This week’s Destination Wrap has some fab news for those keen to (eventually) get out of Australia, and for those who are quite happy to journey within it.
Singapore to welcomes visitors from Australia
Singapore is preparing to lift border restrictions for nearly all Australian visitors, with the sovereign city-state expected to welcome all but Victorians from 8 October.
From 1 October, visitors travelling from Australia (excluding Victoria) can also apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) for entry into Singapore on or after 8 October 2020. Applicants must have remained in Australia (excluding Victoria) in the last consecutive 14 days prior to their entry.
Visitors will undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival at Singapore Changi Airport and if the result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore, without a need to serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN).
For more information, click here.
The news comes as tourism and marketing agency GTI announced it has been reappointed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) as the destination’s Victorian sales and marketing representation until 2022, following a competitive pitch process.
NT announces new tourism campaign
The Northern Territory government has announced a new tourism campaign that aims to entice Australians to enjoy a summer holiday in the NT.
As you’d expect from the name, the $5 million ‘Never Before NT Summer Sale’ campaign offers “never-before-seen” savings, with additional discounts of up to $1,000 off already reduced prices for Northern Territory summer packages, available from 1 October to 31 March 2021.
The campaign has partnered with many Australian travel retailers, including Helloworld, Flight Centre and Holidays of Australia.
You can check out the Never Before NT Summer Sale here.
Tokyo Tourism launches the Tokyo Tourism Expert Program
Tokyo Tourism has launched a brand-new online training program for the travel trade.
The certificate program is designed to help agents to get to know Japan’s amazing capital. And Tokyo is high up on the wish list of many Aussies for when borders reopen.
Over the last 10 years Australian visitor numbers to Japan have increased by more than 300 per cent, Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau said.
The total number, as reported by JNTO, for the 2019 calendar year was a whopping 621,800 Australian arrivals – up 12.6 per cent on 2018 – with Tokyo the number one destination in Japan for Australian visitors.
The Tokyo Expert Program launched three modules on 1 October and will launch an additional three in late-January 2021. There are plenty of fantastic prizes to be won from high-tech through to traditional artisan-crafted items direct from Tokyo.
To register, click here.
South Africa open to Australians
While South Africa’s borders will not be open to all countries for leisure travel, South African Tourism is delighted to welcome those visitors that are able to come to the country.
The nation has reopened to a select group of countries after compiling a list of high-risk countries that cannot enter the nation for leisure travel, which included the United States and the United Kingdom.
Australia did not make this list, meaning travellers can enter South Africa. All travellers from African countries will also be allowed to travel to South Africa and must possess relevant travel documents, a negative PCR test result and will also be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
For enquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Tasmania’s tourism voucher program receives $5m boost
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has announced his state will provide a further $5 million to support a second release of the Make Yourself at Home Travel Voucher initiative, bringing the total investment in encouraging Tasmanians to explore their own state to $12.5 million.
Registrations for the program opened at 7pm on Wednesday 30 September, allowing those who were busy during the morning when the first round of vouchers opened a chance to apply this time around.
Tasmanians will again be able to claim a voucher through the Make Yourself at Home website. To support those without digital access, Tasmanians will also be able to register by contacting the call centre on 1800 344 077 between 7pm and 9pm that evening.
Around 800 vouchers have already been redeemed from the first round and the early feedback from businesses has been very positive.
Gutwein said the second release of Tasmania’s Make Yourself at Home Travel Voucher program is “another example, and clear evidence, of our commitment to Tasmanian businesses and to the Tasmanians they employ”.
The news comes as Tasmania prepares to ease its coronavirus quarantine restrictions to select parts of mainland Australia.
Queensland offers $2.55m worth of land rent to tourism resorts, hospitality providers
Tourism resorts, hospitality providers and attractions from Mount Isa to the Gold Coast will share in $2.55 million worth of land rent in ongoing COVID-19 relief.
Queensland Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the $2.55 million in rent waivers brought further relief to 72 tourism businesses operating on state-owned land and islands.
“Tourism is a vital employer and this industry a vital part of our COVID-19 economic recovery plan,” Dr Lynham said.
“These continued measures are another way to ensure the sector is ready to respond when the economy is back on its feet.”
“On average this will save them $35,000 each for the next six months.”
These tourism operators are a collection of resorts, hospitality and attractions located around regional Queensland including Cairns, Townsville, the Whitsundays, Mackay, Rockhampton, Fraser Coast, Gympie, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, and as far west as Mount Isa.
The news comes as Queensland prepares to reopen to the whole of NSW, provided its southern neighbour keeps community transmission of the coronavirus under control.
The Whitsundays releases new wedding guide
Queensland Brides, together with Tourism Whitsundays, has released the new Queensland Bride’s Destination Wedding Guide e-book, which has been created as a one-stop-shop for couples.
The news comes as Australian Venue Co has pairs with Tourism Whitsundays and Virgin Australia to give three lucky travellers the chance to win a holiday to the Whitsundays.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo welcomes final koala joey of 2020
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo in Darling Harbour has celebrated the emergence of its newest koala joey, Sapphire, with an intimate naming party.
A small group of guests were invited to the event hosted by excited zookeepers who unveiled the eight-month-old koala joey’s name using a koala-decorated blackboard surrounded by pink decorations and native flowers.
Renee Howell, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo’s head keeper, said Sapphire was carefully and unanimously selected by the team because “it represents her importance to koalas and the zoo”.
Sapphire joins 11-month-old Jasper and 12-month-old Ilani as the last of WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo’s koala joeys for 2020. She will spend the next four months cuddling up to mum Scarlet before finding her independence and roaming around freely on her own.
Guests can choose to get up close and meet Sapphire in WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo’s Koala Photo experience, available daily for $25 for two people with photos included (not included in admissions entry).
Hong Kong launches new destination e-booklet for travel trade
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched the Hong Kong Travel Trade Manual 2020–21 (TTM), a destination reference guide to assist the travel trade to best understand and sell Hong Kong.
Now available via Hong Kong’s PartnerNet platform, the e-book is an all-in-one travel guide of Hong Kong and a comprehensive tool to help Australian travel trade promote the destination.
The guide includes: the latest updates on happenings and events; details on the city’s vibrant lifestyle and diverse culture; as well as information on unique attractions to discover.
The TTM can be viewed and downloaded, along with other trade assets, here.
Lord Howe Island announces reopening
NSW Health has repealed the Public Health Order currently in place that has restricted travel from the Australian mainland to Lord Howe Island during the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, visitors and Lord Howe Island residents are now free to travel to the island from this weekend without needing to quarantine. Lodges and tour operators are now gearing up to open in early October, a welcome kickstart to tourism on the island.
QantasLink’s scheduled daily return flights between Lord Howe and Sydney commenced on Saturday 3 October, operated by the Dash-8 Q200 aircraft.
Lord Howe Island Tourism Association executive officer Trina Shepherd said it was terrific to be welcoming visitors back after a six-month hiatus, as tourism is the island’s main industry.
Standing drinking allowed outdoors in SA
South Australia has eased pub and bar restrictions to allow patrons to consume alcohol outdoors as well as drinking and dancing at private functions in licensed venues.
The new rule will apply at licensed venues, including pubs, bars, wineries, and cellar doors, but will still require owners and staff to maintain indoor dining rules, which do not allow patrons to be standing.
Transitioning from seated to standing consumption is something that has been advocated for strongly by the hospitality and hotels sector, the South Australian Tourism Commission said, and while limited to outdoors, it is considered a “step forward” in the recovery of SA’s visitor economy.
People attending private functions such as weddings are now also able to dance, as well as drink while standing, with functions still capped at 150 guests. Private functions mean there is a defined guest list, which assists with contact tracing should it be needed.
Adels Grove acquired by Waanyi people
One of Queensland’s leading outback tourism destinations, Adels Grove, will start a new era in the hands of the Waanyi people.
Waanyi Advancement Group has acquired the site and took ownership on 1 October.
The previous directors – Alan Mathieson, Gary Murray, and Michelle Low Mow – said they were delighted Adels Grove would continue to operate as a popular visitor destination.
The 82-hectare Adels Grove site about 10 kilometres from the Lawn Hill Gorge and Boodjamulla National Park in Queensland’s Gulf Country.
Since 2001, visitation has grown from approximately 4,000 to 44,000 people a year.
New date added to WILDFest
WILDfest has added Sunday 25 October to its Highland Valley Forage, following the sell-out success of the Saturday 24 October event.
The Highland Valley Forage is a leisurely long stroll along a flat, beginners’ walk, enjoying an eight to 10-course degustation food and wine trail.
The team from Grand Bistro will be back on Sunday offering totally different menu choices on three of the stations on the walk alongside new Shoalhaven partners.
Tickets on sale for Sydney’s first-ever oyster dining event
Tickets are now on sale for Sydney’s first-ever oyster dining event: Oyster Gardens.
Attendees will experience the delights of locally-sourced NSW seafood, premium beverages, live music, lawn games and a private waiter, while enjoying breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour from the iconic Fleet Steps in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The event will run from Saturday 21 November to Sunday 22 November, with tickets selling at $270 per person and available for purchase in tables of six.
Guests will enjoy in-depth tasting sessions with some of the country’s best oyster farmers while enjoying two dozen oysters, matching wines, exquisite catering, roving oyster shuckers, and live music in one of Sydney’s most iconic locations.
The event will adhere to all NSW Health COVID Safe guidelines.
Maldives’ Minister of Tourism launches Maldives Border Miles
The Maldives’ Minister of Tourism, Abdulla Mausoom, has announced a new tourism-boosting initiative.
‘Maldives Border Miles’ is a three-tiered loyalty program for tourists, which the nation’s tourism authority believes is the first of its kind in the world.
Tourists who register will earn points based on their number of visits to the country and their duration of stay. Additional points will be awarded for visits to celebrate special occasions. The three categories include: Aida (bronze tier), Antara (silver tier), and Abaarana (gold tier).
Each level will be defined by a set variety of rewards, services or benefits, which increase in value as members progress.
The tourism promotion program was initiated by Maldives Immigration, and developed with joint stakeholders, who also joined the ceremony; Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL).
BridgeClimb launches graduation suits for the ‘Class of 2020’
BridgeClimb is inviting school leavers and graduates from 2020 to take a celebratory climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, including the chance to design their own BridgeClimb suits.
BridgeClimb has also created a range of graduation packages that suit groups of any size, with a choice to continue the celebrations nearby with a pub-feed and drinks at The Glenmore’s rooftop, wood-fire Australian cuisine dining at restaurant Pony Dining, or simply enjoy being harbourside in a park with a pizza from The Aussie Hotel.
Featured image source: iStock/tawatchaiprakobkit