Travel Weekly is committed to looking after our travel agent audience and keeping the positive vibes, so here’s a wrap that’s decidedly thin on any coronavirus news.
Western Hemisphere’s highest outdoor sky deck opens in NYC
‘Edge’ has officially opened to the public, offering 360-degree views of the New York City skyline.
Beginning at 1pm on Wednesday, 11 March, the first ticketed visitors stepped out onto Edge’s outdoor viewing area that features a glass-floor, angled glass walls, and outdoor skyline steps from the 100th to 101st floors of 30 Hudson Yards.
Visitors also experienced the immersive, multi-room ‘Journey to Edge’ show telling the history of New York City’s newest neighbourhood from construction over an active rail yard to sustainability achievements and more.
To mark the opening, Edge has also launched a nightly light show designed by L’Observatoire International, which will run from sunset to midnight daily through to 4 April.
COMPETITION: Win tickets to French Film Festival
The 31st edition of the Alliance Française French Film Festival is set to arrive, with sessions running progressively from 17 March to 14 April.
A thrilling selection of contemporary French cinema is on offer around the country.
As one of the official sponsors, New Caledonia Tourism is thrilled to be part of this event again this year, and to celebrate, the group is giving away double passes to a lucky few cinema lovers.
To enter the competition, click here.
Vanuatu launches new campaign aimed at Aussie adventure seekers
The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) has launched a new tourism campaign encouraging Aussies who love the great outdoors and adventure to visit the island nation and get off the beaten track.
The campaign, which falls under the destination’s wider brand positioning “Answer the Call of Vanuatu”, will help drive awareness of Vanuatu’s Outer Islands and showcase the nation’s regional destinations.
Additionally, the campaign will promote the experiences available in these locations, including bushwalking, wildlife spotting, world-class scuba diving and a variety of cultural events.
Melbourne travel industry gets a taste of the Margaret River region
The Margaret River region was celebrated last week at the official industry launch of the first ever Melbourne to Busselton Margaret River direct flight service.
More than 70 travel industry representatives attended the launch, held at Encore in Melbourne, overlooking St Kilda beach.
Hosted by Tourism WA, Australia’s South West and Jetstar, the industry event gave guests a special taste of the region, providing an overview on the new three-per-week service, which will commence on Wednesday, 25 March.
The Busselton-Margaret River Airport is the gateway to the region, comprising the towns of Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Augusta, and Margaret River.
Sri Lanka enforces public holiday to support coronavirus quarantine
The Government of Sri Lanka has declared Monday, 16 March 2020, a public holiday to support the quarantine process on coronavirus (COVID-19).
Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Janaka Bandara Tennakoon advised the holiday “will be extending if necessary”.
Laahiru Jayamanne, director of The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka, said “this has not caused any disruption to our guests travelling in Sri Lanka,” adding, “if anything, it’s a perfect time to be here.”
Alberta’s first grizzly bear wakes from hibernation
The sighting of a grizzly bear in Canada’s Banff National Park heralds the start of spring and the end of winter hibernation, with Banff & Lake Louise Tourism making the announcement on social media.
The social media post explained that large male bears typically emerge mid-March to search for food, while females with young are generally not sighted until late April or May.
Bear watching from a safe distance can be a hugely rewarding experience, with viewing opportunities abundant in Canada’s west between April and September.
Maldives Tourism provides COVID-19 update
The Maldives has advised that no passengers originating from, transiting to or with a travel history of travel to China, Iran, South Korea, Italy or Bangladesh will be permitted entry into the country.
Maldivians and spouses of Maldivians who are foreign nationals will be allowed to enter, but may be subject to quarantine measures.
As of 12 March 2020, there are currently eight foreign nationals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Maldives, with a further 13 people in quarantine on Villivaru and 15 in isolation on Farukolhu.
Several resorts are taking temporary restrictive measures. The government is also considering the use of non-operational resorts as possible alternative isolation facility locations if required.
Klook’s click frenzy travel deals for #holidayherethisyear
On Tuesday 17 March, travellers can take advantage of a bunch of Klook savings as part of the Click Frenzy sale, with a heap of deals on domestic activities and tours across the ditch.
As such, travellers can take $30 off 10 major activities in Australia and New Zealand, such as:
- Enjoy a staycation and climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge for $144 (normally $174)
- Escape to the Hunter Valley for a gourmet winery experience for $159 (normally $189)
- Drop by Hobbiton and visit the Waitomo Glowworm Caves for $189 (normally $219).
The promo code (KLKFRENZYANZ) will be live on Klook’s site once Click Frenzy launches, and can be accessed on through the Click Frenzy website.
BridgeClimb calls all lovers with the launch of ‘Climb, Graze & Gaze’
In celebration of Proposal Day (20 March 2020), BridgeClimb is taking romance to new heights with the launch of ‘Climb, Graze & Gaze’ – the ultimate couples experience on Sydney Harbour.
Climb, Graze & Gaze allows guests to book a romantic climb over Sydney’s famous, arches taking in unmissable views from 134 metres above the sparkling Harbour, followed by a beautifully prepared luxury picnic below at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair or Observatory Hill, gazing back at the picturesque setting of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House sails at sunset.
Packages for two start from $999–$1,099 and those who book have the option to choose between Standard or Deluxe picnic menu options and will also receive a complimentary BridgeClimb framed photo.
Taking responsible travel local in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinean owned and operated South Sea Horizons (SSH) is giving travellers the chance to travel responsibly by joining its upcoming Kokoda Expedition.
Departing 25 September 2020 for $3350 per person/twin-share based, the journey will see $500 per trek donated School Fees in Efogi and Manari Primary School. The aim is to raise $10,000.
While travellers with SSH, which was co-founded by ex-Waratahs hooker Al Manning, will experience anything from the Kokoda Track to unique Papua New Guinea Cultural Tours in Goroka and Rabaul, the life-changing moments are not only reserved for them.
SSH tours are also life-changing for those local people that encounter visitors. With an aim of assisting local communities through developed tourism products that are sustainable and contribute back to the local community, SSH has managed to find that perfect balance between changing the lives of everyone involved.
Featured image: Edge at sunset (Related-Oxford)