By KARRYON @karryontravel07 Dec 2015We’ve done all the hard work, so you don’t have to! Read on for the top ten travel news stories we think you need to know today. 1. Australia & NZ deemed safest amongst travellers A new global travel anxiety survey found terrorism and disease to be the biggest deterrents of travel, whilst Australia and New Zealand came out on top for the safest destinations. A new report, entitled How Global Voices Shape Travel Choices: The Impact of Consumer Apprehension on Travel Intention, has been released with a number of interesting findings for the travel industry. Conducted by global marketing firm GeoBranding Center and AIG Travel, the report surveyed 2,000 American, European and other global travelers worldwide during October 2015 via an online survey by the CMO Council and Travelzoo. Read on 2. FCm Travel Solutions secured a BIG contract Flight Centre’s corporate wing, FCm Travel Solutions, recently won a lucrative three-year travel management contract with the NSW state government, with two additional one-year options. The contract will extend to NSW Government departments, members of the NSW parliament and other eligible entities and will see FCm manage the account from early next calendar year. Read on 3. Japan Airlines to Perth? It could be happening Japan Airlines may be on the verge of announcing new direct services between Tokyo and Perth, according to carrier’s chairman. Speaking to media in Dallas over the weekend, Masaru Onishi said the airline was eying Perth as the next ‘possible destination’ for the airline in 2016. The Western Australian, reported the airline is still in early stages of planning but it was possible the service would operate daily using the carrier’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Read on 4. Infinity reduces the cost of its European products Infinity Holidays has revealed plans to slash costs on its European products to bring its hotel and itinerary prices in line with competitors. Under new pricing, a four-night stay at the Timhotel Place D’Italie Butte in May is now $764, a seven percent reduction on $830 last week. There’s also a four-night stay with breakfast in July at the Hotel Cambon now priced from $1,272 – a drop from $1,386 – and offers the consumer refundable rates and the support of after sales service at a cheaper price than three OTA’s surveyed. Read on 5. INCENTIVE: Win a free cruise Bentours is giving travel agents the chance to win a cruise when they book a select Hurtigruten cruise in December. The offer is available on new bookings of Hurtigruten’s 12-day Classic Round Voyage; seven-day Voyage North or six-day Voyage South. Bookings must be made in December 2015. Giving agents even more reason to sell, Bentours is offering $1,000 of free value per couple, including a one-night pre and post cruise stay in Bergen or Kirkenes; transfers between hotel and ship; and Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral excursion. Prices start from $1,332 per person. Click here for more details. 6. You’re invited to Skal’s charity luncheon This Wednesday, dozens of industry friends will gather at the Four Seasons Sydney to celebrate the holiday season and give to charity. This year’s Skal International Sydney Christmas luncheon will not only provide great opportunity for industry partners to network, but also support the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse with a special raffle. The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a non-for-profit cancer treatment centre which focuses on improving the quality of life of cancer patients and their families. The raffle includes a range of prizes including a trip to Fiji, accommodation prizes, car hire and Sydney Harbour cruise vouchers. Tickets to the event start from $109 per person or $999 for a table of ten. Each ticket includes a three course meal and drinks. Click here for more information. 7. Strong boom for Laos Journeys Insider Journeys has experienced a sharp rise in interest in Southern Laos, saying its journeys to the region are selling out fast. The increase in bookings and interest to the destination comes as it celebrates 20 years of the UNESCO World Heritage Listing status for Luang Prabang Insider Journeys’ Managing Director, Paul Hole, attributed the rise to the anniversary as well as the growing desire to explore Indochina more deeply. “As the least visited destination in Indochina, there certainly seems to be a rush to see this very unspoilt part of Asia now before it changes too much.” Paul Hole, Insider Journeys Managing Director “Our ability to capture the nature of this very picturesque country and to highlight its essence has made the Secrets of Southern Laos journey very popular, particularly amongst past Insider Journeys’ passengers returning for a more in-depth Asian experience.” The operator’s Southern Laos small group journey runs for seven days and includes a visit to the Bolaven Plateau, Irrawaddy dolphin spotting and stop by the UNESCO listed Wat Phou temple ruins in Champasak. 8. MSC doubles Cuban presence Clients keen on cruising around Cuba will have even more choice as MSC Cruises bases a second ship out of Havana during the winter 2016/17 season. From November 2016, both MSC Armonia and MSC Opera will operate Caribbean itineraries from the increasingly popular destination. MSC Armonia will sail two separate, culturally diverse, eight-day (seven-night) itineraries – the first takes guests from Havana to Isla de Roatan in Honduras, Belize City, Costa Maya and Isla de la Juventud. The second itinerary starts in Havana and moves to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Montego Bay in Jamaica followed by Georgetown in the Cayman Islands and Cozumel. 9. Industry Christmas party heads out to sea Over 50 Travel Industry Sales Representatives boarded the Captain Cook Cruises’ Sydney 2000 last week for their second annual Travel Industry Sales Representatives’ Christmas party. The event, partially supported by Captain Cook Cruises, saw attendees enjoy a three-course meal while exploring Sydney Harbour. Christmas celebrations also saw the group welcome RoadWarriors.club – a new website and Facebook page designed for the on-the-road sales reps. It will act as a resource tool where sales reps can share information in real time and support each other. 10. The most watched inflight movie on Qantas is… Qantas passengers enjoy a whole lot of violence, a bit of comedy and a touch of animation while flying, judging by the carrier’s list of most viewed inflight movies and TV shows this year. American Sniper, the MA+15 movie loosely based on America’s deadliest marksman who killed 255 people during four tours in the Iraq War, was the number one watched movie on the Flying Kangaroo’s domestic and international flights. Perhaps after viewing the violent movie passengers were looking for something a little light and humorous, because the adorable minons managed to make Despicable Me 2 the second most viewed movie on Qantas planes. Read on What are your thoughts on today’s travel news stories? Other stories you may like Travel Agents dined out on Pho in Vietnam, commemorated in Belgium & more The Ghan launch 3-hour ‘Slow TV’ Program on SBS with no music or talking Were you on Qantas’ Queensland famil? Or were you SPOTTED in India, Adelaide & more?