Destinations

Destination Wrap: NZ Festival of the Arts, Solomons PM stresses low-cost, high-impact tourism strategy + MORE!

Check out all the latest updates from destinations around the globe courtesy of your pals at Travel Weekly

NZ Festival of the Arts to return

Extraordinary art experiences from around the globe come to Wellington in New Zealand for three captivating, mind-blowing, astonishing, hilarious, spine-tingling, and thought-provoking weeks from Friday 21 February to Sunday 15 March 2020.

Traditionally, arts festival programs are selected by a single artistic director, but the New Zealand Festival of the Arts 2020 line-up is breaking the mould with three high-profile artists being brought on to guest curate a signature series of events that will take place alongside the overall festival program of work from Aotearoa and the world.

Each guest curator will offer a signature series of events across a week of the festival. They will be contemporary artist and radical theatre-maker Lemi Ponifasio; Grammy Award-winning musician and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson; and Academy Award-winning composer, musician, actor, and comedian Bret McKenzie.

Bret McKenzie (credit: Sara Tansy)

Solomon Islands to adopt low-cost, high-impact tourism strategy

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has stressed the need for the country’s tourism industry to embrace a low-cost, high-impact approach if it is to achieve its objectives in 2020.

Delivering the keynote address at a recent tourism forum in Honiara, the country’s prime minister said the marketing and promotion of the destination, especially in its key source markets, will continue to be a priority challenge to address.

“The challenge is due to limited funding resource allocation amidst many pressing priorities on the government,” he said.

The prime minister applauded the Solomon Islands’ Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Tourism Solomons, Solomon Airlines and all stakeholders for recent initiatives he said have demonstrated cost-effective approaches to exposing the country’s tourism operators and their respective products to an international audience.

Sogavare also drew attention to the recent Tourism Solomons and Solomon Airlines joint Australian advertising campaigns and the ‘Mi Save Solo’ tourism exchange which will once again take place in Honiara mid-year.

Furthermore, the prime minister acknowledged the support of the New Zealand government and the Australian government through its ‘Strongim Bisnis’ initiative.

Memphis set to open Women’s Legacy Trail

Visitors can experience the iconic women of Memphis and take part in the new Memphis Women’s Legacy Trail.

Opening on 27 March 2020, the new trail will be comprised of 25 stops that honour local ‘Women of Achievement’ and includes the Equality Trailblazers monument.

This year will also see the Theatre Memphis celebrate its 100th year, with planned upgrades also set to take place.

Hong Kong draws thousands for prestigious running race

Credit: Business Wire

This year’s highly coveted Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race (HK100), supported by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), recently concluded with an impressive 2,300 runners from across the globe taking part.

A total of 1,800 racers ran the full 103-kilometre course, which blazed along the Maclehose Trail from Pak Tam Chung to Sai Kung; while 500 participants joined The Half, the aptly named, newly designated 56-kilometre trail that encompassed the first half of the full course.

#BookThemOut boosts bookings in South Australia

South Australians have rallied behind the state’s bushfire-affected communities, demonstrating incredible support for operators through the South Australian Tourism Commission’s #BookThemOut campaign.

The campaign is running across TV, press and outdoor, as well as digital and social media platforms, with a large part of the campaign driven through social, user-generated content and PR.

Operators on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills are already reporting a spike in incoming inquiries and requests for information in the past week which, although early days, is a positive first step in getting the sector back on its feet.

On the day of the campaign launch, the SATC’s southaustralia.com website received the highest number of domestic visits on record for a single day – more than 61 per cent higher than at the same time last year, and greater than 10,000 more visits on a single day than any day during the SATC’s ‘Rewards Wonder’ campaign. Over the week, southaustralia.com recorded more than 100,000 visits.

Empire State Building goes green and gold for Australia Day

The Empire State Building lit up in Australia’s national colours of green and gold and donate to the bushfire crisis in honour of Australia Day.

Additionally, ESB’s restaurant, STATE Grill and Bar, added Fosters beer and a special Pavlova dessert to its menu on 25 January and 27 January, with all profits made from these limited-availability items donated directly to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Complimentary Australian-inspired chocolate biscuits made in-house were also available with purchase of a beer or dessert and Patina Restaurant Group, the restaurant’s managing company, also pledged to match this donation.

The Whitsundays bids farewell to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

After hosting the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet for a little over a week, The Whitsundays has hoisted its sails and provided the race fleet with a goodbye to be remembered with an epic Parade of Sails to farewell visiting guests.

The week-long Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival from 11 to 18 January was organised as a celebration of the crews’ visit and also to showcase the Whitsundays to the world.

The carnival started with a long lunch on the sands of Whitehaven followed by the free community welcome event on Airlie Beach foreshore, which provided an opportunity for the local community to show the visiting crews some warm Whitsundays hospitality.

During the week saw the Little Ripper Clipper Cup and an Australiana Long Lunch at Whitsunday Sailing Club, as well as the Clipper Yacht Open days, which allowed Clipper family and friends as well as locals to imagine a day in the life of the race crews.

The Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival finished up with the Parade of Sails and the Rodeo by the Reef held at the Bowen foreshore.

Given the public holiday yesterday, we almost decided to skip this week’s Destination Wrap. But, as you’ll discover here, there’s just too much happening!

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