Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Adelaide a Big Winner in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Adelaide will host the biggest game in limited overs cricket as part of its schedule of warm-up matches, three pool games and a quarter final for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

The draw has India playing its opening match in the tournament in Adelaide against their traditional rivals Pakistan on Sunday 15 February 2015.

The last time these two sides played against each other during the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June, the game drew an estimated international viewing audience of one billion people. Tickets to the match in Birmingham were sold out in under three hours.

The schedule announced yesterday also guarantees that Adelaide will host a quarter final of the tournament featuring Australia should they make the knockout stage.

Premier Jay Weatherill said that Adelaide would never have a better opportunity to showcase the city and State to a world audience than at this event. "The Cricket World Cup is considered to be the third biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup," Mr Weatherill said.

"The Government, through the South Australian Tourism Commission, had a specific strategy in bidding for a schedule that would guarantee the maximum exposure for Adelaide and South Australia.

"What has been announced today exactly matches that strategy because not only will India be playing their first match on the opening weekend of the tournament in Adelaide, but they will based here for a week prior to that game playing warm-up matches, including one against Australia.

"It gives South Australia an outstanding opportunity to get significant leverage into India. The SATC will use the event to market the State as a tourism destination and other agencies will use the focus on Adelaide to highlight business and trade opportunities.

"Supporting our relationship with India, I have also extended an invitation to the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) to send a squad of young players from underprivileged backgrounds to Adelaide during that summer to train in our international class facilities.

"I hope this is an arrangement that will continue on into the future and will be a significant legacy from Adelaide hosting the event."

Mr Weatherill said having an England match (against Bangladesh) and another match featuring Pakistan were further bonuses in the Adelaide schedule.

ICC Cricket World Cup Local Organising Committee Chief Executive, John Harnden said the redeveloped Adelaide Oval and the State's range of tourist attractions made it an ideal host city. "Adelaide Oval is famous throughout the cricket world," Mr Harnden said.

"With its capacity increased to more than 50,000 and new world class spectator facilities, it is a great stage on which to play some of the biggest matches in the tournament come 2015.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the South Australian Government, the Tourism Commission and the South Australian Cricket Association to promote the tournament, the city and the State across Australia and New Zealand and around the world."

The Premier also paid tribute to the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) for their support in negotiating the venue requirements for Adelaide Oval.

The Chief Executive of the South Australian Cricket Association, Keith Bradshaw said the allocation of some of best matches was a great reward for patient South Australian cricket fans that will be enjoying their first cricket season at a redeveloped Adelaide Oval.

"The colour and excitement of a Team India at a World Cup will leave a lasting legacy for cricket and our focus on India acknowledges the importance of this emerging market," Mr Bradshaw said.

Premier Weatherill said that throughout the tournament the Southern Plaza at Adelaide Oval will operate as a giant fan zone with music and events reflecting the multicultural nature of the tournament, alongside sponsor activation zones and of course the opportunity to watch World Cup matches on the giant screens.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 runs from 14 February 2015 - 28 March 2015.

Adelaide's matches at Adelaide Oval are scheduled to be:
Australia v India - warm-up match - Sunday, 8 February 2015
India v qualifier - warm-up match - Thursday, 12 February 2015
India v Pakistan - pool match - Sunday, 15 February 2015
England v Bangladesh - pool match - Monday, 9 March 2015
Pakistan v qualifier - pool match - Saturday, 15 March 2015
Australia* v TBC - Quarter Final - Friday, 20 March 2015
*In the event Australia qualifies for the knock out stage.

MEKONG TOURISM ALLIANCE AWARDS: MEKONG'S MOST ACCLAIMED TRAVEL AWARDS

The Awards are celebrated annually to recognise the brightest tourism stars in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The Awards aim to instill a greater sense of pride and achievement for professionals and organisations, as well as serve as recognition for quality excellence in tourism and hospitality, across the tourism alliance countries.

Organised by the five Tourism Ministries, the MTAA is a key initiative from the five ministries in acknowledging and promoting quality and excellence for the tourism and hospitality industry in the region. The MTAA has received admirations internationally and is one of the highlights of the largest travel event in the Mekong – ITE HCMC.

All entries will be reviewed by an independent panel of international judges nominated by the five tourism ministries. The Awards Night will be held in conjunction with ITE HCMC Grand Opening Ceremony and Gala Dinner, to be held on the 11th September 2013, White Palace Convention Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

This major ITE HCMC highlight is attended by dignitaries, important personalities, international and regional hosted buyers, international and regional media, sponsors and exhibitors and invited guests. It is a night of impressive entertainment and guests will be treated to a first class gastronomic experience.

It is a night everyone looks forward to annually for its grandeur and great networking opportunities.

Interested companies can submit their entries online. Submission of entry is free of charge and companies can apply in more than one category. Details for the criteria of judging are available online, and all registrations will be reviewed by a panel of international judges. The Awards’ winners will be announced and awarded by the Tourism Ministers.


Deadline for Entry Submission: 16 AUGUST 2013
*Only companies registered in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam may apply.
 
MTAA will be awarding one winner per country for the following categories:
 
  • Airline of the Year
  • Outbound Travel Operator of the Year
  • Inbound Travel Operator of the Year
  • 5 Star Hotel of the Year
  • Resort Hotel of the Year
  • Eco-Tourism Destination of the Year
   
Click here to know more about MTAA 2013
Click here to register for the Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA)

South Australia Opens up to Booming Asian Tourist Market With AirAsia X Flights

AirAsia X will join South Australia's airline market as the only low-cost long-haul carrier after announcing a direct Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide route to begin in October this year.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill said the introduction of AirAsia X would make Adelaide an affordable destination for people and tourists from South East Asia, China and India. "We have been working hard to attract a low-cost international carrier and AirAsia X is a very welcome addition," Mr Weatherill said.

"These low-cost flights - five times a week from the end of November - will make South Australia a more affordable and appealing destination to tourists in our key Asian markets."

"AirAsia X's links into China will also help us capitalise on our fastest growing international market."

"With more affordable international links, we also hope to see more conferences in Adelaide and more international students being visited by family and friends.

"SA will now exceed its 2020 target for international airline seats into Adelaide. From November, we will welcome more than 12,200 international airline seats each week, well above the 11,500 target."

Tourism Minister Leon Bignell says economic modeling by the South Australian Tourism Commission suggests the new airline will create more than $30 million of local economic activity a year and create more than 170 jobs.

He said the State Government will set up a cooperative marketing agreement with the airline which will see South Australia's wildlife, food and wine and shopping experiences promoted throughout Malaysia.

"Through this low cost carrier we will be targeting new markets with deals designed to drive volume sales and larger numbers of visitors to our State," Mr Bignell said.

"AirAsia X has a strong track record of significantly increasing consumer demand for destinations when they enter a new market.

"We have a strong aviation strategy and our partnership with Adelaide Airport is paying dividends with two new international airlines secured within two years. It's an exciting time of growth for our international tourism potential."

AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani has been taking in South Australia's attractions over the past few days and says securing the Adelaide route had been a priority for the airline.

"Our goal since launching our first Australian service on the Gold Coast in 2007 was to operate in the five major mainland states, and we are proud to have accomplished this within six years," Mr Osman-Rani said.

"We are very excited to finally touch down in South Australia and bring some much needed competition to the skies.

"South Australia has a lot of diverse experiences to offer and has long been waited for on our network."

Adelaide Airport Ltd Managing Director Mark Young welcomed today's announcement by AirAsia X and said it would be the first international, low-cost carrier to fly to and from Adelaide.

"The arrival of AirAsia X will make international travel more accessible for South Australian travellers, as well as attracting overseas visitors to Adelaide." Mr Young said.

"We've been talking to AirAsia X since they first started looking to the Australian market in 2007, so it's great to see those discussions coming to fruition.

"Adelaide Airport has been the fastest growing international capital city airport in Australia over the past year, and today's announcement will provide a further boost to our expanding list of international services."

AirAsia X is part of the AirAsia group of airlines based in Kuala Lumpur and carries 16 million passengers each year to over 80 destinations. AirAsia X already flies to Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney while Air Asia flies into Darwin.

India Replaces Britain to Become Abu Dhabi’s Highest Tourism Market

As the international tourism trends in India augments adequately, the results are reaped by several other tourism hotspots. Abu Dhabi is the recent inclusion in the list. According to recent reports, India replaces Britain to become Abu Dhabi’s largest overseas tourist market, according to latest figures released by UAE authorities.

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said 80,179 Indian nationals stayed in the city’s hotels from January until the end of June, registering a 22 percent rise on last year. They accounted for 334,238 guest nights, which is up 43 percent on 2012 and stayed an average of 4.17 nights, an increase of 17 percent, said a TCA Abu Dhabi statement.

 “We are benefitting from increased destination awareness in India following the opening a year ago of a dedicated promotions office there and also of increased air access from the country following Etihad Airways’ equity stake in Jet Airways and the move by the Indian carrier of its Middle East hub to Abu Dhabi,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General of the TCA Abu Dhabi.
 
During the first six months 78,053 Britons stayed in the emirate’s hotels – a 9 percent increase on last year. They delivered 362,690 room nights, which was up 21 per cent and stayed for an average of 4.65 nights – 11 percent more than last year.
 
Germany came in as the third largest overseas market with 62,488 of its nationals staying – 27 per cent up on last year.

Russians are proving to be Abu Dhabi’s longest stayers checking in for an average of just over six nights, a 6 percent increase on 2012.

The survey also revealed that guests in Abu Dhabi are staying longer and that there have been significant increases in hotel occupancies and revenues.

Abu Dhabi’s strong performance was aided by a bumper June when guest arrivals rose 13 percent, guest nights increased 22 percent, revenues shot up by 13 percent, people stayed longer and occupancy increased by 6 per cent to 65 percent.

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has said India recorded the highest traffic Abu Dhabi International Airport for the first six months of 2013, with traffic growing by 18 percent over the same period last year, followed by Saudi Arabia, Germany, Thailand and the UK.

Sydney International Boat Show Open Tomorrow

The doors will open tomorrow for the running of the 46th Sydney International Boat Show. The event will also celebrate the 25th time it has been in the Darling Harbour Precinct.

With a long and proud tradition of bringing the joys of the boating lifestyle to its guests, many visitors make the voyage to Sydney on an annual basis. Its popularity is well known, being the largest recreational marine event in the Southern Hemisphere.

Whilst the boats and all the gear for them are the heroes of the show, it is also recognised that the entertainment and education package that is presented is very much a key factor that ensures the expected 65,000 visitors will have a great day out.

With the Exhibition Halls at capacity and the specially built marina in Cockle Bay accommodating over 160 vessels too big for the halls, show visitors will be treated to an enormous array of things to see and do.

Those wishing to visit the show can learn more about the varity of guest speakers and activities by visiting the shows website at www.sydneyboatshow.com.au or following the event on Facebook or Twitter.

Show Dates: Thursday 1st August to Monday 5th August

Hours: Halls 10 am to 8 pm, Marina closes at 6 pm

www.sydneyboatshow.com.au

A Tough Phase for the Inbound Tourism Market in China

China is facing a tough competition from the neighboring countries in terms of growth in the inbound tourism trends. International travelers are inclined to online searches and the search for Chinese tourism destinations are not at par with the other Asian countries like India or Thailand.

The inbound tourism to China from all the four largest source countries, including South Korea, Japan, the US and Russia, decreased in the first half of 2013, according to the National Tourism Administration.

The year-on-year growth of the search for Chinese destinations was only 7 percent in 2012, while the growth for India was 21 percent and Thailand was 19 percent, according to reports from Google.

“The inbound tourists were shunted to other Asian countries. Their inbound tourism is experiencing fast growth,” said Tang Hongbiao, Google’s general manager for large customer sales.

China’s inbound tourism market has been stagnant in recent years, although the scale of inbound tourism is still larger than outbound tourism.

Statistics from the China Tourism Academy show the number of inbound tourism to China was 133 million person-trips in 2012, a 1.7-percent year-on-year fall. The tourism trade deficit increased to more than $50 billion. The income of inbound tourism declined 0.3 percent compared with 2011.

South Korea, which is China’s largest inbound tourism source, had a 5.48 percent year-on-year decline in the first half of 2013. The reduction in tourists from Japan, the second-largest source country, was 25.5 percent.

The slowdown of the global economy and the appreciation of the yuan are being blamed for inbound tourism going down, but some insiders also pointed to service quality at Chinese destinations and poor promotions as significant. The inbound tourism market should look to improving its quality rather than just increasing quantity, he added.

Chinese destinations should understand more about inbound tourists’ demands and characteristics in order to make promotions more effective.

Chinese traditional culture, history and natural scenery are still the biggest draws for foreign travelers, according to Google’s report but travelers from different countries also have their own preferences. For example, Japanese travelers pay more attention to the natural scenery while travelers from the US are interested in culture and history.

Leisure travelers form the majority of China’s inbound visitors at 79 percent, but business travelers have about a 20 percent bigger budget for accommodation, Google said.

Google also suggested tourism agents should pay more attention to the Internet for promotional purposes because while the tourism industry is already an important client for Google globally, it is in its infancy in China.

Innovative Gold Coast Traveller App: The Ultimate Travel Companion

Honing its strength as a digital marketing innovator, Gold Coast Tourism has unveiled a destination app that is set to become one of Australia's most sought after travel companions.

Offered free of charge for the enjoyment of locals and the City's 11 million-plus visitors, the Gold Coast Traveller App has been developed by Gold Coast Tourism to meet visitor demands and boost tourism business.

"After months of research, development, and testing the Gold Coast Traveller App went live over the weekend with a 4.5 star rating from the App Store and overwhelming positive reviews from those first to download the product," said Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter.

"The App features a start-up directory of over 500 Gold Coast tourism businesses from attractions, tours, accommodation, restaurants, and events all searchable and bookable on the one device.

"We believe the Gold Coast Traveller App will reach more than 60,000 consumer downloads and drive 20,000 direct sales leads worth almost $1.8m to Gold Coast businesses in its first 12 months in market."

The Gold Coast Traveller App was conceived and developed with great support and consultation with Gold Coast City Council.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is one of those giving the App an early rave review.

"This is a great promotion and conversion tool for the Gold Coast tourism industry, it looks to be streets ahead of any other destination App in Australia and certainly as good as anything internationally," he said.

"It is an excellent example of Gold Coast leading the way with the product created by Gold Coast Tourism and developed by Burleigh company Phyd Creative in partnership with Varsity Lakes agency Blirt! "

"I like the focus on driving more visitor business for local operators and the aggressive targets Gold Coast Tourism has put on that objective, but I also think the App is equally as useful for locals just wanting to enjoy more of our fantastic city."

The Gold Coast Traveller App will engage and motivate consumers to get more out of their time on the Gold Coast with a range of more than eighteen features, many of which have not been seen together in Australian travel Apps before.

In particular the Hotspots features which provides the top ranked products and experiences as rated by other users. The Show and Save function which gives savvy visitors an immediate incentive to purchase everything from a meal to a Tiger Moth joy flight.

There is an augmented reality setting called GC Lens which displays all kinds of products, experiences, and offers around you through the camera screen on your device.

"Other very useful features such as Find My Friends, Locate My Vehicle, What's Near Me, Public Transport, and Flight Info generally reduce hassle for visitors," added Mr Winter.

"And of course every part of the App is fully integrated with the user's social media accounts so they can share their Gold Coast experiences with the world."

The Gold Coast Traveller App for iPhone and Android is currently available in the App Store. Versions optimised for the iPad and Android tablet will be released over the next four weeks.

To download the App, go to the App Store and search for "Gold Coast Traveller" or follow the link http://goo.gl/CiV0kS

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Trump SoHo Introduces Golden Week Package for Chinese

Trump SoHo New York has debuted a Golden Week Package to net outbound Chinese travellers during the Chinese National Day holiday in October.

Guests who book the Golden Week Package for a stay at the 391-room property will enjoy US$100 in credit for use at The Spa at Trump SoHo, a Trump Soho Shopping Card for access and exclusive discounts to premier boutiques such as Bloomingdale's, DKNY and La Perla, among others.

The package starts at US$595 and is valid for stays from September 15 to October 15.

Trump Soho New York has also ramped up its services and amenities to cater to the Chinese market, such as a recently launched in-room dining menu offering Chinese cuisine, and a Chinese language option on its website.

IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is delighted to formally confirm its support for IT&CMA and CTW 2013, which will take place on 1-3 October 2013 at the Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, Bangkok, Thailand.

PATA sees IT&CMA and CTW 2013 as an important platform for suppliers and buyers alike to strategically build business through unique networking and contracting opportunities. It is events such as this that demonstrate the full impact of the 'complete visitor economy' on the world economy. It is partially appropriate that the event be held in Asia, the center of the visitor economy.

Please visit www.itcma.com for more information.

5th Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards 2013

The most acclaimed travel awards in the Mekong region is closing entry submissions by 16 August 2013. The Awards is celebrated annually to recognise the brightest tourism stars in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The Awards aim to instill a greater sense of pride and achievement for professionals and organisations, as well as serve as recognition for quality excellence in tourism and hospitality, across the tourism alliance countries.

Organised by the five Tourism Ministries, the MTAA is a key initiative by the five ministries in acknowledging and promoting quality and excellence for the tourism and hospitality industry in the region. The MTAA has received admirations internationally and is one of the highlights of the largest travel event in the Mekong – ITE HCMC.

All entries will be reviewed by an independent panel of international judges nominated by the five tourism ministries. The Awards Night will be held in conjunction with ITE HCMC Grand Opening Ceremony and Gala Dinner, to be held on the 11th September 2013, White Palace Convention Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

This major ITE HCMC highlight is attended by dignitaries, important personalities, international and regional hosted buyers, international and regional media, sponsors and exhibitors, and invited guests. It is a night of impressive entertainment and guests will be treated to a first class gastronomic experience. It is a night everyone looks forward to annually for its grandeur and great networking opportunities.

Interested companies will have to submit their entries online. Submission of entry is free of charge and companies can apply for more than one category. Details for the criteria of judging are available online and all registrations will be reviewed by a panel of international judges. The Awards’ winners will be announced and awarded by the Tourism Ministers.

MTAA will be awarding one winner per country for the following categories:
  • Airline of the Year Outbound Travel Operator of the Year 
  • Inbound Travel Operator of the Year 
  • 5 Star Hotel of the Year 
  • Resort Hotel of the Year Eco-Tourism Destination of the Year

Click here for details and judging criteria:

TripAdvisor Names 10 Of The Quirkiest U.S. Accommodations


Kokopelli Cave B&B
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has announced 10 quirky  accommodations in the U.S., as chosen by TripAdvisor editors. Travelers seeking a unique lodging experience can hunker down in one of these far-out accommodations, which include a larger-than-life beagle, a historic ferry and a subterranean B&B.

“For travelers who want a truly unique experience on vacation and stories to tell for a lifetime, these funky properties will surely fit the bill,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor.

Caving Inn: 

Kokopelli Cave Bed and Breakfast, Farmington, New Mexico
Located 70 feet below the ground near the Four Corners region of the U.S., this one guestroom bed and breakfast offers more than the average digs. Travelers are invited to experience the 1,650 square foot dwelling that boasts Southwestern style furniture and decor, a full kitchen, washer/dryer, and even a relaxing flagstone hot tub. “This was a once in a lifetime experience! The cave is comfortable and has many homey touches,” commented a TripAdvisor traveler.

Variety Show: 

El Cosmico
El Cosmico, Marfa, Texas
Located in the southwest region of the Lone Star state, this 18-acre property gives travelers the option to stay in a trailer, tent or teepee. Restored trailers are complete with marine-varnished birch interiors, an eclectic collection of furniture and comfortable amenities including fans, heaters, refrigerators, and cooking supplies. A TripAdvisor traveler noted, “Two nights were not nearly enough – El Cosmico is such a charming funky place, comfortable and staffed with friendly people who want to help you have a great stay.”

Ferry Tale: 

Yankee Ferry, Red Hook, New York
Floating on the Hudson River in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn, this 1907 steel-hulled passenger vessel invites travelers to climb aboard and rest their heads in its spacious quarters. Guests can check out the boat’s “Polka Dot Garden” that boasts a variety of veggies while enjoying magnificent views of Manhattan. “This is by far the most unique and amazing place I have ever stayed. It is unlike anything else, blending adventure, history, and a sense of home all in one,” said a TripAdvisor traveler.


Ruffing it: 

Dog Bark Park Inn
Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, Idaho
Travelers visiting this bed and breakfast located 200 miles north of Boise will be glad to be in the doghouse. Guests are warmly welcomed as they enter the B&B built in the shape of a giant beagle, affectionately named “Sweet Willy,” and make their way to the loft room located in the pooch’s head. Amenities include complimentary breakfast, air conditioning, and as a pet-friendly property, lots of tail-wagging fun. “Simply put this is the best place we’ve ever stayed. A noble and absurd undertaking – made with love and care – Sweet Willy was fun, silly and cozy,” said a TripAdvisor traveler.

Lighthouse Living: 

East Brother Light Station, Point Richmond, California
Situated on a strait between San Francisco and San Pablo Bay, this Victorian lighthouse offers a romantic, one of a kind stay. Following a 10-minute ferry ride, travelers will immerse themselves in the stunning scenery and lavish guest rooms, and relish the exquisite, fresh fare. “It’s amazing that folks pass this hidden treasure on a daily basis and have no idea of the prospect of relaxation and solitude that awaits,” commented a TripAdvisor traveler.

Back to School: 

McMenamins Kennedy School, Portland, Oregon
Travelers will get a lesson in some old-fashioned fun at this converted schoolhouse. Fifty-seven former classrooms, still adorned with chalkboards, now house plush beds for guests to rest to their heads. Those interested in extracurricular activities can view a movie in the former auditorium or sip a beverage at the “Detention Bar.” A TripAdvisor traveler commented, “Beyond comparison, this hotel transformed from a former school, had all of the imagined charm and then some.”

Nature Nook: 

Starlight Llama Bed and Breakfast, Florence, Massachusetts
Twenty miles north of Springfield in western Massachusetts, travelers can connect with nature while enjoying an off-the-grid experience. Running on solar power and recognized in the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders™ program, guests at this bed and breakfast are invited to socialize with the property’s animals including emus, peacocks, and of course, llamas. “I really enjoyed my stay here, the rooms were clean and cozy, breakfast was delicious, and the animals were pretty awesome,” commented a TripAdvisor traveler.

Train Spotting: 

Red Caboose Getaway
Red Caboose Getaway, Sequim, Washington
Located at the picturesque junction of the Olympic Mountains and the Dungeness River, this locomotive lodging offers spectacular scenery atop of tracks. Travelers can climb aboard six themed caboose cars refurbished with modern amenities including mini refrigerators, hot tubs, and a collection of train-travel movies, and later enjoy a gourmet meal at the “Silver Eagle” zephyr dining car. “The decor is charming, thoughtful, railroad-authentic, playful and well appointed,” commented a TripAdvisor traveler.

Houseboat Haven: 

Green Turtle Floating B&B
Green Turtle Floating Bed and Breakfast, Boston, Massachusetts
Moored in Boston Harbor, this floating houseboat offers travelers a comfortable rest on the water. After a day of touring nearby sites along the Freedom Trail, guests can enjoy stunning views of the Boston skyline or unwind with luxurious amenities in one of two suites that offer private bathrooms, in-room kitchenettes, and Wi-Fi. A TripAdvisor traveler commented, “It was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months, and I felt so at ease in the comfort of this wonderful bed and breakfast.”

Masterpiece Hotel: 

21c Museum Hotel
21c Museum Hotel Bentonville, Bentonville, Arkansas
Located 200 miles northwest of Little Rock, this boutique hotel features its own museum for true art aficionados. Travelers will marvel at the rotating collection of contemporary exhibitions and dynamic installations, and will be equally inspired by the lodging’s gracious guest rooms designed by renowned architect Deborah Berke. A TripAdvisor traveler said, “Prepare to be surprised and delighted by this intriguing hotel and museum. From check-in to check-out, no detail was too small to escape the wonderful staff.”

Kiwi's Get a Taste of the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast food industry will increase its international profile by exhibiting at the Auckland Food Show this week.

As part of the Sunshine Coast culinary tourism group, Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL) will launch its new Official Food Guide and be represented by local foodie and New Zealand expat, Martin Duncan.
Martin, who runs Freestyle Escape Cooking School in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, said he was excited to showcase Sunshine Coast food to more than 35,000 New Zealanders.

“It’s a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people and introduce Kiwi's to the Sunshine Coast as a fabulous location for a short break away,” he said.

“The Official Food Guide will tempt their tastebuds with information about local producers, cooking schools, food attractions, markets, tours, festivals and award-winning restaurants - as well as tips on eating like a local.

“I'm looking forward to introducing consumers to new food experiences unique to the Sunshine Coast such as the whole paddock to plate experience, growing things and connecting with passionate local producers.”

The Auckland Food Show is the largest food expo in New Zealand that attracts around 35,000 consumers over 4 days (1 to–4 Aug).

The Sunshine Coast stand has been organised by the Sunshine Coast culinary tourism group which was formed to grow the region’s reputation as a world class food destination. The group is represented by SCDL, Tourism and Events Queensland, Sunshine Coast Council’s Seasons of the Sun and the local culinary industry.

In addition to creating the region’s Official Food Guide, the group has developed a food experience trail and last week exhibited at the Regional Flavours Festival in Brisbane.

Air New Zealand flies twice weekly from the Sunshine Coast to Auckland on Tuesdays and Sundays until October 13.

To view the eBook of the Official Food Guide, go to www.visitsunshinecoast.com.au.

Karma Spa to Launch Australian-Bali First – A New Powerful Life-Changing Wellness Program – Inspired Living

Making changes can be a huge personal challenge but now a new, unique, powerful program called Inspired Living that merges the ethereal voice, music and first-grade kinesiology skills of Australian songstress and composer Ani Neradilkova (AniKiko) will assist and facilitate you to make important life-changes.

September (8-13) sees the launch of this first, not-to-be-missed five-day personal development program and retreat at the exclusive, stunning, cliff-top Karma Kandara Resort, Uluwatu, Bali. The package includes treatments at Karma Spa, yoga, a wellness cuisine, open-air cinema and dinner on its private beach.

“This refined, exciting new program I’ve designed will use specific musical tones and my voice, combined with only the most effective kinesiology techniques to integrate into the body, mind and soul to create life-change and allow this change to continue when home,” said Ani.

“I have recently run an online webinar pilot program of what will take place in Bali and the results were amazing. The Karma program will be even more powerful in a face-to-face group, which is all about the synergy of the group as well as what I will teach. It will challenge, open and launch the intentions of those involved, reaching into their bodies and souls, allowing them to listen to parts of themselves they have never heard before.”

Ani tirelessly worked and reworked specific music tracks, which use an eclectic mix of sounds she has produced, ancient frequencies from tuning forks, Scalar Holographic ‘tones’, crystal singing bowls and last, but not least, her angelic voice, to transport you away from the everyday challenges to places where solutions and even magical possibilities can unfold.

“The music I’ve created helps people shift through limited beliefs, creative blocks and other barriers to living an inspired life of fun, fulfillment and purpose. The music uses entrainment whereby the binaural beats and continuous rhythm, similar to the heartbeat of 60 BPM causes the brainwaves and heart rate to synchronize while the unique melodies engage other brain centres. This differentiates it from other meditation music out there. The effective tools I will also use from my years of clinical kinesiology practise will further help instill change on a cellular level in the physical body,” said Ani.

“Karma Kandara is so special. Its physical location is at the bottom or base chakra of Bali and as in the body, this is where all our base emotions are born, this place reflects that in every way. I am delighted that that Karma Resorts are the first to receive this program. The gift of this workshop at such a star venue is in my opinion a match made in heaven!”

Ani has performed as a singer several times at Karma and guests are already in tune with her music at Karma Spas where her newly devised ‘Karma Rhythm Massage’ is on the menu - which has lifted the concept of ‘spa music’ to a higher frequency.

“We are now starting to pair all our signature rituals with specific soundtracks that are in sync with the actual movements of the treatments,” said Judy Chapman, Karma Resort’s global Wellness & Spa Curator.

“Most spas play random music to treatments but the idea behind the pairings is to offer the guest a deeper and more profound healing experience.”

Per person costs are for six nights (welcome dinner Sunday, 8 September, farewell dinner Friday, 13 September) based on villas selected being at full occupancy, program, spa treatments, yoga, meals and extras are in the table below. 

Inspired Living program package price  per person (excluding accommodation)Package Inclusions2 bed villa
Package for two people for 6 nights
3 bed villa
Package for three people for 6 nights
4 bed villa
Package for four people for 6 nights
5 Inspired living program sessions; daily a la carte breakfast ; daily 3 course wellness set lunch and 3 course wellness set dinner plus one herbal drink; 1:1 kinesiology; 2 hour body scrub; 3 karma massages; Balinese healing experience; 3 yoga sessions; 2 karma treatments; detox juice; infrared sauna; 4 Sounds of Solace CDs; Liquid Love CD. bonus 1:1 coaching session; villa and private pool

US$ 9,800++

US$12,500

US$15,760

All meals to be served in Di Mare Restaurant. Rates are subject to 21% tax and service charge. For bookings email res@karmaresorts.com or contact Reservations +62 361 848 2200.

You can sample Ani’s transformational music at this link http://anikiko.com/music/sounds-of-solace/

Saudi Arabia to Build World’s Largest Metro Rail System in Riyadh

The Saudi Arabian government awarded $22.5 billion in contracts to three foreign-led consortia on Sunday for the design and construction of a metro rail system in the capital Riyadh.

The project, which will involve six rail lines extending 176 kilometers (110 miles) and carrying electric, driverless trains, is the world’s largest public transport system currently under development, Saudi officials said.

U.S. construction giant Bechtel Corp heads a group which won a $9.45 billion contract to build two lines, the government announced.

A consortium led by Spain’s Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC.MC) won a $7.82 billion contract for three lines, while Italy’s Ansaldo STS (STS.MI) heads a group that won a $5.21 billion order.

Design work will start immediately and construction will begin in the first quarter of 2014, the government said. The project would be completed in 2019.

Flush with cash after more than two years of high oil prices, Saudi Arabia is pumping billions of dollars into infrastructure projects designed to improve living standards and ease social discontent in the wake of the 2011 uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world.

Last August the government approved a $16.5 billion plan to modernize the transport system in its holy city of Mecca, including building a bus network and a metro system.

It is also building several other rail systems, including a 2,750 km line running from Riyadh to near the northern border with Jordan.

Inland NSW Tourism Region Wins Big at Prestigious 2013 Inland NSW Tourism Awards

Inland NSW Tourism applauds the many winners who topped their categories in the 10th anniversary year of the CountryLink Inland NSW Tourism Awards on Saturday, 27 July in Moree.

Regional tourism's night of nights, the CountryLink Inland NSW Tourism Awards comprise the best of regional tourism operators from across four NSW tourism regions: Inland, Central, Riverina and the Murray River.

In a fitting win, INTA's 2013 host town, Moree, was recognised for its Visitor Information and Services.

Inland members also scooped the Accommodation category, taking out the Unique, Standard and Hosted Accommodation accolades.

Overall congratulations go to:
  • Boggabri Drover's Campfire Event, Boggabri - Community Festivals and Events
  • Gold Trails - New Tourism Development
  • DAG Sheep Station, Nundle - Unique Accommodation
  • The Lodge Outback Motel, Broken Hill - Standard Accommodation
  • Eldee Station, Broken Hill - Hosted Accommodation
  • DAG Sheep Station, Nundle - Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services
  • Broken Hill City Council, Broken Hill - Destination Marketing
  • Tri State Safaris, Broken Hill - Tour and/or Transport Operator
  • Green Gully Track, Walcha - Adventure Tourism
  • Tourism Moree, Moree - Visitor Information and Services
  • Tri State Safaris/Mutawintji Tours, Broken Hill - Indigenous Tourism
  • Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo - Tourist Attraction
  • Nundle Woollen Mill, Nundle - Heritage and Cultural Tourism

In a completely new category assessed by judges across all INTA entrants, the Royal Flying Doctors Service's Bruce Langford Visitor's Centre, Broken Hill won the industry's Best Digital Presence.

Broken Hill City Council was awarded the 'best of the best' Judges Award for its Broken Hill for Real Destination Marketing campaign.

In addition to his two category wins, Michael McCulkin, director of Inland NSW Tourism and owner of Tri State Safaris, was also recognised for his outstanding contribution to regional tourism by an individual with the prestigious Ted Wilson Award.

Congratulations also go to the other Inland region finalists, including:
  • Experience the Highs, Armidale - Destination Marketing
  • DAG Sheep Station, Nundle - Tourist Attractions category
  • Silver City Mint and Art Centre, Broken Hill - Tourist Attractions category
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service, Broken Hill - Tourist Attractions category
  • Tamworth Country Music Festival, Tamworth - Festivals and Events
  • Brewarrina Visitor Information and Cultural Centre - Heritage and Cultural Tourism
  • Yammu Ganu Gallery, Moree - Indigenous Tourism
  • Armidale Tourist Park and YHA, Armidale - Tourist and Caravan Parks
  • Liverpool Plains Visitor Information Centre, Quirindi - Visitor Information Centre
  • Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre, Moree
  • Old Fashion Favourites, Broken Hill
  • The River House, Bingara - Accommodation
Inland NSW Tourism CEO Graham Perry congratulated all category winners on their accolades and their contribution to tourism excellence.

"The CountryLink Inland NSW Tourism Awards play an important role in recognising tourism excellence across regional NSW by awarding operators who are providing the best products and services for our visitors, said Mr Perry.

"The awards help contribute to increasing the calibre of what's on offer by encouraging owners to build robust business plans and improve their business. The process provides a unique opportunity for owners to step back from their operations and work 'on' their business rather than 'in' it, which is essential.

"It's also important for the overall economy; the latest statistics show domestic and international visitors to NSW destinations outside Sydney generated a massive 74.4 million nights of accommodation in regional areas and $12.9 billion in tourist expenditure*. Awards such as these play a vital part in ensuring we are putting our best foot forward to the consumer and supporting a strong tourism industry."

Winners of the CountryLink Inland NSW Tourism Awards are automatically entered into the State-wide NSW Tourism Awards, which close in September and will be held in November.

The host town for the 2014 Inland NSW Tourism Awards is Griffith.

"We strongly encourage operators from across the region to consider entering the 2014 Inland NSW Tourism Awards since we know success flows from the process, both for the winners, and all those who enter. We look forward to seeing many businesses next year," concluded Mr Perry.

*Source: Destination NSW Economic Value (http://www.destinationnsw.com.au/our-industry/economic-value) taken from National and International Visitor Surveys, YE March 2013, TRA

CountryLink Inland NSW Tourism Awards 2013 Finalists
  • Armidale Tourist Park & YHA - Armidale
  • Balloon Joy Flights - Canowindra
  • BIG4 Forbes Holiday Park - Forbes
  • Boggabri Drover's Campfire Event - Boggabri
  • Brewarrina Visitor Information and Cultural Centre - Brewarrina
  • Broken Hill City Council - Broken Hill
  • Burnbrae Wines - Mudgee
  • DAG Sheep Station - Nundle
  • Deni Blues and Roots Festival - Deniliquin
  • Eldee Station - Broken Hill
  • Experience the Highs Tourism Marketing Campaign - Armidale
  • Fairview Artspace - Mudgee
  • Green Gully Track - Walcha
  • Gold Trails  Gol Gol Hotel - Gol Gol
  • Gooree Park Wines - Mudgee
  • Griffith Visitor Information Centre - Griffith
  • Junee Rhythm n Rail Festival - Junee
  • Leeton Art Deco Festival - Leeton
  • Leeton Visitor Information Centre - Leeton
  • Liverpool Plains Visitor Information Centre - Quirindi
  • Lowe Wines - Mudgee
  • Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre - Moree
  • Moree Visitor Information Centre - Moree
  • Mudgee Brewing Company - Mudgee
  • Nundle Woollen Mill - Nundle
  • Old Fashion Favourites - Broken Hill
  • Parkes Shire Council - Parkes
  • RFDS, The Bruce Langford Visitor's Centre - Broken Hill
  • Silver City Mint and Art Centre - Broken Hill
  • Tamworth Country Music Festival - Tamworth
  • Taronga Western Plains Zoo - Dubbo
  • The Lodge Outback Motel - Broken Hill
  • The River House - Bingara
  • Tri State Safaris - Broken Hill
  • Tri State Safaris/Mutawintji Tours - Broken Hill
  • Willowbend Caravan Park - Wentworth
  • Yaama Ganu Centre - Moree

Monday, 29 July 2013

Google Helps in Boosting Cambodia’s tourism

Tourism officials Cambodia is confident to see a boost. The US technology company that visited Cambodia has bought in a new wave of technology. This will map the streets of the capital and the temples of Angkor. This is an initiative that will boost Cambodia’s tourism. As reported, Google Street View will use 360⁰ cameras to collect images of two locations. Google Street View to cover Angkor and Phnom Penh Pak Sokhom, an official with the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism said, “By making the photos available online, people will realise Cambodia’s potential more easily,…after seeing the images, they will dream about a real visit”

Angkor Archaeological Park is an important attraction of the place. The two of the places that are covered are Angkor and Phnom Penh. Google will start with the rest of the places after these two are covered.

Fraser Coast Region on Show at Queensland’s Busiest Railway Station

The Fraser Coast region will be showcased at Queensland’s busiest railway station during the morning peak period on 29 and 30 July, as part of Queensland Rail’s partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland to boost tourism in the area.

Queensland Rail’s Executive General Manager Customer Service Martin Ryan said the showcase would give about 70,000 customers who travel through Central station each day during peak the chance to speak with travel staff to help plan their getaway to the coastal region.

“We’ve got an exciting two mornings planned at Central station with an estimated 1000 people expected to stop and chat with staff from Queensland Rail Travel, Tourism and Events Queensland, Mantra Hervey Bay, Tasman Venture and Kingfisher Bay Resort,” Mr Martin said.

“We also have a very special guest, Harvey the Humpback whale, helping staff.

“The Fraser Coast showcase is the perfect opportunity for customers to speak one-on-one with staff and to get all the information they need to plan a holiday not too far from home.”

Mr Ryan said Queensland Rail had been a proud supporter of the Fraser Coast region for more than 145 years and would continue to generate tourism to the area through its rail packages.

“In the last financial year we had more than 69,000 customers travelling on our Tilt Train, Sunlander and Spirit of the Outback services stopping in Maryborough,” he said.

“Through this partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland, we’d like to see these numbers grow even more.

“Now is the perfect time to visit the Fraser Coast with fares on the Tilt Train from Brisbane to Hervey Bay from just $64 one-way.

“The Fraser Coast boasts some of the world’s best natural attractions, including the world heritage-listed Fraser Island and the migration of majestic humpback whales.

“One of our most popular packages is the Three Day Whale Watch Getaway Package, including a whale watching tour that is not to be missed.

“We also have limited seats available onboard our Gourmet MasterClass trip to Hervey Bay, where customers will be treated to a unique culinary experience from celebrity chef Andrew Mirosch.”

Singapore Retains Position as Top International Meeting Country and City in the Union of International Associations (UIA) 2012 Global Rankings

Singapore has retained its position as the leading meeting city and country in the world, according to the Union of International Associations (UIA) 2012 Global Rankings.

Named Top International Meeting Country for the second year running and Top International Meeting City for the sixth consecutive year, Singapore has once again reinforced its value proposition as a top choice international meeting destination.

Singapore's international appeal, strategic location and access to key Asian markets provide a strong impetus for organisers to move or locate their events in Singapore.

The UIA ranking is the latest in a list of accolades that include being named Asia's Top Convention City for the 11th consecutive year, by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Having hosted a record of 150 ICCA1 events in 2012, Singapore emerged as the only Asian city in the Top Ten Convention Cities in the world alongside other cities including Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and London.

Kenneth Lim, Regional Director Oceania of the Singapore Tourism Board, commented: "We are elated to retain our position as the leading meeting city and country in the world. Building on Singapore's strength as an international meetings destination, we also want to encourage Australian business visitors to take the opportunity to explore the many leisure experiences Singapore has to offer. Mouth-watering dining options, world-class retail offerings, non-stop entertainment and unique experiences can all be enjoyed once the official business side is done."

In addition to the 18 World Congresses held in Singapore in 2012, some events were held for the first time in Asia such as the 4th International Congress of Zookeepers 2012, the International Conference on Next Generation Technologies for Bioenergy and Biomass Utilisation 2012, 33rd Annual International Association of Technological University Libraries 2012 and the World Congress on Controversies in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Infertility 2012.

In 2012, 952 of the meetings hosted in Singapore - almost ten per cent of UIA's database - met the stipulated qualifying criteria. This includes meetings that are organised or sponsored by international organisations or of significant international character.

Amidst the diverse business events held in the city-state, the inaugural UIA Associations Round Table will also take place in Singapore in October this year, as part of TravelRave 2013 - an established travel trade festival in Asia in its fourth year that draws attendees from across the travel and tourism industry with a line up of eight quality events.

Taking place for the first time in Asia, this milestone event is expected to build wider and stronger networks in the association community.

Jacques de Mévius, Secretary General of UIA, commented, "The Union of International Associations is happy to be bringing its Associations Round Table to Asia which will take place in cooperation with the Singapore Tourism Board and its partners and with the participation of internationally respected speakers." He added, "Drawing on its years of experience with its Associations Round Table in Europe, the UIA is looking forward to sharing this opportunity for training and networking with all international associations based in Asian countries or with an interest in Asia."

For information please visit http://www.yoursingapore.com/mice

Tourism Australia Targets Australian Families with Beach Campaign

The traditional beach holiday provides the focus for Tourism Australia's latest domestic campaign, which seeks to encourage Australian families considering an overseas trip to switch instead to a holiday in Australia.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the domestic push, the latest phase of its There's nothing like Australia campaign, was backed by new research in which parents and their children rated a beach holiday in Australia significantly higher than beach holidays taken abroad.

"An Australian beach holiday provides the ideal environment for families to spend quality time together and for children to develop self confidence, life skills and values," Mr McEvoy said.

"Australia has some of the most desirable coastal destinations in the world, and our research confirms that the traditional beach holiday hasn't lost its appeal with Australian families."

"With this campaign we aim to remind Australians that the benefits they most want from a family holiday - things like safety, quality time, freedom and space - are all available right here in our own country, at the beach," he said.

Australian parents and their children rated their own country's beach holidays as comparable as or better than overseas holidays in 13 of 15 categories, including swimming, relaxing, fishing, exploring rock pools and playing beach games such as beach cricket and building sandcastles.

The campaign will see Tourism Australia work closely with the states and territories as well as up to 120 industry partners including Flight Centre, one of the biggest global travel agency networks, and AOT Group, the largest wholesaler of Australian travel products and services in the world.

Mr McEvoy said that families represented the largest domestic tourism segment in terms of both numbers and also spending, contributing nearly a third of total leisure holiday expenditure. In the past 12 months, the family segment grew more than 6 per cent, compared to domestic tourism as a whole which expanded around 1 per cent.

The launch of the campaign comes just weeks after the most recent National Visitor Survey (NVS) which shows continued growth in domestic tourism, with total trips up 0.8 per cent, nights up 4.3 per cent and spending up 2.7 per cent for the first quarter of 2013.

Mr McEvoy said Tourism Australia had been heavily promoting domestic tourism, as part of its broader There's nothing like Australia campaign launched in 2010, and was seeing a significant turnaround in domestic travel, with the 74.6m domestic trips taken by Australians in the past 12 months just short of the last peak (75.6m) in 2008.

"Australians are now taking ten times more trips in their own country than overseas, and it's particularly pleasing to see more Australian families choosing to holiday in their own country. With this campaign we want to remind Australian families of the unforgettable experiences and memories of a beach holiday at home," he said.

In 2012 Australians took nearly 75 million overnight domestic trips, an increase of 4 per cent compared to the previous year.

Domestic tourism remains the biggest segment of the Australian tourism industry, injecting A$50 billion into the economy last year.

The campaign includes TV, cinema, print and digital and runs between 27 July and13 September.

Vietnam and the Mekong: A Multi-Billion Dollar Market for Outbound, Incentive and Medical Tourism

According to a research by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the total spending abroad on international travel by the Vietnamese in 2011 is at US$ 3.3 billion, and rose to US$ 3.5 billion in 2012 (according to the Vietnam Tourism Association accounted from foreign tourism promotion agencies). Outbound travel spending is expected to grow by 6.4% per annum until 2022.

The first half of 2013 has seen a 20% growth in outbound travel from the Vietnamese, with more tourists preferring long-haul tours to Australia, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the US. This growth has been consistent over the past five years, making Vietnam one of the prime source markets for many countries. Preferred Asian destinations that are increasingly receiving more and more Vietnamese tourists are Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Dubai, Egypt, India and Turkey including Russia and parts of Central Asia are also gaining more popularity among the locals.

The Middle East and Europe greatly benefits from this outbound surge. “Tours to Dubai and Europe are selling well and outbound had been spared by the tough economic circumstances in the past two years”, Nguyen Viet Hung comments, General Director of Fiditourist. This increasing demand brings high revenue growth for travel firms. “We have arranged 10 groups of long-haul and 20 groups of short-haul trips monthly. Our company’s outbound business inched up 20% this year”, says Mr. Nguyen Tha Khai, Director of Perfect Tour Travel. One of the major travel operators in the country, Saigontourist, that have seen over 10% yearly growths for outbound supports this. “We had around 22,000 clients traveling abroad in the year’s first half, around 30% of which took long-haul,” Doan Thi Thanh Tra adds, Marketing Manager of Saigontourist.

Group Incentives and Business Travel is also at a record high. The Vietnamese spent billions of Vietnamese dong buying outbound trips for their business partners and customers. These corporate clients are primarily from the pharmaceutical, insurance and oil sectors.

When it comes to Medical Tourism, the Vietnamese are currently spending around US$ 1 billion per annum for healthcare treatment in Singapore. The number of Vietnamese patients who visit Thailand, South Korea and other countries for medical treatment is also high, according to the Ministry of Health.
 

**International and regional buyers and sellers generated over US$ 7 million in new business during ITE HCMC 2012, which is now proven to be the best trade platform catering to this multi-billion dollar market. The 9th ITE HCMC 2013 expanded its exhibition floor space by 50% to accommodate an ever increasing demand of companies wanting to penetrate and maintain their market share.

Over 85% exhibition space has been sold, limited space available

 

Sea World Resort Announces Plans for World Class Conference Centre

A multi-million dollar state of the art conference centre, capable of catering to 1000 people, will be built at Sea World Resort & Water Park providing a new focus for the business and convention market on the Gold Coast.

Sea World Resort & Water Park General Manager Bikash Randhawa made the announcement today saying the new centre will be a game-changer for the corporate sector.

"This will be a unique conferencing venue in a world class location. We have been offering exceptional mid-size conferences for many years and this new centre will allow us to do business on a much larger scale. It will reinforce our position as one of the conference leaders on the Gold Coast."

With 750 sqm of space, dividable into three sections, the new conference centre is due for completion in 2015 and will be a welcome addition to the existing six conference venues currently in operation at Sea World Resort.

This new facility will include the latest audio-visual equipment, a Porte Cochere with vehicle access, as well as a large Al Fresco style veranda ideal for coffee breaks, lunches and cocktail receptions.

Mr Randhawa said the new centre would provide numerous points of difference from other venues.

"Delegates can really discover a world of difference here at Sea World Resort, and our dedicated team will make any conference simply unforgettable. Thanks to our sister properties we will also offer partners and families of delegates some amazing experiences and package events at Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild, Paradise Country and Australian Outback Spectacular as part of their conferencing at the Resort.

"At Sea World Resort you'll experience that special touch, and our diverse range of venues and packages can be tailored to meet the needs of your conference," he said.

Sea World Resort offers 402 rooms and suites allowing delegates to stay on site, making the Resort a one-stop conference destination. There are also four restaurants and two bar areas, including award-winning a la carte, a modern seafood buffet at The Shoreline and authentic Japanese cuisine at Hatsuhana, as well as free wifi access throughout the Resort and complimentary broadband to all guest rooms.

To discover a world of difference, call the Conference and Events team on (07) 5519 6218 or visit SeaWorldResort.com.au

Sunday, 28 July 2013

IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2013 to be Largest To-Date

This year's instalment of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific is set to be the biggest yet, with delegate numbers expected to cross the 2,800 mark.

Bringing together Asia-Pacific’s MICE and corporate travel suppliers, with an added luxury travel dimension, the world’s only doublebill event will run from October 1 to 3 in Bangkok.

To-date, more than 700 MICE, corporate travel, luxury travel, association and corporate buyers have completed registration, which ends on August 23.

Returning buyer Ben Gosman, managing director, Netherlands-based Free Style, said: “I look forward to discussing and exploring new experiences and business opportunities each time I listen. The promise of new exhibitors, like with this year’s show, and the ease of touching base with existing partners justify why IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific is a must-attend event for me.”

Furthermore, exhibitors at this year’s IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific will be comprised of 35 per cent first-time exhibitors. Debuting CVBs include India Tourism, Fukuoka CVB, Sapporo CVB and Tourism New Zealand, while first-time corporates include Fujita Kanko, Meliá Hotels International and Sentosa Leisure Management, among others.

A survey conducted in April 2013 stated that US$45 million in sales was confirmed as a result of the 2012 event, with the aggregate procurement value estimated at US$120 million.

A number of features will also make their debut at this year's show, including an online diary, an Association Day & Performance Improvement Forum, and a luxury post-show tour.

£20bn boost to UK Economy Given by Youth Travel

A study of British Educational Travel Association (BETA) reported that the fastest growing sector in the UK travel industry consists of Youth, student and educational travel contributing over £20 billion per annum to the UK economy.

The consumer trends report also showed that while students spend less each day than business travellers, they tend to contribute more over longer periods of stay across the country, with Edinburgh, Oxford and Manchester the most preferred destinations outside London.

“We also know that young travellers to the UK are likely to return throughout their lifetime, to work, trade and tour,” commented BETA Chairman Dick Porter.

The transport, hospitality and education industries especially benefit from youth travellers. Of the 4,000 individuals aged 11-35 choosing the UK for study, work or leisure, half said they welcomed two to four visitors during their stay, and 80% said they believed education in the UK was “equal to or better than in their home country”.

BETA has collaborated with the VisitBritain campaign to increase the number of tourists in Britain from 31 million a year to 40 million by 2020, bolstered largely by youth travel.

However, the survey revealed that only 46% of young travellers felt the culture in the UK was oriented toward young people – a concern considering 300 million youth trips are forecasted globally by the year 2020.

“We must work proactively with our partners promoting the UK to ensure that this is addressed within our global marketing of brand Great Britain,” said Porter.

“Youth, student and educational travel represents an enormous opportunity for the future growth of the UK travel and tourism industry as a whole and by reducing the barriers to growth and increasing the welcome to young travellers it has the potential to be one of the UK’s largest exports.”

The survey was unveiled at an event to celebrate BETA’s 10th anniversary at the House of Lords last week. Guests of honour included former CEO of Universities UK, Baroness Warwick.

A Legendary Experience: Carnival Legend to Arrive in Sydney

Carnival Spirit's sister ship, Carnival Legend, is arriving in Sydney next year from the East Coast of America. The ship has been custom-built to create history-making holidays, and pays tribute to some of the world's greatest legends throughout the ages. Guest can take a dip in the Camelot and Avalon pools, wish for magic at Club Merlin Casino, and taste iconic flavours at Truffles Restaurant. Music lovers can head for Satchmo's Lounge and Billie's Piano Bar, then dance the night away at Medusa's Lair Dance Club.

 Carnival Legend will offer multiple ports of call (Los Angeles and Tampa), diverse cultures, exciting cities and activities on one cruise. Onboard features include a wide range of bars, dining choices and a variety of fun outdoor activities including the iconic Water Park and Green Thunder Waterslide, as well as indoor and relaxation options and exciting entertainment.

Carnival Legend will sail from the East Coast of America mid-August 2014 arriving in Sydney on 22 September 2014.

Itineraries on offer:
  • 13-day cruise from Tampa to Los Angeles sailing through the Panama Canal, Costa Rica and Mexico departing on 17 August 2014 with prices from $1925 per person, twin share.
  • 23-day cruise from Los Angeles to Sydney sailing through Tahiti, Fiji and Noumea departing on 30 August 2014 with prices starting from $2,795 per person, twin share.

Travel the World is also offering Carnival Legend guests the opportunity to combine the two itineraries for a legendary 36-day cruise experience sailing from Tampa to Sydney through Mexico, Tahiti, Fiji and Noumea. By booking through Travel the World, clients can access competitive airfares; from Australia to Los Angeles from $1,450, or Australia to Tampa from $1,610

For further information on bookings, please contact Travel the World on 1300 950 622 or www.traveltheworld.com.au.

European CANAL & RIVER CRUISE Savings

Join in the royal celebration with a luxury hotel barge cruise along the Royal River Thames near England’s Windsor Castle this autumn. Cruise aboard the hotel barge the Magna Carta and celebrate even more with savings of up to 25% on selected departures.

Indulge in a cruise along the sunny Canal du Midi in the south of France saving $750 per person twin share on cruise costs. Save too whilst sipping wine in Burgundy, discovering the spectacular Venice Lagoon in Italy or when drinking in the stunning scenery of the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands of Scotland.

Boating and cruise holiday specialists Outdoor Travel Pty Ltd, based in Bright, Victoria are offering discounts up to $1500 per cabin or 25% off exclusive barge charter groups for selected destinations and dates for new bookings made by Friday 16th August 2013 on GO BARGING - EUROPEAN WATERWAYS HOLIDAYS

Click-on here to see the Go Barging - European Waterways brochure
Click-on here for latest Go Barging Dates / Prices and booking form

These all-inclusive luxury hotel barge cruises cater to a select group of 4, 6, 8, 12 or 20 passengers. An experienced on-board chef prepares gourmet meals and offers a selection of regional wines and cheeses with lunch and dinner each day. There is also an "open bar". You will be pampered by our cruise hosts and there are on-board facilities such as a spa, Jacuzzi or exercise room available for your use. There are bicycles for guests’ use and we include guided shore excursions by mini-bus on most days.

As an example, offers in England aboard the Magna Carta
Per cabin 25% off per cabin for departures on 4th & 18th August, 8th & 29th September, 20th & 27th October; Per charter 25% off per charter 11th August, 22nd September

These special offers are subject to availability and apply to new bookings only booked before Friday 16th August 2013 and they cannot be used in conjunction with other offers.

Cruises are inclusive of the following:
* 6-nights’ accommodation on board in an air-conditioned, cabin with private bathroom.
* The services of an experienced Captain / Host, Chef, Hostess(es), Driver/Tour Guide.
* Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard. A local meal is taken ashore (once a week on most barges).
* A selection of fine regional and international wines and spirits, plus an all-day open bar, tea and coffee.
* Excursions by chauffeured minibus and entry fees to castles, vineyards, markets and places of interest.
* Use of barge facilities such as bicycles, boules, barge library and on certain vessels, a spa pool.
* Return transfers to and from the local meeting/drop off point.

Call toll free 1800 331 582 for a brochure or see the website: http://www.outdoortravel.com.au/content/sailing