What were the biggest stories of 2017?

Daisy Doctor

2017, it’s time to say goodbye. At times you were wonderful, at others you were outright ridiculous.

The year was so jam-packed with cultural, global and local events, one could be blamed for forgetting what happened two weeks ago, let alone 12 months ago.

Here at Travel Weekly, we’re particularly proud of what we’ve achieved this year.

We hosted the fascinating Travel DAZE forum in September, and the utterly inspirational Women in Travel Awards just last month.

We’ve laughed, we’ve cried and now, it’s time to take a three-week-long nap.

But before we shut our eyes and count sheep, let’s take a walk through the annals of 2017 history.

No one likes missing out on a trending story, so just in case you did, you can officially bid your FOMO farewell as we revisit the biggest story of each month from the last year.

We’ve also paired them with the most memorable moment of each month, just to make this 2017 refresher even more thorough.

So without any further ado ladies and gents, here are the top stories of 2017.


The month of the dreaded ‘Envelopegate’.


Yep, you might’ve already forgotten, but in January of this year, Warren Beatty announced La La Land as the Oscar-winning picture for 2017. Too bad it was actually Moonlight.

In the travel space, everyone was still dealing with the Trump election like an unshakeable hangover no amount of Nurofen could fix.

It makes sense then, that the month’s biggest story was this:

US Visa Waiver for Australians under Trump threat


We might receive some criticism for this one.


But February 2017 was unquestionably the month of Beyoncé, whose pregnancy announcement over Instagram garnered more than 11 million likes.

For us travel nerds, we found entertainment in, dare we say it, a scandalous story which featured former Gold Coast mayoral candidate John Abbott suing Royal Caribbean Cruises due to a passport debacle. Tsk tsk.

Aussie Sues cruise line and travel agency over holiday chaos


This month’s moment is a little left of field, or should we say left of foot?


You may not have heard or remember, but in mid-March, the world’s largest dinosaur footprint at 1.7 metres was found in Kimberley, Western Australia. Pretty cool huh?

On the opposite end of the news spectrum, TW readers fell in love with the idea of a group of agents hitting the silver screen.

This made it into the top 5 most read stories for the whole year!

Meet the hosties on new ‘Travel Guides’ show


In our April our lives changed.


Ok, that’s a little over-dramatic, but they were hugely impacted by the release of The Handmaid’s Tale. We still get chills thinking about it.

In travel, readers pounced on this story about a couple’s “trip of a lifetime” which quickly turned into a “nightmare”, leaving them thousands of dollars out of pocket, and without the holiday they were so looking forward to.

Aussie couple’s “nightmare” US holiday


This was a powerful, but very strange month.


May saw the release of another female-lead smash hit, Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot broke boundaries, stereotypes and buildings, and killed some Nazis in the process. It was a really good time.

However, much more pressingly, the world of travel asked a difficult question, ‘Were bananas ever not gluten-free’? Yes, this fruity story was the highest-read of the month.

ANA responds to gluten-free banana incident


This was a month of resilience on all accounts.


In early June, Ariana Grande hosted and headlined Benefit Concert for victims of her Manchester concert bombing, featuring performances from Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry.

In travel, after a tumultuous few weeks for Qatar, a 70-year-old international aviation law was the airways saving grace after being blocked by neighbouring countries.

How Qatar Airways can stay in the air


We were preoccupied in July celebrating our birthday so missed the ‘big fight’.


Although, according to our sport-loving colleague, Jeff Horn defeating Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane, Australia was a “HUGE deal“. So there you go.

We weren’t the only ones celebrating it seems, as Flight Centre held its massive Global Gathering. No, we weren’t invited. Yes, we’re still bitter.

Sneaky social posts from Flight Centre’s Global Gathering


If there’s one thing we remember from year 9 science class, it’s to wear glasses when looking at a solar eclipse.


But this doesn’t apply to presidents, right? Because 2017 was the weird year it was, the biggest story of August was Donald Trump’s lack of eyewear while watching the solar eclipse. *Facepalm*.

Not wasting anytime after the Global Gathering, FC set its eyes on expansion. This was one of the final scoops in a series of acquisitions, and boy did you guys lap this news up.

Flight Centre acquires Travel Partners in Australia


September was a month of power.


A story you maybe missed but is sure to make you feel the warm and fuzzies; this month marked the first time ever a woman graduated from the US Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course. It was awesome.

In another powerful act of strength, Skroo promised the face of Flight Centre would not change, nor would its booking practices and reliable approach to travel.

We won’t consider rebranding: FC’s Skroo


October, what a mark this month made in the history books.


It would be remiss of us not to vote the biggest event of this month as the ousting of Harvey Weinstein. A man who once loomed over Hollywood for a number of years was taken down by a group of extremely courageous victims and journos. We salute you.

On an entirely different note, readers were obsessed with this story about waving goodbye to paper in favour of robocops, as the Aussie immigration department’s paper-based system went through a major shake-up.

This new visa applications tech will change the game


There was one thing that happened this month, and everything else paled in comparison.

It was the Women in Travel Awards! But we’ll get to that in a second. Another major world event was the engagement of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Ok, it wasn’t exactly a world event, but it definitely got our attention.

But more importantly, it was the Women in Travel Awards!! There was laughter, tears, bubbly and a bit more laughter. Naomi Simson gave a spectacular keynote and Intrepid’s Usha Mary stole the show with her powerful speech.

What a night it was.

Revealed! The shortlist for Women in Travel awards!


And that’s the end.


The year is about to be over. But as December is only half-way through, there isn’t a whole lot to report on just yet.

So here’s a fun story, this month saw the first ever pizza party be held in space by astronauts of the International Space Station.

On a more serious note, this has been our most read story of this month so far:

North Korean missile flies past Cathay Pacific plane mid-flight

So everyone, thank you so much for being the best readers an online travel mag could dream of.

We may not have voted for our person of the year, but that’s because it’s YOU.


SEE YOU IN 2018!


Leave a Reply


Bali travel forced to refund attendees after “underwhelming” event

A festival aiming to quench the thirst of those who would rather be in Bali right now was forced to issue refunds and offer free entry after attendees claim they were lied to.




ScoMo “in no hurry” to reopen Australia’s international borders

It appears the likelihood of more travel bubbles being announced soon is about the same as ScoMo’s beloved Sharkies winning the NRL Premiership this year … not good.




YIPPEE! Two-way trans-Tasman bubble finally kicks off

Today is the day, folks! As of midnight last night, the two-way trans-Tasman bubble is FINALLY open! Get the lowdown on NZ flights and tour discounts right here.




“Do not trust the GPS”: Google Maps places rural town 85km north of its actual location

According to the mayors of a handful of rural Aussie towns, this isn’t the first time the popular travel app has caused problems for them.



Travel Agents

“We call it the triple win”: Global Work & Travel launches new affiliate program

Have you been searching for ways to earn some much-needed moolah ever since JobKeeper ended? Here’s one that doesn’t involve busking on the street or spinning signs.




CLIA to welcome 18 new ships with virtual showcase

The association is bringing you all the latest vessel news from the maritime world with this exclusive showcase.




GM appointed to lead Best Western’s newest Aussie hotel

Australia’s newest luxe boutique hotel has named its GM who, according to the accompanying press photo, has a strong beard game.



Travel Agents

Savenio restructures commission model

There’s been plenty of tszujing happening over at Savenio lately. However, that’s not to suggest the “Fab Five” paid the agency network a visit.




Qantas still committed to October restart for international flights, says Joyce

Qantas’ CEO doesn’t plan on letting a few vaccine “speedbumps” get in the way of the flying kangaroo going international in October.




Florida Governor sues CDC and Biden administration, demanding resumption of cruising

The lawsuit claims the US government is “singling out” the cruise industry and costing the state billions.




Man blows almost $20,000 after refusing temperature check at Disney World

Today, in what NOT to do at Disney World, we bring you reports of a man who blew almost $20,000 after getting kicked out for refusing a temperature check.



Road & Rail

Rail Europe launches fresh e-learning program for agents

Are you looking to get your rail bookings back on track? Go full steam ahead with this new online training tool.