By KarryOn @karryontravel29 Aug 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. Your clients are invited to… While there are many Travel Expos held in Brisbane, there is only one targeted exclusively at the over 50s. To be held on Saturday, 9 September at the Hilton Hotel, the Travel Team Expo for Over 50s offers travel enthusiasts over 50 the opportunity to research and compare hundreds of holidays, from luxury world cruises to authentic Aussie adventures – all in one place, on one day. Open from 9.00am to 2.00pm, there will be over 25 major exhibitors at the Expo, including Scenic, Evergreen, Princess Cruises, APT and Trafalgar, to name just a few. Visitors to the Expo can also take advantage of exclusive ‘on-the-day’ only deals and can go into the draw to win a $2,000 travel voucher. Plus, there are many more prizes to be won on the day. Entry is free, click here to register. 2. CT Partners’ network grows with JC Travel Professionals CT Partners, has strengthened its position as the network of choice for larger travel agencies with the announcement that JC Travel Professionals has joined the group. JC Travel Professionals brings CT Partners membership to a total of twenty-two companies with a collective turnover in excess of $1.5 billion. Grant Wilson, Chairman of CT Partners said, “We welcome JC Travel Professionals and look forward to helping them grow and increase their profitability. The great thing with CT Partners is that every new member sees an immediate increase in their income together with the benefit of a supportive and high-performance peer group. Every dollar that comes from Suppliers goes to the direct benefit of members – it’s a compelling proposition for members and Suppliers.” Freddy Mikhael, Managing Director of JC Travel Professionals said, “We are delighted to be part of CT Partners as we found their value proposition with its small, tightly run Head Office, timely and accurate reporting and prompt distribution of Supplier income outstanding. Furthermore, the opportunity to work together with other like-minded members for a common benefit has real appeal to us.” 3. Out & About travel joins Magellan Magellan Travel Group is pleased to have officially welcomed the NSW based leisure agency, Out & About Travel, who joined the Group earlier this month. Founding Director, Reece Farmilo, commented that he is: “thrilled to have become a Magellan member. The culture, the value, the transparency and the like-minded operators are all factors which contributed to the decision we made to join the Group”. Farmilo started the street front agency in January 2007 in Elizabeth Bay (NSW) and now has a team of 8 full time consultants. Furthermore, Out & About Travel was a finalist in the 2017 NTIA for Best Retail Agency – Single Location. Andrew Macfarlane, MD of the Magellan Travel Group, said that he is “very much looking forward to working with Reece and his team at Out & About. It is always an exciting time when we are able to come together with new member agencies and work with them in order to achieve their business aspirations”. 4. A new cruise ship is almost ready to set sail MSC Cruises’ second Seaside class ship has entered the final phase of construction, putting her on track for her inaugural season in the Mediterranean in June next year. When she launches, the 323 metres long vessel will carry a maximum of 5,179 guests and will offer travellers fully immersive and interactive seaside experiences. Following this inaugural season, the ship will follow the sun to Brazil and the Southern hemisphere for the winter 2018-2019 season, with an itinerary that includes Santos, Ilha Grande, Buzios, Porto Belo and Camboriu. 5. Earn reward points when you ‘Create your Thailand’ Excite Holidays, in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, are excited to announce the launch of their brand new ‘Create your Thailand’ campaign and rewards point incentive. For two weeks, they will showcase to Agents the incredible opportunities, unique activities and diverse terrain on offer in this exciting country. The curated destination guide aims to showcase Thailand as a destination that has something new and exciting to offer on the first, second, third or even fourth visit. The guide aims to inspire Agents to create a unique Thailand getaway for their clients and show why it is a destination that should be on every bucket list. Click here to check out the guides. 6. Intrepid adds Japan to DMC The Intrepid Group, a global leader in sustainable local travel, has opened its first operations base in Japan to meet a growing demand from increasingly adventurous travellers visiting the country. Inbound tourism to Japan has been growing rapidly, up 16.9 percent, and the country is expecting to see a further increase in travellers in the lead up to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. But a recent McKinsey report says that the industry needs to take travellers beyond Japan’s three major cities to ensure sustainable tourism growth. The new Kyoto office, which is operated under the PEAK DMC brand, opened on 25 August as the base for 20 local staff and guides to take thousands of travellers throughout Japan’s most iconic sites as well as lesser known destinations for Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Geckos Adventures and other tour operator brands. “We’ve seen a huge appetite for a more sustainable and experiential style of travel globally, across all ages and budgets,” says the Intrepid Group’s CEO James Thornton. “One of the benefits of this style of travel is to bring tourism into smaller communities, which is increasingly important for preserving culture and natural beauty in a country like Japan where people are moving to into large cities.” 7. Hertz launches supercover vehicle protection Hertz Australia has launched SuperCover, an optional product that customers can add to their rentals for extra peace of mind when renting a car at participating Hertz locations. The SuperCover comes with zero excess to pay during the rental in case of damage to or loss of the vehicle and added benefits of personal accident and personal effects cover, premium roadside assistance and no extra charges for additional drivers or young drivers (aged 21-24). In the event of an accident, SuperCover also waives the customer’s responsibility for any damage administration charges. Eoin Macneill, Vice President Asia Pacific, Hertz, said: “SuperCover can be purchased at time of booking through our website, at the rental counter or through our reservation centre, resulting in convenience for our customers.” 8. Etihad & Aerolíneas Argentinas enter a new arrangement Etihad Airways and Aerolíneas Argentinas have launched a new codeshare partnership, which will give customers convenient connections via Rome and Madrid to Buenos Aires and onwards to nine other popular Argentinian destinations – Córdoba, Mendoza, Rosario, Iguazú, Salta, Mar del Plata, Bariloche, Trelew and Ushuaia. In turn, Aerolíneas Argentinas guests can have access to Etihad Airways’ network of over 100 destinations from its Abu Dhabi hub via the Italian and Spanish capitals. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said: “This codeshare demonstrates the importance of Argentina as a vital travel market for Etihad Airways in Latin America given the growing tourism, cultural and business opportunities that exist between the UAE and Argentina.” 9. STRONG – a word to describe Germany’s tourism New stats are in and according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, international overnight stays in Germany grew by three percent during the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year to reach 36.7 million. Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board (DZT), explains: “With a 3 percent growth in the first half of the year and over one million additional overnight stays, travel destination Germany is showing a very good half-year balance amongst the international competition. From this, it would appear that Germany as a destination is more popular than ever”. According to the latest analysis by Forward Keys, international flight bookings to Germany for the third quarter, up to the beginning of August, are 5.6 percent higher than in the previous year. The Australian market is showing an increase of 2.2 percent year-over-year growth with 212.390 overnight stays between Jan – May 2017. 10. New luxury rail collection from International Rail Dedicated rail specialist International Rail will launch a new ‘Luxury Rail Collection’ program to its extensive product range, offering discerning rail enthusiasts a collection of the most upmarket rail holidays around the world. Managing Director Jonathan Hume said the range was introduced to extend the popular rail booking service to a new market and demographic for IR’s agency partners and will be launched for Agents on September 4, 2017. Throughout the year there will be regular Agent incentives, excellent specials and product training available for Agents. Another motive behind this new range is enabling Agents the chance to offer products which complement the booming market for cruising. What are your thoughts on today’s travel news? Share your thoughts below. Other stories you may like REVIEW: JAL Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner: NRT (TOKYO) – SYD Can this Japanese robot make better coffee than your barista? 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