By KarryOn @karryontravel14 Nov 2017Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best. Read on for this week’s travel news that Travel Agents need to know: 1. YOU’RE INVITED to a special screening of Disney.Pixar’s “Coco” To celebrate the upcoming Pixar Fest Celebration at Disneyland Resort in California, and the new Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disney Destinations is hosting a series of special travel industry advance screenings of Disney∙Pixar’s “Coco” this December in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland! And, as Pixar Fest is going to be a celebration of friendship and beyond, Disney Destinations are encouraging agents to bring along their best friend, partner, family member, child, niece, nephew or even grandparent to this special preview screening of Disney∙Pixar’s latest blockbuster! Spaces are limited, click here to register your interest. 2. Santa Monica Travel & Tourism touches down for annual Australian Roadshow Santa Monica Travel & Tourism has officially touched down (under) for their annual Australian trade and media roadshow. The team from SMTT will be in market for a series of trade and media appointments and events set to take place across the key markets of Sydney and Brisbane. Attending from Santa Monica Travel & Tourism will be Todd Mitsuhata Manager Asia Pacific & Latin America along with Gerry Peck, General Manager Shore Hotel, Santa Monica and Dustin Hess, Director of Sales and Revenue Management, Shangi-La Hotel, Santa Monica. The Roadshow will aim to further illuminate Santa Monica’s unique city/beachside location and diverse visitor offerings. Representing the perfect affinity with Australian travellers, the roadshow will also promote the destination as the prime base for a visit to the greater Los Angeles area. Santa Monica Travel & Tourism is the official tourism marketing arm for Santa Monica, Los Angeles’ dazzling beachfront city that is located only 8 miles from LAX and a 46-minute train ride from Downtown Los Angeles. The destination spans 8.3 square miles (22 square km) and is home to a spectacular stretch of pristine beaches along the scenic California coast. 3. Mantra Group expands with new Melbourne property Mantra Group has secured the management agreement to operate a landmark new-build 46 storey hotel in the heart of Southbank in Melbourne. Operating as Mantra on City Road, the 469 apartment development will bring bold design and opulent finishes to Melbourne’s vibrant Southbank arts and entertainment district. It will have one, two and three bedroom apartments with world-class digital connectivity, along with a range of inviting guest spaces including a pool, gymnasium, and an indoor winter garden with private dining spaces and a guest lounge. The hotel, which is currently under construction, is being developed by prolific Melbourne developer BPM and will be managed by Mantra Group when it opens in late March 2018. 4. APT to visit Arnhem Land for the first time APT, launched its 2019 Kimberley Coast Cruising, featuring Arnhem Land, pre-release brochure, highlighting the new destination and a range of Kimberley tours, including its first tour to Arnhem Land. The Arnhem Land coast, new for APT in 2019, is one of the top end’s most prized destinations. A small ship expedition offers an unforgettable experience thanks to APT’s high crew-to-passenger ratio, with an average of 100 guests on board. They also include sightseeing with an expert Expedition Team and all-inclusive dining and beverages while on tour. With the backing of an Australian family owned company with 90 years’ experience and more than 40 years’ in the Kimberley region, APT simply is the best. 5. Free stopovers & flights upgrades with Wendy Wu Tours Wendy Wu Tours has just given you even more reasons to sell it’s brand new 2018-2019 brochure collection, with dynamic deals for Asian discoveries in both Vietnam and the Deluxe Collection of tours. The tour operator is offering free indulgent Singapore Stopover package with every Deluxe Collection booking, valued at $730pp. The package includes entry to Gardens by the Bay, along with high-end accommodation with breakfast, a half-day city tour and airport transfers. Or travellers can receive a free one-way upgrade to Premium Economy with Vietnam Airlines, or upgrade both ways from $99 per person, for bookings made before 20 December. This limited offer, valued at up to $1,360 per person and is available on a wide range of escorted Vietnam tours from the Classic, Immerse Yourself and Deluxe Collection range. 6. Viking orders 7 new river ships for 2019 Viking Cruises has placed an order for seven new river ships that will debut in 2019. The newbuild order includes six additional award-winning Viking Longships, which will sail the company’s most popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, and one additional vessel, inspired by the Longships and specifically designed for Portugal’s Douro River. With the addition of the new river ships, Viking will operate a fleet of 69 river vessels around the world in 2019. Also by 2019, Viking will welcome its sixth ocean ship and will become the largest small ship ocean cruise line. “This new ship order is a reflection of strong demand for our Europe river cruises. Portugal in particular always sells out quickly, so a new ship on the Douro River will help meet the high demand,” says Michelle Black, Managing Director Viking Cruises Australia & New Zealand. 7. Trafalgar extends $699 offer to Europe & Britain Due to popular demand Trafalgar has decided to extend its $699 air offer across all of its 95 trips through Europe and Britain for 2018 until the 14 December 2017 or until sold out. Spaces on this limited-time offer are selling fast and clients wanting to secure their holiday to hot destinations such as Italy, Ireland, Scandinavia or France at unbeatable value, need to book in early to guarantee them a slice of The Good Life throughout the entirety of their holiday – from flight to finish. Clients can choose to either make the most of this exclusive air deal for just $699 return, including taxes on all 95 Europe and Britain trips, or to book with the current 10% Europe and Britain 2018 Early Payment Discount if paid in full before 14 December 2017. 8. JNTO launches information site for Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) launched a brand new website to provide information to travellers for the Rugby World Cup 2019 held across Japan. The aim of the website is to highlight important details of the twelve host cities including access, local food and drink, places of interest and model itineraries. It is a great opportunity for rugby fans who are visiting each city for the games to explore the local area pre and post match. The site will also provide information on where each team is playing, the times and locations of each match plus general match venue details such as stadium access. JNTO will continue to add new information to expand the website as the official kick-off approaches , with the first game to be played in Tokyo between Japan and the winner of the Europe qualifiers on Friday, 20 September, 2019. Future additions include the most recent event news, details about fan zones and further sightseeing information. Click here to check out the site in English, French or Italian. 9. AccorHotels signs up as major partner for Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2018 AccorHotels is proud to announce it is a Major Partner and the Official & Exclusive Accommodation Partner for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Season for 2018. Celebrating its 40th year, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is Australia’s largest celebration of LGBTIQ culture and communities and AccorHotels will have a strong presence throughout the festival, with employees marching in the Parade and participating in Fair Day. Mardi Gras Festival talent will be staying at AccorHotels around Sydney and all of the group’s Sydney hotels will have colourful lobby activations and external signage displays throughout the festival, which runs from 16 February to 4 March 2018. Simon McGrath, Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels Pacific said the announcement was a momentous occasion for the group. What are your thoughts on this week’s news? Share your thoughts below. Other stories you may like Were you partying on the Nile with Bunnik Tours? Or were you spotted getting muddy & more? Is this a different way of seeing Italy? Trafalgar thinks so Were you on a Great Southern Rail famil? Or were you SPOTTED at the races & more?