Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best today and tomorrow.

1. P&O Cruises guests airlifted to Brisbane following bus crash in Vanuatu

Travel Agent Pacific Dawn Sails Under the West Gate Bridge _Photo James Morgan

Image: James Morgan

Injured Australian tourists have been airlifted from Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila to Brisbane, after a road accident involving two buses in Port Vila.

Two locals were left dead in yesterday’s accident, and 12 P&O Cruises guests sustained injury, 10 of which are believed to have been severe enough to require air ambulance evacuation to Noumea and Brisbane.

P&O spokesperson, David Jones, told the ABC that passengers are receiving “excellent care in Vanuatu”, but due to the extent of the accident the cruise line thought it best to “airlift our guests back to Noumea for specialist care there or back to Brisbane for specialist care”.

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2. Looks like Virgin Australia is flying to China

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia has received regulatory approval to expand its international network with direct services to Hong Kong and China.

The International Air Services Commission (IASC) gave Virgin the green light last week, for 1,925 seats per week to China and seven flights a week to Hong Kong. Approval will last up to five years, after which Virgin will have to reapply.

In its approval, the aviation body described the Australia-China route as “highly competitive” and expects Virgin Australia’s proposed operations will give Australians more choice.

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3. Get ready for a virtual New Caledonia

Travel Agent NewCaledonia

Travel Agents that attend next month’s New Caledonia Tourism’s trade show can expect a distinct blend of Melanesian tradition and French sophistication as part of the tourist bureau’s plan to bring a whole new perspective to the event.

An exciting addition to this year’s roadshow is the launch of the destination’s first virtual reality experience, which will transport consultants to the fine white sand beaches of the Isle of Pines as well as the diverse landscapes of the North.

Other highlights will be the free-flowing champagne, interactive educational games and prizes, including holidays to New Caledonia.

The New Caledonia Roadshow will run from 25 to 28 July 2016. Click here to register.


4. This is what it looks like to travel around Australia like a Hemsworth

Travel Agent Chris Hemsworth

Australia is a stunning country, there’s no doubt about that. But somehow the mighty Hemsworths have brought all new levels of beauty to the destination on social media.

Celebrity couple, Chris H and Elsa Pataky plus their two children have set out on an Aussie adventure as part of an online Tourism Australia campaign to attract more visitors.

Using the famous family’s Hollywood status (and millions of social media followers) to draw attention to unique areas of the country, the foursome (actually just the parents) have shared snaps of their adventures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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5. Bookings Boss joins the Amadeus Next community

Booking Boss

Australian startup, Booking Boss, has joined the Amadeus Next community, a program which supports startup companies by utilising Amadeus’ technology, customer base and support.

Other benefits of joining the exclusive programme are connections to funding opportunities, and assistance to expand global reach. The Amadeus Next community currently has more than 20 startups and 30 partners on board.

Booking Boss’s key goals in the community include achieving integration with Amadeus’ technology, increasing brand visibility across the APAC region, and building a strong strategic partnership with Amadeus, to assist in identifying other opportunities and partnerships.

Booking Boss CEO, Renee Welsh says she feels honoured to have been selected to participate in the programme.


6. You’ve never seen Sydney like this before

Travel Agent Sidecar tours of Sydney

You’ve got your bus tours, your personal tours, there’s organised coach tours, food tours and even a few walking tours, but have you ever tried a vintage sidecar tour?

It’s like stepping back to… when were sidecars a thing? Well, it’s like stepping back to that period for what has to be the most unique way to see the Harbour City.

If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen it around Sydney before, it’s because Shelby’s Sidecar Tours only just launched the product, making it the first-of-its-kind in Australia.

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7. Aussies & Kiwis want their share of Switzerland

Travel Agent Switzerland Tourism

Is it the ski? The culture? The incomparable mountainous scenery? Or perhaps it’s all three that’s delivering more Aussies and Kiwis to Switzerland every year.

Switzerland Tourism, which recently wrapped up its bi-annual Australian roadshow, revealed Australian and New Zealand numbers to the European country go from strength to strength and are now jointly the sixth largest market in terms of visitor growth.

Last year, AU and NZ delivered an all-time record of 325,000 overnight visitors, a 3.5 percent increase on 2014.

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8. Scenic packs more into Japan

Travel Agent Mt-Fuji-and-Chureito-Pagoda_Japan

Scenic has added six new itineraries, new destinations and new Freechoice activities inside its 2017 China and Japan program, which can be downloaded here.

The operator’s guests can now book a comprehensive 24-day Journey to Shangri-la, which travels from Shanghai to Kunming, stopping by well-know cities plus two new cities from Scenic, Hangzhou and Suzhou. There’s also the 27-day Amazing China trip, which combines two previous tours and takes guests from Beijing to Shanghai via Jiuzhaigou Valley, Zhanjiajie and Yangshuo.

In Japan there is one new tour, 14 Day Japan Unveiled from Fukuoka to Tokyo. This new tour visits the southern island of Kyushu for the first time before transferring to the main island of Honshu. Guests will also visit two new cities: Fukuoka which contains some of Japan’s oldest sites such as Shofuku-ji, the oldest Zen Temple in Japan and the sixth century Kushida Shrine located in the ancient section of the city; and Nagasaki which is Japan’s historical gateway to the Western world.


9. These Agents have a good reason to smile

Travel Agent Bunnik Famil Feature

We’d be smiling too if we just completed an 11-day incentive famil through Peru, Brazil AND Argentina.

Bunnik Tours treated its top South American product sellers with the exclusive famil that saw the group experience LATAM’s flights from Australia before taking in the South American sites and sounds.

Along the way, Agents travelled north in Peru to Cusco and through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. They saw the majestic Iguazu Falls and stayed right in the National Park at the luxurious Belmond Das Cataratas, plus they visited the grand city of Buenos Aires, where they discovered the famous Recoleta Cemetery and colourful Caminito St in the vibrant La Boca district.

Click here for more pictures.

What are your thoughts on today’s travel news?