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. What’s new at Collette in 2018?

Big things are happening over at Collette and we’re not just talking about their incredible 30 percent increase in guaranteed departures!

The company has released its 2018/18 brochure with new tours and at least 20 guaranteed dates on its popular Italian Vistas tour.

Among the new things guests can expect next year include include eight small group tours in Europe as well as two new additions in North America, including the America’s Historic Mid-Atlantic tour transporting guests back through time with stays at three of the most historic luxury hotels in all of America: the Omni Shoreham Hotel, the Omni Homestead Resort and The Jefferson.

The tour begins in Washington D.C., where guests will marvel at the lavish interiors and recount the glamour and prestige of the past at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, which over the years has hosted stars such as Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Joe Di Maggio and numerous American presidents, most recently Barack Obama.

The next destination on the Mid-Atlantic tour is the magnificent Omni Bedford Springs Resort. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, this 200-year-old national historic landmark has hosted 13 American Presidents in its time, including George Bush and Ronald Reagan. From here, guests will travel to Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic architectural masterpiece built over running water and enveloped by lush forestry.

Click here to check out the latest brochure, or check out the video above for more.


2. Emirates to launch fourth daily Sydney service


Australian travellers will have more choice when travelling overseas from March 2018 as Emirates introduces a fourth daily service between Sydney and Dubai, complementing Emirates’ existing three daily A380 services.

The service will be operated by Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft and will increase passenger capacity on the route by 6,846 seats a week, inbound and outbound between Sydney and Emirates’ hub in Dubai. This represents a 7.3% increase in capacity for Emirates’ Australian services.

Emirates customers will also be able to enjoy seamless “A380 to A380” connections to 48 destinations within Emirates’ global network via its hub in Dubai.


3. Si Holidays to separate from Rosie Holidays in Australia

Si Holidays 2

Si Holidays has announced that they will no longer operate the ‘Rosie Holidays’ brand in Australia.

Commencing 15 September 2017, Si Holidays will service Fiji bookings under their proprietary wholesale brand, ‘Freestyle Holidays’ which offers the same product range as Rosie Holidays. Travel Agents will continue to receive excellent customer service and Fiji destination knowledge from their team and bookings will now be ticketed under the ‘Freestyle Holidays’ brand.

Si Holidays will continue to service all bookings and anticipates that there will be no major change, however a re-issue of documentation may occur. The Si Holidays team will contact any Agents directly impacted by this change.


4. Oman Air & Malaysia Airlines codeshare from Melbourne

Oman Air

Oman Air and Malaysia Airlines have entered a code-share partnership opening up more international destinations to their customers, effective immediately.

Oman Air’s passengers who currently enjoy direct flights to Kuala Lumpur will now be connected to more destinations in Malaysia, China and Australia. The new destinations now open for Oman Air guests are Singapore, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Darwin, Melbourne, Auckland, Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Kota Bharu, Johor Bharu, Kuantan and Miri. Additionally, the existing destinations of Oman Air, namely, Jakarta and Guangzhou will also be connected through this code share.

Malaysia Airlines passengers will enjoy non-stop, direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Muscat.

This partnership will also pave the way for closer co-operation between the two airlines on a range of other joint initiatives, including collaboration on frequent flyer programmes, ground handling, customer support, cargo and airport lounge access.


5. A&K extends Qantas Frequent Flyer Point offer


Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) is enabling travellers to earn valuable Qantas Frequent Flyer points on its 2018 Hosted Small Group Journeys. The Luxury Travel company has extended its special offer with all bookings made before 31 December 2017 earning 1 Qantas Point per dollar spent.

A&K’s exclusive portfolio of expert-led small group journeys takes guests off-the-beaten-track to remote and rarely explored destinations. The journeys have been designed especially for the discerning Australasian traveller and group sizes are no more than 18. A&K’s insider knowledge and expertise ensures security and comfort as well as integrated cultural and educational encounters.

There are 22 different destinations to choose from, with each journey offering its own-curated experience. Learn about the shaman ritual at Mexico’s Day of the Dead festivities, sample Armenia’s famous Brandy in a private tasting at an old stone distillery or dine on inventive farm-to-table cuisine in Iceland.

All travel must be completed by 31 December 2018.


6. Hawaiian Airlines expands New Zealand flights

Hawaiian Airlines plane

Hawaiian Airlines is expanding its New Zealand service with up to five non-stop flights weekly between Auckland and Honolulu starting in March, when the carrier’s increasingly popular route celebrates five years.

Under Hawaiian’s expanded schedule starting March 21, flights will depart Auckland at 11.55 pm five times weekly, Wednesday through Sunday, arriving in Honolulu at 9.45 am on the same day and offering guests ample time to settle into their accommodations, explore O‘ahu, or take a connecting flight to a Neighbor Island or one of Hawaiian’s 11 gateway cities in North America. Flights from Honolulu to Auckland will depart at 2.05 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, arriving at 10 pm the following day.

In addition to Hawaiian’s growing flight network and award-winning service, guests flying between Hawai‘i and New Zealand will enjoy superior comfort and a host of new amenities. The airline’s wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft offers three relaxing in-flight experiences, including Business Class with fully lie-flat seating, Extra Comfort premium economy and the Main Cabin.


7. Flexicar launches at Melbourne & Canberra Airport


The membership-based car sharing service Flexicar has installed eight Flexicar pods at Melbourne Airport and two Flexicar pods at Canberra Airport, providing travellers with a convenient alternative to public transport and taxis.

Members of Flexicar can easily book a vehicle for one hour up to five days, collecting it from the newly installed Flexicar pods (designated car parking spaces) at Melbourne and Canberra Airports. At the end of the booking, customers simply need to return the vehicle to the same pod.

The service provides travellers with the use of a car for short periods of time inclusive of fuel, a generous kilometre allocation and damage cover*, with the added benefit of no waiting time when the vehicle is collected and returned.


8. Fiji Airways & Solomon Airlines sign codeshare agreement

Fiji Airways aircraft

Fiji Airways and Solomon Airlines have signed a codeshare agreement for flights between Nadi and Honiara.

The codeshare, which comes into effect on 30 September 2017 will see both airlines place their respective ‘FJ’ and ‘IE’ codes on each other’s flights between Nadi and Honiara.

Guests of Solomon Airlines can expect convenient travel and transfer onto Fiji Airways’ network through its Nadi hub to North America, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.


9. Wendy Wu Tours celebrates the China-Australia Year of Tourism


On 14 September, 400 guests of Wendy Wu Tours’ travelled to Xian in China as part of a fortunate few to attend an exclusive Chang’an Impression Tang Dynasty Welcoming Ceremony, courtesy of the China National Tourism Administration.

Held only on very significant occasions to welcome official dignitaries in previous years, including former President Bill Clinton, this prestigious ceremony celebrated the 2017 partnership of China and Australia, in an official “Year of Tourism”, recognising the important relationship between the two nations.

On the evening, Wendy Wu Tours received an exclusive award for Special Contribution to the Year of Tourism for China and Australia. Accepting the award in person, Wendy Wu was overwhelmed by the huge show of respect and support, almost overpowering her acceptance speech.

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