Destination Wrap: VisitBritain’s Sydney Mardi Gras debut, The Whitsundays launches Indigenous tours + MORE!

Still combing glitter from your hair after Sydney Mardi Gras? Get ready to relive some of the action in this week’s Destination Wrap.

UK government marks Australian debut at Sydney Mardi Gras

The British Consulate Generals in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, the High Commission in Canberra and VisitBritain had their first official float in Sydney’s Mardi Gras Parade over the weekend.

The float entry featured a choreographed dance featuring British gay musicians and icons, as well as the Spice Girls, led by a London black cab adorned with a rainbow-coloured Union Jack.

As one of Europe’s most progressive destinations, Britain and its government participate in pride marches globally, but this year’s Australian addition marks its first official float in the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade.

The Whitsundays celebrates launch of Ngaro Indigenous Cultural Tours

The Whitsundays has celebrated the launch of its first guided indigenous tour, the Ngaro Indigenous Cultural Tour by Whitsunday Paradise Explorer.

The timely introduction of this tour perfectly works in with Queensland’s Year of Indigenous Tourism.

The Ngaro Indigenous Cultural Tour will provide a unique experience delivered by traditional Ngaro Indigenous guides, who will share stories and messages in the hope guests develop a greater understanding of the history of the ancient Ngaro Tribe, a community with strong traditions and customs.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said indigenous tourism was a fast-growing section of Queensland’s tourism industry.

“More tourists than ever before want an authentic cultural experience when they come to Australia,” Jones said.

“To have a tourism experience like this in The Whitsundays will provide a huge boost to the local industry and will entice more visitors to the region, keen to experience indigenous culture.”

Tourism Australia launches first phase of ‘There’s Still Nothing Like Australia’

The first phase of Tourism Australia’s new international recovery campaign, ‘There’s Still Nothing Like Australia’, was launched by Australia’s Tourism Minister, Simon Birmingham, last week.

Supported with the $25 million allocated to Tourism Australia through the Australian government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund, the campaign aims to stimulate demand in the short-term and gradually rebuild Australia’s reputation as a highly desirable destination.

Tourism Australia is leaning heavily into its long-standing and successful global campaign platform, ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’, by reminding the world that Australia is a unique travel destination.

Moreover, since the launch of ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ in 2010, international tourism spend in Australia has grown by more than $19 billion.

Tourism Australia is working closely with partners to roll out the campaign globally over the coming weeks.

The campaign’s global broadcast ad will be unveiled at the Destination Australia Conference in Adelaide on 12 March 2020.

Tourism Solomons issues COVID-19 update

Image: (

Tourism Solomons has advised all passengers entering the Solomon Islands by air and sea ports and other points of entry who have been in or travelled through a ‘restricted country’ in the 14 days prior to arrival will be denied entry to the country.

Further, anyone who has been in or travelled through an ‘affected country’ in the 14 days prior will be required to complete a ‘health declaration card’ and subjected to screening on arrival.

The new advisory follows further meetings between the Solomon Islands Government, the Ministry of Health, and Medical Services (MHMS). To date, no cases have been detected in the Solomon Islands.

I Love New York launches Expedia campaign and exclusive agent discount

New York State Division of Tourism (I Love New York) has launched a campaign landing page with leading online travel site, Expedia Australia, providing consumers and Travel Agent Affiliate Program (TAAP) travel agents with information and an exclusive discount of up to 20 percent on the top sights and accommodation beyond New York City in one easy-to-use destination.

The landing page is designed to be a one-stop-shop of the best of New York’s eleven regions, including Long Island, Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes and more.

Agents who book through Expedia’s TAAP will be eligible to secure the exclusive discount of up to 20 percent off New York State’s top attractions and accommodation. The landing page and discount are available until 31 March 2020.

Tourism Fiji launches ‘Happiness Month’ to coincide with ‘International Day of Happiness’

Coinciding with International Day of Happiness on 20 March, Tourism Fiji will celebrate the thing that sets Fiji apart from other Pacific destinations, which are its people.

The launch of the ‘Bulanaires’ campaign celebrates those who are rich in happiness and look to share that happiness and happy moments with others. The campaign also aligns with Tourism Fiji’s brand ethos of Fiji being “where happiness finds you”.

This year, Tourism Fiji launches its inaugural Happiness Month with the industry creating and sharing ‘happy moments’ throughout travel in March, along with the chance to meet some of the country’s showcased Bulanaires.

Invitation to Austria’s largest tourism trade event

A two-day long marketplace, atb.2020 will introduce participants from around the world to more than 400 Austrian travel suppliers.

The event will take place between 24 and 28 May 2020, and is part of the newly developed Austrian Tourism Days. A fully hosted industry event, atb.2020 includes up to four nights’ accommodation, access to all atb-related events, breakfasts, lunch and dinners, and public transportation passes, including airport transfers.

Furthermore, for Australian delegates it includes a $1,500 contribution towards airfares. For further details and registration, contact the Austrian National Tourist Office:

Get back to nature and tradition in rural Ishikawa

Rice terraces at Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan ( Pavone)

A trip to Ishikawa is a perfect opportunity to unplug, unwind in beauty and nature, and discover the delights of slow travel.

Home to spectacular mountains, coastline and forests, Ishikawa is filled with green havens where the locals still use century-old traditions and methods to tend and enjoy the land’s bountiful natural resources.

A few ways your clients can immerse themselves in natural experiences and cultural traditions include learning about traditional salt farming at Okunoto Shiota Village; trying therapeutic forest bathing at Ishikawaken Forest Park; or cycle with environmentalists with Noto Note, among other experiences.

Based on advice from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, the Australian government currently recommends travellers exercise a high degree of caution across Japan due to the heightened risk of COVID-19 coronavirus.

UFC’s return to Perth a triumph for WA tourism

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to Perth this year with the McGowan Government and Tourism Western Australia securing a major event organised by the world’s leading mixed martial arts promoter.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia joined current UFC featherweight champion Australian Alex Volkanovski at RAC Arena last week to announce Perth will host the pay-per-view UFC 251 on Sunday, 7 June 2020.

The return of the globally popular spectacle is expected to again attract thousands of interstate tourists to WA, filling hotel rooms and supporting local tourism and hospitality businesses during the state’s traditionally quieter winter period.


Leave a Reply


Cover-More CEO exits

The global travel insurance provider has waved goodbye to its chief, but not before signing him up to a premium policy.




Afterpay makes online travel play

If COVID-19 wasn’t already enough of a challenge for travel agents, a new OTA has entered the ring.




Tourism Malaysia’s new Aussie director on the destination’s big marketing shift

by Huntley Mitchell

The destination is placing much more of a focus on its digital presence and “smart partnerships”, as it looks to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.




How are high flyers dealing with coronavirus? A new jet-to-yacht service seems to be the answer

Are you or your clients keen to avoid cattle class (or any class for that matter) on your first post-coronavirus flight? Start saving your pennies for this new service.




STUDY: More than half of Aussies are keen to get travelling in the next six months

Find out where, when and how Aussies will hit the road once restrictions are lifted with this handy set of survey results.



Travel Agents

Pandemic could push consumers to use agents over OTAs, says Barry Mayo

by Ali Coulton

The TravelManagers chairman has also predicted more bricks-and-mortar agents will make the switch to a home-based model, given the risk of further lockdowns.




Team behind Addicted to Maldives launches domestic-focused DMC

The new offering aims to help curate your clients’ domestic escapades so that you can give them their perfect post-lockdown getaway.




Cruise Wrap: CLIA offers training to non-members, more lines extend pause in operations + MORE

Travel Weekly staff dread Cruise Wrap days because they usually result in our deputy editor singing Enya’s “Orinoco Flow”, until we lock her in a cupboard.




Australian adult entertainer removed from flight over comments about George Floyd protests

This story has a bit of everything – an airline, an adult entertainer and even the ongoing George Floyd protests in the US.



Road & Rail

Uber to offer ‘world-first’ car rental option Down Under

by Christian Fleetwood

You’d assume the bosses over at Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, and Europcar won’t be too pleased to read this news.



Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Club Med’s Marnie Blanchetier

We sat down with Club Med’s head of marketing and director of sales for a chat and a few episodes of The New Pope, until she began to give us spoilers.




REVEALED: The final two bidders for Virgin Australia

by Huntley Mitchell

Virgin Australia’s administrators have made a decision on which two bidders have made it through to the third and final round.