact sheet for more information about getting involved.

In other NSW news, mandatory quarantine fees will begin to apply from 12:01am Saturday 18 July.

According to the NSW government, a quarantine fee of a minimum of $3,000 for one adult will reduce the “financial burden of COVID-19 on NSW taxpayers”.

To date, the state has spent $65 million on quarantine accommodation to house international travellers returning to Australia.

Travellers who purchased their flights before 11:59pm 12 July (EST) will be excluded from quarantine fees. For more information, click here.

Abu Dhabi Specialist Program an “overwhelming success”: DCT Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Specialist Program run by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has been an “overwhelming success”, according to the authority, with over 1,300 travel agents participating in the e-learning platform over a time when COVID-19 prevented face to face training.

The Specialist Program is an online course that provides travel agents with the relevant destination-related information, through a series of five modules.

Agents who registered and completed at least one module went in the running to win $250 Westfield gift vouchers. While all participants’ names were put into a draw to win a five-star trip for two to Abu Dhabi, inclusive of flights, a five-night stay in a five-star hotel, and a full program of free activities.

Over the seven weeks, DCT-Abu Dhabi gave out 21 prizes of Westfield gift vouchers to minor prize winners.

The major prize winner was Rachael Heelan from Ross and Turner Travel Associates, who won a holiday to Abu Dhabi, flying Etihad Airways, with five nights in a five-star hotel and activities.

Federal government warns travellers should reconsider their need to remain in Hong Kong

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has updated its travel advice for Hong Kong, warning Australian travellers or residents are at “increased risk” of detection on “vaguely defined national security grounds”.

The federal authority also warned travellers could “break the law without intending to”.

News of increased risk to travellers comes after the federal government warned travellers could be at risk of “arbitrary detention” if they travel to mainland China.

However, it comes amid an ongoing international travel ban for Australians, which has been extended to 17 September.

Melbourne coronavirus situation impacts Victorian ski resorts

Mount Hotham (source:

Victoria’s three major snow resorts – Mt Buller, Falls Creek, and Mount Hotham – will face a significantly reduced market until at least 19 August, when COVID-19 lockdown restrictions placed on Melburnians, at the earliest, may ease, Traveller reported.

Despite this, Mt Buller will reportedly continue lift operations; however, US-based company Vail Resorts, which owns the lifts at Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, shut them down on Thursday afternoon, the outlet reported.

Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass resorts in the NSW Snowy Mountains are reportedly continuing to operate under their restricted, coronavirus conditions.

In other unfortunately bad news for Victoria, The Sydney Morning Herald reported national survey results showed Australians overwhelmingly support state and territory border closures with Victoria.

The national survey by Newgate Research found 85 per cent of respondents supported states and territories shutting off Victoria, with 6 per cent opposing the decision.

Support was reportedly slightly lower in Victoria than other states and territories, with 74 per cent of Victorians saying they thought the border closures were the right thing to do in the face of the second wave of infections sweeping their state.

Meanwhile, NT News has reported legal hurdles could prevent the Northern Territory turning Victorians around at its border like Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia.

The lack of statehood, according to the NT government, means it is at “higher risk” of violating the NT Self Government Act, while states can push the envelope a bit further, the outlet reported.

Join Turespaña’s upcoming Spanish webinar series

Spain’s tourism authority, Turespaña, has prepared a series of webinars for travel agents, with professionals getting the chance to learn more about some of the nation’s tourism partners.

Travel agents will gain insights about regions like Galicia, Camino de Santiago, la Ruta de Plata (the Silver Route), the amazing Paradores as well as Spain’s premium experiences around Cataluña and the Balearic Islands.

You can also join for a live Spanish cooking demonstration, wine tasting and the chance to win great prizes. Here are the details you need to know:

Session 1 – Galicia and Camino de Santiago

Tuesday 14 July at 3pm (EST) and 5pm (NZST). Register here.

Session 2 – Paradores and Ruta de la Plata

Tuesday 21 July at 3pm (EST) and 5pm (NZST). Register here.

Session 3 – Catalonia and Balearic Islands’ premium experiences

Tuesday 28 July at 4pm (EST) and 6pm (NZST). Register here.

Tougher regime on Victorian arrivals into Western Australia

Western Australia’s border with the east coast has been further hardened off the back of the serious coronavirus situation in Victoria.

Exemptions for all people who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days will be tightened, building on the existing COVID-19 protection measures for Western Australia.

No one will be allowed into Western Australia if they have been in Victoria in the previous 14 days, unless they meet the new exemption list.

The number of exemptions will also be reduced significantly, meaning only specific essential workers, transport and freight workers and those persons approved by the State Emergency Coordinator, on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, will be permitted to enter WA.

In addition, everyone who is permitted to enter WA who has been in Victoria for the previous 14 days will be served with a notice on arrival compelling them to take a COVID-19 test on day 11 of their time in WA, or at any point when symptoms develop.

The WA Police Force will continue to perform checks on arrivals under the State of Emergency and have the power to enforce the COVID-19 test requirement with a fine of $5,000.

The news comes as the McGowan government signalled it would push back the date for the beginning of phase five of eased restrictions to a provisional date of 1 August, 9 News reported.

Meanwhile, Western Australians will have even more reason to discover the state’s holiday options thanks to new cooperative marketing partnerships as part of the ‘Wander Out Yonder’ campaign.

The deals involve partnerships with family-friendly caravan and holiday park group Top Parks, motorhome provider Britz Australia and tour and attraction platform Sightseeing Pass Australia.

The Top Parks partnership will include special property accommodation deals which will be advertised across radio, digital and social media from July to September.

Disney Parks continues phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida has begun to reopen, marking the first of Disney Parks’ domestic theme parks to reopen since closing due to the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to significantly impact the United States.

According to BBC News, more than a quarter of a million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Florida, along with 4,197 deaths.

While Disney Parks awaits California guidelines for reopening Disneyland Resort, and will “adjust as necessary”, the company has shared more information on its approach to health and safety in the Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks.

Federal government investment in national parks critical to domestic tourism reboot: TTF

The tourism industry has welcomed the Commonwealth’s investment in national parks, which will help “support regional tourism dispersal” and “reboot the regional visitor economy”.

Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chief executive Margy Osmond said the $233 million in funding would “significantly boost” morale for tourism businesses in regional areas suffering from the double whammy of the summer bushfire crisis and the more recent COVID-19 pandemic.

“This significant and strategic investment in national parks across a range of destinations is just the sort of support that regional destinations desperately need in order to prepare for the return of domestic visitors in greater numbers as they prepare to holiday here this year,” Osmond said.

“New infrastructure and upgrades to cultural centres, walking tracks, roads, campgrounds and viewing platforms … will all meet new visitor demand.

“With this funding, the Australian government is backing our regional tourism destinations and delivering the strong message that where Australians are able to, they should head out and explore their own backyard.”

SA on track to reopen borders on 20 July (for now)

Stamford Grand Adelaide

According to 9 News, South Australia is “still on track” to reopen its borders to states other than Victoria on 20 July – but this could quickly change.

Premier Stephen Marshall said after Friday’s National Cabinet meeting that new cases in NSW and the ACT needed watching.

“We’re going to look very carefully at the results over the coming days to make sure that we don’t open those borders too early,” he said.

The Premier’s comments come after the ACT late last week recorded four coronavirus cases, breaking Canberra’s month-long bill of health. According to SBS News, the infections were all from the same household and linked to the Victorian outbreak.

Meanwhile, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has flagged his state will not open its borders on 24 July, as previously announced.

According to ABC News, Gutwein said the lowering of the borders would be deferred by at least a week, if not longer.

Meet the Balonne Shire’s Joan Brownlie OAM

To celebrate the opening of local borders, Queensland’s Balonne Shire is taking you to the quintessential border town of Mungindi in the shire’s far south.

You’ll meet Joan Brownlie OAM, a “mover and shaker” who tackles life with gusto, and has fought for almost four decades for a better future for her little community that lives on either side of the Barwon River.

Oklahoma appoints LinkdTourism as local representation agency

Australia-based travel sales and marketing consultancy Linkd Tourism has been appointed by Oklahoma Tourism to represent the state with trade, PR and marketing activity across Australia and New Zealand.

This appointment, with activity to commence immediately, marks the first time that Australia and New Zealand have been identified as key markets for travel to Oklahoma, alongside German-speaking Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Oita Prefecture backs Australia’s return to Japan

Located on the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan, the coastal region of Oita Prefecture has embarked on a representation program in the Australian market.

The program will be led by Kate Sorenson at SLC Representation who will drive trade initiatives, while Barking Owl Communications will support with a media program.

SLC will launch an extensive education and trade training program. To kick this off, the company has partnered with JNTO on a webinar which launched this week and can be viewed here.

SLC will also be organising a series of trade famils when the international borders reopen and manage Oita’s representation at trade and media events.

Oita hit the radar for Australians last year when Oita City hosted several Wallabies matches during the Rugby World Cup. Tourism Oita is hoping to continue to raise awareness for this fascinating destination as the country prepares for the Summer Olympics in just over 12 months in July 2021.

Madame Tussauds Sydney thanks frontline workers with free entry in July

As a thank you to the defenders of the community, emergency services, teachers and healthcare professionals are invited to a free day out at Madame Tussauds Sydney.

Madame Tussauds Sydney’s frontline offer is part of the ‘Big Thank You’ campaign, a global effort by parent company Merlin Entertainments to donate 30,000 tickets to emergency and essential workers across the United Kingdom, Asia, North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Free entry at Madame Tussauds Sydney extends to teachers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, police, fire officers, ambulance officers, aged care workers, pre-school workers and correctional services officers.

To take up the opportunity, frontline workers can wear their super suits (uniforms) to the attraction or flash a valid Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) card, Staff ID or proof of work.

The offer is available until 3 August. Click here for more information, or to purchase tickets, visit:

Helsinki’s main square transforms to support the local businesses

Image credit: Camilla Bloom

Helsinki has taken an active role in helping the businesses that have suffered economical losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneously animating the city centre.

Helsinki’s main square, the Senate Square, has been transformed into an urban culinary oasis, with a vast garden-like terrace area where the city’s ambitious culinary culture can be enjoyed.

According to the City of Helsinki, the ‘Senate Square Summer’ program will feature 16 restaurants, showcasing refreshing breakfasts, summery lunches, pizza, Baltic herring, tapas, fine dining, premium hot dogs, cocktails, and craft beers from local microbreweries.

Entry pass now compulsory for all travellers to Norfolk Island

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel to Norfolk Island is restricted to domestic airline passengers who identify as low-risk travellers.

Every person intending to travel to Norfolk Island must now complete and obtain an online entry pass 24 to 72 hours prior to flight departure via this link.

The application process is an automated program designed to screen applicants via an online declaration, and identify high-risk travellers who will be denied entry to Norfolk Island.

The screening will also provide data to track inbound travellers, should a positive case of COVID-19 be identified.

The news comes as the Australian external territory postpones its reopening to visitors from NSW and the ACT until at least Friday 24 July, in response to the coronavirus situation in Victoria.

Join Utah’s destination training, ski and winter experiences

Travel agents are invited to learn more about Utah and its leading ski experiences with a new webinar,

According to Canuckiwi, Australians and New Zealanders represent Utah’s most popular international ski and winter experiences market.

To register for the Wednesday 29 July webinars, click here and here.

And if you missed any of Canuckiwi’s prior destination webinars, you can watch them on YouTube here.

Featured image source: iStock/Florent Rols

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