1. Air New Zealand’s Dreamliner makes maiden voyage
Air New Zealand’s Dreamliner 787-9 will be making its maiden voyage from Auckland to Perth this evening (Friday 12 September).
It is scheduled to arrive on Australian soil at approx 8:10pm Sydney time (6:10pm Perth time).
This is to celebrate its first scheduled commercial route between Auckland and Perth on 15 October, followed by services to Shanghai and Tokyo later this year.
2.Contiki teams up with G.O.T star, Natalie Dormer
Game of Thrones fans will be delighted to hear that Australia’s leading travel brand for the 18 to 35s is teaming up with Baratheon beauty, Natalie Dormer, to produce a film of epic travel proportions.
As part of their #ContikiLegends project, the brand will be gathering real traveller stories dating back to the brand’s launch 52 years ago.
Dormer, known for performances in Game of Thrones*, The Tudors and the upcoming Hunger Games, will leap behind the cameras retell an incredible story of a young blind woman who leads her fellow travellers through the cobblestoned streets of Rome, finding their way back to the hotel simply by using her other senses.
The story represents what Contiki is all about – connecting young people through shared adventures, challenging the ordinary and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone to make every moment count.
3. Get it all on Norwegian Cruise Line UK
Norwegian Cruise Line UK is launching a new “Norwegians Get It All and a Whole Lot More” promotion, an All-Inclusive Package for guests sailing in 2015 and booking between 17 September and 30 October 2014.
This new package, that includes speciality drinks, speciality dining, service charges, internet, treats and more, adds a value of more than $2000 per stateroom on a seven-night cruise.
Additionally, guests booking a cruise in conjunction with the All-Inclusive Package will benefit from 5 per cent saving on their cruise fare.
Travel agents will also benefit from the offer with the chance to earn extra commission by booking both the cruise and All-Inclusive elements of the package, both of which attract a commission rate of 10 per cent.
The package will be available on cruises of three to 14 nights between 4 January and 27 December 2015.
4. The honeymoon is over, carry bag
Tigerair Australia has today announced stricter carry-on baggage measures which will come into effect on Thursday 18 September.
The decisions follows eight months of departure gate monitoring and education with penalty-free warnings for passengers who exceed carry-on baggage restrictions.
The new measures will further enforce Tigerair’s carry-on baggage policy, which allows passengers to carry a maximum of two bags free of charge provided they do not exceed 54cm X 38cm X 23cm or a total combined weight of 10kg per person.
“We have been working with our passengers since the start of the year with an extra team member positioned at the departure gate to monitor carry-on baggage and provide penalty free educational warnings,” said Adam Rowe, Commercial Director at Tigerair Australia.
The airline will, over the coming week, send a direct communication to passengers booked for future travel to remind them of this policy and the likelihood of penalty charges for exceeding the carry-on baggage allowance.
As a gesture of goodwill, Tigerair will discount by up to 40 per cent of the standard overweight baggage penalty for the first three months of the stricter carry-on baggage enforcement period.
5. Fiji wants to meet you!
Tourism Fiji is set to launch their very first Instameet with top Instagrammers from around the world on between 29 October and 4 November.
In addition, the country’s tourism board is inviting one lucky fan from the Fiji social media community to enter and join as the official photographer.
The winner will receives an all-inclusive, 7-day experience in Fiji, working and playing alongside some of the world’s biggest and best Instagrammers.
The competition closes on 15 September with a winner being notified by 22 September.
6. American Airlines goes green
American Airlines was the first airline with a paperless cockpit, and now American’s cabins are also paperless.
The airline has provided flight attendants with electronic manuals, accessible through a handheld tablet.
“The accessibility and functionality that the tablet provides our flight attendants will greatly improve their work environment,” said Hector Adler, vice president of Flight Service for American Airlines.
“The tablet allows us to reduce our dependency on paper products and to share important safety information with our flight attendants more quickly. This is a very exciting and important milestone for all of us at American as we modernise our processes and provide our employees with the best tools to do their job, and provide better service to our customers.”
The switch will save the company $300,000 annually and nearly $650,000 in fuel annually based on current fuel prices.
The tablets also will help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions by 2100 metric tons.
7. Qantas’ double dip deal
Qantas Frequent Flyer, Australia’s favourite airline loyalty program, is offering its customers a double points offer.
The offer, according to the airline, will be extended to every Qantas destination, every cabin, every fare.
To receive the benefits, customers will need to make a new booking on any eligible Qantas flight.
They will also need to book between September 5, 12:01am (AEST) and 11:59pm (AEST) September 12, 2014.
The offer will extend to 28 February, 2015.
8. Tally up for Thailand Tourism Awards
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting tourism business operators nationwide to submit their products and services for the 10th Thailand Tourism Awards 2015. The submission period starts from now until 30 November, 2014.
The Thailand Tourism Awards are part of TAT’s ongoing efforts to constantly upgrade and enhance the standards of the kingdom’s tourist destinations, to promote creativity, encourage environmentally-friendly tourism practices, and to ensure the Thai tourism and hospitality industry’s competitiveness within ASEAN.
The Thailand Tourism Awards 2015 will be based around the concept of ‘Conserving the Environment’ and promoting sustainability within the industry.
The judging criteria take into account various aspects of tourism management, including whether the local community has been involved with the creation or operation of the products or services offered.
Also considered are whether local cultures and livelihoods have been respected and traditions observed.
Eco-friendliness, sustainability, based on the principles self-sufficiency, as well as creative economy and innovative marketing are also taken into account.
The Award is divided into five categories: tourist attractions; organisational bodies that have strongly supported and promoted Thai tourism; accommodation; health tourism and travel programmes.
9. Frankfurt ist Fabulous
Welcoming 6.1 million passengers, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) achieved a new monthly passenger record by exceeding the six million passenger mark for the first time in a single month.
This represented noticeable growth of 5.4 percent year-on-year.
Furthermore, FRA’s daily traffic volume surpassed the 200,000 passenger level 13 times in August 2014.
Previously, FRA had only passed this daily traffic peak four times within a single month. Frankfurt Airport also registered its busiest traffic day in history on August 17, 2014, when Germany’s largest aviation hub served 210,599 passengers.
FRA’s cargo throughput (airfreight and airmail) rose by 3.2 percent to 179,555 metric tons, up 3.2 percent compared to the same month last year. Aircraft movements also climbed by 0.6 percent to 42,684 takeoffs and landings.
10. Universal set to further theme your stay
The new hotel, announced today by Universal Orlando Resort and Loews Hotels & Resorts, will be located across Adventure Way from the new Cabana Bay Beach Resort.
Set to open in 2016, it will become the destination’s fifth resort hotel and its 1,000 rooms, including 77 suites, will bring the number of on-site hotel rooms at Universal Orlando to 5,200.
Inspired by the picturesque rivers and waterfalls of the Caribbean, Loews Sapphire Falls will immerse guests in a highly themed resort environment using traditional island styling with modern touches.
A resort-style pool with a water slide, children’s play area, sand beach and fire pit will help form a central courtyard and will be surrounded by the hotel’s guest rooms.
There will be water taxi and shuttle access to all of the entertainment and dining options throughout Universal Orlando Resort.
“We are excited to continue our growth plans at Loews Hotels by building another hotel with our long-standing partners at Universal Orlando,” says Jonathan Tisch, Chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts.
“Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will be every bit as distinctive as the other four on-site hotels and will offer a new option to families looking for a truly special Orlando vacation.”
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