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. *Drools* a brand new Princess ship that serves desserts like this is coming to Australia

Mmmmm, gluttony here we come! Australians are only a year-and-a-bit away from having access to drool-worthy desserts – like the one pictured above – when Princess Cruises sends its recently launched Majestic Princess to our shores.

The cruise line announced this week that the new vessel, originally intended for the Chinese market, will call Australia home during the 2018/19 wave season.

Based out of Sydney for six months from September 2018, she’ll be the largest Princess ship ever to sail in Australian waters with a capacity of 3,560 guests AND she’ll be one of the few vessels to offer cruises from Australia to Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Read on


2. Investigations underway into rare stall warning on a Qantas flight

Qantas tail feature

Australia’s transport safety leaders have commenced an investigation into what has been described as an ‘extremely rare incident’ on a Qantas Boeing aircraft.

According to a summary on the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) website, the 747 aircraft was in the last hour of a flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong on 7 April when a ‘stick shaker’ warning was activated.

The term ‘stick shaker’ is used when the control stick in the cockpit shakes, warning pilots that the aircraft is about to stall, The Australian reported.

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3. American Airlines’ Dreamliner to take on US rivals on Sydney-L.A. services

American Airlines Premium Economy

American Airlines either has the best timing in the world or saw an opportunity to take on one of its biggest US rivals, United, on trans-Pacific services.

Less than two days after United’s public image was tainted by a viral video in which a man is aggressively removed from an aircraft, American Airlines decided to announce an aircraft upgrade on flights between Sydney and Los Angeles.

From 8 November 2017, the airline will replace the Boeing 777-300ER with the 787-9 Dreamliner, which just happens to be the same aircraft currently used by United on services to and from Australia.

Read on


4. YOU’RE INVITED to the Japan Adventure Travel Mart

Japan Snowboarding

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is inviting consultants to learn about Japan’s adventure scene at the annual Japan Adventure Travel Mark in Sydney and Melbourne.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with Japanese suppliers including popular ski destinations and get up-to-date information on Japan’s green season as well!

The Sydney event will be held on 23 May from 3.30pm to 8.00pm at the Hilton Hotel, while the Melbourne event will be held on 25 May from 3.30pm to 8.00pm at the Langham Melbourne.

Each session will include presentations, free flow business sessions, networking opportunities and a lucky draw (a free round trip air ticket to Japan).

Click here for the Sydney registration form, which needs to be sent to [email protected] by 16 May and click here for the Melbourne registration form which needs to be sent to [email protected] (Melbourne) by 18 May.


5. ‘I made $30 million in sales in six years’

Travel Counsellors feature

$30 million – it’s money most of us won’t see in a dozen lifetimes let alone make through work in a little over six years.

‘Most of us’ does not include Travel Counsellors’ Nadine Kutz who made the generous figure in sales since starting her own business in 2010.

Yeah, we’re having trouble comprehending it too, but it’s true.

Read on


6. Viking Cruises launches new 2018 river brochure

Travel Agent Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 4.11.13 PM

Viking Cruises has launched its 2018 river brochure which features destinations across Central Europe, France, Portugal, China and South East Asia, including new itineraries to Ukraine and Egypt.

New in 2018, the Kiev to the Black Sea itinerary takes guests on an 11-day journey to some of Ukraine’s most historic cities, including Zaporozhye, the ancestral home of the Cossacks, and Kherson. Plus there’s the 12-day cruise tour Pathways of the Pharaohs exploring Luxor, the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, the Temple of Horus in Edfu and the iconic Nile river.

Viking has also recently welcomed two new additions, Viking Hild and Viking Herja, to its fleet of river vessels. Viking Hild will sail the Rhine River from April on Viking’s Paris to the Swiss Alps itinerary, and later this year both new ships will sail Viking’s popular Danube Waltz and Rhine Getaway itineraries.


7. Infinity Holidays’ introduces Myanmar into its Thailand brochure

Travel Agent Infinity Holidays

Infinity Holidays’ new Thailand brochure is taking on more of a Southeast Asia feel, with a range of experiences in Myanmar included in the program for the first time.

Hitting shelves on 2 May, new to the brochure is small ship cruising as well as extended tours and hotels in Myanmar; there’s new Master Class tours in Phuket, Mandalay and Yangon; and the introduction of tour bundles in Phuket, Koh Samui and Bangkok.

Plus, Agents can use the brochure to source information on Buffalo Tours’ Phi Phi Island Hopper with Gourmet Lunch tour ex Phuket, plus a wide range of new experiences and accommodation.


8. Air Canada adds daily Vancouver-Boston flights

Air Canada

After watching Australian travellers embrace its fast, convenient and friendly services to New York, Air Canada is set to open up another iconic city on America’s east coast, with the launch in June of new flights seamlessly connecting Brisbane and Sydney to Boston.

Between June and September 2017, Air Canada will operate daily non-stop Airbus A319 services between on the Vancouver-Boston route, which General Manager Australia and New Zealand Paul McLean are timed to connect seamlessly with Air Canada’s services from Australia.

Meanwhile Air Canada is also offering Australian travellers an intriguing new route to the Land of Fire and Ice, with the launch of new services from Toronto and Montreal to Reykjavik, Iceland, during the northern hemisphere summer.


9. Adventure World welcomes Ana Salazar to the brand

Travel Agent Adventure World

Adventure World has announced the appointment and return of Ana Salazar to the brand in the role of Latin America Product Manager.

A native Ecuadorian with over 24 years’ experience promoting South America, Ana has previously directed Adventure World’s Latin America department from 2007 to 2014. Having extensively explored eighteen countries throughout the region, Ana has welcomed the opportunity to put her passion for all things South American back into practice at Adventure World.

Meanwhile the Adventure World Latin America product team have recently returned from an exploratory trip in Mexico and Guatemala to further enhance their product offering with a focus on boutique ‘hacienda style’ accommodations and new off the beaten track itineraries which will launch in their 2018 collection.


10. Hilton Brisbane announces new Executive Chef Matthew Wood

Travel Agent Matthew

Hilton Brisbane, has appointed Matthew Wood as the hotel’s newest Executive Chef who will oversee Hilton Brisbane’s entire culinary operation including catering and events, in-room dining and the hotel restaurant Vintaged Bar + Grill.

“We are thrilled to welcome Executive Chef Matthew Wood to Hilton Brisbane,” said General Manager, Chris Partridge, Hilton Brisbane. “Matthew is an extraordinary culinary talent who has invested many years in renowned restaurants, working with some of Australia’s most prominent Chefs. We believe that Matthew will bring Hilton Brisbane’s culinary experience to new heights.”

Wood comes to Hilton Brisbane with a wealth of experience after working in the kitchens of some of the country’s best fine dining establishments, including Southbank’s StokehouseQ, Aria on Eagle Street, Urbane, and Vue de Monde in Melbourne.


11. Former Telstra Exec joins corporate travel platform Travelport Locomote

Travel Agent Travelport

Australian corporate travel platform Travelport Locomote, has announced the appointment of former Telstra operations executive, Benjamin Jones, as their new Global Operations Manager.

Jones will be sit on the senior management team of the fast-growing corporate travel platform, and will be tasked with leading the day-to-day management of the company’s Global Business Operations function.

He brings with him over 17 years’ experience in the tech industry, having worked with Telstra since 2000 in roles across sales, project management, and operations, before moving into a Head of Operations role with online bookmaker SportsBet in 2016.


12. Travellers Choice members entertain ‘Star’ cruisers

Travel Agent Travellers Choice

Aussie ingenuity – and some handy technology – saved the day for a group of award-winning Travellers Choice Agents recently when they were called upon to entertain guests onboard Star Clipper with a rousing rendition of Waltzing Matilda.

The Agents – guests of Adventure World on a seven-night voyage around Thailand and Malaysia – were more than happy to contribute to the ship’s talent show by singing Australia’s unofficial national anthem. The only problem, says Deb Long from Weston Cruise & Travel, was that none among the group knew all the words.

It was important the Travellers Choice members performed well as they were the first group of Australian travel agents hosted by Star Clipper – a four masted barquentine – in seven years.

As well as enjoying Star Clipper’s outstanding cuisine, which as a well-travelled dessert connoisseur Mitchell claims includes “one of the best tiramisus ever”, the group explored coastal attractions such as Phuket, the Similan islands, Ko Rok Nok and Langkawi.


13. Wendy Wu shows India to Agents, the Wu Way

Travel Agent Wendy Wu Tours

Wendy Wu Tours,recently hosted an Agent famil to India for first time visitors to discover what attracts a growing number of Australians to this vibrant destination.

Hosted by Aaron Phillips, Wendy Wu Tours’ specialist in tailor-made India arrangements, the itinerary was a tailored version of Wendy Wu‘s Golden Triangle tour over seven days, perfect for a first time visitor. It featured the main highlights including the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, renowned for its forts and palaces and Agra, home to the majestic Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. The group ended their journey visiting the many highlights of Delhi.

Feedback from the participating agents was extremely positive on all aspects- the country as a destination, Wendy Wu Tours services on the ground and the opportunity to get first-hand knowledge of selling points to assist clients with their bookings.

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