Destination Wrap: Sydneysiders encouraged to take a ‘Playcay’, South Korea specialist program + MORE

This week’s Destination Wrap is loaded with domestic updates, topped off with a smattering of international news.

Destination NSW encourages Sydneysiders to take a ‘Playcay’

Sydney residents are being called upon to support their Harbour City by making time for play and booking an overnight city stay to experience everything the city still has to offer, right on their doorstep.

Recognising the importance of taking a break from the everyday, Destination NSW has put a modern spin on staycations by launching a suite of ultimate ​Sydney Playcation​ itineraries to inspire Sydneysiders to book an overnight hotel stay, explore their city and support their local businesses.

Luxe harbourside hotel suites, celebrated eateries and bars, signature spa treatments, top shopping spots, and an eclectic mix of neighbourhoods feature alongside a swag of celebrated experiences that make Sydney such a sought after city for visitors and locals alike. 

Become a South Korea Travel Specialist for your chance to win

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has created a South Korea Travel Specialist ANZ Online Training Program, whereby agents will have the opportunity to win a $50 Amazon digital gift card upon completion.

KTO Sydney is using the Facebook group South Korea Travel Specialist (ANZ) as a social learning platform.

There are 10 learning units each containing images, videos and information on South Korea.  Topics cover South Korea’s response to COVID-19, special travel themes, travel essentials, and then a final exam and survey.

The learning modules have to be completed by 31 October 2020. Full instructions on the program are detailed in the introduction video on the site.

The first 150 registrants of the South Korea Travel Specialist (ANZ) Facebook group will receive a Korea travel kit and tumbler, and then the first 150 agents to complete the training will receive a $50 Amazon digital gift card. All agents who complete the training will receive a certificate of completion.

Once agents are part of the South Korea Travel Specialist community, they will have exclusive access to future invitations for familiarisation trips to South Korea or local events.

For more information on how to participate, email

South Australians to stimulate visitor economy with tourism vouchers

Travel vouchers worth up to $100 will be offered to South Australians to use towards accommodation across the state, as part of a significant tourism stimulus package to further boost the visitor economy and local jobs.

The state government’s $4 million voucher scheme – available from next month – will provide $100 vouchers for use at participating CBD hotels, and $50 vouchers to spend in regional and suburban accommodation.

A range of tourism operators, from five-star hotels to cabins in caravan parks, have already signed-up to be part of the deal.

In other new from South Australia, Adelaide will play host to the 2020 State of Origin series for the first time in history after the National Rugby League (NRL) finalised venues for the men’s and women’s series.

Adelaide Oval will host the opening State of Origin match on Wednesday 4 November. Sydney’s ANZ Stadium will host Game II on Wednesday 11 November, and Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host a potential decider on Wednesday 18 November.

The Harvey Norman Women’s State of Origin will be held on Friday 13 November at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

TEQ offers 24-month fee waiver for ATDW

In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis facing the state’s tourism and events industry Tourism and Events Queensland, in partnership with the regional tourism organisations, is offering Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) membership with no annual fee for the next 24 months.

This offer is available to all tourism operators in Queensland.

Operators looking to take up this offer can simply visit the ATDW website and click ‘register now’ in the top right corner to create a listing. For existing ATDW members, there is no action to take.

Northern Territory’s Parrtjima festival wraps up

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light has wrapped up its fifth successful event in the Red Centre. With the theme ‘Lifting Our Spirits’, Parrtjima 2020 attracted more than 17,000 attendances to the spectacular festival over 10 nights in Alice Springs.

Parrtjima is the only event of its kind in the world, celebrating Aboriginal art, culture and storytelling through extraordinary light, art and sound installations.

This year guests enjoyed the breathtaking light and sound show over two kilometres of the MacDonnell Ranges and large-scale interactive light installations alongside Deep Listening talks, musical performances, and cooking and watercolour painting workshops, all surrounded by the desert landscape at Alice Springs Desert Park.

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures reopens for school holidays

In line with the Victorian government’s recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions in regional Victoria, Otway Fly Treetop Adventures has reopened to the public from until Sunday 4 October 2020.

Guests can discover the unique beauty of the Otways from the incredible elevated walkway knowing there are additional health and safety measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of all visitors and team members.

New tourism video released for Snowy Valleys

A new promotional film inviting and encouraging holidaymakers and day trippers to visit the Snowy Valleys in NSW has been launched.

The four-minute short film captures the spirit of the region, and is aimed to emotionally connect with viewers, showcasing a region that was ravaged by bushfires but is bursting back to life.

You can check it out here.

Snowy Valleys Council has also been successful in applying for $390,000 in event funding through the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grant Program to host a winter festival with a series of local events in 2021.

The council will host the festival, including three events in Batlow, Tumbarumba and Adelong.

The Grampians welcomes regional travellers as Victoria’s lockdown restrictions ease

Following the government’s Victorian government’s recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the state’s regional areas, Grampians Tourism is encouraging regional Victorians to get out and explore the destination to experience the abundance on offer.

“With metropolitan Melbourne still unable to travel outside of their immediate area, there is no better time for our regional neighbours to enjoy the Grampians,” Marc Sleeman, CEO of Grampians Tourism, said.

“Embrace the beauty of the area and support the local tourism industry and jobs. Our region is beautiful at this time of year, the food and drink venues are ready for visitors and our tourist attractions cannot wait to have you back.”

Influencers issue TikTok challenge at Madame Tussauds Sydney

Madame Tussauds Sydney has teamed up with some of Sydney’s influencers to launch a series of interactive TikTok challenges for visitors and social media users to replicate with the stars.

People can head to @TussaudsSydney on TikTok to see the influencers set six TikTok challenges. Then they can pay a visit to Madame Tussauds Sydney from 25 September to replicate, recreate or duet the challenges in the various zones.

Across the attraction, visitors and TikTokers will also be able to scan QR codes for easy to follow influencer-led tutorials on each of the challenges.

Maldives awarded ‘Safe Travels Stamp’ by WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has awarded the Maldives a ‘Safe Travels Stamp’ as a result of the island nation’s strict health and safety measures implemented to safely restart the local tourism industry.

The WTTC set out to standardise safe travel by developing new global standards that would help travellers recognise the businesses and destinations following best practices.

For a destination to receive a Safe Travels Stamp, it must ensure that its safety guidelines align with the WTTC’s core requirements.

Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi and Etihad deliver plants to agents

The team from the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi and Etihad Airways have been spreading the message of strength these past weeks.

Over 200 plants with the message, “Even in the toughest times, we’ll grow stronger together”, were hand-delivered by DCT Abu Dhabi and Etihad representatives to 200 travel agents throughout Sydney and Brisbane.

Melbourne agents receive theirs once Victoria eases restrictions in visitors.

BridgeClimb invites Sydneysiders to revel in The Rocks this school holidays

BridgeClimb has launched a set of action-packed tours designed for families, couples and small groups in mind to get outdoors and rediscover Sydney’s historic The Rocks area and the internationally renowned Sydney Harbour Bridge.

BridgeClimb’s new explorer packages deliver a fun-filled family day out with guided activities taking in city’s most picturesque views, combining Sydney’s iconic Harbour BridgeClimb experience where kids climb for $99.

The packages offer the choice of a pop-up picnic harbourside lunch or a delicious pub-feed at one of the city’s best rooftops.

Participants can then choose to explore The Rocks neighbourhood by foot on a leisurely morning Dreamtime Aboriginal tour or spend an afternoon on a Bonza Bike tour.

Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority continues to host monthly hikes

Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) hosted its second tourism industry hike around Springbrook National Park in Queensland last weekend.

The hike was led by PNGTPA’s marketing and trade manager for Australia and New Zealand, Holly Marshall, along with experienced Kokoda operator Aidan Grimes from Our Spirit.

Thirteen attendees were split into groups two groups for the 3.5-hour hike, due to current Queensland social restrictions, as they explored the national park’s lush green surrounds, connecting with nature as well as each other.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium reinvents rockpool

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium has reinvented its popular indoor rockpool and is celebrating by giving one young sea life enthusiast the chance to win a rockpool adventure with ‘Robbie the Rockpool Expert’.

Unveiled in time for the upcoming spring school holidays, the former tropical rockpool is now entirely inspired by Sydney’s rockpool scene with local creatures and biofacts.

Visitors can get up close and personal to Sydney starfish and sea urchins while comparing pieces of natural life such as sea anemones and shark teeth.

They can also inspect the rockpool’s carefully carved rock work which is filled with temperate seawater directly sourced from the harbour beneath the aquarium.

Destination Queenstown launches ‘Community Connection’ CSR program

Destination Queenstown and the Queenstown Convention Bureau have launched an innovative new corporate social responsibility program called ‘Community Connection’.

The program is designed to connect business events organisers and delegates with local charitable organisations, showcasing ways to contribute to the region during their visit. 

The prospectus introduces 16 local not-for-profit organisations and trusts already making substantial and long-lasting contributions to the local community in Queenstown, and ways in which visitors can contribute.

Kangaroo Island kangaroos ready to meet guests at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

Four sister Kangaroo Island kangaroos have comfortably settled into their new home at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Darling Harbour and are ready to meet visitors.

The adorable foursome – Julie (6), Tabby (6), Nutmeg (4) and Kirby (3) – arrived from Victoria in late August and have since been under close observation as they familiarised themselves with the zoo’s outback-inspired Kangaroo Walkabout.

They are now ready to get up close and personal with guests, enjoy friendly pats and stand in for selfies that will spring off the Instagram feed.

Visitors will also discover a pouch deep of fun facts about the Kangaroo Island kangaroos, including the reasons behind their darker and shorter fur, their trusting nature and their slower hops. The sisters will also act as ambassadors for their species and for rescue orphan joeys. 

Holidaymakers can raise funds for Bergamo by booking breaks to COVID-hit Italy region

Image source: iStock/spooh

European multi-modal travel booking platform Omio has launched a new campaign to support tourism and encourage Brits to book travel to one of the hardest COVID-hit European travel destinations, Bergamo, in northern Italy.

Whilst Italy was Europe’s coronavirus ground zero, ironically, it is now one of few destinations that remain on the ‘safe to travel’ list from the UK currently.

Working in conjunction with Visit Bergamo and local experts, Omio has committed to ‘adopting a town’ to drive tourism to the region by highlighting itineraries to suit different travellers visiting Bergamo via nearby airports and mainline rail stations using local insights to focus on aspects of both urban discovery and the natural beauty of the great outdoors which can be found en route to this historical city.

As part of the initiative, Omio’s donation to the Lombardy city’s Mutual Aid Fund will be directly related to the number of customers travelling the road to Bergamo booked on the platform between September and December 2020.

The fund was established in May of this year specifically to offer real support to people, families and small businesses who have been most impacted by the financial repercussions of COVID-19-related closures.

Omio and Visit Bergamo are collaborating with two well-known local Italians who are creating lifestyle and outdoor itineraries that encourage travellers to consider alternative Italian attractions less impacted by overtourism, and thus offering a greater opportunity to social distance safely.

Featured image source: Destination NSW


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