We’ve done all the hard work, so you don’t have to! Read on for our top ten travel industry news stories of the day we think you need to know.
1. ATEC Slams new government agenda
The Australian Government released the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda on the 14 October, in a bid to strengthen Australia’s competitiveness.
The Agenda has a focus on providing economic incentives with an aim to help businesses grow, includes immediate reforms to boost competitiveness and a range of proposals for public consultation.
However, according to the The Australian Export Tourism Council (ATEC), the agenda ignores the success of Australia’s tourism industry and fails to build on the significant and growing economic contribution of export tourism.
“It is extraordinary that, in outlining its plan to ‘seize new opportunities’, the Abbott government has completely overlooked the A$30 billion and growing export tourism industry, one of our best bets for future growth,” said Peter Shelley, managing director ATEC.
Read on for more.
2. Australian caught up in Ebola scare
Madrid authorities, according to Reuters, evacuated an Air France plane yesterday after a passenger started shaking on the flight to Madrid from Lagos via Paris, prompting fears the person had Ebola.
Among the 156 passengers, pilots and crew members, was Australian woman, Bronween Bashford.
“There were police cars, there was an ambulance,” Ms Bashford told news.com.au
“There was also the fire brigade there and people in white suits.”
According to Bashford, passengers headed for Paris were told to re-book or find alternative means to arrive to their destination.
“I think anybody that was being sensible would be very cautious and very wary of going on a flight but as I understand at the moment we don’t know whether it’s confirmed or not and we have to trust that the authorities know what they are doing and that they are going to be doing the right thing.”
Read on for more.
3. Emirates Cup touches down on the Coast
The Emirates Melbourne Cup recently visited the Gold Coast for the Ladies in Racing Luncheon at the Versace Palazzo. Ladies were in their finest attire, as they raised funds for the Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.
Guests were invited to have their photo taken with the Cup on the day with Emirates Queensland Sales Executive, Maggie Silva, Travel by Wyndam Manager, Anne Isaacs and Corporate Travel Managers Gold Coast Branch Manager, Gemma Weatherby, all taking the opportunity to have their picture taken with the Cup.
Special guests included 1994 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Wayne Harris, and legendary racing journalist, Tony Bourke.
The Emirates Melbourne Cup travels to 34 destinations across Australia and New Zealand over three months, where local communities can take part in celebrating the rich history and excitement of the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
The Cup will be at Flemington, Melbourne for the 154th Emirates Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 4 November 2014.
4. Hilton to debut lifestyle brand in 2015
Hilton Worldwide’s new lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton is set to open next year in a bid to compete against the likes of Starwood Hotels’ W brand, the Marriott-Ian Schrager brand Edition and smaller badges such as Ace Hotels.
“We saw an opportunity to not only enter the lifestyle space by developing a new brand, but also to redefine this category by creating a more accessible lifestyle brand,” Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta said in a statement.
“We identified the need to take the emphasis off of capital-intensive design and deliver exactly what the target consumer desires: an energising, comfortable stay with more included value.”
The brand said that their latest offering will be design-driven and will include amenities such as free WiFi and breakfast.
5. Viking Cruises announces helm of first ocean ship
Viking Cruises has announced that Captain Gulleik Svalastog will be at the helm of its first ocean ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star, which will take on its first guests in April 2015.
Leveraging his experience as a cruise captain in Norway, Captain Svalastog will command and oversee the operation, crew and safety of the ship in its maiden season in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. Viking has also released today a new online video interview with Captain Svalastog.
Svalastog brings 45 years of sailing experience to Viking Ocean Cruises. He has held a variety of senior ship management positions and has worked as superintendent for Norwegian Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises and as Lead Auditor for Det Norske Veritas (DNV). His most recent position held was captain of Color Line Cruises.
Svalastog is currently a member of the team overseeing the final stage of outfitting and interior build-out for Viking Star, which touched water for the first time in June 2014 at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard and will be christened in May 2015.
“We could not ask for a better captain for our first ocean ship,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises.
“Captain Svalastog brings an impeccable record that will undoubtedly guide Viking Star and her guests though a successful maiden season.”
6. CAPA names Cebu Pacific best low-cost carrier in Asia-Pacific
Leading aviation think tank, Centre for Aviation (CAPA) recognised Cebu Pacific Air as the Asia-Pacific Low-Cost Carrier of the Year, during the recently concluded CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence in Singapore.
“Our LCC of the Year has endured a tumultuous period in its home market, but maintained its focus and had the highest operating profit margin in the Asian airline industry,” said CAPA Executive Chairman Peter Harbison.
This year, CEB launched four new long-haul destinations: Dammam, Riyadh, Kuwait and Sydney, and took delivery of four brand-new Airbus A330 aircraft.
It currently operates flights to 62 destinations on 90 routes, utilising a fleet of 51 aircraft which is one of the most modern fleets in the world. Its network spans Asia, Australia and the Middle East. CAPA also cited CEB’s alliance with the Tigerair group, and its ability to adapt as competition intensifies.
The think tank also recognised CEB’s focus on its home market, and its rapid but scalable expansion that does not come with excessive aircraft orders and capacity.
“The Cebu Pacific team is honoured to be recognised by CAPA,” said CEB President and CEO Lance Gokongwei.
7. Intercontinental Double bay partners with Penfolds
InterContinental Sydney Double Bay has announce its new partnership with prestigious Australian winemaker Penfolds to coinciding with the first release of The Penfolds Collection.
The brand’s 2012 Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz and 2012 Bin 311 Tumbarumba Chardonnay will feature as the house pours at Stockroom restaurant, with an extended selection of Penfolds labels also featured on the wine list.
“Securing a partnership with Penfolds and offering some of Australia’s best wine as our house pours sets the standard for the unrivalled experience we will deliver guests dining at Stockroom and throughout the hotel,” Stockroom’s sommellier, Kabir Antoniak said.
“With its robust, full-bodied palate, Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz is the ideal complement to Stockroom’s selection of robata-grilled dishes while the Bin 311 Tumbarumba Chardonnay, with punchy citrus overtones, pairs perfectly with our fresh seafood dishes.”
In addition to Stockroom, Penfolds wines will be showcased at InterContinental Sydney Double Bay’s Stillery gin bar, Rooftop Pool and Lounge, exclusive Club InterContinental lounge and private courtyard, and in the private bars of its 140 guest rooms and suites.
Penfolds Koonunga Hill will be available for events held in the hotel’s functions rooms, including the open plan Grand Ballroom with capacity to host celebrations of up to 495 guests cocktail-style.
Penfolds is the first partnership to be announced by InterContinental Sydney Double Bay.
8. Qantas and Rex win QLD regional routes
Qantas and Regional Express (Rex) have won contracts to exclusively fly seven regional routes in Queensland, under the state government’s regulated air service plan.
QantasLink continues to hold the Brisbane–Roma–Charleville and Brisbane–Longreach–Barcaldine–Blackall corridor and will upgrade the majority of those flights to its Bombardier Q400 to deliver “a quieter, more comfortable and faster travel experience”, while Charleville services will be upgraded to the Q300 jet.
Rex picked up five routes, including a renewal of the two Townsville sectors it already operates. It plans to begin flying the three new routes – tagged as Gulf, Western 1 and Western 2 – from January 2015.
The regional carrier also won the three additional routes from Skytrans, which recently declared it would axe Sydney-Toowoomba flights after QantasLink begins servicing Toowoomba’s new Brisbane West Wellcamp airport next month.
9. Corroboree returns to Sydney
Corroboree Sydney, held from 20-30 November, will return with over 100 artists performing during an eleven-day program, inviting people of all ages and cultures to come, create and celebrate.
Highlights include the Gurung Parade, marking the start of the festival with a procession of 3,000 school children and the Firelight Ceremony where Elders light a flame that burns throughout the festival.
Festival favourites include the Black Arts Markets, which showcases the works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and Homeground, a free two-day outdoor live music event at the Sydney Opera House. The iconic Bangarra Dance Theatre will also perform their 25th anniversary show at the festival.
10. APT’s exclusive savings on 2015 European River Cruises end soon
Travel agents still have two weeks to take advantage of APT’s SuperDeal savings, with the award winning luxury cruise operator offering free return flights to Europe with Singapore Airlines, including air taxes of up to $950 per person.
The deadline for this offer is 31 October 2014 and APT is advising travel agents to make client bookings now to secure preferred suites and dates.
The offer is valid across any suite category on a number of cruises, including APT’s 15-day Magnificent Europe luxury river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest departing between 1 March to 5 April 2015 or 1 October to 31 December 2015.
Priced from just $7,795 per person, cruise highlights include the three royal jewels in APT’s sightseeing crown; a private visit to Namedy Castle, including a cocktail reception and lavish royal banquet; a journey aboard the luxurious Majestic Imperator train from Passau to Linz via Salzburg; and a cocktail reception and private musical soiree at Vienna’s newly refurbished City Palace, featuring members of the Mozart Boys’ Choir.
Also included are all meals aboard the cruise, starting with a Champagne breakfast each morning; complimentary beverages throughout; room service and butler service in select suites, all sightseeing and entertainment; and transfers, port charges and tipping.
Other savings on offer include ‘Fly Free, Just Pay Taxes’; ‘Companion Fly Free’; ‘Air Credits’; and ‘Solo Savings’ on select itineraries.
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