Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best today and tomorrow.

1. A man couldn’t afford flights for his 2-yr-old, so a generous stranger paid for it


Kindness among strangers still very much exists, or at least it did this month when a traveller offered to cover the cost a man’s airfare because he couldn’t afford it.

According to a Facebook post published by Love What Matters, the man was checking-in with his young daughter at an undisclosed airport when he became panicked.

He’d apparently just learned that he required a ticket for his daughter who had only just celebrated her second birthday two months earlier.

Read on


2. Why is Hawaii suing the US government? You guessed it, Trump’s travel ban

Hawaii feature

Hawaii has gathered a team of lawyers and filed a lawsuit against the US government, which claims Donald Trump’s revised travel ban will hurt the state’s Muslim population, impact tourism and foreign students.

The case was submitted to a federal court in Honolulu on Wednesday, less than two days after the President released details of the new Executive Order.

Several changes were made to the original order, including the removal of one of the seven countries (Iraq), exemptions to refugees already in transit to the United States and a nine day roll over period.

Read on


3. Cathay Pacific adds direct services to Queensland over summer

Travel Agent Cathay Pacific 2

In response to the growing demand for business and leisure travel to Queensland, Cathay Pacific has announced it is enhancing its customer offering to the state through increased capacity and more non-stop services over next summer.

During the peak period from late October to March, the airline will replace its current four times weekly one-stop service to Brisbane via Cairns with direct flights to both cities. The switch means that Queensland’s capital will receive 11 non-stop flights from Hong Kong each week, while Cairns will be served non-stop three times a week.

CX103 departs Hong Kong at 9.25pm and arrives in Cairns, bright and early at 06.35am the next morning.

In addition to the new non-stop flights which will be serviced by A330’s, Brisbane’s existing daily flight will be served by the A350 from 26 March 2017.


4. First images of Qantas’ Domestic Lounge in Brisbane are here & it looks pretty sweet

Qantas Brisbane Lounge feature

Months of work and millions of dollars later, Qantas is about halfway through its major Brisbane Airport upgrade and is almost ready to open a new lounge.

The upgrade that last year has been broken down into various stages, with the first being the Qantas International Lounge, which opened in October 2016.

Following up on the International Lounge is the new Domestic Business Lounge and Premium Lounge Entry set to open next week. This will be followed up with an upgrade Qantas Club and a new Chairmans Lounge at the domestic terminal in the coming months.

Read on


5. Alitalia ceases services to Reggio Calabria

Travel Agent Alitalia

Alitalia has announced it will cease all flights to and from Reggio Calabria from 27 March this year until it can find a viable and sustainable way to operate the service and deliver a profit.

According to the carrier, last year services between Rome, Milan Linate and Turin to Reggio Calabria delivered a loss of six million euros.

The airline currently operates 56 flights a week to and from Reggio Calabria airport, 38 with Rome, 14 with Milan Linate and 4 with Turin.


6. INCENTIVE: WIN a European Festive tour for 2

Travel Agent Albatross Tours 2

Albatross Tours is giving Aussie Travel Agents the chance to WIN a trip for two on any of Albatross Tours Pre-Christmas Festive tour.

To be in the draw Agents are required to book and deposit passengers on any 2017 Pre-Christmas, Christmas Holiday, Christmas Tour, New Year Tour or 2018 Winter Wonderland Tour before 31 July 2017.

Click here for more information.


7. 3,000 WorldVentures reps landed in Brisbane

WorldVentures 2

Brisbane’s economy reaped the rewards of WorldVentures’ annual Momentum training event this year, which was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre with some 3,000 members in attendance.

The event came after the group experienced 12 months of growth in the Australian market and follows on from the recent opening of the company’s first Australian head office in late 2016.

According to WorldVentures’ bosses, the event further demonstrated the company’s commitment to Australian tourism and the strengthening of local industry relationships.


8. Easier European travel thanks to new high-speed rail lines

Travel Agent Rail Plus

Australian Travel Agents are being notified of a range of new rail projects currently underway in Europe, which Rail Plus says will make exploring the continent by train even faster and more comfortable this year.

Opening throughout the year are lines that’ll connect places such as Paris-Rennes (coming mid-2017, reduce current travel time by 30 minutes); Paris-Bordeaux (coming mid-2017 to cut travel time by up to three hours); Berlin-Munich (arriving December 2017 and reducing travel by two hours); and Madrid-Asturias.

Rail Plus Commercial Director Ingrid Kocijan said these developments follow the opening in December 2016 of regular services through Switzerland’s Gotthard Base Tunnel, the largest and deepest tunnel in the world.


9. Bonus night for Agents in Phuket

Travel Agent Phuket

Andaman Beach Suites Phuket is offering Travel Agents bonus nights in ‘Stay-and-Pay’ options valid from 1 April to 15 November 2017.

The rates are exclusive to travel agents in New Zealand and Australia and include examples such as pay for two nights and stay for four or pay for four nights and stay eight.

Andaman Beach Suites Phuket is located in the heart of Patong, only a five-minute walk to the beach. It’s also within walking distance of all Patong’s wine and dine and entertainment options.

For more information call the Roam Group on +61 414011391.


10. Sydney CBD is getting its first Holiday Inn

Travel Agent IHG 2

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a new agreement to open the Holiday Inn Sydney Central in the city’s CBD.

Coming in 2020, the property will be located at 430 Pitt Street and will have 305 rooms, a 120-seat meeting space as well as a design-led restaurant. It will also be part of a mixed use development which will include a 1,000m2 private art gallery and a retail concourse.

IHG’s Chief Operating Officer, Karin Sheppard said: “We pride ourselves on bringing joy to travel by putting guests at ease, being accessible for all and proactively looking for ways to make every guest’s stay more memorable. The Holiday Inn Sydney Central will be a place of joy, relaxation and conversation for visitors to Sydney, whether they are on the trip of a lifetime, a family holiday or just business.”


11. Travel Counsellors sponsors International Women’s Day event

Travel Agent TC 2

Travel Counsellors was a proud sponsor of this week’s International Women’s Day event organised by JITO.

Joined by a range of other sponsors including Intrepid Group, Air New Zealand, The Travel Corporation and Brown Brothers, the event celebrated the significant achievements of women working within the industry and encouraged more women to take up future opportunities for leadership within the sector.

What are your thoughts on today’s travel news?