Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Avis’ charity auction, Busabout’s Asia deal, TrekAmerica’s new tours + MORE

This week’s Road & Rail Wrap is much like The Ghan or the Trans-Siberian Highway… in that it’s long.

Avis raises over $15K for charity at ‘Art of Discovery’ auction

Car rental provider Avis has raised over $15,000 at a charity auction for R U OK? and Cure Kids.

The Sydney event saw Avis auction off the artwork from its ‘Art of Discovery’ campaign, heroing creative work from 12 local artists who this year embarked on road trips in Avis rentals across the Tasman to inspire their artwork.

The auctioned pieces included Jacob Spokes’ take on Lightning Ridge in north-western New South Wales, where he retraced his father’s footsteps as a miner, and Rachel Hirabayashi’s trip to Southland, where she was inspired to capture the calmness of the landscape.

Other art featured included work by Australian-based artists Sally Willbanks and Belynda Henry, as well as New Zealand artists Angela Maritz and Kris Waldin.

The highest-selling piece on the night was Lake Pukaki with Aoraki/Mt Cook in the distance by New Zealand artist Holly Zanbergen, selling at $2,700.

Busabout encourages travellers ‘Lose Yourself to Asia’ with new deal

Busabout is offering 10 per cent off 2020 Asia trips when booked and paid for in full by 18 December 2019.

Travellers can save on some of Busabout’s most popular and newest Asia adventures, including the ‘Ultimate Vietnam Adventure’ (17 days starting from $1943 per person) and the ‘Cambodia Adventure’ (eight days starting from $962 per person).

The ‘Lose Yourself to Asia’ deal is on sale now until 18 December 2019 for departures between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 (excluding Halong Bay). The promo code is ‘ASIAEB’.

TrekAmerica unveils new tours for 2020

Small-group youth road trip specialist TrekAmerica has announced a treat of new adventures for 2020.

Trekkers will be able to get their spooky on during a Halloween-themed tour of the Deep South, island-hop around Hawaii, camp and cook-out in Texas, and drive along the legendary Pacific Coast Highway.

Bookings until 4 November will receive up to 15 per cent off tours departing before 31 March 2020, while tours departing between 1 April and 30 September 2020 will receive 10 per cent off.

To add an extra sweetener for those travelling during the North American summer period, Trek have halved the deposit, meaning your clients only need to front-up NZD$90 to secure their place.

For more info and/or to book, email sales@trekamerica.com.au or call 1300 157 153.

Nomadic Knights announces new southern India motorbike tour

Adventure seekers and motorbike enthusiasts can see the origins of the iconic Royal Enfield motorbike before taking the company’s 500cc Bullets on a brand new 14-day ride through south India to the golden beaches of Goa on Nomadic Knights’ ‘Bullets to Beaches’ tour in 2020.

For a limited time, Nomadic Knights is offering a US$500 discount on its new 14-night ‘Bullets to Beaches’ ride, beginning on 31 October 2020 in Chennai, India. The discount is available for bookings made before 30 November 2019. The promo code to use when booking is ‘BTB500’.

Railway Adventures takes inaugural Capertree Valley Explorer private journey to Mudgee

Taking a privately-chartered heritage train to NSW wineries, museums and a secret mountain retreat has proved a huge success for Australia’s exclusive rail-themed tour operator, Railway Adventures.

Hosted by owner Scott McGregor, 90 guests enjoyed the rare opportunity to journey through the Blue Mountains and Capertee Valley on the privately chartered retro-restored train Capertee Valley Explorer (also known as The Blue Zephyr) from Sydney to Mudgee during the October long weekend.

The classic train, complete with dining, lounge and sitting cars, transported guests to the heritage town of Rylstone and onto Mudgee for a food and wine extravaganza, culminating with a sunset soiree at McGregor’s private rail-themed retreat, Ruwenzori, on top of the Great Dividing Range. 

Utracks offers opportunity to meet Camino expert and author John Brierley

John Brierley

Are your clients considering a Camino experience next year and want advice and tips?

UTracks has announced an evening of inspiration and reflection on Wednesday 23 October with universally respected Camino expert and author John Brierley as keynote speaker.

Brierley will discuss the many Camino routes that exist across Europe and how pilgrims can spread economic and environmental impacts by exploring less well-known paths.

He will also explore how taking time out from everyone’s normal lives to walk a Camino leads to self-discovery and reflection.

UTracks Camino expert Jaclyn Lofts will also be on hand to present a wide range of Camino trails on offer for walking and cycling, including new trips such as Sicily’s Magna Via Francigena and Spain’s Camino Sanabrés and the Lighthouse Way.

Interested attendees must register to attend and can do so here.

Taxi service in Mackay region boosted through new partnership

Taxi company 13cabs has teamed up with Mackay Whitsundays Taxis in order to deliver a better-resourced and service-focused offering for the people of Mackay and The Whitsundays in Queensland.

Mackay Whitsundays Taxis’ new partnership with 13cabs will see all local taxis enhanced with distinctive 13cabs branding, along with a dedicated 24/7 contact centre and a way to book, track and pay for their next cab ride via the 13cabs app.

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Events

Women in Travel Awards 2020 postponed

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Hotels

Airbnb commits $400m to hosts to cover COVID-19 cancellations

by Christian Fleetwood

The short-stay accommodation giant has also secured a $1.6 billion investment from two private equity firms.

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Aviation

Airline staff “incredibly fearful” about operating repatriation flights

Qantas will reportedly recruit cabin crew staff from a New Zealand subsidiary, after a call for Australian volunteers for scheduled repatriation flights failed.

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Travel Agents

“You can make a difference – just keep it simple”: Aussie agent’s plea to airlines

An Aussie travel agent has called for airlines to simplify the way they distribute information, to help ease the stress the current system is placing on advisors.

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Cruise

Majority of Greg Mortimer passengers test positive for COVID-19

Aussie cruise passengers on board the Greg Mortimer, who have been in lockdown since 22 March, have finally received word they will be flying home in the next few days.

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Destinations

Museum challenges fans to recreate artworks at home

LA’s Getty Museum has issued an artistic challenge to its social media followers, and the results are equal parts clever and hilarious.

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Cruise

Cruise Wrap: CMW and Hurtigruten extend suspensions, Carnival’s new shareholder + MORE

Travel Weekly is doing its best to prevent you from watching Netflix’s entire content catalogue with plenty of news in this week’s Cruise Wrap.

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Travel Agents

From sundowners to Zoom yoga: How Bench Africa is keeping agents engaged

In a time of self-isolation and social distancing, keeping personal touch as a key part of your business is more important than ever. Bench Africa is doing this in spades.

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Destinations

British police dye ‘Blue Lagoon’ black to deter tourists during COVID-19 lockdown

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Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Spencer Travel’s Penny Spencer

We’ve given our Midweek Interview a facelift to suit the times, starting off with the managing director of Spencer Travel and industry legend Penny Spencer.

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Aviation

Qantas crew who tested positive for COVID-19 were not required to quarantine

Despite later testing positive for COVID-19, four members of Qantas’ cabin crew were not required to quarantine after operating a repatriation flight from Chile.

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Destinations

Austrian authorities face possible class action over COVID-19 outbreak at ski resort

Authorities in the Austrian state of Tyrol are facing a potential class-action lawsuit over their handling of a COVID-19 outbreak at a popular ski resort.

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