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. This is what everyone is doing for Australia Day

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Mate, nothing gets more Aussie than driving for hours on end just to take a lousy pic next to a ginormous statue of a fruit or farm animal. Unless of course, you do it on Australia Day and the large statue happens to be a Big Big Mac.

Yep a Big Big Mac, like the Big Banana but a huge, towering multi-layered, deliciously unhealthy burger.

That’s just one of the many plans travel businesses – locally and internationally – have planned to bring the Aussie spirit to life tomorrow on Australia Day.

Read on


2. One thing Agents may have forgotten to use when selling travel

You can talk about it through experience, demonstrate it with images and videos and use facts to book add-ons, but when was the last time you used your heart to sell travel?

Trafalgar is encouraging more Agents to flip the way they talk to their clients from factual and rigid to passionate and meaningful because that’s what’ll drive more customers to book.

Or as Pocahontas would put it, “listen with your heart” and remember that that’s where the urge to travel comes from.

Read on


3. If you thought flights to the US were cheap now, wait until this airline flies there

Travel Agent AirAsia X

The US has never been more accessible to the Aussie market than it is right now thanks to increased air competition, new direct routes and more importantly, ridiculously low airfares.

Remember last year’s $900 return to L.A.? Or how about Jetstar’s more recent $259 fares to Hawaii?

It’s safe to say we’ve been spoiled with low fares across the Pacific for a good 12 months now and it doesn’t look like they’ll be increasing anytime soon.

Read on


4. Dreamworld’s Kenny takes a ride down the Flight Centre slide


We’ve seen Graham Turner do it and the Captain, and now Kenny, the Dreamworld mascot, has taken his furry butt down the blue slide at Flight Centre’s Brissie HQ.

The mascot’s appearance in the office was captured in pictures by the Infinity Holidays team who are working with Dreamworld on exclusive early access passes such as the ‘7 Day Ticket Lite, for the price of 1 Day” deal.

While in the office, Kenny the Koala also helped Infinity Holidays Agents make bookings over the phone before testing out the famous slide.


5. Etihad boss steps down

Travel Agent James Hogan Etihad

The Etihad Aviation Group Board of Directors has announced that James Hogan will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company in the second half of 2017. The Board and Mr. Hogan first initiated the transition process last year with the formation in May of the Etihad Aviation Group, a diversified global aviation and travel organisation.

Commenting on Mr. Hogan’s time at Etihad, H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of the Etihad Aviation Group said: “We are very grateful to James. In just ten years, he has overseen the growth of the company from a 22 plane regional carrier into a 120 aircraft global airline and aviation group, with seven airline equity partnerships which together serve more than 120 million guests every year. It is a business which has set new benchmarks for service and innovation. Under his leadership, the company has provided new opportunities for thousands of Emiratis and has been a critical element in the remarkable progress of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.  We look forward to James’ continued association with Abu Dhabi in new ways.”

James Hogan commented: “Along with the Board and my 26,000 colleagues, I am very proud of what we have built together at Etihad and of the company’s substantial contribution to the UAE and to the development of Abu Dhabi.  The last decade has seen incredible results but this only represents a first chapter in the story of Etihad.”

Commenting on current priorities for the business, H.E. Mazrouei said: “To position the company for continued success in a challenging market, the Board and management team will continue an ongoing, company-wide strategic review.  We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape. We must continue to improve cost efficiency, productivity and revenue. We must progress and adjust our airline equity partnerships even as we remain committed to the strategy.”


6. Famil opportunities in the Amazon & on the Mekong

Travel Agent Aqua Expeditions

Aqua Expeditions is offering Travel Agents and members of the travel trade a discounted rate to travel on select 3, 4 and 7-night Aria Amazon and Aqua Mekong departures to discover first-hand the unique guest experience for which the company is known.

The educational departures will be available on Aria Amazon from 24 February to 3 March and 7 to 14 April 2017 and on Aqua Mekong from 3 to 10 March and 5 to 12 May 2017.

Accredited IATA Agents are being offered a special rate of US$350 per person per night, or US$400 per night for single occupancy. Guests accompanying agents will receive 50 percent off gross rates (limited to one companion per Agent).

Email [email protected] for more information.


7. Agents save in Russia & Scandinavia

Beyond Travel Scandinavia

Russia and Scandinavia specialist Beyond Travel has just release discounted Agent rates on a selection of its exclusive 2017 small group Special Journeys in Russia and Scandinavia.

Agents and their companions can save up to $1,900 per person on the 16-day Scandinavia and Hurtigruten Voyage and the 18-day Highlights of Russia and Scandinavia special journeys and save $1,000 per person on the nine-day Highlights of Russia tour.

The Highlights of Russia and Scandinavia tour is ideal for first time visitors to the region as it covers travel in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. It is now priced from $8,395 per person twin share with departures on July 14 and 28.

The offer is valid on new bookings made by February 28, email [email protected] for more information.


8. Scenic Eclipse’s preview pricing is ending soon

Eclipse, Carribean Islands, aerial

Hurry, hurry, hurry and secure those Scenic Eclipse preview prices for your clients before they disappear in March this year.

Among the discounts is a 10-day Taste of Cuba & the Caribbean from Miami to Cartagena, departing 31 October 2018 in a 32m2 Verandah Suites priced from $8,895.

Solo travellers can also enjoy a reduced single supplement on selected Antarctica and Arctic cruises in 2018 and 2019. Offers are available on luxurious 38m2 Deluxe Verandah Suites and 32m2 Verandah Suites. Availability is limited, so book your suite before they sell out.


9. How can you win a famil ticket to South America?

Contours Travel

Contours Travel has launched a new series of free webinars to help Travel Agents learn more about the increasingly popular destinations of the continent and the best part about it, is those Agents that take part can go in the running to WIN a Contours Travel-hosted famil to South America later this year.

The 2017 program will feature 15-minute webinars every second Friday (second Thursday in April due to Easter) at 11.30am from February 3 beginning with a three-part series on Ecuador; followed by a session in March on the ‘destination of the year’, Cuba, and a six-part program on Mexico running until June. The first three fortnightly webinars will focus on the small but diverse country of Ecuador, including the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands, the spectacular Tren Crucero rail ride through the Andes, the colonial, high-altitude capital of Quito and the pristine Amazon jungle.

Webinar dates are: February 3 – Galapagos Islands, Ecuador; February 17 – Tren Crucero and Quito, Ecuador: March 3 – Amazon and Cloud Forest, Ecuador; March 17 – Cuba; March 31 – Mexico City; April 13 – Oaxaca and Puebla, Mexico; April 28 –         Chiapas, Mexico; May 12 – Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico; May 26 – Colonial Circle, Mexico; and June 9 – Natural Mexico.

Click here to register.

What are your thoughts on today’s travel news?