Destination Wrap: Visit USA’s mid-year review, Sunshine Coast’s surf ranch + MORE!

LEMOORE, CA, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 19: 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater of the United States surfing in Heat 3 of Round 1 at the 2019 Freshwater Pro on September 19, 2019 in Lemoore, CA, United States. (Photo by Kelly Cestari/WSL via Getty Images)

We’re weary on Mondays, so this excerpt is short, sharp and snappy. Unlike Friday night’s unfortunately lengthy bar tab.


Brazil on show at NSW Parliament House

The Brazil Showcase 2019, an initiative of the Consulate-General of Brazil in Sydney, took place on 25 September at the Stranger’s Room of the Parliament of New South Wales, with more than 200 people in attendance.

Jointly hosted by the Consul-General of Brazil in Sydney, Sergio Bath, and the Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections, Anthony Roberts, the event provided a unique opportunity to strengthen the business links between the two largest economies of the Southern Hemisphere.

The event also offered an opportunity to celebrate the Brazilian National Day, which occurred on 7 September.

Brazil Showcase’s aim was to present to the members of the NSW Parliament and to the Australian public a sample of what Brazilian companies have to offer.

Additionally, Brazilian entrepreneurs based in Australia showed how their companies are developing business links between Australia and Brazil.

Various industries were represented, such as food and agribusiness, energy and bioenergy, information technology, airlines, aircraft manufacturing, machinery and equipment, and consumer goods.

Now that Australian visitors can travel to Brazil visa-free, a special focus of the event was directed to tourism in Brazil, including the air routes to arrive there and the main tourist attractions in the country.



Kelly Slater ‘surf ranch’ to provide a perfect wave to grow Sunshine Coast tourism

The World Surf League has announced it plans to base the first Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in Australia on the Sunshine Coast.

According to Visit Sunshine Coast, the move will deliver a sporting and tourism facility – valued at an estimated $100 million – that could establish the Sunshine Coast as Australia’s most dynamic surfing base.

The announcement comes in the same week the Sunshine Coast was confirmed as the venue for the 2021 ‘Aussies’ – Surf Life Saving’s premier surf sports event. Over 20,000 competitors and spectators are expected to come to the Sunshine Coast for the event.

It also follows hot on the heels of plans for the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast to make a bid for the 2032 Olympic Games.

Visit USA Australia hosts 2019 mid-year review

Last Week, Visit USA revealed the continued growth of the US. In 2018, the United States was the number one long haul destination for Australian travellers with over 1.36 million Australians travelling to the US.

Australians are the 11th largest inbound market for the US with an average length of stay of 19.3 nights, annual spending of over US$8.6 billion and on average Australians visit two states and three cities.

Los Angeles (45.9 per cent), Honolulu (21.3 per cent) and San Francisco (nine per cent) come in as the top three ports of entry for 2018, with Los Angeles (31.2 per cent), Oahu (23.9 per cent) and New York City (22.3 per cent) as the most visited cities.

Visit Maldives hosts first-ever roadshow in Australia

Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC), the government body responsible for the promotion of Maldives as a tourist destination, commenced its Australian roadshow in Perth last week, welcoming travel trade representatives to an event at the Intercontinental Hotel.

The fully subscribed roadshow, which is the seventh event as part of the ‘Journey to the Sunny Side’ campaign, continued in Melbourne on 25 September, and finished in Sydney on 27 September.

Over cocktails and canapés, travel trade representatives learned about the Maldives’ unique culture and customs, amazing atolls, magical marine life and exciting experiences beyond the bungalows.

Along with product immersion, guests enjoyed presentations by senior executives from MMPRC and the chance to network with Maldivian resorts, marketing teams and tour groups.

UEFA announces Champions League finals in St Petersburg, Munich and London

Image credit: iStock

European football’s governing body has announced the 2021 UEFA Champions League final will be played in Saint Petersburg, as reported by Agence-France Presse.

The venues for the next three finals were revealed at UEFA’s Executive Committee meeting in the Ljubljana, Slovenia with Munich awarded the 2022 showpiece and the 2023 final being given to Wembley, Britain.

In awarding the venues for the next three years, UEFA took into account both the likely demand for match tickets, the importance of hotel rooms and transport infrastructure.

Santa Monica pops up in Sydney

SMTT Activation - Official Imagery - 1

Last week marked the official reveal of the six-week long immersive activation Santa Monica at Pier One Sydney Harbour, bringing LA’s beach city to life along the harbourside with a curated menu of SoCal-style food and beverages.

Three renowned Santa Monica chefs will be in Sydney for the pop-up. While the activation kicked off with a yoga class, the first of the Wellness Wednesday events, Chef Josiah Citrin and Chef Raphael Lunetta officially revealed Santa Monica at Pier One ahead of their first chefs table collaboration with The Gantry Head Chef Thom Gorringe.

Santa Monica at Pier One will run for six weeks from Monday 22 September to Thursday 31 October. For a full list of events, bookings and more information on the activation and Santa Monica, visit

Successful Field of Light Uluru to extend its stay

Field of Light Uluru

Ongoing demand for new Friend of Australia Bruce Munro’s immersive installation, Field of Light Uluru has led to the exhibition being extended indefinitely from its previous close date of 31 December 2020.

The award-winning exhibition, located at Ayers Rock Resort in the spiritual heart of Australia, opened on 1 April 2016 to critical acclaim and has proven to be a stand-out drawcard to the destination, attracting more than 450,000 visitors to date.

To ensure that the experience is kept at a premium into the future a $1 million refurbishment of the installation overseen by the artist has just been completed.

Seattle voted #1 coffee city in US

Image credit: @_heozzang

Image credit: @_heozzang

Ahead of International Coffee Day on Tuesday (1 Oct), Seattle has been voted the United States’ #1 coffee city.

A coffee lover’s haven ever since the launch of the very first Starbucks in 1971, Seattle is a town that knows its java. From small batch roasters to the global caffeine phenomena.

Seattle’s Starbucks empire is ever expanding, with cafes on most street corners, including Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room with its coffee library of single-origin beans. Independent coffee shops have also left their mark on Seattle, with creative espresso drinks and unique brewing methods like ‘multi roasters’ setting its offering apart. Milstead & Co. is a must-visit for coffee connoisseurs, with baristas individually brewing each cup of Joe and constantly experimenting with their roasters to offer different blends and flavours.

New Zealand says ‘Good Morning’ to the entire world for 100 days

New Zealand has embarked on a project to say ‘Good Morning’ to the entire world every day for 365 days. Last Tuesday marked the 100th day that a real New Zealander has said ‘Good Morning World’ to the entire planet.

Each day Good Morning World starts as a social post on all of Tourism New Zealand owned channels and then is quickly shared and spreads around the world across all mediums including digital, TV and outdoor.

DJ delivers set on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge for BridgeClimb’s 21st birthday

World-renowned DJ Diplo made history last week by delivering a world-first performance on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The performance kicked off BridgeClimb’s 21st birthday celebrations and his return to Australia for Listen Out festival.

Non-stop Shanghai to Perth flight trial a coup for WA

Chinese visitors will now have even more opportunity to visit Western Australia, with a new trial of direct flights between Shanghai and Perth with China Eastern Airlines over the peak Chinese New Year season.

Starting on 15 January 2020, the trial is a result of a partnership between the State Government, through Tourism WA, Perth Airport and Tourism Australia.

China Eastern will operate three flights each week over five weeks on Airbus A330s, until Monday February 17 offering 3,480 seats from Shanghai to Perth.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan led a delegation to China in 2017 to begin negotiations with China Eastern about securing a flight trial. Subsequently, both the Premier and Tourism Minister Paul Papalia have travelled to Shanghai to continue discussions and secure the deal.

Celebrations to mark the 250 years of Seychelles officially launched

In a ceremony at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS) in Victoria, on Tuesday September 17, 2019 the President of the Republic, Danny Faure, officially launched the activities commemorating the 250th anniversary of Seychelles.

The launch organised by the national preparatory committee for the anniversary saw the presence of several high Government officials including the Designated Minister, Macsuzy Mondon; the Speaker of the Assembly, Nicholas Prea; the Leader of the Opposition party Wavel Ramkalawan and the leader of Government Business Charles de Commarmond.

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