Destinations

Destination Wrap: WA’s $14.4m tourism package, Tourism Malaysia’s new director + MORE

You might think we’re pulling your leg, but this week’s wrap is 100 per cent good news for destinations. Praise be!

WA creates $14.4m funding package for tourism industry

The McGowan government has launched a multimillion-dollar recovery package to support small tourism operators across the state, to adapt and refocus their businesses in the COVID-19 landscape.

With some regional travel and other restrictions being cautiously eased from Monday, as part of the WA Roadmap, the state government’s Tourism Recovery Program will “enable tourism operators to prepare for a staged return to business” in a new environment.

The $14.4 million initiative includes two funding programs, with an initial $10.4 million in one-off cash grants for up to 1,600 individual small businesses around the state.

The $6,500 grants will provide immediate support to eligible tourism operators with annual taxable wages of less than $1 million, including accommodation, attraction, tour and transport businesses.

The second, the $4 million ‘Tourism Business Survival Grants’ package, will be available for tourism operators dealing with exceptionally difficult circumstances, with grants of $25,000 to $100,000 available.

Tourism Malaysia appoints new Sydney director

Tourism Malaysia has appointed Tuan Razali Tuan Omar as the new director of its Sydney office.

Tuan Razali joins after 25 years with Tourism Malaysia, and has undertaken a diverse range of roles in tourism promotions across Europe, the United States, the Middle East, South East Asia and domestic markets.

He has held senior roles in international marketing, special interest unit, special events, research, advertising and domestic promotions for Tourism Malaysia, and spearheaded its Dubai office over the course of five years.

SATC welcomes back locals with eased intrastate travel restrictions

To celebrate travel restrictions easing in South Australia, the South Australian Tourism Commission has released a playful ‘20 to 1’ countdown video featuring some of South Australia’s most well-known faces and supporters.

From the likes of celebrity chef, Gary Mehigan, to past and present sporting legends, international artist Hans, along with SA’s media personalities and tourism operators, the video culminates in the South Australian Premier and Tourism Minister, Steven Marshall, welcoming intra-state visitors back to South Australia’s beautiful tourism regions.

South Australian can now stay overnight in a range of unique accommodation options, including caravan parks and campgrounds, and make the most of outdoor dining in cafes and restaurants (following social distancing guidelines).

Among those to open is Wilpena Pound Resort, located in the heart of the Flinders Ranges – an ideal spot for road trips, which is expected to be popular with South Australians keen to hike, camp and four-wheel drive.

The resort’s management team has put in place several measures to ensure the health and safety of its guests, including allocating powered campsites, limiting the number of campers to four per booking, and encouraging online bookings.

Further measures include pre-booking of communal areas, encouraging cleanliness in bathrooms and requiring guests to sign a health declaration form on arrival at the campground.

Frankie the porcupine visits the giraffes at Memphis Zoo

Frankie visits the giraffes.

We love how curious our giraffes are. ?The real question is does Frankie notice he’s being watched or he notices but doesn't care. What do you think? ?#bringingthezootoyou #closedbutstillcaring

Posted by Memphis Zoo on Tuesday, 5 May 2020

While travellers are unable to travel or visit Memphis Zoo for themselves, the team have been busy keeping those at home up to date, and sharing behind-the-scenes footage from the zoo and virtual animal encounters.

As part of this, Memphis Zoo recently captured video of one of its porcupines named Frankie going for a leisurely walk through the empty zoo.

While on his walk, the video shows Frankie gaining quite the team of spectators as he passes by a group of curious giraffes.

As he walks by the giraffe exhibit, seemingly unaware of all the attention he is receiving, the giraffes can be seen following Frankie along and tilting their heads to try and capture a glimpse of the animal passing by.

Sunshine Coast offers ‘A Taste of Escape’ with new sensory marketing

Visit Sunshine Coast is launching an innovative new campaign to inspire future travel to the Sunshine Coast in anticipation of a significant relaxation of travel guidelines across Queensland after 12 June.

‘A Taste of Escape’ uses state-of-the-art ‘Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response’ techniques to provide sensory sensations through a wide range of sounds that capture the “essence” and “richness” of the Sunshine Coast’s experiences and attractions, Visit Sunshine Coast said.

Sounds captured include beaches, everglades, wilderness, and some of the region’s famous attractions to provide a ‘taste’ of what the destination offers and to inspire overnight stays following relaxation of travel restrictions from 12 June.

For more information about the campaign, click here.

Agents invited on a ‘Swiss-capade’

Credit: Switzerland Tourism

To keep the Swiss alpine dream alive, Switzerland Tourism is inviting agents on a ‘Swiss-capade’ via a series of live webinars, where generous spot prizes will be up for grabs along the way.

Taking place bi-weekly, agents will have the chance to not only hear from, but also interact with key partners from Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, Interlaken, the Jungfrau Region and Jungfrau Railways, the Schilthorn (aka James Bond Mountain), Zermatt, and the Swiss Travel System.

Agents can expect to hear about product updates and new developments, as well as crucial advice on Switzerland’s recovery plan over the next couple of years.

Starting 19 May and ending 9 June, the webinars will run from 3pm AEST for a maximum of 30 minutes per session.

Agents are also advised that while the webinars will be recorded for replays, only live participants will be able to win the prize giveaways. Prizes to be won include Victorinox backpacks, Victorinox toiletry bags and Victorinox table knives.

Agents can head here to register.

Slow down with Los Cabos Tourism Board

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico (Los Cabos Tourism Board/Ben Horton)

The Los Cabos Tourism Board has been working with a facilitator of music therapy to develop 15 different online meditation sessions, using the sounds of nature to encourage emotional stability for all those who need it.

The 15-minute sessions include sounds of water, the desert, rivers, wood, wind and more combined with ancestral, classical and baroque music.

According to the tourism board, the program was created to be applied Monday to Friday for a three week cycle, best employed in the morning when you wake up or right before bed to encourage balance and positive energy into the work week.

The program is completely free, available in both English and Spanish and accessible to everyone here.

In Los Cabos, Mexico, connection to land and a love of nature are two of the most prominent contributions to the wellness of the Baja people. Los Cabos Tourism hopes the experience will shed similar light to those around the world who need it during this time.

Learn happiness skills from the happiest people in the world

‘Rent a Finn goes Virtual’ is a new social media initiative that lets people in on the Finnish way of life and daily routines for feeling happier, while staying at home and dreaming about their next trip.

The campaign picks up from Visit Finland’s global ‘Rent a Finn’ campaign launched in 2019. In addition to the live stream series that will showcase how to eat with a Finn, relax with a Finn or be active with a Finn, you can apply for an exclusive one-to-one session with ‘virtual happiness guides’.

For more information, click here.

 ‘Bula spirit’ remains strong in Fiji during COVID-19

Tourism Fiji is reminding the world of the power of the ‘Bula spirit’.

In Fiji, ‘Bula’ is more than just a greeting. It is a wish for happiness, good health, and the energy of life.  Fijians are known for being rich with the ‘Bula spirit’ and their desire to help through acts of kindness and generosity.

As such, Fijians are sharing this spirit in several ways, including the establishment of a barter service, Barter for Better Fiji, which was started during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for Fijians who are now short on cash to still collect items they need.

Almost 15 per cent of the entire country are now using the platform.

Janet Lotawa, co-founder and director of Rise Beyond the Reef, has turned her non-profit organisation that helps Fijians become income earners through community made crafts (tote bags, rugs, jewellery)  to now make affordable fabric protective face shields for communities and organisations.

Lotawa is also distributing to families in need so that medical-grade masks remain available for their healthcare workers, as this supply is extremely limited.

Likewise, Five Marriott International Fiji Resorts – The Westin Denarau Fiji Resort & Spa, Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sheraton Denarau Villas, Sheraton Tokariki and Marriott Momi Bay Fiji – have teamed together to set up the “Solia Lesu” (Fijian for “Give Back”) by Marriott giveback foundation.

The Resorts are working together to provide meals to their staff and communities, giving interest free FJ$100 per week loans to staff and donating mattresses and linen for mandated quarantine areas.

In addition, Kiwi brothers Steve and Nick Darling who run VoliVoli Beach Resort and Ra Divers in the Suncoast have started a diving internship programme to help shape the lives of locals in Rakiraki.

During curfew and social distancing regulations to help Fiji combat COVID-19, The Pearl Pacific Resort is offering free accommodation for Police Special Response Units in the Pacific Harbour region.

Join AWS in supporting the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit

African Wildlife Safaris (AWS) is encouraging travellers and travel professionals to consider donating to the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU).

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, conservation groups that depend on tourism revenue are facing pressure to continue operations, with the threat extending to VFAP.

A long-time supporter of the VFAPU, African Wildlife Safaris has raised $134,647 for the organisation, with its last donation of approximately $1,785 made on 27 April 2020.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help raise vital funds for the VFAPU. To donate, click here. Please note that donations made are in US dollars.


Featured image: iStock/sara_winter


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

The Globus family of brands will now require travellers to show proof of vaccination

If you’ve got clients booked to join any Globus, Cosmos, Avalon Waterways or Monograms trip, you’d better pray they’re not anti-vaxxers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas to resume 12 international routes from 18 December

by Ali Coulton

If all goes to plan, 18 December will now be known as the beginning of the end of Australia’s overseas travel ban hellscape. Coincidentally, it’s also our deputy editor’s birthday!

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Longest-running CEO of any major hotel company calls time on career

BWH Hotel Group’s longtime president and CEO is retiring, with an Esky, BBQ tongs and Big Mouth Billy Bass Singing Fish mooted as possible leaving gifts.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

ETG agents score access to thousands of custom trips via Designer Journeys

The company’s network of independent agents can now impress clients with access to loads of tailorable itineraries and expert advice.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Coral Expeditions launches new summer sailings along South Australia’s wild coast

The five new journeys all take place intrastate, so even the toughest border closures can’t put a stop to these babies. As long as your clients live in SA, that is.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

The Wiggles Team Up With Tourism Australia To Show Kids How To Travel “The Wiggly Way”

The Wiggles are teaching kids how to road trip across Australia. Rule one: pack a fruit salad and a few hot potatoes to snack on.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Sydney Airport receives another takeover bid

Will it be a case of third time lucky for the consortium of investors? Not if “Rocket” Rod Sims finds any glaring problems with the deal.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Federal Court blocks Princess Cruises’ attempt to ban US and UK passengers from class action

The judge said blocking the passengers from joining the class action could risk bringing “the administration of justice into disrepute”, which doesn’t sound ideal if you ask us.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

UK scraps vaccine passports, as PM outlines new COVID plan for winter

Boris Johnson has caved in to pressure from his own party, which argued the vaccine passport plan would be an infringement on human rights.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Celebrate the planet on the first-ever World Sustainable Traveller Day!

TW staff are celebrating this momentous occasion by heading to our local cafés to refill our KeepCups not once, not twice, but a whopping THREE times. Cue the coffee jitters.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: New video showcases the dizzying luxury of Vienna

by Sponsored by the Austrian National Tourist Office

Get a glimpse of one of Europe’s most luxurious destinations through a flash new video that uncovers the opulence of Austria’s capital.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Richard Munro returns as CEO of the Accommodation Association

Munro, who even had a brief stint at the Cronulla Sharks after exiting the association, has returned to his old stomping ground.

Share

CommentComments