By KarryOn @karryontravel16 Mar 2017Skill 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. Travel to New Zealand should be the same as travelling in Australia: Qantas While the US looks at building barriers with its neighbours, Qantas’ Alan Joyce wants to break them between Australia and its close companion, New Zealand. The Chief Executive recently spoke of his desire to simplify travel between the two countries to the point where flying across the Tasman would be similar, if not, the same as travelling domestically, SBS reported. Speaking at the Trans-Tasman Business Circle in Wellington, Joyce said “seamless access” would make it easier for business travellers and “make tourism a lot easier”. Read on 2. It’s taken over Queensland, Fiji & now schoolies is heading to… Japan The Japanese aren’t going to know what hits them when their sensible, wildly creative and inspiring Land of the Rising Sun is invaded by a group of rowdy and curious Aussie high-school graduates. Yep, schoolies is expanding its annual soirée into North Asia with the launch of the ‘Japan Grad Trip’. Created by Unleashed Travel, the trip is designed to tap into the young generation’s desire to get in touch with new cultures, try out the best regions and learn local skills. That’s why the nine-night itinerary features activities such as skiing in Hakuba, taking part in sushi-making classes and exploring the bustling Tokyo. Read on 3. Here’s why you’ll want to unleash your inner Christian Grey on P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that there’s a little Christian Grey in all of us and no, I’m not referring to his risqué behaviour behind red doors. I’m talking about his thirst for gin and tonic (although no judgement if you’ve taken to those whips and cuffs). The man who stole the hearts of over 100 million people worldwide (and made a few other million cringe) has a love for good alcohol, particularly the ever-popular clear spirit. Read on 4. In adorable travel news: Elmo flew with Virgin Australia, yes Elmo Virgin Australia has turned a whole heap of half-arsed smiles and frowns into cheek-impaired grins after receiving a very red, very small, very high-pitched and incredibly adorable guest. ELMO! Yes, Elmo. As in the ‘ha ha ha that tickles’ completely non-scary monster from Sesame Street. Read on 5. Upgrade to Business Class from… $99 Wendy Wu Tours has released an exclusive offer to experience the comfort of business class one-way to China from only $99 when booked with selected China tours in 2017. This exclusive offer is on sale from 17 March for bookings made by 13 April. Flying China Southern, upgrade to Business Class one-way from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth on a choice of more than 14 popular China tours with 140 departure dates to choose from. An upgrade to business class both ways can be secured at the additional special price of $599 per person. Included in this offer is one of Wendy Wu Tours most popular and comprehensive tours, the 14-day Majestic Yangtze classic tour priced from $4,680 per person twin share. With a choice of 29 departures between April and November, the tour travels from Shanghai to Beijing and includes a visit to the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, the giant pandas in Chengdu, the Great Wall in Beijing and a four-night Yangtze River cruise. Click here for more information. 6. Hey Adelaide, this could be you livin’ the Air New Zealand ‘Dream’ The good folks of Radelaide will soon be able to spread their wings and enjoy the ‘Dreamliner’ life like Kevin the Duck. Air New Zealand has announced it’s placing the 787-9 aircraft on the Adelaide-Auckland route, giving South Australians access to a new inflight experience and extra seats. In addition to introducing a wider range of seating options (Business Premier; Premium Economy; Standard Seat; and Economy Skycouch) into the market, better in-flight air and reduced sound, the plane will add 23 percent on the route during peak season (26 October 2017 to 25 March 2018). Read on 7. America ‘trumps’ other inbound markets to the Sunshine Coast The Sunshine Coast attracted the highest ever increase in international visitors with 231,000 arrivals last year, up 19.9 percent and contributing $266 million in visitor expenditure to the economy. The International Visitor Statistics were released today by Tourism Research Australia and showed the US continuing to trump other inbound markets with a 48.5 percent increase in visitors to the Sunshine Coast, with Germany growing 26.1 percent, Asia 24.9 percent, and Scandinavia 14.9 percent. New Zealand remained the Sunshine Coast’s largest inbound market, growing 9.2 percent in 2016 to 66,000 visitors in the 2016 year. CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast Simon Latchford said the unprecedented growth and number of international tourists arriving in a single year was showing no sign of slowing down in 2017. 8. Explore the charming villages & Chateaux of France Albatross Tours has introduced a new 11-day ‘Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley’ tour for people who want to see the chateaux of the Loire Valley, Mont-Saint Michel and seaside town of St Malo in small group sizes. The fully escorted trip includes transport in a first class touring coach, 10 nights’ accommodation in authentic style hotels with porterage, 15 meals, sightseeing, excursions, and entrances as per the itinerary and more. The tour is priced from $5,889 per person twin share and offers departures between May and September 2017. 9. Skroo backs Infinity Holidays’ NZ Snow competition This month Infinity Holidays launched its very first dedicated New Zealand Ski brochure. To complement this, Infinity is rewarding the first 50 consultants who make NZ snow bookings with Infinity. Winners will receive an awesome beanie, with the most creative photo of them and their beanie winning the ultimate Snow Survival Hamper. Even Mr Graham (Skroo) Turner is #takingthepiste with Infinity Holidays! What are your thoughts on today’s travel news? Other stories you may like Cock-a-Doodle-Wu! WIN a river cruise in Myanmar with Wendy What did Flight Centre’s Graham Turner want to be growing up? Hint: not a travel mogul Flight Centre employees, are transfers to Paris in your future?