Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best.

1. INCENTIVE: Receive a Coles Myer Gift Card from Wendy Wu

Wendy Wu Tours

Wendy Wu Tours has just released ‘The Big Asia Sale’ offering significant savings across a wide range of tours departing May to December this year.

Over 250 departure dates are included in ‘The Big Asia Sale’ offering savings between $200 and $500 per person on a selection of 70 Classic, Deluxe and Discovery tours across the China, India, Sri Lanka, Indochina and Japan programs.

As an added bonus, Agents will receive a $50 Coles Myer gift voucher for every new booking they make until April 26. The incentive is valid on bookings with a minimum gross value of $2900 per person for all 2017 travel.

 

2. Travel Agent wins a $500 Visa Gift Card from Greater Palm Springs

Palm Springs

Starting in February, tourism industry professionals were invited to participate in Brand USA’s Big Badge Bonanza to celebrate the launch of 16 new specialist badges, including one for Greater Palm Springs in Southern California.

Greater Palm Springs took it to the next level, incentivising Agents to complete the Greater Palm Springs Specialist Badge before 16 April for the chance to win a $500 Visa Gift Card.

Erica Slutzkin, Professional Travel Advisor at FBI Travel in Caulfield North, Victoria was the lucky winner.

Agents interested in becoming Greater Palm Springs Specialists can still complete the badge on Brand USA’s Discovery Program.

 

3. Virgin Australia introduces Perth-Canberra services

virgin

Virgin Australia will introduce twice weekly services between Perth and Canberra in Parliamentary sitting weeks to cater for increased demand for travel to and from the nation’s capital and to encourage tourism to both cities.

The new services will be operated by Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737 aircraft on Thursdays and Sundays in August and September (VA590 will depart Perth at 1235 and arrive in Canberra at 1825 and VA589 will depart Canberra at 1900 and arrive in Perth at 2140).

In October 2017 and December 2017 services will operate on the same days, however on Sunday VA590 will depart Perth at 1205 and arrive in Canberra at 1855 and VA589 will depart Canberra at 1930 and arrive in Perth at 2110. On Thursdays VA590 will depart Perth at 1135 and arrive in Canberra at 1825 and VA589 will depart Canberra at 1900 and arrive in Perth at 2040.

 

4. Etihad A380 Paris flights to operate year round

etihad-a380

Etihad Airways’ A380 Paris flights launching in July will become year-round, effective 25 March 2018.

The jumbo jet will initially be deployed on one of the twice-daily Abu Dhabi – Paris flights during the peak summer period between July 1 and October 28. Seasonal adjustments will see the aircraft returning to the route from December 15 to February 15, before becoming a permanent year-round deployment six weeks later.

With the aircraft upgrade from a 328-seat Boeing 777-300ER, Paris will join London, New York and Sydney as long-haul destinations served by the A380.

 

5. Viking Cruises partners with Express Travel Group

Viking Sea

Viking Cruises has announced a new preferred partnership with Express Travel Group, as part of its trade strategy

Managing Director of Viking Cruises Australia and New Zealand, Michelle Black said, “We are absolutely thrilled with this new partnership. We look forward to working with Express Travel Group to grow both of our businesses and reach a new customer base.”

Express Travel Group Executive General Manager, Ari Magoutis, commented: “As Express Travel Group continues to grow, we want to ensure we are partnering with leading, award-winning operators like Viking Cruises. This partnership has been led by our members who recognise the quality of Viking Cruises product, service and support. With this strong endorsement from our membership, we look forward to a mutually successful partnership”.

 

6. Trafalgar adds 11 Europe & Britain departures for the 2017 season

Trafalgar

Trafalgar has announced extra capacity on 11 of its Europe & Britain departures is now available to book for the 2017 season, making it even easier for Agents to secure clients’ holiday plans this year.

Commenting on the increased capacity, Trafalgar Australia MD Matthew Cameron Smith said: “At Trafalgar, our priority is to ensure that our industry partners feel fully equipped and have the confidence to sell our guided holidays with maximum ease.

“We are committed to helping Agents on the journey to sales success, hence we’ve listened to valuable feedback from both trade and consumers and are delighted to be able to confirm an extra 11 non-brochured departures for the 2017 European summer. Additionally, effective tomorrow, we will be initiating weekly last-minute deals for the trade to help them secure their most spectacular sales success to date.”

 

7. Chimu Adventures expands into the Arctic

Chimu Adventures

Chimu Adventures has announced the expansion of their travel options to include a variety of Arctic itineraries, with over 20 ships cruising a range of routes within the Arctic Circle.

Itineraries encompass a vast range of experiences in destinations including the North Pole, Greenland, Spitsbergen, the Canadian Arctic and the Russian Arctic.

Chad Carey, Chimu Adventures’ Co-Founder said the Arctic is a great add-on to a client’s Europe or Canada holiday.

“We have seen huge organic growth in demand for our Antarctica cruises over the last 18 months with an increasing number of travellers returning from their trips hungry for their next Polar adventure. With most of our Antarctica vessels already operating in the Arctic, it was the next logical step for us to expand into this new destination.”

 

8. L.A. opens a tasty new Museum

Museum of Ice Cream in L.A.

This month, L.A.’s creative hub – the Arts District – will become home to the Museum of Ice Cream, bringing with it an experiential ice cream journey for Aussies visiting the City of Angels.

The museum originally captivated a global audience with its unprecedented 2016 launch in NYC, selling out in five days and attracting a waitlist of 200,000. The L.A. location has grown four times larger than and showcases 10 completely reimagined installations.

Interactive highlights include a “banana split” comprised of ten thousand “bananas”, a mint “grow house”, a room dedicated to California, a melted popsicle jungle and a swimmable sprinkle pool filled with one hundred million sprinkles that were custom designed and produced by the museum.

The pop-up is open from 22 April until 29 May from 11am – 10pm, Wednesday – Monday. Tickets include two curated ice cream tastings and surprise edible treats.

 

 

SPOTTED

The Cruise Team score an exclusive Ovation sailing

Helloworld Cruise Team

The Cruise Team and Royal Caribbean International recently took 11 West Australian Helloworld Agents on an exclusive famil to Singapore to experience the amazing Ovation of the Seas.

The group stayed at the revamped Park Royal on Beach Road before experiencing the amazing cruise then indulging at the fabulous Capella Resort Sentosa before flying home to WA.

 

Agents wrap up at Oregon Road Rally

Oregon famil

Twenty-seven Travel Agents and tour operators from nine countries, including Australia, gathered in Oregon at the beginning of April for a seven-day road trip of the state.

The famil was an opportunity for the group to gain further knowledge of the destination in hopes of expanded itinerary development beyond the traditional USA gateways as consumers look to new destinations to travel to.

The trip began and ended in Portland with agents testing the famous Portland craft beer, coffee tours and experiencing the Maker Community Portland is known for.   Agents then continued exploring the state including a visit to the mountain regions of Mt Hood and Bend, the famous Crate Lake National Park as well as the Oregon Coast before ending in the Willamette Valley and returning to Portland.

 

Melbourne & Adelaide Agents inspired by the South Pacific

Treasures of the South Pacific

‘Treasures of the South Pacific’ began its 2017 schedule of events earlier this month in Melbourne and Adelaide, with both nights drawing strong attendance.

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) hosted over 120 travel agents in Melbourne on 11 April and another 60 Agents on 12 April at the Adelaide event.

Consultants heard from representatives of the tourism offices of Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Vanuatu and from hidden treasures including: Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Tuvalu and American Samoa.

 

Travellers Choice members savour the mesmerizing Mekong

Travellers Choice famil

From mounds of tasty tarantulas in a Cambodian market to the sophisticated fare created in celebrity chef Luke Nguyen’s Ho Chi Minh cooking school – the 2017 Travellers Choice’s Gold Choice Award trip had a unique culinary flavour.

APT hosted this year’s Gold Choice trip – an exclusive famil reserved for Travellers Choice’s top 10 Agents – with the itinerary based around a seven-night cruise along the Mekong on AmaLotus.

The most poignant moment of the trip involved another APT guest – an Australian Vietnam veteran who by a strange twist of fate had won a spot on the voyage at a cruise expo in mid-2016 organised by Travellers Choice member, and Gold Choice Award winner, Ucango Travel & Cruise Centre.

Ucango owner Dave Hulsman, says the man, who had been a Royal Australian Air Force pilot during the war, was extremely anxious about revisiting Vietnam.

 

itravel hosts annual Charity Golf Day

itravel feature

itravel hosted their annual charity golf day at the stunning Bonnie Doon golf course earlier this month with some 200 enthusiastic players, to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) for the third year in a row.

The day began at 8.00am with a beautiful morning tee off. The wonderfully dressed participants who wore a touch of pink, brought the golf course to life. As they moved around they were able to participate in lots of fun and engaging activities along the course.

The generous hole sponsors did not disappoint; APT kindly provided players with a glass of champagne while creating an immersive Asia experience, TravelCube brought out each individuals true blue Aussie spirit with an entertaining thong throwing competition. While Globus took everyone to paradise by giving players the opportunity to enjoy a 3 Minute Angel massage. We would also like to thank all of our hole sponsors for their support and dedication, they include; BMW, Back-Roads Touring, SureSave, Emirates, Royal Caribbean, Hawaiian Airlines, Si Travel Group, G Adventures, FEZ Travel and Travelport.

Overall the day was a complete success raising over $25,000.

What are your thoughts on today’s travel news? Share your thoughts below.