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. Syria may not be on any itineraries, but the travel industry should still help

Two boys walking to their tent at a refugee camp in Syria. Image: Unicef

Two boys walking to their tent at a refugee camp in Syria. Image: Unicef

In 2017, it’s clearer than ever before that we in the travel industry have a deep desire to change the world by doing the thing we love most – travel.

We book tour providers based on their values, we select activities that protect wildlife, avoid operators that emotionally impact young children and we do research to ensure that the money we put towards our holidays will in some way contribute to local communities.

But what happens when a country doesn’t appear on any itineraries? Do we, as an industry, step back and avoid taking on some responsibility to assist those suffering from years of unjustified attacks?

Read on


2. The world’s shortest flight – 8 minutes – is being axed

Vienna flight

Passing through airport security takes longer than travelling on the world’s shortest flight, which will be axed less than four months after launching.

Austrian airline, People’s Viennaline, made headlines in November when it launched flights from St Gallen in Switzerland to Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Although at first it appears to be just another European service, on closer inspection you realise that the 50-seat Embraer 145 aircraft is only required to travel 21 kilometres each way, making it a total flight time of eight minutes.

Read on


3. Check out Air New Zealand’s spacious new Economy seat design

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand says it’s bringing more space to Economy with a new design unveiled at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

The new seats will be introduced on the carrier’s Airbus A320/A321neo fleet and will feature a slim-line design and wider seats.

The window and aisle seats will be one centimetre wider than those on the airline’s current international Airbus fleet, with the middle seat three centimetres wider ensuring a better sense of personal space across the row.

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4. The tail-end of Debbie hits New Zealand

The east coast of New Zealand is being flooded for the first time in 500 years as the tail-end of Cyclone Debbie hits the area.

Regions in the North Island, including Edgecumbe, have been declared a ‘state of emergency’ as water levels climb over two metres.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from Bay of Plenty, according to The Guardian, and the local Defence force and Red Cross is providing local authorities assistance by sandbagging properties and clearing debris from roads.


5. Hamilton Island to reopen this weekend

Tourism leaders from Hamilton Island have confirmed that the popular spot will reopen tomorrow, a little over one week after Cyclone Debbie rained down over parts of Queensland’s north coast.

In a social media update, leader said they were “looking forward to welcoming guests back to the island” and offered $100 resort credit per night for those booked to stay at Reef View hotel, Beach Club or Palm Bungalows in April.

Properties opening tomorrow include Reef View Hotel and Palm Bungalows, while Beach Club will reopen on 13 April.

Click here for more information on the reopening.


6. Busabout offers Agents free Europe hop-on-hop-off passes


What better way is there to sell Busabout to your clients than to experience the product first hand? Busabout are now offering free European Stop or Unlimited Hop-on-Hop-off (HOHO) passes to all Travel Agents in Australia and New Zealand.

Additionally, those travelling with friends can pick up a 50 percent discount on HOHO passes for up to three mates.

In order to receive the free 2017 pass and mates discount, Travel Agents need to have worked in the industry for six months. To find out more information, just speak to your Busabout Sales Manager.


7. Singapore Airlines had a mini orchestra playing on a flight from Perth

Singapore Airlines 10

Passengers on a recent Singapore Airlines flight from Perth received quite the (loud and beautiful) surprise when members of an orchestra randomly pulled out their instruments and performed at 39,000-feet.

One violin, two cellos, a clarinet, a viola, a horn and a bassoon brought the sweet sounds of Franz Schubert’s Octet in F major D803 to the A350-900 aircraft as it flew towards Southeast Asia.

Captured on video, the performance started in Business Class, where members of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) had a considerable amount of room to spread out and bring musical joy.

Read on


8. Open Studio Good Friday appeal at The Larwill Studio

Art Series 2

The Larwill Studio will open its doors on 14 April from 10.00am to 1.00pm to give locals and guests the chance to check out Parkville’s newest digs and donate to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

Guests on the day will have animals to play with, ball pit, arts and crafts table, face painting, and more activations, plus there’ll be coffee, fresh food and snacks at Smith + Singleton, located at the front of Studio.

All activities on the day will require a gold coin donation to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. For every room booked on the night of Good Friday, The Larwill Studio will donate $20 of the booking to Royal Children’s Hospital.


9. On the Go Tours launches Egypt, Israel, Jordan & Morocco program

On the Go Tours

On The Go Tours has launched its Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Morocco brochure for 2017-2018 departures featuring a range of group tours, private journeys and tailor-made holidays.

From the legendary Pyramids of Giza and treasures of Tutankhamen to the spectacular rose city of Petra, the itineraries offer a journey through the most spectacular cultural and natural attractions, as well as the lesser known charms, of the region.

Travellers can sail the Nile river in Egypt, trek the rugged Atlas Mountains in Morocco, float in the Dead Sea shared by Jordan and Israel or dive in the Red Sea. Camel trek across the dunes of the Sahara or hot air balloon over ancient Luxor. Visit captivating cities and revered miracle sites, kasbahs, Crusader castles and Roman ruins.

Tours range from day trips and city breaks to 18 day journeys, and are suitable for all types of travellers from solo travellers (no sharing and no single supplement on select departures) to families.


10. First NZ small group journey for A&K


Abercrombie & Kent has released its first ever, small group journey to New Zealand, a six-day sojourn of just 12 guests with local escort Judy McKenzie leading the way from 26 October. 

Focusing on highlights in the South Island, the journey starts in the adventure capital Queenstown with days packed full of mountain biking, hiking and lake trips. Exceptional accommodation is included with three nights at Azur Lodge Queenstown and two nights Fiordland Lodge at Lake Te Anau.

Most meals are included as well as a special wine experience, local artist encounter and a home hosted gourmet dinner. Scenic attractions include Milford Sound, the island of Mou Waho and the Kepler Track. With access easy from Australia, this short spring sojourn is guaranteed to leave guests reinvigorated and renewed.


11. Infinity Holidays’ Judy takes home an award

Infinity Holidays

Judy Anglim of Infinity Holidays took out the top spot for the Australia Indonesia Awards 2017 for her commitment to Tourism and Travel.

According to Infinity Holidays, as the winner of  the Tourism/Travel Category for 2017, Judy has been recognised as making a significant contribution to the greater understanding and friendship between Indonesians and Australians.

The wholesaler said: “The winning smile, warm heart and passionate soul of Judy Anglim has graced the business since 2003. You can hear Judy a mile away, with her signature booming voice “Morning Team!” echoing throughout the office every day. She pours passion into absolutely everything she does and is well-known for her commitment to growing the tourism presence of Indonesia for Australians”.

Congratulations Judy!


12. Berjaya Hotels and Resorts completes a successful sales mission

Berjaya Hotels

Berjaya Hotels and Resort wrapped up a tour across Australia last month, with the mission to promote the properties that are popular with the Australian market including Berjaya Langkawi Resort, Berjaya Times Square Hotel in KL, ANSA Kuala Lumpur and Berjaya Makati Hotel, Manila.

The Sales Mission started in Sydney and travelled to Melbourne and Perth to update key trade partners on meetings, product and offer training sessions.

Berjaya’s Director of Business Development, George Wong also took the visit as an opportunity to share exciting news of the newly revamped restaurant at Berjaya Langkawi Resort and the revamped lobby area at ANSA Kuala Lumpur.


13. Travellers Choice Agents explore Tanzania in style

Travellers Choice feature

Impressive buildings and beautiful landscapes can brighten any journey, but as a group of Travellers Choice members were reminded on a recent trip to Tanzania, it’s the human encounters that often create the most memorable moments.

As guests of The Africa Safari Co. and South African Airlines, eight Agents explored some of Tanzania’s world famous game reserves and luxury safari lodges, including the recently-opened Asilia The Highlands, which sits on the edge of mountain forest north of Ngorongoro Crater and near a Maasai village.

The itinerary also included a night at &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, and three nights in the Singita Grumeti Reserve, adjacent to Serengeti National Park.

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