By KarryOn @karryontravel27 Nov 2017You Travel Agents go on so many famils and attend so many events that we’ve had to create a whole new section dedicated to your awesome adventures. Check out what consultants got up to over the last seven days below, including a famil sailing around Spain and Portugal with Variety Cruises, or click here to check out last week’s pics and snaps. 1. SPOTTED… having ‘more fun’ in the Philippines They swam with sharks, they kayaked, they snorkelled, they sun baked, they partied and they explored on a recent famil across the Philippines. The Philippine Department of Tourism was delighted to host 60 Travel Agents from Australia and New Zealand in the Philippines from 10 until 19 November 2017, as part of its largest ever mega familiarisation. The lucky agents enjoyed seven nights of fun, sea, sun and adventure, discovering what makes this stunning travel destination so special. Norjamin Delos Reyes, Tourism Attaché at Philippines Department of Tourism Australia and New Zealand, said she was “thrilled” to have exposed consultants to “fantastic” Philippines. Click here for more pictures. 2. SPOTTED… travelling north in Japan Australian Travel Agents were given the opportunity to explore a new and upcoming part of Japan as part of a recent famil with Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). JNTO’s Sydney Office invited eight retail consultant from Australia to go on a five-night fully hosted and completely inspiring tour of Japan from 6-12 November. The group was one of two groups visiting as part of the Japan E-Learning Top Scorers Familiarisation Trip. Click here for more pictures. 3. SPOTTED… spotting elephants in Sri Lanka What an incredible trip! Agents from South Australia stumbled across gorgeous elephants during a recent Wendy Wu Tours & Cathay Pacific famil to Sri Lanka. The trip also saw the group experience Cathay Pacific’s service and onboard dining before taking in Sri Lanka’s cultural sites and natural beauty. 4. SPOTTED… searching for change in Zimbabwe Last month Travel Agents travelled to Hwange, Zimbabwe on the second ’Safari for Change’ famil hosted by Africa travel specialists, Bench Africa. During this unique program, which combines a traditional famil with the opportunity to raise money for and volunteer in local communities, the Agents visited Kapane Secondary School and helped to paint classrooms, dig a borehole to provide running water, prepare meals and supervise sports games. They also raised AU$12,325 for the school and other community projects in the Hwange region. This is the second ‘Safari for Change’ program, an initiative by Bench Africa and Imvelo Safaris. In order to participate an Agent must raise a minimum of $1,000 and volunteer a proportion of their time on the trip to community projects. Bench and Imvelo then distribute the money raised among local community projects. Another unique feature of the program is that Bench Africa are inviting plus ones to participate. In addition to the volunteer work, the Agents experienced a classic African safari, staying at several Imvelo Safari properties: Gorges Lodge, Bomani Tented Camp, Camelthorne Lodge, Nehimba Lodge and then finishing at Zambezi Sands, on the Zambezi River. Highlights included canoeing down the Zambezi River and watching elephants drink from the swimming pool at Nehimba Lodge. 5. SPOTTED… sailing the high seas in Spain & Portugal Personal travel managers (PTMs) Di Yates representative from Montrose in Victoria with New South Wales representatives Vicki O’Dea from Lane Cove, Lisa Metzl from North Avoca and Lana Kanchik from Alexandria recently experienced an exclusive TravelManagers famil, an eight-day sailing experience ‘Glories of Spain & Portugal’ aboard Variety Cruises’ 25-cabin motorised sailing yacht Panorama II. Travelling from Malaga to Lisbon, the PTMs were hosted by Aaron Russ, General Manager for Wild Earth Travel, Australia and New Zealand’s leading representative of worldwide small ship and expedition cruising. For the PTMs this was their first small ship sailing experience and it gave them the first-hand encounter they needed to confidently sell the product to their clients, according to Yates. Kanchik agreed, saying it showed her what clients can expect from pace to standard of accommodation. The day excursions were a highlight for all the PTMs but for Yates it was the first day excursion to Granada and the stunning architecture and series of palaces and gardens of the Alhambra which proved most memorable. 6. SPOTTED… on a smooth ride around France Rail Plus illustrated the seamless efficiency of France’s expanding high-speed rail network this month by taking a small group of Magellan travel agents on a cultured tour of the country’s finest wineries. Led by Rail Plus Business Development Manager, Richard McKisack, and armed with Eurail France passes, the agents embarked on a seven-night excursion that started with a TGV voyage from Paris to Reims, 130 km east-northeast from the capital in the heart of the Champagne region. As well as visiting famous Champagne houses, including Veuve Clicquot, the agents toured the historic ancient city, which was the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France, before travelling on to beautiful Strasbourg, close to the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace. After a couple of days back in Paris, walking the city’s stylish streets, picking up fashion bargains at La Vallee Village, and taking in a racy cabaret and burlesque show at Le Lido on the Champs-Élysées, the group glided south to Bordeaux on France’s newest high-speed route. One of two new high-speed lines opened by state-owned rail operator SCNF in July, the Paris-Bordeaux service has cut the travel time between two of Europe’s greatest cities by more than an hour. Between them the two new routes expanded France’s high-speed rail network to just over 2,900km – a 20% increase. Bordeaux is considered by many to be the wine capital of the world and the agents explored some of France’s finest vineyards, including Château Guiraud and Château Smith Haut Lafitte, before cruising the Garonne River. McKisack says the trip highlighted the unrivalled level of comfort and convenience that the French high-speed rail network offers Australian travellers. 7. SPOTTED… getting G-d up in Cambodia Ten lucky Express Travel Group agents recently travelled with G Adventures as part of a famil to Cambodia, exploring the colours, culture, and history of the incredible region. The famil, which was supported by G Adventures and Thai Airways, followed G Adventures’ 9-day Cambodia Experience itinerary, and was hosted by superstar GPS for Victoria, Steph Beard. Some of the trips most impactful moments included the architectural achievement that is Angkor 0Wat, the Tonlé Sap floating village and the Killing Fields at Phnom Penh. Alana Brown, iTalk Travel Rutherford, found the trip inspiring, and is already thinking about doing a G Adventures trip through Vietnam. 8. SPOTTED… eating around in Singapore & Bintan As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to product knowledge through first-hand experience, TravelManagers, in conjunction with Viva Holidays and Singapore Airlines, recently sent eight personal travel managers (PTMs) on a six day famil to Singapore and Bintan. On arrival in Singapore the group were taken to the Novotel Clarke Quay where they were to spend the next two nights, and after a free evening, they spent the next morning on a guided tour of some of the city’s foodie gems. Theresa Kwong, representative for Hughesdale VIC, cites the Foodelicious Tour as one of the highlights of the famil. Erin Beckford, representative for Anna Bay NSW, had previously only experienced Singapore as a stopover point, and found that the city far exceeded her expectations as a destination in its own right, singling out Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands as particular must-see highlights. The following day the group were transferred to Indonesia’s Bintan Island by ferry, an experience which they describe as having been both useful to experience and surprisingly hassle-free. On arrival in Bintan, Bean and her colleagues were impressed by the beauty of the destination and by the quality of both the accommodation and the service they received there. As well as sampling some of Bintan’s top eateries, the group had the opportunity to inspect several resorts, a beach club and the newly returfed Laguna Golf Course and Club. Early morning yoga and an afternoon of kayaking and windsurfing were also offered for those who were not content to spent their free time poolside. 9. SPOTTED… giving thanks with Visit USA Not for profit organisation Visit USA supporting the travel trade with tourism marketing to the USA, held a Thanksgiving Breakfast at the Museum of Contemporary Art this month with 65 key members of the travel industry attending. Commenting on the event, Kylee Kay, president of Visit USA said: “Thanksgiving is a celebration is a day to be thankful for all that we have and all that others do for their colleagues, friends and family.” “We’re thankful to the travel industry for supporting tourism to the USA.” The breakfast consisted of a sit down meal and prize give-aways with James Hewlett from Collette taking home a prize turkey and Jill Collins from Travel Portland winning air miles on Hawaiian Airlines to travel to Hawaii. 10. SPOTTED… in foodie’s paradise at sea Travel Agents were recently given a behind-the-scenes look at how food is made, prepared and delivered at sea as part of a Celebrity Cruises culinary event. The group were taken through the galley where the onboard chef talked them through the process of taking orders, preparing meals of the day and then serving them to guests. This was followed by a show & tell demonstration from one of the vessel’s barmen who impressed the crowd with some rare drink pouring talent. Have you taken any recent pics from a roadshow or famil? Send them in to [email protected] Other stories you may like Osaka here Sydneysiders come! Qantas’ direct flights take off MOVERS & SHAKERS: Meet G Adventures’ new Director of Sales, Wendy Wu’s new GM & more Taste your way through Europe with the folks at Gourmet Traveller magazine!