By KarryOn @karryontravel22 Jun 2017Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best. 1. Earn Excite points when you sell Dubai Excite Holidays, in conjunction with Visit Dubai, has launched a brand new Dubai campaign and rewards point incentive. For the next week, the pair will showcase to Agents all the incredible opportunities, activities and experiences on offer in this exciting city. The curated destination guide focuses on the different types of travellers and has been designed especially for agents, to give them the tools to create a memorable Dubai adventure for their clients. Click here to check them out. Excite Holidays are also offering agents the opportunity to earn 500 bonus rewards points for every night booked in Dubai, between Monday 12 June and Sunday 25 June. 2. CONGRATULATIONS to the Week 2 California DASH winners The lucky Agents listed below are taking home $200 for completing the California STAR training platform. Congratulations to Karla Kobiez – Flight Centre Raymond Terrace; Alexandra Solomou – Escape Travel Rouse Hill; Susie Cassels Brown – North Shore Business Travel; Ester Uddin – Qantas Holidays; Jessica Grummitt – Helloworld Mount Isa; Katrina Rogers – The Travel Desk; and Kris Higgins – Travel Counselors. Visit California is half way through the four week incentive, so there are still plenty more opportunities to win. 3. CLIA announces Masterclasses as part of Cruise360 Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has confirmed it will introduce masterclasses to its 2017 Cruise360 conference, which will kick off on 25 August in Sydney. The event will offer a variety of masterclasses in addition to keynote addresses, networking opportunities and an interactive trade show. Confirmed speakers include Jan Swartz, Group President Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia; Larry Pimentel, President & CEO Azamara Club Cruises; Roberto Martinoli, CEO Silversea Cruises; Chris Austin, Senior Vice President Global Sales and Marketing for Seabourn; and Terry Thornton, Senior Vice President Commercial Port Operations and International for Carnival Cruise Line. Masterclasses will be on how to sell river cruising; driving loyalty among clients; selling up; and tips for promoting cruise deals during Plan a Cruise Month. Click here to buy tickets to Cruise360. 4. Dream Cruises’ introduces ‘Dreamelite’ To better uphold Dream Cruises’ exceptional service standard, and deliver more personalized services and enriched onboard experience to guests, Dream Cruises has introduced DreamElite, a new loyalty and recognition programme custom-designed to personally engage and build a community among the growing number of discerning guests of Asia’s luxury cruise line. DreamElite is a unique lifestyle programme that provides members with priority and dedicated services, including designated check-in counter, members’ enquiry hotline and email on shore, as well as exclusive member information counter, birthday privileges, advanced spa treatments and specialty restaurants booking service, invitation to private events and promotion on board. For example, DreamElite members can have VIP access to special onboard events such as the upcoming Fireworks at Sea. Members can also get exclusive meet-and-greet with the Captain or backstage passes to see performers after the shows. Enrolment into this loyalty program is complimentary and easy via the cruise line’s website or onboard mobile app. The programme features four membership tiers, the entry tier can be joined without any patronage; upon enrolment, members can upgrade to upper tiers of Jade, Sapphire and Diamond, each tier can be attained upon designated accumulation of Dream Points, which are awarded to the DreamElite member upon patronage with Dream Cruises. 5. CATO unveils new website The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has launched a new website equipped with everything Agents need to find the right supplier for their clients. New to the site is an enhanced search facility and member profiles, which allow consultants to search for by country, region and genre of travel. CATO aims for the website to become one of the primary search tools for travel consultants. CATO says its website has a key advantage over Google in that search results only display accredited Australian based suppliers that travel consultants can book with confidence. Click here for more information. 6. Brand USA releases ‘Travel USA’ Travel Magazine 2017 The 2017 edition of Brand USA’s “Travel USA” travel magazine is now available to order for Travel Agents in Australia. A comprehensive guide to travelling to the US, Travel USA is brimming with breathtakingly beautiful images and inspiring editorial content about hundreds of destinations in the US – from the individual states to the famous metropolises to the small towns. The 200 page magazine is a must-read for any Australian traveller considering a trip to the US this year, covering legendary road trips, adventures in the great outdoors, unforgettable cultural highlights, iconic USA travel experiences and thrilling family vacations. Click here to order copies from Tifs. 7. Wendy Wu Tours launches exclusive Xian Opening Ceremony Tour Wendy Wu Tours has announced the launch of a brand new itinerary, in celebration of the China-Australia Year of Tourism. What’s the headlining event on this new itinerary? An exclusive Tang Dynasty Welcoming Ceremony at the Ancient City Wall in Xian, China, usually reserved only for visiting dignitaries. On September 14, 1,000 lucky Australian tourists visiting Xi’an will be invited to experience a state- level Chang’an Impression Tang Dynasty Welcoming Ceremony, courtesy of the China National Tourism Administration. This prestigious ceremony has been held only on very limited occasions to welcome official dignitaries in previous years, including former President Bill Clinton. Limited seats are available, and Wendy Wu Tours is one of the few exclusive tour operators to be invited to attend this priceless event. For those who would like to experience this exclusive ceremony, Wendy Wu Tours has created a bespoke, and one-off tour, taking in both the event and some of China’s most beloved highlights. This 11-day journey through China’s historic past, and buzzing present starts in Xian, gateway to the Terracotta Warriors. Next, take in China’s breathtaking scenery of the Yangtze River, via a three-day river cruise, taking in the spectacular Three Gorges. Finally, journey to the striking 3,000 pillars of Zhangjiajie, inspiration for the blockbuster movie ‘Avatar’. 8. New Rail Plus service delivers a luggage free Paris Rail Plus unveiled an exclusive new luggage storage and transfer service in Paris that gives passengers the freedom to fully embrace the City of Lights. Customers using the service are greeted upon arrival by train or aircraft in Paris by a concierge who collects their bags and delivers them to their hotel at a convenient time – which can range from check-in on the same day to one, two or even three days’ later. At check-out, the concierge collects the bags and then delivers them to the train station or airport in time for departure. The service – which customers can use on arrival and/or departure – must be booked through Rail Plus seven days prior to luggage pick-up. Prices range from $61 for two pieces of luggage for same day delivery, to $129 for five pieces of luggage stored for three days. 9. Rocky Mountaineer rewards travellers with Early Booking Bonus For a limited time, travellers booking eligible 2018 Rocky Mountaineer packages of eight days or more can receive added value credit of up to AU$1000 per couple to enhance their Western Canada and Pacific Northwest adventure. This additional credit can be applied to extra hotel nights, sightseeing, gourmet dining or even an Alaska cruise as part of Rocky Mountaineer’s Rail & Cruise packages. The Early Booking Bonus is in effect from 3 June to 25 August 2017 on eligible new 2018 bookings. The offer is applicable for select travel dates and must be requested at the time of booking. Click here for more information. 10. Ana Pedersen appointed Global Director of Corporate Sales, QBT & APX Helloworld Travel Limited has announced the appointment of Ana Pedersen to the role of Global Director of Corporate Sales for QBT & APX. Ana joins QBT/APX on 1 July and will bring the benefit of more than 27 years’ experience in the travel industry, most recently as Vice President – Large Market Global Sales for BCD Travel based in the U.S. Prior to the VP role in the USA, Ana was Vice President Asia Pacific for BCD Travel based in Singapore. Ana’s Vice President experience has been over 10 years in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Earlier positions included BCD Travel in Australia, TQ3 Travel Solutions, Galileo and Qantas. This latest appointment follows on from the recent appointments of Nick Sutherland as General Manager – QBT and Wendy Van Lieshout as General Manager of Helloworld Travel’s New Zealand based TMC business, APX. What are your thoughts on today’s travel news? Share your thoughts below. Other stories you may like Never been to New Orleans? Read this & then WIN this! New rail promo urges agents to book #trainsbeforeplanes One lucky agent is about to win a dream US holiday worth $10k!