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. How could Business Class get any better? Of course, a Middle Eastern airline found a way

Qatar feature

Just when you thought Business Class couldn’t get any better with its lie-flat beds, on-demand food and personal pods, in comes Qatar Airways with the QSuite.

The Middle Eastern carrier on a mission to become the world’s best airline, unveiled its new Business Class product, which won’t just appeal to solo travellers (who can afford Business Class), but for those flying in pairs or even groups.

Described as “your sanctuary in the sky”, the QSuite initially appears to be much like your common (although there’s nothing common about Business), Business Class.

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2. Emirates squashes commission concerns in Australia

Emirates staff

Emirates has confirmed that it has no current plans to change its commission structure in Australia despite recent adjustments overseas.

The confirmation comes less than a week after the airline revealed a two percent reduction in commission for consultants in India, which was flagged as a result of ‘volatile’ trading conditions.

So far, the change in Agent benefits has been isolated to the South Asia country, and according to an airline spokesperson, it won’t be occurring in Australia anytime soon.

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3. New platform promises to help Agents compete with OTAs

featrue

Others have promised it, some have tried to deliver it and now there’s a new platform that’s apparently just the tool Agents need to take on online competitors.

It’s called – Intrwiz.

It’s created by – planning and booking solutions business, Snowstorm Technologies, with destination content supplier, ArrivalGuides.

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4. Get $100 off your Mumbrella Summit ticket with the KARRYON code

Mumbrella Travel Summit

Mumbrella Travel Marketing Summit is a day to inspire and educate Australia’s travel brands, marketers and their agencies. As an exclusive deal, KARRYON readers can grab $100 off their ticket using the code KARRYONTMS when booking online.

After two sell-out years, the summit returns with another stellar line-up of speakers and panelists from across the industry.

Brand marketers, agencies and travel experts will share their knowledge and insights into key issues facing the sector, with a series of discussions, debates and presentations designed to inspire, educate and inform.

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5. INCENTIVE: Receive a free night on a Fiji cruise

Captain Cook Cruises

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji is offering Travel Agents and their partners a free cruise holiday aboard small ship, MV Reef Endeavour, for simply booking clients on any Captain Cook Cruises accommodated Fiji Cruise.

In return for booking a client on a 3, 4, 7 or 11-night Fiji cruise, agents will receive one free night per adult booked, for themselves or their partner sharing an Ocean View Stateroom aboard the MV Reef Endeavour.

Agents can accumulate their credits and have until 31 March 2019 to go on their Captain Cook Cruises Fiji cruise holiday. Additional nights not yet earned, can also be booked at a special rate of only FJ$160 per person per night.

This Agent offer is valid on Captain Cook Cruises Fiji’ s current ‘Three Nights Free Sail’, offering three nights free for bookings on any 11 night Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise, 7 night Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands cruise and 7 night 4 Cultures or Colonial Discovery cruise.

 

6. Garuda Indonesia to increase frequency over peak

Garuda

Garuda Indonesia announced that it will increase seasonal flight frequencies on the Jakarta-Australia routes from four to five flights per week and Bali–Australia routes from six to seven flights per week from May until October 2017.

The decision comes on the back of strong visitor arrivals from Indonesia to Australia in 2016 and improved route performance supported by its successful partnership campaign with Tourism Australia.

Garuda Indonesia’s CEO M.Arif Wibowo revealed that the additional flight frequencies of the Australian sector, in line with the high demand for the Australian market, as well as to accommodate the increase in traffic between Indonesia and Australia. In 2016, Garuda Indonesia successfully increased the passenger growth rate of Indonesia to Australia by 17 percent compared to the same period in 2015.

 

7. Travelmarvel adds Cuba & Colombia to its portfolio

Travelmarvel

First time tours to Cuba and Colombia, a new cruise in Patagonia and a special Rio Carnival departure of the popular Santiago to Lima tour are highlights of Travelmarvel’s South and Central America program for 2018.

Travelmarvel’s inaugural Cuba tour is the 12 day Havana & The Colonial History of Cuba, priced from $6,795 per person twin share. This Great Rail Journey includes five nights in Havana, meaning plenty of time to explore its cobbled streets, communist landmarks and 1950s Americana, and to savour a daiquiri at La Floridita, a former favourite hangout of Ernest Hemingway.

Meanwhile the nine-day Culture  & Coffee of Columbia tour, priced from $5,395 per person twin share, includes a journey to the city of Armenia and the Coffee Triangle – the origin of some of the highest quality coffee in the world – as well as the grand colonial capital of Bogotá and the historic Caribbean port city of Cartagena.

Travelmarvel’s most popular South American itinerary is the 20 day Highlights of South America, which takes in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu falls as well as Machu Picchu and the lake islands of Lake Titicaca in Peru. New for 2018 will be a special Carnival Celebration departure of this tour, which includes an extra day to visit Rio’s Sambadrome for a once in a lifetime chance to witness the annual Carnival.

 

8. Contiki adds new USA & Canada tours for 2018

Contiki

Contiki is meeting 18-35 year-old consumer demand for USA and Canada with the addition new trips, including a new nine-day Hawaii island hopper taking in Oahu and Maui called ‘The Big Kahuna’.

Also new for 2018 is ‘Northwest Passage’, an In-Depth Explorer trip through Vancouver, Victoria, Tofino and Whistler with a visit to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the chance to spot bears in the wilderness.

Plus there’s two departures of the ‘MUNCH – Boots, Scoot N Blues’, a limited edition tasty extravaganza in Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville; and ‘SNAP – Canada & the Rockies’, taking in the landscape and breath-taking views of The Western provinces of British Columbia & Western Alberta and Canadian Rockies.

 

9. Viking launches two new high-end Longships

Viking

Viking Cruises today launched two new additions, Viking Hild and Viking Herja, to its fleet of currently 64 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.

The new ships accommodate 190 guests in 95 staterooms, Viking Longships have a patented layout that allows for two Explorer Suites – the largest river cruise suites in Europe, as well as seven two-room Veranda Suites; 39 Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas; and 22 French Balcony Staterooms. Additionally, all Viking Longships have had sustainability upgrades, such as onboard solar panels, organic herb gardens and energy-efficient hybrid engines.

 

10. Is that a flying sea turtle? Kind of. It’s All Nippon Airways’ new aircraft

giphy

After receiving thousands of creative entries and scrolling through dozens of incredible designs, All Nippon Airways has selected the design for its special edition Hawaii aircraft…

… and it’s a sea turtle!

In case you missed it, the only 5-star Japanese airline announced late last year that it is planning to launch its first direct service from Tokyo to Honolulu in 2019.

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What are your thoughts on today’s travel news?