Here’s the latest news from wholesalers and tour operators, all wrapped up courtesy of Travel Weekly…
TTC commits to keeping Australia beautiful
In honour of the annual Keep Australia Beautiful Week, The Travel Corporation (TTC) has pledged to continue its efforts to play a part in working towards a cleaner and sustainable Australia through ongoing initiatives both on trips and carried out by staff as volunteer work.
#KABweek2020 (August 17 to 23), raises awareness about the simple things we can all do in our daily lives to reduce our impact on the environment and encourage action.
Protecting ourselves from the spread of COVID-19 has led to drastic changes to the way we live – from staying at home more to increasing our hygiene practices. Items like single-use food and beverage containers, face masks, hand sanitiser and gloves are now in high demand. All with the potential to end up as litter in our beautiful country.
TTC’s staff have committed to picking up rubbish in their local area to prevent it ending up in our oceans; outside of the week, staff are provided with two paid volunteer days each year, with many having already spent that time planting trees, beach cleans and even ocean cleans by kayak!
Below are just a few trips where guests are able to participate in to Keep Australia Beautiful, not just for the week, but ongoing:
- On AAT Kings’ ‘Tasmania Wonders’, guests are encouraged to pick up 10 pieces of rubbish that goes towards cleaning up the foreshore and beachfront area in the township of Penguin.
- On Trafalgar’s ‘Perfect Tasmania’, guests will make a difference by visiting a sustainability program and help volunteers pot native plants at a local not-for-profit nursery.
- On Insight Vacations’ ‘Tasmania’s Food, Whiskey and Wine’ holiday, guests visit the Lilydale Falls and join a local expert for a walk through native bushland and learn about plant regeneration, growing native trees and riverbank restoration, before taking part in planting some new trees themselves.
- On Contiki’s ‘Eastern Escape’ travelling through the Whitsundays, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney and Byron, guests can take part in the #Take3fortheSea movement – a simple concept, when they leave the beach or a park, they’re encouraged to take three pieces of rubbish with them. To put that in perspective, on just one Contiki trip, that equates to 450 pieces of rubbish being collected.
World Expeditions unveils Australian Cycle Tours brand for self-guided cyclists
World Expeditions has launched a brand specialising in a new range of local, self-guided cycling adventures designed to offer active travellers maximum flexibility, affordability and convenience.
Australian Cycle Tours itineraries are diverse enough to be suitable for introductory cyclists, including families with young children, through to experienced cyclists looking for a challenge.
While there are a couple of guided experiences on offer, the vast majority of the new range is self-guided, offering flexible itineraries that include accommodation, bike hire, luggage transfers, route notes & maps, expert advice and GPS information. Many offer optional e-bikes.
Adventure World Travel supports FOUR PAWS pledge + marks World Elephant Day
Adventure World Travel has shown its support for animal protection organisation, FOUR PAWS, in taking a pledge to support their current campaign #ProtectMillions, which aims to end trading of dog and cat meat in Southeast Asia.
The tour operator’s pledge represents support from the tourism industry that will assist FOUR PAWS in their lobbying efforts with governments, ministers for tourism and tourism boards in Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam, where these practices are unfortunately common.
Fellow travel operators and tourism boards are encouraged to join Adventure World Travel in signing the pledge and helping Four Paws on their mission to make a difference in South East Asia. For more information on joining the Tourism Industry Pledge click HERE and digitally pledge your support HERE.
Last Wednesday was World Elephant Day, which aims to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian African elephants and raise awareness of the numerous threats they face including poaching, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity. Adventure World Travel has created this video with Mark ‘Butch’ Butcher at Jozibanini Camp in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park to mark the occasion, and learn more about these magnificent animals.
Connecting to wildlife and the natural world through travel is a great privilege. Unfortunately, and unknowingly to a lot of travellers, many elephant experiences are traumatic and abusive for elephants.
In honour of #WorldElephantDay, The TreadRight Foundation has also released TreadRight’s Guide to Elephant-Friendly Experiences. In partnership with Wildlife SOS (the TreadRight Foundation-funded project which works to rescue and rehabilitate elephants and other wildlife in distress in India), TreadRight has developed this guide so travellers can ensure their elephant experiences are ethical and free of animal cruelty.
Botanica’s homegrown highlights of Australia celebrating 20 years with new tours
Celebrating 20 years of uncovering the world’s most enchanting gardens, Botanica World Discoveries is embracing its proud Australian heritage with the recent expansion to its range of garden tours. These journeys are specially designed for travellers seeking a more bespoke experience closer to home.
Each Botanica discovery is carefully curated to pique the interest of gardeners and non-gardeners alike, offering insightful experiences along the way. All trips are accompanied by an expert Botanical Guide and incorporate visits to private gardens, as well as iconic attractions along with art, music and gourmet experiences in capital cities and regional towns.
New tours include:
- Eight-day ‘Norfolk Island History & Gardens’, departing 12 April and 10 October 2021. Priced from $4,995 per person, twin share.
- Eight-day ‘Murray River Red Gum & Gardens’ by Paddle Steamer & Colours of Bright, departing 24 April and 11 September 2021. Priced from: $5,995 per person, twin share.
Botanica is also set to launch a new guided tour for Lord Howe Island, NSW and Tasmania in Autumn, with plans also for Kangaroo Island and Flinders Ranges tours.
Indigenous travel experiences with Crooked Compass
Crooked Compass invites your clients to experience Indigenous culture first-hand through immersive travel experiences, led by expert local guides who connect you to the land, sea and sky, and our rich history. Witness millennia-old artworks, sample bush tucker and learn the stories of age-old wisdom.
The Australian owned, small-group tour operator works with Indigenous guides across all its Australian itineraries, with the goal of promoting the education and respect of Indigenous culture within the wider Australian community.
To see what’s on offer, go HERE.
Health and safety measures are taken into consideration, with travellers not entering Indigenous communities to limit physical exposure, whilst social distancing and other COVID safe measures are also in place.
New BDM for InsideJapan Tours
InsideJapan has welcomed its new business development manager, Paige Kelly. With extensive involvement in the travel and tourism industry across Southeast Asia and Australia, Kelly recently moved to InsideJapan’s hometown of Brisbane.
She commenced her travel industry career in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam working with a Southeast Asian luxury destination management company, furthering her experience as a business development/sales manager at luxury river and ocean cruise companies in Melbourne.
Kelly’s new role will act as a bridge between InsideJapan’s travel partners and the expert reservations team in their Brisbane office. She will work closely with marketing manager Harry Sargant.
The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka releases new ‘Ceylon Collective Care’ package for 2021
The team at The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka believe it’s a good time to move on from ‘self-care’ and focus not only on yourself, but also those closest to you.
As such, The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka has created a special ‘Ceylon Collective Care’ package for your client and their friends can enjoy an easy tropical island retreat aimed at ‘Health & Wellbeing’ with a sustainable tourism theme.
The eight-night package is based on the west coast of the island and guests are able to unwind shortly after touchdown and wake up in a beachside hotel on the Indian Ocean.
From there, guests will stay at The Mudhouse, an eco-lodge, spread throughout a large expanse of forest on the outskirts of a small village in Sri Lanka, flanked by lakes and blessed with abundant birdlife, wildlife and natural beauty.
The next stay is for sun, sand and surf in Kalpitya. Finally a night in Colombo (a chance to get to the infamous Ministry of Crab) and staying at the eclectic boutique property, Aathma (which hit many people’s radars when Margot Robbie staying relatively recently).
For full details and bookings, email email@example.com.
Tour East initiatives for safe travel
Asia specialist DMC Tour East has been working during the global travel shutdown to ensure they’re ready once the borders reopen.
In line with this, they’ve compiled a set of health and safety travel standards which are being implemented across the group in all countries, which meet all the requirements of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Tour East is, therefore, able to carry the WTTC Safe Travels stamp.
In addition to Safe Travels Protocols, Tour East has also put together a list of country-specific COVID-19 updates, travel information and restrictions for destinations in preparation for the return of international travel. This information will be updated regularly, to ensure the very latest travel news and updates are available.
69 Tours releases ‘Treasure Hunt Tours’
Melbourne-based small-group and private tour operator 69 Tours has developed a new range of quirky and unique tours to be launched in Melbourne and Sydney this summer.
‘Treasure Hunt Tours’ are family-friendly sightseeing and adventure tours that take participants to a number of beautiful locations where they get to experience the thrill and excitement of metal detecting while enjoying the beauty, and learning about the history, of the location itself.
Youngsters are well-catered for with the child-friendly equipment weighing just one kilogram. Each tour begins with guests being picked up from a negotiated location and transported in a luxury BMW to the first location where they participate in a short workshop on equipment use.
At the completion of the workshop, participants are given a complimentary souvenir coin purse to “stash” their finds, and the treasure hunt begins.
Melbourne Treasure Hunt tours begin in October and conclude in April, with a break in January during which time the Treasure Hunt tours are conducted in Sydney.
Melbourne Treasure Hunt 101 is a budget-priced, two-hour introductory tour, starting at $50 per person, in which two locations are explored. This tour includes complimentary drinks, souvenir coin purse, special present, as well as use of equipment.
The more comprehensive, Melbourne Treasure Hunt tour of 4-hour duration, has all the inclusions of the introductory tour, plus an additional location to explore, dinner, as well as an additional workshop on silver coin cleaning. The price of this tour starts at $100 per person.
The Sydney Treasure Hunt tours begin at $75 per person and have three variants of durations of between two to six hours, with all the inclusions of the Melbourne Treasure Hunt tours.