Saturday, 31 October 2015

Lonely Planet Declares Dublin 'Best in Travel' for 2016

Dublin has been named one of the best cities in the world for travellers in 2016. The city receives the accolade in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2016. The bestselling travel yearbook sets out a collection each year of the world's hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the year ahead.

The city has been hailed as the friendliest city in Europe not once, but twice and with over 3 million people visiting Dublin each year it has earned its title as the “City of A Thousand Welcomes”.

Describing Dublin, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2015 says: “The diaspora has turned inside out and Dublin is now a truly cosmopolitan capital, with an influx of people, energy and ideas infusing the ever-beguiling, multi-layered city with fresh flavours and kaleidoscopic colours.”

Dublin has a huge amount to offer travellers, the book highlights: “Meet the perfect stranger through the Little Museum's brilliant City of a Thousand Welcome's initiative, where an ordinary Dubliner will tell you about their home town over a free drink in a local pub. Follow the Independence Trail around key sites where nation-forming events took place…Plunge into the Irish Sea at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, or nurse a deep dark pint fireside in Mulligan's on Poolbeg St, where the atmosphere is as potent as the stout.”

The inspirational travel guide promotes Dublin as a city that “should be on every traveller's must-see list”. Dublin has got something for everyone – History, Culture, Art, Nature, Literature and most importantly a buzzing atmosphere everywhere you go.

Lonely Planet spokesperson, Noirin Hegarty, said, “Dublin should be on traveller's must-see list. It's pulsing with vibrancy, optimism and creativity. The city is truly buoyant; whilst also boasting inner green spaces and wild outdoor arenas along the coast. 2016 really is the time to go.”

Global Village Motorfest & Fair

Hotel Swap between Villa Mathis & Kenanga Ubud, Secret Retreats in Bali

They say ‘variety is the spice of life,’ so the imaginative team at the Mathis Collection in Bali has come up with a unique and fun way for guests to experience a bit more diversity and excitement during their stay.

The LIBERTY PASS is an innovative concept that allows guests to swap any night booked (without any fees) to another hotel within the Mathis Collection.

With beautiful properties in Seminyak, Ubud, and soon in Amed, this is the ideal solution for guests wishing to stay in a different area of the island, while guaranteeing the outstanding comfort and quality of services from the Mathis Collection, every evening.

Guests can experience freedom of choice and the flexibility and fun of moving locations and hotels with ease and re-schedule their holiday at will.

In the Mathis Collection

La Villa Mathis:

Villa Mathis, ensconced in the heart of a vast and lush tropical garden planted with native and exotic species, offers five large independent villas with four to five rooms each. A total of eighteen rooms uniquely furnished with a four-poster bed, a lavish raised bathtub and beautiful décor adorning each vibrant room, no two rooms are the same. The signature restaurant, Les Nuits Baroques, offers a gourmet cuisine where the scent of lemongrass and nutmeg are unrivalled. You can choose to have a more intimate and romantic dinner at the pool or enjoy the restaurant’s ‘éphémère’ concept where you can set a table anywhere in their one hectare size garden.

Kenanga Ubud:

Surrounded by lush greenery and breath-taking views overlooking its own rice paddy fields, Kenanga Hotel offers an ideal gateway to Ubud’s art, dance and culture. All 21 rooms and bungalows feature an elegant mix of contemporary design and Balinese architecture. Located just 5 minutes by car from the centre of Ubud, immerse in nature in a relaxing setting replete with swimming pool and restaurant.

Secret Retreats

Secret Retreats is a collection of unique properties (boutique hotels, villas, boats and restaurants) throughout Asia. We are a community built by independent owners and chefs to share resources and ideas. Together, we offer our guests authentic travel experiences to the very heart of Asian culture and traditions. Our owners are vibrant advocates of their surroundings with the generosity to share special moments with those travellers curious to experience and discover the “essence of Asia.”

Lonely Planet Names Australia One of 2016's Top 10 Countries

Leading global travel authority Lonely Planet has chosen Australia as one of the world's Top 10 Countries for next year in LONELY PLANET'S BEST IN TRAVEL 2016, published today.

BEST IN TRAVEL 2016 is Lonely Planet's 11th eagerly-awaited annual collection of the best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year.

Australia is ranked sixth on the book's list of Top 10 Countries 2016.

“Unless you're from New Zealand or Papua New Guinea, Australia can seem a long way from anywhere,” Lonely Planet says. “Getting here usually involves folding yourself into a plane for 24 hours. But with 2016 shaping up as a defining year for several of Australia's key wilderness areas, it'll be 24 hours well spent. In fact, with the weak Australian dollar, anything you spend here this year will be value for money. Petrol prices are heading south too: perfect timing for your Great Australian Road Trip.”

“Indigenous tourism is booming, with new Aboriginal tour companies such as Ngurrangga Tours in Karratha and Bungoolee Tours in the Kimberley offering authentic cultural experiences,” the book adds. “Contemporary Aboriginal art remains an Australian cultural high-water mark, as evidenced by the fab new Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre in Katherine.”

“Australia also does a roaring trade in UNESCO World Heritage wilderness areas,” Lonely Planet says. What they have in common is a humbling sense of awe at first sight.”

Lonely Planet's Top 10 Countries 2016 are:

  1. Botswana
  2. Japan
  3. USA
  4. Palau
  5. Latvia
  6. Australia
  7. Poland
  8. Uruguay
  9. Greenland
  10.  Fiji

Each year, BEST IN TRAVEL's recommendations are drawn from hundreds of ideas submitted by Lonely Planet's staff, authors and extended community of travellers, bloggers and tweeters. Their suggestions are then refined by a panel of in-house travel experts, based on topicality, excitement, value and that special X-factor. Lonely Planet's focus is on the merits of each destination and the unique experiences they offer travellers.

Australia is also featured in 10 other lists published in LONELY PLANET'S BEST IN TRAVEL 2016 today:

Lonely Planet's Top 10 Cities 2016

#7) Fremantle: “Under the baking Western Australian sun, Fremantle is a raffish harbour town with sea-salty soul to burn.” Kotor, Quito, Dublin, George Town, Rotterdam, Mumbai, Manchester, Nashville, and Rome complete Lonely Planet's Top 10 Cities list for next year.

Best Value Destinations

#10) Western Australia: “The Australian dollar is a better deal for overseas visitors than it has been for a few years. This puts the dream-like landscapes of Western Australia, out of reach of some travellers thanks to the mining boom of the last few years, firmly back on the map.”

Most Accessible Destinations

#4) Melbourne: “With its highly accessible public transport system and compact city centre, Melbourne is one of the most accessible cities in the world.”

Best Places to Test Your Survival Skills

#5) Bob Cooper Outback Survival: “Where better to test your survival skills than in the Australian outback. And who better to teach you the bush skills you need to survive than Australia's most legendary survivalist, Bob Cooper.”

The World's Most Extraordinary Sleepovers

#6) Roar & Snore at Taronga Zoo, Sydney: “Nod off in luxury tented camps, complete with beds and wooden floors, with an astounding view of Sydney Opera House, the city and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”

Best Animal Adventures for Families

#8) Walkabout Wildlife Park, New South Wales: “You can visit this park by day to see native Australian animals roaming free, but we recommend the Wild Night Out where you can camp in the park overnight.”

Super Sleeper Trains

#8) Darwin–Adelaide: “Reaching this big nation's belly by train allows a proper appreciation of its scale, and of the hardships endured by those who went before.”

Best Burger Experiences

#8) Burgers with Bounce and Bite, Darwin: “To try crocodile, emu, kangaroo, barramundi and other meats, Mindil Beach Sunset Market in Darwin is a hard spot to top.”

Most Iconic 20th Century Houses

#10) Rose Seidler House, Sydney: “Seidler's 'house of glass and legs' helped shape the future of Australian architecture.”

Best Places to Meet Mythical Beasts

#10) Bunyip: “Monsters, spirits and mythological creatures are widespread in Aboriginal Australian lore but one that entered the popular imagination Down Under is the bunyip, a terrifying monster with a bellowing cry that was said to inhabit inland swamps and waterholes called billabongs.”

Other BEST IN TRAVEL 2016 highlights include:
  • Lonely Planet's Top 10 Regions to visit in 2016: Transylvania, West Iceland, Valle de Viñales, Friuli's wine regions, Waiheke Island, The Auvergne, Hawaii, Bavaria, Costa Verde, and St Helena.
  • More than 35 events mapped out month by month in the 2016 Travel Planner.

LONELY PLANET'S BEST IN TRAVEL 2016

206pp, full colour, 180mm x 145mm, paperback, AU$24.99

www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel includes details of a competition in which travellers have the chance to win a trip to the Best in Travel 2016 destination their choice (conditions apply). This year's global sponsor for Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2016 is Turkish Airlines, who have provided the competition prize of flights to a Best in Travel destination.

Heavenly Honeymoons at Dusit Hotels & Resorts

Dusit Thani Guam Resort
When it comes to booking an unforgettable, luxurious honeymoon, few Asian hotel chains can rival the quality, flexibility and sheer variety of offerings at Dusit Hotels & Resorts. 

In addition to boasting romantic hotels in a variety of destinations around the world, from Thailand to the Philippines, China, India and the Maldives, Dusit has a packed pipeline of exciting new openings that will appeal to honeymooning newlyweds. From 2017, additional options will include Singapore, Vietnam, Bhutan, Australia, South Africa and more.

Ms Erena Chan, Vice President, Sales & Marketing of Dusit International says: "Honeymooners are a very important market for Dusit and we are constantly looking at ways to enhance what we have to offer. From amazing value packages such as Couple Getaways,* to specialised room types such as our exquisite Honeymoon Suites, to unique, romantic dining concepts and spa offerings at our Devarana Spas, no request is too big or too small for our attentive staff who deliver Dusit's world renowned gracious hospitality."

"As we continue to grow our portfolio of properties and enter new markets, we are adding more choices of new and exotic destinations for couples to choose from."

Here are some of the hottest honeymoon destinations within the Dusit Hotels & Resorts portfolio. For a more comprehensive list, visit www.dusit.com

Where: Dusit Thani Guam Resort

Why: Having opened its doors this past June, this 30-floor hotel is the latest hot Dusit resort and the first new build to open on the Western Pacific island of Guam since 1999. It’s also the island’s first true five-star luxury resort, making it the obvious choice for honeymooners.

Wow factor: Located on a stunning stretch of Tumon Bay, the setting is truly idyllic. Its 419 deluxe rooms, villas and suites afford stunning panoramic views. Two highlights for honeymooners include the indulgent Devarana Spa and the resort’s decadent Villa Suites. The latter measure from 100 to 306sqm and feature private plunge pools, exclusive gym and a concierge service with Villa Azul boasting a 550sqm balcony.

Where: Dusit Thani Maldives

Why: As a honeymoon hotspot, the Maldives needs no introduction – and this gem on beautiful Mudhdhoo Island is no exception. Loved-up guests can enjoy opulent accommodations, including the recently upgraded one-bed villas or the new 690sqm, three-bedroom Beach Residence. They’ll also find everything from fine dining to the Devarana Spa and activities such as kitesurfing, sailing and the area’s only internationally recognised Free-diving School, launched in February this year.

Dusit Thani Maldives
Wow factor: Kick back by the largest infinity pool in the Indian Ocean (750 sqm) after a pampering treatment in one of the Devarana Spa’s iconic treetop treatment pods, set in the heart of a grove of coconut palms. Catch the sunset whilst sipping on cocktails at the overwater Sala Bar before indulging in a sumptuous meal at the signature Benjarong Thai Restaurant. For added romance, opt for al fresco private dining anywhere you fancy, courtesy of the Borderless Beach Dining programme.

Additionally, guests checking in within six months of their wedding can enjoy a complimentary upgrade to the next room category PLUS a complimentary dinner and a bottle of wine. This offer is valid for any package booked online at www.dusit.com, including Couple Getaway.

Where: Dusit Devarana Hot Springs & Spa, Conghua

Why: This stunning resort property in Guangzhou, China opened in December 2014. Boasting 133 villas and guestrooms, it enjoys an idyllic rural setting and a strong focus on wellness, making it the perfect choice for couples looking to book a relaxing, romantic honeymoon in a secluded spot just 40 minutes from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

Dusit Devarana Hot
Springs & Spa, Conghua
Wow factor: Set against a stunning backdrop, the property fuses Thai influences with local Chinese touches. Backed by fine dining and exquisitely attentive service, its luxurious villas boast private hot springs pools whilst the Devarana Spa offers a signature range of Thai-inspired massages and treatments. Enjoy these in one of five luxuriously appointed treatment rooms or the hot stone relaxation room. There’s also an indoor hot springs swimming pool and 23 private outdoor hot spring pools, offering treatments such as foot reflexology.

Where: Dusit Devarana New Delhi

Why: Set amidst award-winning gardens, this property also has a strong focus on wellness with standout aspects including the Devarana Signature Hammam experience. This is backed by the DFiT fitness centre, Yoga Pavilion and a 102-metre long outdoor swimming pool. Dubbed a ‘luxurious urban retreat,’ its secluded setting and romantic ambience belies the fact that it is within easy reach of New Delhi and a mere 10-minute drive from the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Dusit Devarana New Delhi
Wow factor: The strong sense of tranquility is aided by the exquisite landscaping and limited capacity, the property housing just 50 effortlessly elegant guestrooms with super stylish interiors. Top picks for honeymooners include the 11 Devarana Pool View Rooms which come with an additional 40 sqm private pool deck. Meanwhile, the strong focus on wellbeing transcends everything from the Beauty and Hairdressing salon to the dining options topped by the new Chi Ni restaurant, a Chinese-focused dining concept created by London’s Michelin-starred Kai Mayfair Restaurant.

For more on the Couple Getaway promotion see: http://www.dusit.com/specialoffers/couple-getaway.

Sunshine Coast Offering a Feast of Festivals This Summer

The Ginger Factory
Queensland's Sunshine Coast is offering a feast of festivals to spice up summer for families, folkies and fun lovers.

Sunshine Coast Swimathon (6 December)

With Australia's most attractive climate, the emphasis of the 2015-16 summer is on the outdoors, with the Sunshine Coast Swimathon taking place at the Cotton Tree Aquatic Centre on 6 December, raising funds for MS. www.msswimathon.com.au/swim-locations/sunshine

Mary Valley Tomato Festival (6 December)

With the sun an almost permanent feature of the Sunshine Coast, a focus on food is natural, with the 6 December Mary Valley Tomato Festival at Imbil a must for any lovers of the 'big red'. While there are serious prizes for the heaviest tomato and 'most interesting shape', the real fun begins with the 'Tomato Splat', 'Tomato Throw' and Tomato eating relay races. www.mayvalleytomatofestival.com.au

The Woodford Folk Festival (27 December – 1 January) 

is one of Australia's premier music festivals and offers a variety of ticket options so that holidaymakers can combine earthy folk with a traditional beach holiday. This year, the Festival's stellar lineup includes Josh Pyke, Franti, Ed Kuepper and Katie Noonan. More than just a music festival, Woodford showcases diverse acts, including dance, theatre, comedy, film, street performances, visual arts and indigenous performances. Extensive camping facilities and a range of accommodation/festival packages are available at www.woodfordfolkfestival.com.

Ginger Flower & Food Festival (22 - 24 January)

January is also the month when one of the world's most versatile plants – ginger – comes to the fore in the Ginger Flower & Food Festival. Ginger or ginger root is consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice, and the Sunshine Coast's Ginger Flower & Food Festival – celebrating its 20th anniversary – will be showcasing the plant's remarkable role as both an essential ingredient to food and as a beautiful flower. There will be specialist workshops, demonstrations and tastings, and children will enjoy it as much as their parents with a wide range of kids activities, including rides, entertainment and sampling of ginger-infused smoothies, cordials and – of course – gingerbread men. www.gingerfactory.com.au

The Color Run (16 January)

is a fun run that gets very colourful along the way. Staged at the Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday 16 January, the Color Run is billed as the 'happiest 5 kilometres on the planet' and involves running a course that includes obstacles, dancing and paint. The event is ideal for families and friends. http://thecolorrun.com.au/event/sunshine-coast-2/

Australia Day (26 January)

Arguably the best way to end the summer holidays and celebrate Australia Day at the same time is by participating in a unique Australian past time – dunny races. The celebration of the old Australian outdoor toilet is held each on Australia Day, January 26, at Aussie World. Other events include keg lifting and mullet tossing. www.aussieworld.com.au

Sunshine Coast's markets

And throughout the summer, many of the Sunshine Coast's major markets – such as the renowned Eumundi Markets – will hold additional twilight markets to make the most of the warm evenings.

December – January Events on the Sunshine Coast

  • 3-5 December Tag World Cup (Rugby)
  • 6 December Sunshine Coast MS Swimathon
  • 6 December Mary Valley Tomato Festival
  • 14-18 December Rip Curl Gromsearch
  • 15-18 December Sunshine Coast Masters Pro-Golf, Twin Waters
  • 27 December – 1 January Woodford Folk Festival
  • 16 January Color Run
  • 22-24 January Ginger Flower and Food Festival (celebrating 20th year)
  • 26 January Australia Day –dunny races at Aussie World
  • 30 January Ocean Swim Festival, Noosa
  • 6-7 February Gatorade Queensland Tri-Series, Caloundra

For a full range of events and holiday options on the Sunshine Coast - www.visitsunshinecoast.com.au

Thay Thim Temple Festival opens in Binh Thuan

Thousands of local people and tourists attended Thay Thim Temple Festival, the annual festival that opened in La Gi Town in the southern coastal province of Binh Thuan on October 27.

The three-day festival includes many cultural activities, such as traditional rituals, folk music performances and sport games.

Thay Thim Temple located in the Bau Cai Forest in Binh Thuan Province about 130 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City was built in 1879 for worshiping a rich, kind hermit and his wife who are both respectfully called Thay (The Wizard) and Thim (The Aunt). Thay who had magical powers, and his wife helped and cured many people during their life.

At this temple and graves of Thay Thim, two main festivals take place yearly. According to the lunar calendar, the cleaning and decorating of graves occurs on January 5th and September 14-16.

Thay Thim Temple was ranked as one of National Artistic and Architectural Relics of the nation in 1997.

Every year, the festival attracts around 200,000 visitors.

Park Hyatt Melbourne and Park Hyatt Sydney Recognised by Condé Nast Traveler as the Top Hotels in Australia and New Zealand

Park Hyatt Sydney
The Park Hyatt brand continues to shine as luxury leaders in Australia when Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt Melbourne received the highest rating in Condé Nast Traveler's 2015 Readers' Choice Awards; reinforcing its strong brand presence as a preferred luxury hotel brand.

Condé Nast Traveler magazine readers voted Park Hyatt Sydney No. 1 and Park Hyatt Melbourne No. 2 respectively, in the Top 15 Hotels in Australia and New Zealand category for consistently delivering rare and intimate luxury experiences, and exceptional personal service grounded in mindfulness.

More than 128,000 travellers took part in the magazine's 28th annual Readers' Choice Awards survey—the most in its history—submitting millions of ratings and tens of thousands of comments to create a list of winning favourites. Most notably, they declared a passion for the authentic, the personalised, the unexpected— all of which are synonymous with Park Hyatt brand pillars.

“We are thrilled and honoured to be recognised as top hotels in Australia and New Zealand by Condé Nast Traveler's discerning travellers. It is an excellent tribute to our associates at Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt Melbourne for their commitment towards caring for our guests and our promise to deliver highly personalised, intuitive and fully engaged service” said Robert Dawson, Area Vice President - Pacific at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and General Manager of Park Hyatt Melbourne.

Park Hyatt Sydney

Seated majestically on one of the world's most beautiful harbours, Park Hyatt Sydney perfectly personifies contemporary luxury with its coveted location between the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Reminiscent of an exclusive harbourside residence, the hotel offers intimate surrounds with architecture, art and design that reflect the Australian landscape.
sydney.park.hyatt.com

Park Hyatt Melbourne

Park Hyatt Melbourne
Distinctive in its location, design and interior, Park Hyatt Melbourne offers uncompromising attention to detail and superior personalised service. This stunning hotel, set amidst century-old elm trees, is a private haven in the middle of a cosmopolitan city. The oversized guestrooms and suites are designed to offer absolute luxury with some featuring spas, fireplaces and private terraces. Of the 240 guestrooms, 24 are suites and include the opulent Presidential Suite.
melbourne.park.hyatt.com

About Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt provides discerning, affluent individual business and leisure guests with elegant and luxurious accommodations. Guests of Park Hyatt receive highly attentive personal service in an intimate environment. Located in many of the world's premier destinations, each Park Hyatt is custom designed to combine sophistication with distinctive regional character. Park Hyatt features well-appointed guestrooms, meeting and special event spaces for smaller groups, critically acclaimed art and food and beverage programs, and signature restaurants featuring award-winning chefs. There are currently 28 Park Hyatt hotels with locations including: Abu Dhabi, Baku, Beaver Creek, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Canberra, Chicago, Dubai, Goa, Hamburg, Istanbul, Jeddah, Maldives, Melbourne, Mendoza, Milan, Moscow, Ningbo, Paris, Saigon, San Diego, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington D.C., and Zurich.
parkhyatt.com

Friday, 30 October 2015

SAMMY Dalat Hotel - Not Only A Hotel

SAMMY Dalat Hotel
I discovered a hotel that combined unique French design together with traditional Vietnamese style when I stayed at the SAMMY Hotel. This is a leading 4 star hotel in Dalat City, located in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam. It is one of the most unique luxury hotels in Dalat.

The impressive lobby has a seating area of grand red velvet and gold chairs and gold coffee tables. The welcoming friendly staff (who spoke good English) quickly processed my checkin and I was soon on the way to my guest room.

My stay at the SAMMY Hotel included a complimentary daily buffet breakfast, 2 bottles daily of mineral water, a fresh fruit bowl and ADSL Wifi internet in my room.

SAMMY Dalat Hotel Lobby
The SAMMY Hotel has 119 rooms (Superior, Deluxe, Suite and Presisent suite) and is designed with meticulous attention to detail and is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. 

My large Superior Room had all the features necessary to make my stay comfortable and feel like my “home away from home”. The room was furnished with elegant furniture and a nice picture on the wall created a tranquil Vietnamese setting. A large window and balcony provided a nice outlook over Dalat. The large bed had a very comfortable mattress and pillows. The room facilities included a television with satellite channels, IDD telephone, minibar & fridge, safe box and a hair dryer. 

My Superior guest room
The clean bathroom had a shower and bathtub and various toiletries supplied. There was plenty of hot water.

There are several restaurants at the SAMMY Hotel. The Sammy Restaurant is a luxurious venue designed and decorated in a classical style. It seats up to 700 people and is suitable for conference, meetings, celebrations, weddings, parties and other events. The Sunrise Restaurant is full of highland sunshine. Its luxurious setting offers excellent meals and a high level of service. The Seahorse Restaurant is a warm dining room in a romantic and quiet garden setting. Here Vietnamese cuisine can be enjoyed in the fresh-air. Various kinds of tea and coffee can also be enjoyed here. There is also a VIP Restaurant.

Breakfast Buffet
I enjoyed my daily buffet breakfast with its variety of hot and cold dishes. There were a variety of Vietnamese and Western style food to choose from, which a choice of drinks.

The SAMMY Hotel offers various types of entertainment for its guests to enjoy. The Massage & Spa  offers various services to give a feeling of complete relaxation. The Karaoke room has a modern sound system and lively decor. The Bar has a selection of various kinds of beverages, cocktails and traditional tea & coffee. The Dancing Club combines a first class DJ, sound, lights & cold drink to make an enjoyable experience.  

My Superior guest room
The SAMMY Hotel is the perfect choice for meetings & functions. The Grand Hall is a multi-functional venue that can seat up to 700 guests in various seating settings. It is ideal for all types of national and international conferences and seminars. The VIP conference Room can seat up to 120 people and the Blue Sky Conference Room up to 80 people. Meeting facilities include a welcome board, screen, LCD projector, white board, markers, backdrop, sound systems, microphone, note pad, pen, flowers for decoration, mineral water for Chairman and welcome receptionists.

The Business Center is fully equipped with facsimile machine, photocopying services and computers with high-speed internet access. Secretarial services are also available for guests.

Dallas night markets
Located in the central heart of the Dalat, the SAMMY Hotel is within walking distance to the night markets, Crazy House, shops and churches. It is a 30 minutes drive from the nearby Lien Khuong airport. 

The SAMMY Dalat Hotel belongs to Sammy Luxury Hotel Group. It was first established in Vung Tau with a three star hotel – Sammy Vung Tau, and it will renovate it to become a 4 star hotel next year. Today, Sammy Hotel Group has grown and is now spread out to Vung Tau, CanTho, as well as Dalat. It will be the first 4 star hotel system in Vietnam.

The SAMMY Hotel is a perfect place for both business and leisure travellers.

SAMMY Dalat Hotel

SAMMY Dalat Hotel
Address: 1 Le Hong Phong Street, District 4, Dalat, Vietnam
Phone: 063 3 54 54 54

Hilton Pattaya Special F&B Offers Celebrate Pattaya International Fireworks Festival 2015

In conjunction with the Pattaya International Fireworks Festival 2015, Hilton Pattaya has introduced special F&B offerings for Nov. 27 and 28. Guests will get to wine and dine in style at four venues within the hotel. Hilton Pattaya is situated by the Pattaya Bay making it the choice location for guests to enjoy the fireworks display with the spectacular panoramic views of the bay and Gulf of Thailand as a backdrop. Guests can choose from the following F&B outlets to soak in the fireworks:

Centre Stage at Edge

Enjoy a sumptuous international dinner buffet on level 14 of the hotel, at Edge, while savoring the electric atmosphere of vibrant firework that will light up the Pattaya night sky for THB 2,200 nett per person. To complement the dinner, a wine buffet is also available at an additional cost of THB 1,350 nett per person from 6-11 p.m.

BBQ Buffet on the Sundeck

Watch the skies explode in to a multitude of colors and sounds from our exclusive viewing platform on the Sundeck. For a more casual affair, select from the chefs' live barbecue offer for THB 2,750 nett per person, which includes free flow wine, beer and soft drinks. The Sundeck is open from 6-11 p.m.

Hot Seats at Drift

Relax and enjoy a panoramic view of the Pattaya Bay at one of the best locations in town. Package consists of free flow wine, beer, pouring spirits and soft drinks for THB 1,950 nett per person, available from 7-11 p.m. There is also an a la carte menu offer available.

Viewing from the highest level at Horizon

Wine and dine at the rooftop restaurant and bar on floor 34. Horizon provides the ideal setting for a luxurious and comfortable evening with the most exclusive view in Pattaya. Discover the menu that Executive Chef Supoj Suwanwong has created to make this day full of magic and awe. Horizon offers a premium set menu for THB 2,800 nett per person from 6-11 p.m.
Or enjoy VIP access, after 9 p.m., at Horizon's infinity bar and stargazer lounge, imbibe on your favorite cocktail while you soak in the festival's atmosphere. Beverage package is available at THB 2,400 nett per person and it includes free flow wine, beer, pouring spirits and soft drinks. 

Advance booking is essential. For more information or reservations, please call +66 (0)38 253 000 or email Bkkhp_pattaya_festive@hilton.com

The Great Migration Is Coming to Victoria!

Wildlife tourism professionals are migrating to Melbourne and Geelong for the biggest event of its kind – the Australian Wildlife Tourism Conference.

Australia's most prominent wildlife tourism operators, international academics and government decision-makers will flock to the 3 day conference, to be held in Geelong, Victoria on 29th September - 2nd October 2015 to discuss the future of tourism.

Minister for Tourism, the Hon John Eren MP - a local – is excited about opening the event: “Whether it's our unique Phillip Island Penguin Parade, our captivating Werribee Open Range Zoo or our world renowned Melbourne Zoo, when it comes to wildlife tourism we really do have the best of everything. This conference is our chance to showcase our strengths to industry experts from all over Australia."

Reflecting the importance of wildlife tourism to Victoria, major sponsor for the conference is Tourism Victoria. Other sponsors include Parks Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Park.

Top Australian speakers include the Federal Commissioner for Threatened Species and representatives from Zoos Victoria, Phillip Island Penguin Parade, Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Echidna Walkabout, The International Centre for Responsible Tourism and Australian Greens Senator Janet Rice. International speakers from Indonesia, the USA, Japan, Sweden and Kenya will provide a global counterpoint.

Pre and post field trips to the Mornington Peninsula, East Gippsland, Wilsons Promontory, the You Yangs, Phillip Island and Mt Rothwell will showcase mobs of kangaroos, parades of penguins, pandemoniums of parrots, harems of seals, pods of dolphins and colonies of fruit bats.


For more: http://www.wildlifetourism.org.au/wildlife-tourism-conference-2015

London remains one of the most visited destination for international travelers

London’s tourism boom has continued during the second quarter of 2015, with the city welcoming a record 5.1 million international visitors between April and June this year, six per cent more than the same period last year, according to the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey (IPS).

Tourist spending over the same period was £3.2 billion, an eight per cent increase compared with the second quarter of 2014. Over the past five years (2009-2014), the number of overseas visitors coming to London has risen by 22.5 per cent.

The national picture is also positive with 9.9 million international visitors coming to the UK between April and June 2015, five per cent more than the same period last year. Over half of theseinternational visits to the UK were to London. Tourist spending across the UK over this period was £5.8 billion, a seven per cent increase compared with the second quarter of 2014.

The latest figures follow on from a record-breaking 2014 when 17.4 million overseas visitors travelled to London, spending £11.8 billion across the city’s restaurants, hotels and attractions. Earlier this year the capital was named the most popular tourist destination in the world for the second year running by MasterCard in the Global Cities Index report. According to the report, London is forecast to host 18.82 million international visitors in 2015 putting the city ahead of Bangkok and Paris.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, welcomed the figures. He said: “These numbers prove that our great capital is without a doubt the best place on earth to visit. People come from around the world to experience our unique mix of history, culture, shopping and world-class events. With our spectacular Autumn season of culture and the Rugby World Cup having put London in the spotlight once again, we’ll undoubtedly be welcoming even more tourists to London in the months ahead.”

Gordon Innes, CEO at London & Partners, the capital’s official promotional organisation adds: “The positive figures for the second quarter of 2015 bode well for another year of strong visitor numbers and spend across the city’s museums and art galleries, attractions, restaurants and hotels. As VisitLondon.com we constantly look for new ways to build and grow the city’s tourism offer which supports tens of thousands of jobs across the capital. That work includes innovative campaigns promoting London to the world such as the launch of London’s Autumn Season of Culture and our hugely successful Guest of Honour campaign.”

The IPS figures show that London’s popularity is going from strength to strength, with increasing numbers of visitors coming to London each year to attend the capital’s calendar of world-class exhibitions, visit the city’s famous landmarks, enjoy its diverse culture, and watch major sporting events.

London’s Autumn Season of blockbuster exhibitions, including Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age at the Science Museum and Crime Museum Uncovered at the Museum of London, are expected to attract many thousands of international visitors. The city’s major events are also drawing significant numbers of tourists. Earlier this year the capital hosted the annual cycling event Prudential RideLondon, and over the last month has welcomed some of the biggest matches of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In January 2016, the city will add another major event to its calendar with the free outdoor light festival, Lumiere London. This is the first event of its kind to take place in the capital and will feature a stunning array of light installations, to be enjoyed by Londoners and visitors alike.

Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park included in Lonely Planet's Worldwide Top 10

The renowned travel guide, Lonely Planet, has included the local wildlife park, Australia Walkabout Park, in their World's Top 10 list of “Best Animal Adventure”, published 27 October 2015.

Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park's General Manager, Tassin Barnard says “We are ecstatic! The only way to get into Lonely Planet is to give visitors such an amazing experience that they all write to Lonely Planet and tell them to put you in the book! This is the best endorsement any tourist destination anywhere in the world could dream of.”

Lonely Planet's take on the parks is as follows:
“You can visit this park by day to see native Australian animals roaming free, but we recommend the Wild Night Out where you can camp in the park overnight.” The Wild Sleep Out is an awesome after dark adventure. Not just a ‘bed in the bush’, the rangers take you on a wild walkabout to meet the most amazing creatures foraging in the bushes and trees along the tracks before you retire to the campfire and then to bed, comfortably under canvas or in your own private fully equipped cottage.

Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park is opened daily, 9 am - 5 pm, (except Christmas Day).

Indonesia wins three awards at World Travel Awards 2015 held in UAE

Indonesia bagged three awards as the world halal tourism destination at the World Travel Awards 2015 event held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Indonesia successfully won the award for the Best Halal Tourist Destination and the Best Halal Honeymoon Destination for Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara province as well as the Best Family-Friendly Hotel for Sofyan Hotel.

The winners of the World Halal Travel Awards 2015 were announced at a gala dinner in Abu Dhabi on October 20, 2015, in conjunction with the World Halal Travel Summit 2015.

The World Halal Travel Summit and Exhibition is established by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Indonesia Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that the award reinforces Indonesia as a world-class halal tourist destination.

The minister revealed that Indonesia was nominated in five categories as it is considered as one of the fastest-growing countries in global tourism.

K-Pop celebrity to star in Queensland tourism campaign‏

Korean celebrity and K-Pop sensation, Rain, will star in a new Queensland tourism marketing campaign that will entice more Korean travellers to visit.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones, said K-Pop, or Korean pop music, was a cultural phenomenon in Korea and amongst millions across the world.

“Rain will travel to Queensland to front the new ‘Q-Pop’ campaign that will invite Koreans to visit,” Ms Jones said.

“The campaign will encourage Koreans to holiday in the state and experience attractions including Cairns and Great Barrier Reef; surfing and water sports on the Gold Coast; outdoor nightlife and lifestyle experiences in Brisbane; and the state’s array of food and wine offerings.

“TEQ will work in partnership with Korean Air and other in-market trade partners from early November to promote flight and holiday packages to Queensland.”

Minister Jones said the announcement of the Q-Pop initiative coincided with a tourism trade mission to the country which included a celebration to mark 20 years since Queensland had first established a tourism presence in the market.

“TEQ led a delegation of nine tourism businesses to Seoul and Busan this week, marking the 20-year milestone,” she said.

“Korea is an important market for Queensland with 53,000 Koreans visiting the state in the year to June 2015, a four per cent year-on-year increase, spending $147 million on their visits.

“This is why we’ve had a presence in market over the past two decades – to work closely with trade partners each year, market Queensland holidays and encourage inbound travel by Koreans.

“The trade mission, ’Queensland on Tour – Korea’ has allowed Queensland tourism operators to meet with approximately 200 travel trade representatives to establish relationships and grow business opportunities.

“Tourism operators from the Gold Coast, Whitsundays, Brisbane and Tropical North Queensland were represented on the mission, including wildlife parks, tour operators, island resorts and theme parks.”

Ms Jones said earlier this month TEQ hosted 22 Korean travel agents on a visit to Brisbane and the Gold Coast to experience local tourism products first-hand and strengthen their ability to sell the destination.

The Q-Pop campaign is an initiative of Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) in partnership with Korean Air, Tourism Australia, Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane Marketing, Gold Coast Tourism and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

IBTM AMERICA INTRODUCES A NEW HOSTED BUYER RECRUITMENT PLAN FOR ITS 2016 EVENT


  • Focus groups with Corporate, Agency and Incentive Buyers

ibtm america (www.ibtmamerica.com), part of ibtm events, will be focusing once again on delivering a comprehensive mix of top level meetings industry buyers -with the focus on Corporate and Incentive planners - for its 2016 event which is set to take place in Nashville.

Jaime McAuley, Event Director, ibtm america commented: “Our focus is to offer both buyers and suppliers a platform to grow their business in the global meetings, events, conference and incentives industry, ensuring maximum ROI for both exhibitors and planners. Confirming the right profiling of both planners and suppliers is fundamental to the matching process and we continually strive to create an improved individual experience for our Hosted Buyers, based around pre-scheduled business appointments, networking and learning.”

The show team will take to the road this month to engage in focus groups as well as customer visits all over the US. The first will be held in Southern Florida followed by another on the East Coast in early December. The purpose of this qualitative research will be to gain a clearer understanding of both exhibitor requirements and buyer business patterns and objectives.

The new recruitment process will also involve the use of LinkedIn Navigator, reaching out to the other ibtm events and their association partners as a resource, recruiting buyers incrementally with exhibitors, research to understand how much of an issue “preferred suppliers” are for corporate planners in America, the use of “industry spiders” to gain access to the right corporate planners and gain introductions, targeting Fortune 1000 corporates and adding new meeting planners to existing database as well as face to face and telephone screening of buyers.

Christine Gaudet, Director of Events, Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network (LTEN), commented: “I had heard about the event but never attended. I wanted to check it out and I was impressed-- I loved the one-on-one meetings set up, it was very well run. I was able to discover more about Chicago and I’m running a summit there next week. I also found a couple of vendors I’m planning on using, secured a mobile app provider for my meeting in Chicago this week, and discovered a few venues and destinations that I’ll be considering for future events. I can sum ibtm america up in two words: well done!”

Edward Weller, Account Director, Digital Mauve, commented: "ibtm america was a great opportunity to speak to people who we don't normally see. I was given a couple of briefs for international events and found a new DMC. I also met with a private jet company that was a great contact. The keynote speakers and the session on planning incentive travel inspired me. The event was really good, not only my appointments, but the networking opportunities as well.”

Meeting professionals who apply to attend this event as Hosted Buyers will be selected on their business influence and buying power, both in the region and globally.

Hosted Buyer Registration will be going live in January. For further information, please visit http://www.ibtmamerica.com/Register-Today/Hosted-Buyer-Registration/

For further information about exhibiting, please visit www.ibtmamerica.com

For sales enquiries, please contact: ibtmamerica-sales@reedexpo.com

Lonely Planet Declares Freo the Way to Go in 2016

Western Australia's port city of Fremantle has been named a “must see” destination for 2016 by one of the world's most respected international travel publishers, Lonely Planet.

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2016 edition includes the best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year.

Ranked seventh on the book's list of Top 10 Cities 2016, Fremantle is “a raffish harbour town with sea-salty soul to burn,” according to Lonely Planet.

Australian Olympic gold medallist and co-owner of Fremantle dining venues, Bib & Tucker and May St Larder, Eamon Sullivan says Lonely Planet's recognition of Fremantle is well-earned.

“It's easy to see why so many people love visiting Fremantle – it's home to world class beaches, heritage architecture and a flourishing food scene attracting thousands of visitors each year,” Mr Sullivan said.

The eclectic and multicultural city of Fremantle, famous for its music and arts scene, cafes and bars, boutique breweries and historic streetscapes, is currently undergoing a once-in-a-generation revitalisation.

More than $1.3 billion worth of development is the pipeline including a number of hotel developments, new restaurants, small bars and retail spaces which will take the city to new heights in its appeal as a global tourism destination.

Tourism Minister Kim Hames welcomed the port city's selection on Lonely Planet's Top 10 Cities list for 2016 and said the honour was timely as the city was undergoing its biggest transformation since the America's Cup defence in 1987.

“When you consider all the city has to offer, it's no wonder the experts at Lonely Planet think Fremantle should be on everyone's travel list for 2016,” Mr Hames said.

Each year, Best in Travel's recommendations are drawn from hundreds of ideas submitted by Lonely Planet's staff, authors and extended community of travellers, bloggers and tweeters.

Fremantle quick facts:

  • Famed for its welcoming atmosphere, vibrant entertainment, boutique breweries, historic streetscapes and spectacular Indian Ocean backdrop, Fremantle is one of the most visited places in Western Australia.
  • The eclectic port city of 'Freo', as it's known to locals, is a cultural and creative melting pot of artists, musicians, designers, writers and performers. 
  • Visitors can catch a train on the Fremantle line from Perth Station; or take a 20-minute (approximately) drive. If you're seeking a more leisurely experience, follow the Swan River downstream on a ferry from Barrack Street Jetty. Once in Fremantle, the city is serviced by a convenient and free shuttle-service known as the Central Area Transit (CAT).
  • Fremantle boasts the best preserved example of a 19th century port streetscape in the world. In fact, over 150 buildings in the port city are classified by the National Trust, including The Round House (1831), The Esplanade Hotel (1890s) and the Fremantle Prison (1850s).
  • Established in 1829 as a port for the fledgling Swan River Colony, Fremantle has a fascinating maritime and convict history. Today, Fremantle retains its strong connection to the sea and is home to a 500-strong fishing fleet, hundreds of yachts and pleasure craft, and two significant historical replica ships The HMS Endeavour and the Duyfken, which was the first Dutch vessel to chart the Australian coastline in 1666.

Designer Nghia wins home decor contest with images from past era

Truong Quy Nghia of Lavanto Home Decor won the first and third prize of The Gift and Home Accessories Design Competition or the 2015 Lotus Award with his artwork Sai Gon Trong Toi (Sai Gon in My Heart) and Mot Thoang Sai Gon (A Glimpse of Sai Gon).

Sai Gon trong toi includes nostalgic images from the 1960s and 70s on picture frames, business card boxes, coasters, key chains and motorcycle models from three popular vehicles of that time - Vespa, Honda Dame and Honda SS50 motorbikes.

A set of products Mot Thoang Sai Gon inspired by simple Sai Gon includes images of cafes, food carts and advertisements. The three main product lines are T-shirts, notebooks and decorative paintings.

Tran Thi Ai Duy from Hoang Ha Textile Co. Ltd won second prize with sets of shirts, handbags and tablecloths made of cotton and accessories from Viet Nam.

The products named Sai Gon - Trong Trai Tim Toi (Sai Gon - In My Heart) were printed with distinctive images of old and modern Sai Gon.

Another five products were given consolation prizes. They were Saigon street pop-up books from four students at Van Lang University; Sai Gon penholder by Tran Ngoc Hung, a lecturer at Thu Dau Mot University; Sai Gon Trong Toi, Trong Ban, Trong Chung Ta (Sai Gon in Me, in You, and in Us) by Pham Xuan Toan, a student at the HCM City University of Architecture; five terracotta products by designer Nguyen Van Trung; and a set of tablecloths by Tran Thi Ai Duy.

The Lotus Award and Gift and Home Accessories Design competitions were organised by the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA) and the city's Department of Tourism.

Launched in March, they received 66 entries from 40 individuals and groups. They included seven enterprises, 20 students, 12 designers and a foreigner.

Criteria for grading were function, art, costs and trendiness.

Themed "Distinctive Souvenirs for HCM City", the competition aims to enhance the value of handicraft souvenirs and introduce the creativity and work of Vietnamese artisans to tourists.

Discover NSW’s best secret camping spots this Spring

Warmer days, clear skies and cool nights around the campfires make spring the ideal time of year to discover some of the NSW’s secret campsites and hidden gems.

From coastal camps on pristine beaches, to bushland sites in wild national parks, NSW is filled with hidden camping gems just waiting to be discovered.

Here are some of the best secret camping spots along the NSW coast and inland that should be on your list of must visit places this spring.
  • The spectacular and secluded Honeymoon Bay at Point Perpendicular on the northern end of Jervis Bay on the South Coast allows camping on weekends and during school holidays only. Allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, this rustic bush camp site is a true bush camping experience and just moments to the beaches of northern part of Jervis Bay 
  • Camp by the beach and amongst banksia trees at Picnic Point campground in Mimosa Rocks National Park. Find the perfect fishing spot, swim in crystal clear waters and enjoy scenic views of the stunning Sapphire Coastline
  • An unknown gem, Lakesea Caravan Park Durras near Batemans Bay, has grassy shaded sites with BBQ drums and a campground that is kitted out for the more novice camper including a camp kitchen with free gas BBQs, fridge and oven. Just moments to Durras Beach and Lake Durras, enjoy surfing, kayaking, fishing and bush walking in nearby Murramarang National Park 
  • While many know the Central Coast’s Glenworth Valley for its horse riding and quad biking, it is it’s amazing bush camping sites will surprise people. Expect pristine, bush style campsites along the river bank with wood-fired BBQs, hot showers and plenty of peace and quiet 
  • For absolute beachfront, Beachcomber Holiday Park at Potato Point is the place. Backing onto Eurobodalla National Park, expect to be camping amongst kangaroos and wallabies whilst cooking on the pizza oven and relaxing around the communal camp fires 
  • Outside of Mudgee in Central NSW is the pristine Dunns Swamp in Wollemi National Park. Set on the banks of the Cudgegong River and nestled amongst stunning sandstone pagoda rock formations, Dunns Swamp is a nature lovers dream with plenty of walking tracks and canoeing and swimming spots 
  • The pet-friendly Mystery Bay Camp Ground, near Tilba on the South Coast, is just moments from the beach, which has off-leash areas. Enjoy this bush camping site and all that Mystery Bay offers - snorkelling in the bay, surfing at 1080 beach, cheese tasting in nearby Tilba and of course the stunning views of Montague Island 
  • Camp under the stars and experience a true Australian outback station stay at Corynnia Station near Hay in Outback NSW. Camp under ancient black box tree on the edge of a 1,000 acre dry swamp on this working farm and discover this immense property on nature walks, paddock picnics and farm tours
  • At the end of the dead-end road, North Coast Holiday Park Corindi Beach, on the NSW North Coast, has just 6 cabins and 64 shady campsites to choose from. Nestled beside the beach, within a bush setting enjoy gentle sea breezes and stunning bush and coastal views. Spend days fishing, snorkelling, surfing, swimming and kayaking in nearby beaches, lakes and rivers 
  • Camp in the middle of the mighty Tapin Tops National Park, in the NSW North Coast, at Dingo Tops and explore the park’s stunning waterfalls and creeks and relics from the areas forestry past. Surrounded by ancient rainforests and eucalypt forest, Dingo Tops is a quiet campground where parma wallabies, red-legged pademelons, greater gliders (at night) and koalas are frequently spotted.

For more ideas on camping in NSW this spring go to visitnsw.com/camping

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Crème de la crème’s Kyoto Vegetable Cream Puff

Creme de la Creme shop
This Cream Puff shop and café was started on 11th of November in the year Heisei 11 (1999) on exactly 11.11 am by Ishida Roho. It is located near the Imperial Park in Kyoto’s Karasumadori. As the name suggests, the shop specializes in cream puffs, though other sweets are available. 

The real pride of this shop, however are their Kyoto Vegetable Cream Puffs. According to the season, 3 to 4 different flavors of cream puff are available, all made with vegetable from Kyoto. For autumn the flavors include Shishigatani Kabocha, a kind of pumpkin from the Sakyo ward in Kyoto which is said to be rich in nutrients, Manganji Togarashi, a kind of mild pepper, Tanba Guri, a special kind of Japanese chestnut usually eaten in autumn, Murasaki Zukin, a black soybean similar to edamame and Kyo no Shiromiso, Kyoto’s sweet, white miso paste which is available all year round. While the idea of vegetable cream puffs may need some getting used to, these cream puffs have just the right amount of sweetness to bring out the gentle flavor of the vegetable.
Address: Nakagyo-ku, Karasuma-Takeya-cho, Shoshonoi-cho 225
Access: Subway Marutamachi Stn.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm Sunday + Holiday: 10 am – 6 pm (Café: 11.30 am – 6 pm)
Closed: Tuesday

http://www.cremedelacreme.co.jp/

China International Travel Mart 2015 Kunming (November 13-15)

This year’s China International Travel Mart (CITM) takes place in Kunming, China next month, bringing together more than 80,000 buyers, exhibitors and visitors for the largest professional travel show in Asia.

The world’s tourism circles will gather for three days to mingle among 2,400 exhibitors, two trade-only days, press conferences, symposia, social activities, and business meetings. 

Registration for buyers is now open, with a registration deadline of November 1, 2015. 

Click here to register or click here for more information on the event.

New high-tech travel map introduced for travellers to know more about Welsh history

Visitors to Wales will be able to experience Welsh history through a new Wales History Map, launched by the Welsh Government’s Historic Environment Service, Cadw.

For the first time, history enthusiasts will be able to explore sites all over Wales based on their favourite period in Welsh history – from the legacy of the Princes of Gwynedd to the story of national hero Owain Glyndŵr, bringing Wales’ heritage to life.

The Wales History Map is an interactive online resource that allows users to pinpoint more than 50 of Wales’ historic sites, owned or cared for by various partners from within the heritage sector, by separating them into 12 different themes of Welsh history.

Themes will include the Castles of Edward I (Flint Castle, Conwy Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Harlech Castle and Beaumaris Castle); Wales: First industrial nation (Big Pit, Blaenavon Ironworks, National Slate Museum, National Wool Museum); Artistic Response to the Landscape (Cae’r Gors, Cyfartha Castle, Laugharne Castle, Tintern Abbey); and Welsh hero Owain Glyndŵr (Aberystwyth Castle, Harlech Castle, Owain Glyndwr Centre and Glyndyfrdwy).

In addition to the map, a series of audio guides have been released telling the stories of four of Wales’s best loved ‘heroes and heroines’. From Branwen ferch Llŷr to Gwenllian, and Llywelyn the Great to Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, the audio guides each link to a specific theme on the Wales History Map, and can be downloaded and listened to while exploring sites.

And to help visitors get in the mood for historic adventures, the Welsh government has collaborated with Trac Cymru (Music Traditions Wales) to create the Ultimate Welsh Road Trip Soundtrack. Featuring songs from the likes of Welsh songstress Duffy and award-winning folk group 9Bach, the soundtrack includes a playlist of songs by Welsh artists to complement the historic themes.

HELLO FROM MOOLOOLABA BEACH!

October is a month with beautiful weather, the temperature is picking back up into the mid-twenties and the place has really come alive. We’re right in the swing of the beach, pool, spa, seafood, repeat routine at Mooloolaba Beach. But what if you want something a bit different while you’re here? - Who’s heard of Aussie World?

Aussie World Theme Park on the Sunshine Coast of Australia is a FUN day out for the entire family.

If you’re looking for thrills and excitement then you will find it all at Aussie World – right in the middle of the Sunshine Coast on the Bruce Highway. There are rides that will get you soaked, make you green and dizzy, there are simulators and slides, bumps and coasters!

The best news - for families travelling to Raffles Mooloolaba, there’s now a bus service between Mooloolaba and the famous Aussie World theme park, meaning you can spend a day on the rides without having to worry about a hire car.

Reminder - Get your bookings in for Christmas/New Year!

A friendly reminder, if you’re planning on coming to Mooloolaba for Christmas/New Year, best to jump on our website at www.rafflesmooloolaba.com.au ASAP to get your bookings in as they are really filling up fast!

Phone: +61 7 5444 0077 Fax: +61 7 5444 3708
Email: info@rafflesmooloolaba.com.au
Address: 65-69 First Avenue Mooloolaba, Queensland 4557 Australia

ITE & MICE Hong Kong – covers China and Hong Kong Outbound

ITE & MICE, Hong Kong’s only international travel fair, covers the two major source markets of Asia – the regional travel trade in trade days and Hong Kong’s affluent FIT in public days! Also, it is among the first in Asia to promote and highlight in-depth / theme travels!

In 2014, Hong Kong ranked Asia’s 4th largest / World’s 14th largest, who spent US$22.8 billion on international travel, and its 7.2 million citizens made a total of 84.52 million departures! China (population 1366 million) spent US$164.9 billion on international tourism, ranked No. 1 in the world.

Our ITE & MICE 2015 drew from 50 countries and regions 607 exhibitors (85% from abroad); over 6000 travel agents and around 2600 corporate /MICE visitors mainly from Hong Kong and China (especially Guangdong) in 2 trade days, and 78116 Hong Kong’s affluent FIT in 2 public days, so exhibitors can cover in separate days regional travel trade and HK’s affluent FIT in one fair.

ITE & MICE 2016, which co-locates the 30th ITE (leisure) and the 11th ITE MICE, will be held from June 16 to 19, 2016 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Lonely Planet Names Australia in Its 2016 'Top 10' Countries List

Australia's enduring international appeal has been confirmed by Lonely Planettoday (Wednesday 28 October), making the leading global travel authority's Top 10 list of countries to visit in 2016.

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2016 book, published on Wednesday and now in its 11th year, comprises an annual collection of the best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year.

Australia ranked sixth on the Top 10 Countries list, drawing special mention for value for money, 'booming' Indigenous tourism and 'a roaring trade in UNESCO World Heritage wilderness areas'.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O'Sullivan, said that Australia's place in Lonely Planet's 'must visit' country list for 2016 was a huge marketing opportunity.

“Australia's challenge has never been getting onto people's travel wish lists, but more around translating our destination's strong appeal into more actual visits. Making Lonely Planet's Top 10 list of 'must visit' countries for 2016 is exactly the sort of 'new news' which helps do that. As acknowledged by the Lonely Planet team, there's probably never been a better time to visit Australia, with international visitors from most of our key markets benefitting by having more tourism dollars in their pockets to spend when they get here.

“A key focus of our marketing this year has been around the promotion of our Indigenous tourism story, so it's really pleasing to see this called out as one of our unique selling points and competitive strengths,” he said.

Mr O'Sullivan said it was great to also see Fremantle continue what had become a tradition of Australian cities and regions making Lonely Planet's Top 10 Best in Travel lists:
  • Tasmania: Top 10 Regions 2015
  • Adelaide: Top 10 Cities 2014
  • The Kimberley: Top 10 Regions 2014
  • Hobart: Top 10 Cities 2013
  • Darwin: Top 10 Cities 2012
  • Great Barrier Reef: Top 10 Regions 2011
  • Newcastle: Top 10 Cities 2011

Each year, Best in Travel's recommendations are drawn from hundreds of ideas submitted by Lonely Planet's staff, authors and extended community of travellers, bloggers and tweeters. Their suggestions are then refined by a panel of in-house travel experts, based on 'topicality, excitement, value and that special X-factor'.

Australia also featured in 10 other Best in Travel 2016 lists, including Western Australia (#10, Best Value Destinations) and Melbourne (#4, Most Accessible Destinations).

PRESS CONFERENCE LINEUP IBTM WORLD 2015

This year at ibtm world 2015 (17th- 19th November in Barcelona) we have a packed schedule of press conferences from some of the world's biggest industry brands. Continue reading to find out more about what's in store for this year's show.

IBTM WORLD 2015 PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Tuesday 17th November

12:45- 13:15 ibtm world Press Conference

Presented by Graeme Barnett, Senior Exhibition Director, ibtm world, Reed Travel Exhibitions and Sallie Coventry, Portfolio Director, ibtm events, Reed Travel Exhibitions, this opening conference will share news from the global brand.

13:30- 14:00 Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau

Mr. Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President of TCEB will present an update on the Thailand & European Business Events Industry, Thailand’s promotional campaign for EU MICE travellers, and Thailand's new branding campaign : Thailand CONNECT… Our Heart Your World.

14:15- 14:45 Dorchester Collection

Dorchester Collection, with its 10 iconic hotels in Europe and the US, is increasingly focusing on the MICE market. Paula Mercieca, Global Director of Sales, and Julia Record, Director of Communications will give further details of how Dorchester Collection can ensure meetings and events are able to provide long-standing memories #dcmoments.

14:45- 15:15 Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre

The World Obesity Federation and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre are expected to make a joint major announcement on the Healthy Venues initiative.These organisations share a global intent to make conferences and events as healthy as possible for delegates, visitors and staff.

15:30- 16:00 Atout France

In 2016, France will welcome many new tourism opportunities and will shape its tourism strategy to ensure the country remains as one of the world's top MICE destinations. The presentation will also focus on the city of Leon-- the second largest MICE destination in France-- as one of 10 host cities for EURO 2016, sharing news of the city's main venues, as well as new hotels and new gastronomic experiences set to open across the year

16:15- 16:45 Club Med

Based on their unique product offer, Club Med have launched a new worldwide name “Meetings & Events by Club Med” and rolled out a new design concept to embody the Club Med Spirit for business events.

17:00- 18:30

Rob Davidson & Tony Rogers Book Launch
Rob Davidson and Tony Rogers will officially launch their exciting new book, 'Marketing Destinations and Venues for Conferences, Conventions and Business Events'. This book is relevant to everyone who is involved in marketing any type of conference venue and for people employed in convention bureaux and other destination marketing organisations.

Wednesday 18th November

11:15- 11:45 South Africa Tourism

The Minister of Tourism in South Africa, Derek Hanekom will attend ibtm world for the first time to speak about some of the plans that the South African government has in investing and growing the greater tourism industry in South Africa. Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convetion Bureau Officer and geographical member for Africa to the ICCA Board, will also be in attendance.

12:00- 12:30 American Express Meetings & Events

Gain insight into trends on a global and regional basis for 2015 and learn about the key macro trends impacting 2016's meeting industry. Representatives from American Express Meetings & Events will explore the implications and recommended actions for meeting owners to make the most of these trends.

12:45- 13:15 International Association of Professional Congress Organisers

Are you standing on the EDGE of the future? What is EDGE? An exciting new educational programme from IAPCO: Experts in Dynamic Global Education.

13:30- 14:00 Four Points by Sheraton Sydney

Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Darling Harbour is undergoing a $200 million redevelopment, spearheading the revitalisation of Sydney's Darling Harbour precinct as the leading meeting destination in Australia and Asia Pacific.

15:00- 15:30 Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp

Introducing the Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp (FMCCA), part of the world’s best kept 19th century ZOO right next to a true international railway cathedral. At FMCCA you will experience a magical connection that only happens during live encounters.

15:45- 16:15 Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre

Join the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre as we highlight the strengths and positioning of the Sultanate of Oman as a world-class knowledge hub. We reveal the secrets behind the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre as a serious contender for hosting future global conventions, meetings and business events.

16:30- 17:00 XING EVENTS

XING EVENTS as a 360° ticketing & promotion partner for the special needs of trade fair organisers. XING EVENTS has developed innovative products and tools that enable a direct communication with the relevant target group via social media while getting greater coverage, less advertising wastage and better acceptance in the relevant target group.

Thursday 19th November

10:30- 11:00 European Cities Marketing

European Cities Marketing is going global, now exporting its ECM Summer School outside Europe. The first edition of the so-called ECM Academy will be organised in Johannesburg, South Africa from February 19-22, 2016. Like its sister the ECM Summer School, the ECM Academy will be the bridge for African professionals to build a successful career in the Meetings Industry.

11:15- 11:45 Hyderbad Convention Visitors Bureau

Hyderbad will host the world's largest Infectious Disease conference in 2016. The congress traditionally brings 3,000 delegates; in India, organisers are expecting over 4,500, a large number from India's enormous pool of specialists.

12:00- 12:30 Ukraine

Kyiv Convention & Visitors Burea launched in 2015 with Kyiv Meetings & Events Representation as the main operation. Not even a year old, they have already received first RFP for a big Event for 2019. That means not only a resurrection of Meetings & Incentives, but a full Ukrainian come-back to the Meetings & Events World Industry.

12:45- 13:15 EventMobi

EventMobi is partnering with Queen Margaret University and various industry influencers to create and share an event technology curriculum for event management programmes around the world. By connecting with students and event planners through grassroots programs, they are elevating the importance of face-to-face events across North America and Europe while helping professionalise underdeveloped regions.

All press conferences scheduled above will take place in the media centre (located on the show floor) sponsored by Club Med.

To register and for a full outline of benefits, travel discounts and offers available for media please visit: www.ibtmworld.com/press-registration

A SPECIAL NIGHT OF DECADENT DINING - 21 NOVEMBER 2015

Join award-winning author, Hannah Kent for a decadent 6-course degustation and hear intimate tales of trips to Iceland, inspiration and creativity over dessert.


Reef House 5 Course Degustation Menu with Matching Wines


Scallops & Twice Cooked Pork Belly

pineapple & candied ginger jam
Crabtree ‘Hilltop’ Riesling, Clare Valley, South Australia

Lemon, butter & Dill Baked Moreton Bay Bug

seaweed & root vegetable remoulade
Rockbare Chardonnay, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Wild Caught Barramundi

coconut pilaf rice, mild Thai red curry sauce with a crisp nam jim salad\
Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

TNQ Tiger Prawn Risotto

infused with saffron, braised leek, grana padano parmesan cheese & fresh basil
Tar and Roses Pinot Grigio, Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria

Australian Grass-Fed Eye Fillet wrapped in Prosciutto

parmesan white polenta chips, sautéed broccolini & braised shallot béarnaise sauce
Yangarra Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée

caramelised cane sugar, mixed berry compote, pistachio biscotti
Vasse Felix Cane Cut Semillon, Margaret River, Western Australia

HANNAH KENT

Hannah Kent is the co-founder and deputy editor of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. Burial Rites is her first novel. 
 
Hannah was born in Adelaide in 1985. As a teenager she travelled to Iceland on a Rotary Exchange, where she first heard of the story of Agnes Magnusdottir - who would later become the subject of Burial Rites.


LITERARY COLLECTION DINNER AT REEF HOUSE -21 NOVEMBER

WHERE: Reef House, 99 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove, Queensland, Australia
WHEN: 6.30pm, Saturday, November 21st 2015
EVENT PRICE: Delicious 6 Course Degustation menu with matching wines - $140 per head
STAY: Enjoy overnight accommodation in a Verandah room including the Literary Collection event, a la carte & buffet breakfast. For two $499. For one $349
BOOK: (07) 4080 2600 * Please advise of any dietary requirements