Destination Wrap: Program announced for Parrtjima, Tasmania set to reopen to SA, NT + MORE

Grounded, Parrtjima festival, Alice Springs, Australia.
5/4/2019. Images courtesy Parrtjima / NTMEC

Looking to start the week off well? Kick back and sink your teeth into our Monday serving of destination news.

Program announced for NT’s ‘Parrtjima – A Festival in Light’

The only Aboriginal light festival of its kind in the world, ‘Parrtjima – A Festival in Light’ has announced its exciting new program, which will take place in in Alice Springs (Mparntwe), home of the Arrernte people.

Taking place between 11–20 September, the free festival is themed ‘Lifting Our Spirits’ and runs for 10 nights, featuring the illumination of the MacDonnell Ranges, in a light show called ‘Ebb and Flow of Sky and Country’.

In a first for Parrtjima, there will also be two nights of mouth-watering cooking demonstrations with chef Mark Olive and co-founder of Kungkas Can Cook Rayleen Brown, who is recognised throughout Australia and internationally for shining a light on Central Australian bush foods.

For more details on Parrtjima’s program of events, click here.

Tasmania to reopen to SA, NT this week

Bruny Island, Tasmania (image source: iStock/Oliver_Koch)

On 7 August, Tasmania is expected to reopen to South Australia and the Northern Territory, with all arrivals to receive health checks and mandatory tests if deemed necessary.

The move was announced by Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein, off the back of “no community transmission and zero or very low case numbers” in selected states and territories, including Western Australia – provided it opened its border to Tasmania.

As it stands, the border is likely to only open to SA and NT. However, the state and territory’s visitors are unlikely to significantly help Tasmania’s tourism businesses, with SA and the NT representing just 5.5 per cent of Tasmania’s domestic tourism market, and just 4.5 per cent of total tourism.

Moreover, the announcement by Premier Gutwein on 31 July came before South Australia announced it had reported six cases of COVID-19 over the past week.

McGuire, Kendall appointed to board of Visit Victoria

Businessman, media personality and Collingwood Football Club president Eddie McGuire has been appointed to the board of Visit Victoria along with marketing executive and company director Janette Kendall.

McGuire’s credentials span four decades in media, sports and events, including 13 years on the board of the Victorian Major Events Corporation.

Kendall is a company director with more than 25 years of board experience across public, private and not-for-profit organisations spanning a diverse range of industries.

In addition to her new role with Visit Victoria, Kendall is on the board of Vicinity Centres, Costa Group, Australian Venue Co, KM Property Funds and the Melbourne Theatre Company.

She has also held previous non-executive director roles at Nine Entertainment, Monash Digital and the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts.

NSW Department of Planning seeks feedback for Pyrmont Peninsula

NSW Department of Planning is seeking feedback on a new 20-year vision for the evolution of Pyrmont Peninsula as what it describes as a “treasured cultural and entertainment destination as well as an innovative, connected cornerstone of economic growth and jobs for the future”.

The department’s vision focuses on transforming the peninsula into a 24-hour destination, attracting new investment and providing a “world-class” waterfront walk, parks, public spaces, tree-lined streets and cycleways for the enjoyment of workers, residents and visitors alike.

It has prepared a draft Place Strategy that proposes a long-term vision and planning framework to guide Pyrmont Peninsula’s transformation to 2041.

The draft Place Strategy is on exhibition until midnight Sunday 13 September 2020. For more information, click here.

‘Stay and spend’ incentive, tax credit to encourage tourism within Ireland

Gap of Dunloe, County Kerry, Ireland (source:

A new scheme from the federal government of Ireland will incentivise taxpayers to support the country’s domestic providers of accommodation or food, or both, during the off-season, providing support to a particularly impacted sector.

A taxpayer must spend a minimum of €25 (around $41) on qualifying expenditure and submit the receipt to Irish Tax and Customs using a mobile app.

The taxpayer may submit receipts up to a cap of €625 ($1031) total. Revenue will provide an income tax credit of €125 ($206) per taxpayer, or up to €250 ($412) for a jointly-assessed married couple.

This incentive is confined to the period 1 October 2020 to 30 April 2021.

Skyscanner offers free ad placements for tourism boards

Skyscanner has launched a new, global advertising initiative to help tourist boards attract travellers back to destinations.

As international travel restrictions are updated, the ‘Destination Connect’ initiative opens up advertisement placements on Skyscanner’s desktop and mobile platforms for tourism boards, free of charge.

For more information, click here.

Noosa’s new marketing campaign entices visitors to ‘Enter the Biosphere’

The Noosa Biosphere will be promoted as part of Tourism Noosa’s new marketing campaign designed to entice Australian visitors to Noosa this winter and beyond.

Tourism Noosa chief executive Melanie Anderson said the campaign launched with a series of social and digital teasers and a message to ‘Get ready to enter the Biosphere’ with fun messaging about what a Biosphere Reserve is, before officially revealing the campaign, ‘Enter the Biosphere’.

Free entry for frontline workers to three Merlin Entertainments attractions

Frontline workers at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo (source: supplied)

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Tower Eye and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo are sending a big ‘thank you’ to frontline workers with free entry throughout the month of August.

Simply by using the codeword ‘THANK YOU’ and flashing their proof of employment, emergency services, healthcare and teaching professionals can spend an afternoon under the sea, discover beautiful creatures from Australia’s outback and enjoy the views at 250 metre above street-level.

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo in Darling Harbour is also opening its doors after hours with a one-of-a-kind dining experience featuring beautiful Australian animals, a private tour and dinner with koalas.

Given current COVID-19 restrictions across NSW, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is in a fortunate position to be able to accommodate the approved number of diners while also creating a unique night out right in the heart of Darling Harbour.

For more information, click here.

Win a trip to see the 2021 Tour de France

French tourism development agency Atout France is launching a competition for Australians to win a trip to the Tour de France in 2021.

The winner of this competition will receive a trip for two to Paris, including flights and accommodation, and a coveted spot at the final stage of the race on the Champs-Élysées. The prize is a bucket-list item for tour enthusiasts.

For more information, click here.

New arrival makes an appearance at Singapore Zoo

After gorgeous Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos Makaia and Nupela (originally from Adelaide Zoo and Taronga Zoo respectively) became first-time parents to a male joey earlier this year, Singapore Zoo and the dedicated care team are thrilled to announce the baby tree kangaroo has officially popped his head out of his mum’s pouch and started to take in the new sights and sounds around him.

Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos are among the rarest animals in zoos around the world. With the arrival of this miniscule marsupial, as a result of Makaia and Nupela’s pairing under a Global Species Management Plan (GSMP), the global population of this species under human care now stands at just 58 individuals.

Nupela and the-yet-to-be-named baby can now be viewed at their exhibit in Singapore Zoo, while dad Makaia takes a break from the public eye in an off-exhibit area, to allow mum and baby to bond.

A final Friday tour takes us to unexpected places in Queensland’s Balonne Shire

In the final instalment of the Balonne Shire’s ‘Welcome to Our Place’ campaign, travellers are introduced on a guided tour to St George farmer Cheryl Brimblecombe.

Commemorate Nelson Mandela’s life by exploring South Africa’s historical attractions

South African Tourism is inviting travellers to commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela in 2020, the year that marks the 30th anniversary since the late South African President’s release from prison.

In a virtual tour of the prison on Robben Island, where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years imprisoned, travellers will learn more about the infamous location and its connection to the fight for apartheid.

Click here to take the tour of Robben Island.

Featured image source: Parrtjima/James Horan

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