By KarryOn @karryontravel05 Sep 2017Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best. 1. WIN a $250 Dan Murphy voucher International Rail has launched its ‘Luxury Rail Collection’ program on September 4 to Agents and agencies with the chance to take home a Dan Murphy gift voucher up to $250, just in time for the Christmas party season. Make three deposited bookings per agency on any of the luxury rail products by Friday 7 December and receive a $250 voucher and for home based Agents make just two deposited bookings and receive a $150 Dan Murphy voucher. Rail journeys included in the incentive are Belmond Rail products, Al Adalus, El Transcantibrico, Golden Eagle Danube Express, , The Blue Train and Rovos Rail across Africa, The Maharaja Express, the Deccan Odyssey and Palace on Wheels in India and the most commonly known one by Australians- The Rocky Mountaineer. Click here for more information. 2. Last chance to WIN a spot on a Scenic famil to Canada This exclusive agent famil beginning in Calgary on October 9th and ending in Victoria on October 16th, includes iconic destinations such as Lake Louise, Vancouver, Victoria along with one of the most iconic rail journeys in the world – Rocky Mountaineer. Participation fee is $1800 (flights included ex SYD). Please express interest to [email protected] Spots are limited, therefore Scebic will confirm your participation following your expression of interest. 3. Maxims & MaxQ join the Magellan Travel Group Managing Director, Andrew Macfarlane and Manager National Corporate & Business Development, Scott Darlow joined the Maxims Travel and MaxQ Consolidation teams in Sydney on Friday to officially welcome them to Magellan Travel Group, a relationship which formally commenced on 1 September. Magellan Travel Group MD, Andrew Macfarlane, commented that, “we have long-admired Chris and his business’ and are excited the day has finally come that Maxims, MaxQ and Magellan come together. Maxims Travel are innovative, they are growing, they are diversifying and they recognise the fit between our model and their objectives.” Macfarlane went on to say that “Chris himself will bring a level of expertise that will help shape the future of Magellan Corporate”. “MaxQ Consolidation offers a unique service based offering that is unrivalled and our members will benefit from MaxQ’s tailored solutions to their needs,” Macfarlane also added. Maxims Managing Director and MaxQ founder, Chris Goddard added, “we are delighted to finally enter our partnership with Magellan, one that will enable us to grow all segments of our business’ and open up new opportunities for us”. 4. A new Helloworld store opened in Victoria The Grand opening of Helloworld Travel Pakenham in Main Street saw celebrations and promotions take place across the weekend, showcasing the new store to the local community. The Grand Opening VIP event was held on Friday night, with local traders and associates in attendance. A Grand opening Family Day was held on Saturday, rounding out an exciting weekend for the new store. Helloworld Travel Pakenham is a family owned and operated retail travel specialist with more than 70 years of combined travel experience. 5. Regal Hotels to stop by Australia Hong Kong’s widespread Regal International hotel group will make a four-day sales mission to Australia this month to spread the word about its new Branded Leisure product and a new schedule of rates specifically for Australian Agents. The tour will be made by Regal’s senior group sales director Willy Luk, who from past visits is widely known to travel industry partners here. He will arrive in Brisbane on Tuesday September 12, then spend the next two days in Sydney before flying to Perth on Friday September 15. He will update Agents on a range of rate schedules currently available, which includes a new Branded Leisure scheme offers a variety of added-value aspects including mileage rewards with selected airlines, in-house benefits and touring experiences throughout Hong Kong. 6. Sheraton on the Park commences $40 million renovation Sheraton on the Park, Sydney has announced a comprehensive renovation of its Sheraton Club Lounge and 558 guestrooms, including 50 suites. Scheduled for completion in early 2018, the extensive $40 million refurbishment will combine modern design with classical elegance to cement the hotel’s position as Sydney’s leading luxury hotel. The project, spearheaded by acclaimed interior designer Joseph Pang, will see the guestrooms and Sheraton Club transform from floor-to-ceiling with an emphasis on approachable luxury. Located on the 21st floor, the layout of the Sheraton Club will be reconfigured to frame the spectacular views of Sydney Harbour, Hyde Park and St Mary’s Cathedral, which can be enjoyed throughout the lounge and from the outdoor terraces. The entrance to the exclusive Sheraton Club will be elegantly defined by Bubinga wooden panels, with sliding doors revealing the sophisticated setting within. Inside, the lounge will offer individual spaces for guests, including a private reading room, an open lounge with an impressive fire place and executive board room. A semi-circular skylight will be the signature architectural feature of the Sheraton Club Lounge, using natural light to create an eye-catching focal piece. 7. $19 million retrofit to meet Canberra’s hotel demand A former office tower transformed into a 176-room hotel as part of the city’s vibrant urban renewal program will meet Canberra’s growing demand for hotel capacity. Mantra MacArthur Hotel is the only new hotel to open in Canberra in 2017. The hotel will be operated by Mantra Group, the leading Australian-based hotel and resort operator with 128 properties across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii, and is owned by Canberra developer HTI Group. A $19 million retrofit has transformed the office building into a full-service hotel featuring 136 hotel rooms and 40 suites as well as the brand new Podilato restaurant and bar serving Greek Mediterranean-style cuisine, a fully equipped gym, 24-hour reception, secure parking, internet lounge and express check-out. The modern rooms (One Bedroom Deluxe Suite image attached) use timber to contrast stylish industrial grey feature walls, kitchens and cabinetry, while the overall look is softened by upholstered bedheads and coloured scatter cushions to provide a welcoming comfortable feeling. 8. A Club Med to open Sri Lanka’s first resort With 17 per cent growth in Australians travelling to Sri Lanka, Club Med, the pioneer of the Premium All-Inclusive holiday concept, has announced its plans to open Club Med Ceylon, its first resort in the tropical country. The all-inclusive resort will be located in Sri Lanka’s South West Province in the small town of Beruwela, only a 90 minute drive from Colombo International Airport, and is scheduled to open in August 2019. Positioned as a 4 Trident resort, Club Med Ceylon will offer Australian guests a slice of upscale refinement and active rejuvenation amidst its lush vegetation and sun-kissed beach. Club Med Ceylon will aim to provide all Australian guests – from families to couples – an unprecedented wholesome Sri Lankan experience, complemented by the resort’s eco-chic and vivid aesthetic that will feature wide airy spaces. Keeping in line with Club Med’s sustainability and green initiatives, the resort will be built to the standards of the Green Globe certification. 9. Rail Plus explores the big picture with new Great Train Journeys brochure Rail Plus has unveiled its largest ever Great Train Journeys brochure, with the 2018 edition featuring new products in Europe, North America and Australasia, along with an expanded range of images designed to help agents sell some of the world’s most alluring land voyages. From a design perspective, Agents will immediately notice that Rail Plus has this year removed the route maps it traditionally runs alongside each train itinerary. Instead, enhanced versions of the maps are now consolidated into a handy six-page section at the front of the 40-page publication. Commercial Director Ingrid Kocijan says the move was designed to create space for additional and larger images, with a strong emphasis on broad interior shots. In terms of products, Rail Plus once again profiles on an unrivalled range of iconic rail trips, including Belmond’s celebrated stable of rail voyages, which includes Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Belmond Grand Hibernian and Belmond Andean Explorer. This year’s publication also showcases a number of new additions, including a nine-night Grand Train Tour of Switzerland package that takes intrepid travellers from Interlaken to Lucerne. The self-guided itinerary weaves together some of Switzerland’s most famous alpine journeys – including the Glacier Express, GoldenPass Line and Bernina Express – along with a choice of accommodation options, to create a unique FIT package. Order the 2018 Great Train Journeys brochure through TIFS or click here to download a copy. 10. Adventure World launches awe-inspiring Africa & Middle East collections Tailor-made specialist Adventure World has released its 2018/19 Africa, Egypt & Middle East brochure. Amongst numerous new additions is the Best of the Cape itinerary which combines The Travel Corporations owned & operated ‘Twelve Apostles’ and ‘Bushman’s Kloof’ award-winning properties with Adventure World guests receiving exclusive up-close and personalised viewings of the 10,000 year old sandstone bush art engravings. A specific area of development for the company has been in Northern Namibia where programs have extended to incorporate Damaraland where clients can track the desert adapted black rhino [in partnership with the Ugab Save the Rhino Trust Camp], exploring the upper and less crowded Huab River in search of desert adapted elephants, nature walks and scenic game drives, as well as the possibility of visiting some nearby prehistoric rock and spectacular table-top mountains. What are your thoughts on today’s travel news? Share your thoughts below. 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